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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.

The fashion industry has been marking its presence on the internet now more than ever in response to the current pandemic. While we’re forced to stay inside due to lockdowns, new restrictions and possibly even the unbearable cold, the e-commerce industry has been thriving. So why does this matter and why should this concern us? Shopping online nowadays is so easy and accessible, so why should we change our habits?

Unfortunately, the many retailers that we purchase from use a streamline system designed to produce clothing quickly and in greater quantities. If this pandemic has revealed anything, it’s the inevitable wealth gap that has existed for years, and has widened since March. During the pandemic alone, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos increased his net worth by $24 billion all while local businesses have constantly been forced to shut down. However, this is old news that remains unsurprising to most. While there’s little we can do to completely stop fast fashion, the daily decisions we make can slowly have an incremental change. Thus, by making these ethical and sustainable choices, we can slow down the streamline. To help make this shift, here are the top five brands that are ethical and transparent in their means of production.

1. Patagonia

Price: $$$$ Based in California, Patagonia is known for its men’s and women’s outdoor and activewear. Using recycled material and organic cotton, Patagonia has committed itself to employing a positive impact around the world. In addition, it is Fair Trade certified, providing ethical labour by avoiding outsourcing and locating its production in Texas and North Carolina.

2. Tentree

Price: $$

A Canadian brand, Tentree produces comfortable and casual essentials designed for everyone. Tentree ethically manufactures its lifestyle and loungewear clothing lines, which are all made from sustainable fabrics like Tencel, hemp and organic cotton. As part of its commitment, this brand also gives back by planting ten trees each time one of their items is purchased. To date, 50 million trees have been planted thus far, with a goal to reach 1 billion by 2030!

3. Levi’s

Price: $$$

Another famous brand, Levi’s is best known for its denim products for children and adults alike. A popular choice among many, Levi’s promotes sustainability by using recycled denim, ethically-sourced cotton, and reduction in water usage. Finally, its strong and lasting quality prevents quick wear which prevents cheap and short-lived clothing, helping to stray from overproduction.

4. Everlane

Price: $$$

Providing exceptional quality, ethical factories and radical transparency, Everlane is the new up-and-coming sustainable brand from California. Their brand promises to deliver only the best and most sustainable materials by prioritizing natural fibers and using recycled synthetics. By investing in new fabric innovations, their goal is to reduce the impact of fashion on the planet.

5. Alternative Apparel

Price: $$

Known for its loungewear, Alternative Apparel is an excellent choice to substitute big box retailers like Zara or H&M. Being mindful of their impact, this brand incorporates organic cotton, post-consumer recycled polyester, low-impact dyes, and eco-friendly packaging when producing and delivering their apparel. Alternative Apparel successfully delivers lightweight yet durable clothing while keeping their promise of sustainability.

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Oana Padurean

Western '23

My name is Oana and I am a student at Western University studying International Relations as my choice of major. Intrigued by the arts, I chose to take part in Her Campus to use this as a platform to empower girls and young adults my age. I have a strong interest in the world around me and want to use it as inspiration to address global issues, modern problems surfacing, and how this generation is choosing to react. One small step can cause incremental change.
Disha Rawal

Western '21

Disha is a fourth year student pursuing an Honours Specialization in Neuroscience. She has been on Her Campus Western's editorial team for the past two years. This year, she is one of the chapter's Campus Correspondents. In her free time, Disha enjoys journaling, painting and watching Youtube videos.