I first came across These Native Goods on Instagram. I was so happy to find a site that has organized and categorized conscious clothing for us! Unless you're super in the local, sustainable, USA-made, less toxic fashion loop, it can be harding filtering what companies to support. Chandra Fox of These Native Goods has done all of that for us. The next time you're looking to get your retail therapy on, make sure to pop to her site and find brands that are in alignment with your ethos; because we really are voting every time we purchase something.
C | Now is an interesting time to be promoting USA made, there is a chance that it can be misconstrued as support for a certain unsavory (understatement) character. One who preaches, "buy American and hire American" yet has not lead by example either in his own businesses or those of his family. My support is not a political move or overzealous patriotism. It comes from a love of craft, community and the environment; and a desire to see them thrive.
These Native Goods arose from my own intent to become more aware of what I consumed, a desire to take responsibility for the cause and effects of my actions. The site is a directory for USA made goods and natural products, the idea for which came about in an unexpected way. It all started because of a health issue I was having, that lead me to take a closer look at the products I surrounded myself with daily. Food, bath and body, make-up, home cleaners, clothing and the list goes on. I had no idea what was in the products I was using, where they came from, how the contents could be affecting my body or what kind of damage their creation had caused. It was a weird awaking moment for me.
Refocusing my own life lead to the creation of the directory. The deeper I dug into researching what I consumed the more I realized just how harmful certain products could be. Not just to my body, but to the environment and the people manufacturing them as well. Once you open your eyes to what is really going on behind the scenes of certain mass-produced goods it’s hard to not want a change (if you are unaware of the human and environmental toll The True Cost is an informative documentary). Compiling a list of ethical brands and non-toxic products helped me stay on track in my own life, acting as a quick reference guide when my mental roster failed. So it made sense that this could be useful for other people too.
Below is a sampling of brands from our directory. I can't play favorites with so many great companies out there but I love the conscious approach these labels use with their designs.
A Los Angeles made brand inspired by vintage construction and silhouettes. The pieces are made using deadstock fabric, which is left over from larger fashion houses. The use of deadstock cuts down on the environmental impact caused by creating new fabric and prevents this leftover material from becoming waste. Because of the limited supply of each print the styles are produced in small batches, which also prevents overproduction and more potential waste. Christy Dawn designs without seasons, she creates forever pieces that reflect the wearer’s personal style instead of passing trends.
Some of the most comfortable underwear I have ever owned and they are made using US grown organic cotton. Grown without herbicides, pesticides or harmful chemicals, especially important considering what they will nestle up against. The bottoms come in two cuts, a high and low rise reminiscent of retro bikini cuts (think 1960's Raquel Welch). Their bra is a pull over style, free of any uncomfortable clasps or underwires. Great for wearing to sleep and/or breastfeeding.
This line uses natural fabrics like linen, silk and cotton, with the latter two being primarily deadstock. Linen is considered one of the more sustainable fabrics, derived from flax; the plants require less water, fertilizers and chemical pesticides. Pieces are designed and sewn in California, utilizing small manufacturers. The style is a new take on laid-back surfer girl, minimal and sophisticated, versatile and incredibly easy to wear.
Earth friendly basics made without seasons, choosing instead to design classic staples that are good for the long hall. The fabric they use is almost entirely organic, with the knits being US grown organic cotton. Eight + Sand focuses their business model around being as Eco-friendly as possible, minimizing waste, using low impact dyes and recycled/recyclable packaging. They are also big on transparency; the origin of all their materials is listed on the product pages.
Tailored, minimal and earthy. Natural plant dyes are used along with deadstock and organic fabrics. Town clothes is a firm believer in the slow fashion movement, working with family owned manufacturers and producing everything small batch in LA.
Safe manufacturing facilities, fair wages and higher quality materials cost more money, as a result so do the products made in these environments. This balances out a bit by the fact that items are made better and tend to last much longer so the need to replace them is less. Try limiting the amount you purchase, only buying items that are truly useful and meaningful. Plus look to sales, second hand and vintage to help balance out the cost of higher priced items. Don't feel the need to get rid of everything you own to create an ethical wardrobe; this will only contribute to fashion waste. Start small, add new items with purpose and the transition will be easier and more wallet friendly. My hope is that These Native Goods will help encourage people to think more about what they consume while introducing them to labels with a more conscious vibe.