Ethical, sustainable, *cheerful* clothes?
April 12, 2021 6:26 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to buy more clothing from ethical/sustainable brands, but I also like bright colors and cheerful prints. Where should I look?

When I look at a brand someone has mentioned as having some morality in their business practices, the clothes tend to be pretty depressing to me--a lot of saggy gray/brown/navy, an occasional pastel. Wearing well made clothing in bright colors, bold/slightly silly prints, etc, makes me happy. I'm a cis woman, but I buy a lot of men's-marketed button downs and jeans, and wear very few dresses or women's clothes with a lot of feminine or drapey detailing. Butch Miss Frizzle is roughly what I'm aiming at, here.

I generally split the difference by thrifting, but I would like to give some money to companies doing the right thing that also express some joy in their clothing. Who does this?

(Happy to cast a pretty wide net in terms of the definitions of "ethical", so feel free to share something that may meet partial definitions.)
posted by tchemgrrl to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
Gudrun Sjoden? I’m on mobile so can’t link...
posted by Sublimity at 6:29 AM on April 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

Story Mfg. And Tender both do British workwear-inspired stuff with natural dyes and materials, but with a lot of experimentation in what you can do with them.

They're both going to be quite expensive, though, since they're not quite aiming for the same market segment as some of the brands that make eco friendly basics.
posted by sagc at 6:31 AM on April 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

Big Bud Press comes to mind.
posted by pullayup at 6:32 AM on April 12, 2021 [9 favorites]

Also Lucy & Yak.
posted by pullayup at 6:32 AM on April 12, 2021 [6 favorites]

Blue Sky

Don't be fooled by their front page, which is seriously monochromatic at the moment. They sell a lot of really bright cheerful prints in mostly bamboo knits or batik cotton/linen prints.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:38 AM on April 12, 2021

This is the sweet spot of Nooworks.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:52 AM on April 12, 2021 [11 favorites]

Seconding the Big Bud Press rec, I have two pairs of their sweatpants and they are THE BEST sweatpants I have ever owned!

I also wanted to recommend Mokuyobi! I follow their social media (but I don't have any of their clothing yet). It's all so bright and cheerful and fun!
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 7:04 AM on April 12, 2021 [3 favorites]

Kirrin Finch isn't full Ms Frizzle, but there are some fun options!
posted by teremala at 7:40 AM on April 12, 2021

Tuesday Bassen's clothing is awesome! She's an illustrator based in California. Her stuff is cheerful and well made and she's got this to say on her FAQ page:

Where do you make your products?

We use a combination of domestic and international production with an emphasis on local production! Our clothes are made primarily in Los Angeles a sweatshop free sewing house. We do our best to ensure that our products are made in an ethical environment with high quality materials and always use post consumer, vintage, or California produced materials first.

Any internationally produced items are verified quality and sweatshop free by a third party organization for us.

Vox profiled her recently, and they talk a lot about her ethics. She's a really wonderful human from what I can tell, and her work is amazing.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 8:03 AM on April 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

Where are you located? I often shop adult section when I want something fun and colourful. They ship from Toronto, ON and carry many Scandi/UK brands.
posted by dotparker at 8:31 AM on April 12, 2021

I just bought two pairs of overalls from Lucy and Yak. They shipped super fast, and I love the clothes. I'm planning on buying from them again.
posted by PussKillian at 9:50 AM on April 12, 2021

!!!! suay looks pretty rad
posted by speakeasy at 10:01 AM on April 12, 2021

Mata Traders!
posted by music for skeletons at 1:37 PM on April 12, 2021

I mentioned Rapanui in a recent thread on ethical clothing - mostly T shirts witih bold prints, sweaters and flannel shirts.
posted by penguin pie at 2:43 PM on April 12, 2021

Thief & Bandit maybe?
posted by vanitas at 10:30 PM on April 12, 2021

Since you mention "butch" you should check out Wild Fang.
posted by brookeb at 8:27 PM on April 27, 2021

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