Non-Hippy Fair Trade Clothes?

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One of my friends asked this question on Facebook and I’m sharing it here with permission. I’m hoping a reader might have an answer for us!

So there i was, at Target, and they had cute summer dresses for fairly cheap. Except now, i feel horribly, terribly guilty buying these things with the hammered-in knowledge that people are grossly underpaid and mistreated just so I can get something cheap and cute. Stupid ethical compass.

Now my questions are:
(1) where do i get fair trade nice clothes? not hippie clothes, not yoga clothes, not boring t-shirts and hemp pants. Nice, every day normal clothes that I would wear to school or to dinner or something.

(2) where do i get everyday things like underwear and sports bras that are fair trade and not stupidly expensive because of the “fair trade” markup?

To add an extra level of pickiness, it would be awesome if the fair trade didn’t just mean “made in america” – i’d prefer that these were developing nations, but that the workers were paid fairly, and treated properly.

Someone did suggest the Better World Shopper website as a resource, but I was curious to know if any of you had an answer. The best rated “normal” not crunch granoly hippy clothing brand that I actually recognized is Eileen Fisher, rated as an A-.  Any more suggestions? Some of the brands on this list are suprising.



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  • Katie Schmidt

    Dear Brandy, I understand your challenge to find ethical, stylish and affordable clothing. I recently started a fair trade women’s clothing line in order to create and make available more ethical and stylish clothing. My fall line will be debuting in August and will feature dresses and skirts at fair prices (under $100) that can be worn for work or for fun (not hippy) 🙂

    Also, I really like these two sites:

    Feel free to send me an email, I am always researching new companies!

  • Tim

    For nice stylish fair trade clothes for women try