One of Thread Caravan's greatest goals is to create a shift away from useless consumerism habits by educating people about quality, artisan-made goods. We believe that when people are provided the space to learn about handmade processes and the positive impact they can have on lives, they will opt to purchase these goods rather than the degrading and exploitative factory-made alternatives. Furthermore, we believe that when people understand and appreciate the process that goes into making something by hand, value of that piece increases and the person will want to keep it longer and take care of it. We hope people will start buying less, being more selective about purchases ethical artisan-made pieces, and having greater value for the things they do purchase.
The most common obstacle of shopping ethically is the high price points usually associated with ethical clothing. Yes, prices will be higher when companies are not taking environmental shortcuts and are paying their employees fair wages. That part is non-negotiable.
Our proposed solution is two-fold:
1. You can start saving more money for the brands you do support by boycotting the ones you DON'T: J-Crew, Nike, Gap, etc. Our friend Hoda at Joojoo Azad has a boycott list with some of her suggestions, including reasons why they aren't ethical.
2. Shop at second-hand stores for a super low cost (this also extends the lifespan of a garment!) and get hand-me-downs from friends. Both of these budget solutions will leave you with more money in the bank to support brands making beautiful pieces in an ethical way.
Another obstacle people face when shopping ethically is finding the right brands to support. With so much green-washing in marketing, it can be hard to navigate which brands are actually working ethically. For that, we've created this list. Each of the brands listed are businesses we've had personal relations with (but the list isn't sponsored ;)) so we know they are people of their word. There are plenty more ethical brands we have not included in this list, because we don't yet know them well enough to vouch for them. As we continue down the path of working with global artisans, our network will grow and we will add to this list. Keep checking back and please share your feedback with us!
season-less clothing with ample texture, color and pattern
Swimwear made from recycled materials in Barcelona
feminine, flowing clothing handmade in India and Bolivia
designed in NYC, handmade globally
bags and accessories knit with upcycled materials in Mexico
scarves and home goods blockprinted with natural dyes in Bagru, India
timeless shoe designs with materials from the U.S.
quality clothing made in Mexico using traditional techniques
woven garments handmade in Guatemala
clothing handsewn in Mexico with a clean and feminine aesthetic
jumpsuits and patterned wardrobe staples
bright-colored shoes, bags and rugs handwoven in Oaxaca, Mexico
accessories and home goods made in Rwanda and Ghana
comfortable resort-wear handmade in Oaxaca
womensware made in India + Bolivia
sacred knot decor and jewelry
scarves and home textiles woven in Guatemala
clothing handmade in India
Old school quality and craftsmanship, made in Los Angeles and India
naturally-dyed clothing inspired by worldly travels
handwoven and blockprinted pants, tops and jumpsuits
leather shoes handmade in India
ethical cotton undies
bags handwoven in Oaxaca by former prisoners as a way to reintegrate them back into society
modern knitwear designed in NYC and made by artisans in Peru
clothing and accessories made by artisans around the world
clothing created with deadstock fabrics
smocks and other minimal wardrobe staples made in Georgia
modern jewelry and knitwear made in NYC
leather + textile shoes handmade in Guatemala
boots and accessories handmade in Guatemala
screen-printed and naturally dyed yoga wear and baby clothes