If you are like me, you have probably engaged in a little (i.e. A LOT!) of retail therapy over the past 9 months. With most public institutions and places of gathering closed due to the pandemic, there is less going on to occupy our lives and our time. The most exciting time of the day is when the delivery driver drops off that package. As a clothing lover, it is tempting to fill up my cart at the cheapest retailers I can find, but that is not always the most sustainable choice. Fast fashion is not only an exploitative labor practice, it is highly wasteful as well. Like most people, I want to be more conscious of my purchasing decisions, especially as the holidays approach. Buying from independent and local brands is a great way to find more eco-friendly shopping choices. It is also important to support your local community, especially now as we all continue to shelter in place.
GALERIE.LA is a black-owned, independent brand based in Los Angeles. The owner, Dechel McKillian, has made a name for herself as a celebrity stylist, working with the likes of Drake, Fergie, and Nicki Minaj. McKillian’s clothing focuses on structure, with outfits created to flatter the body. She is also conscious of the materials she uses, incorporating locally sourced material. The clothing is on the more expensive side, but the clothing itself is made to last. GALERIE.LA specializes in womenswear, but they do offer some menswear options as well.
In 2012, Debra Denniston and her daughter Rachel teamed up to create HFS Collective, which features sustainable and ethically sourced bags. The bags come in many styles, including belt bags and cross-body bags, all designed to be hands free and compliment any outfit. They also design belts and wallets as well. Prices for bags range from $200 to around $400 dollars, but they are offering sales as low as $95. HFS Collective utilizes locally sourced materials. They also use recycled, upcycled, and deadstock material in order to reduce their carbon footprint on the fashion industry. The bags are made of materials such as hemp, cork, PINATEX, organic cotton, and premium eco vegan leathers. HFS has been featured in the likes of The Cut, Los Angeles Magazine, and Refinery 29.
If you are looking for comfy clothes and activewear to line your wardrobe, look no further than Groceries Apparel. Groceries Apparel is an LA-based brand that makes its clothing out of organic and recycled materials including organic cotton and plastic. Prices start as low as $38, making them both an eco-friendly and affordable option.
Banks Journal is an LA brand with international heritage. Its founders hail from Tokyo, Japan as well as from Byron Bay in Australia, both large cities known for their creativity and innovation. When they made the move to Los Angeles, they brought their culture with them and integrated it into their designs. They specialize in menswear, including men’s outerwear, swimwear, and accessories. Their garments are modern yet timeless, allowing buyers to build a stylish wardrobe that can outlast any trend. They use 100% organic cotton as well as recycled soda cans to make their pieces.