Ethical Fashion: 5 Pieces For You

When welcoming any new season, I tend to get a bit squirrely with my wardrobe. There’s never a shortage of voices announcing the latest must-have ankle boot or toting this fall’s newest cut of denim. For an unapologetic lover of getting dressed, there’s always the temptation to upgrade.

And while I do not believe in shopping for sport, the fact of the matter is this: sometimes, a small shift is in order.

Changing seasons bring change, after all. Last summer’s go-to nursing bra gets stored away with hope for later use. The work heels you click-clack in this fall might soon be shelved for Hokas.

For me, a shift in season almost always marks a slight shift in style, particularly in a phase of life where my own whims are braided into the ways of small children. In a short calendar year, the babies who once spit up daily onto our V-necks are now wiping their salami fingers onto our jeans. And then, just as quickly, they aren’t.

garment life and design for mankind

That’s the wonderful thing about style — our lives are spent in the clothes we wear.

We walk this planet in daily time capsules, in worn stories. Pregnancy is A Year Without Jeans. Mono is Three Months in a Bathrobe. My English grandmother’s entire life could be accurately volumed in a leather-bound limited edition: Eight Decades Wrapped in Silk.

And so: if your story’s entering a new chapter and a small shift is in order, I have something fun to tell you.

garment life and design for mankind

Shortly after writing this piece, so many of you shared that you love the idea of ethical fashion, but all too often, garments made with love, care and time feel inaccessible. What if you splurge on a piece that doesn’t fit? What if the fabric isn’t what you thought it would be? What good is a responsibly-made blouse if it sits unworn in your closet?

And to that, I say: Exactly.
And to that, I also say: Meet my friend Morgan.

Last summer, Morgan and I hatched a simple idea to throw together an online pop-up shop just for you. Heavily curated with 5 pieces to fit any woman in any life stage, no matter the season. Our hope here is that we’ve eliminated your biggest slow fashion barriers: finding responsibly-made pieces (each garment is sourced and vetted for the highest ethics), fears about fit (each piece is photographed on everyday women of all shapes and sizes who share their exact measurements) and worries about cost (everything is 10% off!).

garment life and design for mankind

There’s a linen duster for your first big work presentation. A raw silk tee for weekend brunch with your girlfriends. Denim overalls for playground mornings with the littles. Lowtop sneakers for that upcoming trip to Tennessee. An everyday dress for all else.

Simply put, these are your forever pieces. (Love them well.)

Here’s how it works:

garment life and design for mankind

Design for Mankind x The Garment Pop-Up Shop

This week only, head here to choose your favorite piece. Take your measurements, compare them with those of the models to make an informed choice about fit. Unsure what size to order? Comment below or send Morgan a DM; she’s happy to help. Once you’ve decided, simply enter the code ERIN10 at checkout for 10% off!

One of the gifts of slower, small batch fashion is a renewed advocacy for both consumers and makers. It’s a balance Morgan strikes well, and one I trust her implicitly in. The girl has a Master’s degree in Ethics, after all.

When Morgan partners with makers for her pop-up shops, she listens closely to create pieces woman actually want (responsibly-made overalls, finally!). Once designed, she works tirelessly to raise funds toward sponsoring inclusive 3x and 4x sizing for select items. And when a garment is finished, she seeks the best case scenario for everyone involved: What price will most honor the work and time and talent of the maker while also honoring the work and time and talent of a consumer?

garment life and design for mankind

It’s not an either/or for Morgan.
It needn’t be for the rest of us, either.

And so: for those of you in the midst of a new chapter – style or otherwise – enjoy. It is such an honor to introduce you to Morgan, and it is our greatest hope these special pieces find a forever home in your closet.

Here’s to shifting seasons, wherever you are. May we weather them well.

  • What a lovely idea! My choice is already out of stock, but I will certainly look into supporting another pop-up in the future.

  • Best line ever : “My English grandmother’s entire life could be accurately volumed in a leather-bound limited edition: Eight Decades Wrapped in Silk.”

  • As a farm girl I am tempted with the super cute bib overalls. Except that they are short(not good for baling hay), that stretchy denim does not have longevity and cost. Though I was once tempted to use birthday money on a pair of American made jeans meant for real work from Gamine Workwear. In the end thrifted jeans fit the bill and I felt lead to gift my birthday monies to a girl at the grocery store. More warmth from that then a high end pair of jeans. Still glad you shared this pop up venture with us. ~Hugs~

      • Been meaning to get to the computer for a couple days to clarify…..”meant for real work”…..In no way was saying your writing in the city with two kids is not real work and this country life in Iowa with 8 kids is. Every time I sat to nurse in a quiet corner of the house, my comment played over in my head. I want to say sorry, I should have chosen different text. Obviously you are better with the keys and words. : ) We are all one Body and need one another. ~Hugs~

      • Oh Nikki – this is such a thoughtful comment, and in no way is an apology necessary! Thank you for sharing your heart here. I took no offense whatsoever. :) One body indeed!

    • This story is so lovely. Thankful to be reminded that there are a variety of callings! Such freedom there. (And I’ll never forget the time Erin said, “Believe it or not, the fiddle leaf fig is optional.” ) Thanks, Erin (and Nikki!) for always inspiring while also leaving ample room for individuality!

  • Hi Erin,
    Love this idea! I’ve been slowly replacing items in my wardrobe with higher quality pieces from more sustainable brands. Do you know if these items are considered final sale due to the 10% discount? I’m interested in the overalls (gah!), but they’re pretty spendy. I’ve a policy that I can’t keep anything that doesn’t fit perfectly, and jeans can be a hard guess…hmm.
    Cheers,
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah!

      Morgan from The Garment here:). Thanks so much for your interest in the overalls and for the question! I’m pleased to report that the overalls are not final sale – that said, return shipping is the responsibility of the customer:). If there is anything I can do to help you with sizing, please feel free to send me your measurements and I’d be happy to help! Warmly,
      Morgan

  • Oh my goodness Erin I loved everything!!! But it was all way way out of my budget :( are there no ethical pieces priced for us daughters who give everything we have to care for the needy? We have very little left to spend on ourselves but what little we have would be so awesome to invest in some ethical clothing :)

    • Hi Renuka:

      LOVE your heart, and I hear you. These pieces do have a higher price point, even with the discount. My favorite method for finding ethical clothing on a budget is to start at the local thrift store and head to your tailor. By re-using something that already exists and making it yours, you’ve completely opted out of the fast fashion cycle and you’ve voted against the $18 tee at the mall. For new pieces, Nellie Taft offers only made-in-the-USA threads, and The Flourish Market totes a beautiful mission:
      https://nellietaft.com/
      https://www.theflourishmarket.com/

      I hope this is helpful! Sending love and care to you.

      • Such a great idea Erin and right up my alley (actually I live on a dirt track ) :)
        In fact…we are hoping to open a thrift store for our non-profit and your suggestion has inspired me how to position our clothing section!
        I love your heart as well and the grace that pours out of it to so many of us.
        xoRenuka

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