Ethical Fashion Brands That We Love
By Curtis Harding
When you look back at the last decade, it was inevitable that TikTok’s young users would pick up the ethical fashion torch from celebrity influencers and run with it.
When the Green Carpet Challenge started in 2010, urging celebrities to showcase sustainable luxury on the red carpet, concepts like ethical fashion and sustainability were little more than barely used buzz words. It didn’t take long though for those celebrities to start championing for this burgeoning movement.
In 2015, for instance, Gina Rodriguez partnered with Raja, an ethical lingerie line dedicated to championing women and helping the environment. Emma Watson started an entire Instagram account championing sustainable fashion after wowing the 2016 Met Gala with a dress made from recycled plastic bottles.
By the time TikTok took off in 2018, ethical fashion was firmly entrenched in pop culture. Then along came this platform that in many ways democratized the idea of influencers. Users don’t need slick, carefully staged content. They find something they like, make a video in their bedroom about it and share with their friends and followers.
Gen Z has never known life without social media. They’re photographed, filmed, shared and constantly documented online. Fashion, as you can imagine, is paramount in this world, but Gen Z is also the generation of social justice.
Put the two together and you’ve got a generation quick to embrace ethical trends like vegan clothes and organic cotton. They support recyclable fashion. From upcycling old clothes, to textiles made from recycled plastic and cotton. They want to know where their clothes come from - not just to support environmentally friendly practices, but also humane ethical production.
With almost 900 million views on TikTok between sustainable and ethical fashion, the movement has become impossible for the fashion industry to ignore. Big names like Ralph Lauren and MAC Cosmetics are now chasing Gen Z on the video platform.
But brands hoping to hitch a ride on the sustainability trend have to be careful because conscious consumers aren’t interested in “greenwashing.” They can see right through mass produced clothing brands trying to do the minimum to stay relevant. They want more. They want slow fashion – ethical, transparent, sustainable brands.
TikTokers will happily urge brand boycotts, but they also understand that conscious consumerism goes beyond negative press. That’s how we get brand swap videos, where TikTok users suggest sustainable alternatives to mainstream favorites.
Want clothing that uses organic cotton? How about switching over to a brand like Vustra? Interested in fabric made from recycled waste? There’s Ookioh, a line of swimwear made from 100% recycled ocean materials. You can even find videos explaining how plastic is turned into swimwear.
Once you realize this ethical fashion world exists, it’s hard to miss. I found that out just the other day when I checked out a photo shoot from a gender fluid yoga instructor I follow, only to learn they shot for a slow fashion brand dedicated to traceability, transparency, and sustainability. I was just scrolling through the pretty pictures and I discovered a new, ethical clothing brand called Amendi. And honestly, I took more notice of stumbling upon them than I do of a major brand’s slick marketing campaign.
Young people have always been drivers of fashion, but in today’s world, Gen Z isn’t just poised to upend and influence styles, but the entire fashion industry. The rest of us may be just along for the ride.D.O.B will help lead the conversation around achieving a more sustainable, ethical future and take action to support environmentally conscious and people positive brands.