Shop: Everlane

I wrote this a little while ago, but all the things I’m seeing on the internet about Fashion Revolution week inspired me to share it with you and open up the conversation about ethical shopping.

But before I jump into introducing you to one of my favorite transparent brands, I’d love to share this graphic by Anuschka Rees, author of The Curated Closet, with you. Maybe you can’t do all the steps, but everyone can do some of them.

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Supporting ethical brands is only a small piece to the puzzle, but let’s face it, there are simply times when you can’t find what you need from a thrift store or vintage shop. When you need to buy new, there are some really incredible brands that have your back. I do not claim to have the most perfect ethical standards, or to even execute my standards perfectly, but it’s something we’re straining to understand and practice better. We’ve been on this journey for a year now, and it’s been incredible and liberating and opened our eyes to our—as in our specific family’s—reckless habits of consumption.

If you’re on the same journey, I’d love to hear your story. 

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Many of you have likely already become acquainted with *Everlane. They were one, if not the, first ethical clothing companies I learned about when their brand first launched. I’ve also purchased more from them than any other clothing company over the last year, so I feel somewhat qualified in bragging for and about this incredible company.

Everlane is committed to Radical Transparency, and they shout it from the rooftops. What does that mean, exactly? It means that you will know the production costs of each garment you purchase, the markup of that item, and inside information on the factory that made it, and you will not have to search high and low to find it. They present all this information in an easy-to-find, smartly illustrated space on the page of each item you view.

You can read up on their factories and interact with each one through stunning photos, and each year on Black Friday, you get the opportunity to raise support for one of their factories through your purchase. Everlane does a truly fantastic job planning for their Black Friday Fund, and then following up with their customers about exactly how the money raised was used to improve the lives of the workers in that specific factory. You can watch a video and learn more about their most recent Black Friday Fund.

Not only this, but their clothing is extremely well made and their designs are thoughtful and precise, making Everlane the place to go for professional and casual basics alike. I’m particularly partial to their shoe collection, which is a modern revamp of the best of the classics. Everlane’s collections are smart, interesting, and will give any wardrobe some serious mileage and versatility.

Although some of Everlane’s items are going to run in a higher price range, with their commitment to radical pricing, you can buy a basic tee for just $15, making this brand an accessible option for many on tighter budgets.

What would I like to see Everlane do next? I’d like to see mens suiting (please, oh please!), and a tee with a curved baseball hem and side slits, which I realize is weirdly specific, but hey, I know what I like! And if we’re really going to dream big, some maternity and nursing apparel would be really grand, please and thank you.

And that’s a wrap! Do you love Everlane, too? What is your favorite piece you’ve purchased or aspect of the company that you appreciate?

About this series · If you’re new here, you can read more about our decision to hold ourselves to stricter shopping standards. What an amazing time to live, when we’re starting to reassess some of our most basic decisions, and the impact those decisions have on people all over the world. This feature is not written for the purpose of judgement. I won’t think less of you if you rave to me about your bargain finds at the nearest fast fashion shack. But cool things are happening in the clothing industry, and it’s something that my family and I have chosen to be a part of. My hope is that you’ll learn something alongside me. That you’ll hear of brands you, too, will come to love; brands that will find a long-term home in your closet. That you will get a peek into something exciting, something that will bless you and your neighbors next door and on the other side of the world. Thank you for joining me!

*So we’re clear, Everlane did not pay me to write this, but if you find you love them as much as I do, then please consider purchasing through my affiliate link. Thanks, friends!

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7 thoughts on “Shop: Everlane

  1. While I am pretty good at not buying in excess and being frugal for our family, I am not as good at shopping ethically as I should be. I do like this site though, for quick research: https://projectjust.com/

    But what I would love to know (or maybe you wrote about it somewhere already?) is what you are looking for in “ethical” purchases. Some brands prioritize minimal environmental impact, others focus on conditions in factories, others on American made goods (which has a whole different set of ethics if, as some economists propose, those factories could do more good in other countries than in our own where there are many more options). What is your ranking for “ethical” standards? I ask this not as a judgement at all, but because I think I often get overwhelmed at the different standards and trying to prioritize and thus just don’t pay attention – which is obviously the wrong response.

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    • This is a really great question, and I’m so glad you asked. Honestly, I’m still figuring this out. Initially our decision was based solely on human rights issues. Simply put, we wanted to be as sure as we possibly could that the clothes (and other things, so far as possible) we purchased were made by people being paid fair wages and treated well. Why should we get to buy and wear cheap clothes that someone who maybe works 15 hour days and doesn’t see her children and can barely put food on the table has worked to make? I do not want to support companies who require this level of sacrifice from their employees. So I would say this is our highest standard, and when other things like small footprint or USA made come into play, then cool. USA made is not my highest priority at all, but sometimes it is easier to find out the ethics of a company when they’re made small and local.

      That said, I have a few companies that I currently buy from, or would buy from that I’m not 100% certain about. I plan to e-mail one of them this week to get a deeper look into their ethics. Most of my friends know my love of Madewell, you included, buy I’m looking to switch my denim purchases to DSTLD in the future. I don’t think Madewell is awful by any means, but I wish they were doing more to be transparent about where their clothes are made. And honestly, lately some of the items I’ve been gifted from Madewell haven’t been the best quality. They’re much more fast fashion than they used to be. I do love their looks, though. We are also given gifts from some stores we don’t buy from. We do not ask for things from these stores, but also feel that it’s important to be charitable and truly grateful for gifts that we receive. And if we are given something that is not from one of our “approved” stores, we are careful to take good care of it and make it last and work for us for as long as possible.

      I hope that what these shop spotlights will do is help give people resources for quality, long-lasting, really stylish clothes that are made by people receiving fair wages and being treated with respect. It can all be so confusing and such a layered topic. My goal is also to NOT spotlight a shop unless I have purchased at least one item from that company. A friend told me the other day that she’s made some purchases that she thought were investment pieces, but it turned out they were just high priced fast fashion clothes.

      I hope this helps! Again, I cannot emphasize enough that I am still very much learning what all of this means and how to do it well. Thanks for your thoughtful question! It helps me to think more about what my goals truly are. XO

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    • also, thanks for bringing my attention to Project Just. I have visited their site before, but needed to look up that brand I alluded to (the one I wasn’t quite sure about but would buy from anyway). https://projectjust.com/brand_outdoorvoices/ Well,just typing that out made me realize what a double standard I had, so I looked them up and the result was totally disappointing. :/ I had requested Outdoor Voices apparel for my 30th birthday, but I just told Cody that I didn’t think we could support them at this point. Confession time for ya. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been obsessing about this brand for over a year now. I hope they change their standards, and plan to write a letter to them soon. Thanks for challenging me with your thoughts! XO

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      • Thanks for your thoughts! Sooo many factors in the ethical buying decision!!! On top of these, there is also the issue that James is really passionate about, which is what things companies give their money too, so that our purchases aren’t going to fund things we are uncomfortable with beyond the scope even of how the clothes are made. Excited to follow more of your shops!

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  2. I love a lot about Everlane and I love the style of almost everything I’ve bought there, but I feel like their clothing is not great quality. Obviously, it’s less expensive than other brands, but I have found that it doesn’t last more than a year, maybe 2 (I should note that I wear each item 1-2 times a week, and being careful in the laundry is not my strong point). Which items do you have that have impressed you with their quality? My other issue with Everlane is their support of the ACLU, and I’ve found this difficult with other brands, too. I love the idea of Brass (https://brassclothing.com) and Thinx (https://brassclothing.com)as well, but their literature and marketing are so troubling in their support of moral issues that I can’t support. I’m still not sure where I fall on it, but that’s what I’ve been thinking about lately.

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    • This is such an interesting question, Dawn. I have also been wondering exactly how long a piece of well-made clothing should last. I wonder, is knit simply not a very durable fabric? I have a tank, tee, and a beloved pair of Modern Babo shoes. The shoes seem really fabulous, but I have yet to have them for an entire year. The tank that I have currently is worn at least twice a week, so time will tell if it holds up. But again, I don’t know what I should expect from knits… I do know that doing a comparison between Cody’s Everlane t-shirts and ones from the past that he got from Old Navy, the Old Navy ones pilled horribly. The Everlane ones haven’t pilled and don’t seem as if they ever will. I certainly appreciate items that retain their strength throughout their life span. I have a Madewell tee that developed a pin sized hole near the pocket very soon after I started wearing it. Our Everlane knits don’t seem to have this problem either. That said, I think that clothing companies need to start looking more at the longevity of their items. The label Elizabeth Suzann has done and does do wear testing on their fabrics. Recently, several on their team did a wear test of the Clyde pants, simulating 2-4 years of wear in 90 days. Fascinating! https://www.instagram.com/p/BPL5io_h50-/?taken-by=elizsuzann This brand has a higher price point than we can manage, but knowing that they are doing these kinds of tests and seeking to not only make ethical clothes, but clothes that last a really long time makes me more likely to purchase from them in the future. Also, I share your struggle with laundry. Stains are my nemesis! I certainly need to become a little more well-versed in proper laundry care. My game plan starts and ends with line drying, which is something, I guess.

      And to your other question. Yes, something with which I’ve also recently started to get uncomfortable. Just a few days ago I followed a link to a beautiful line drawing print of a woman breastfeeding an infant. On the site was the image, and then a little sticker in the corner that proudly announced “25% of proceeds go to Planned Parenthood.” Um, no. I hope I’m not uncharitable in saying this, but I’ve gotten the sense that conservative Christians in business are not very concerned with social issues. There is a huge emphasis on economics and little on social justice, and so I don’t think many independent, “ethical” clothing companies are going to align themselves with conservative Christians. I hope this changes. At this point, I’m okay with purchasing from companies like Everlane that support other things that I don’t agree with, simply because every company, big or small, is going to support organizations. At least I know who Everlane is supporting. But Target? Forever 21? Walmart? I don’t know. In the instance of that drawing, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t purchase that print because of that direct association. So how far am I willing to bend on these issues? I don’t know. But I’m really grateful you brought this up. It’s certainly something I’ll be thinking about and praying about more.

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful questions. I’m enjoying this conversation so much, and you’ve really helped me work though some of my thoughts. Much love to you, friend! XO

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    • Hey Dawn, really appreciate this conversation and that people are making conscious decisions about the brands they want to support. I am one of the founders of Brass and would love to learn more about how we could improve our literature and marketing. We have always been really open and encouraging of feedback. Having open dialogue about these issues allows everyone to learn more and push the conversation forward. So, if you have a minute, I’d love to hear more. I can also be contacted directly at jay@brassclothing.com. Again, really appreciate your time and opinion.

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