Younger folks with a penchant for punk rock and candy-colored fashion trends have more than likely heard of Dolls Kill, a global online fashion brand that celebrates trendsetters with a rebellious streak. They offer a delicious mix of punk, glam, goth, and festival trends that empower all free spirits out there to live their best life.
But Dolls Kill isn’t just a brand that’s committed to uplifting others and helping them explore their own limitless sense of style, they work hard to right their wrongs and stand up for equality.
Today, we’re going to talk about some of our other favorite retailers that also place a premium on sustainability and ethical labor practices, both in and out of the supply chain, and those that embrace the candy rock aesthetic of Dolls Kill.
Now let’s learn more about who these retailers are, what kind of clothes they sell, and what they stand for.
Ethical Retailers We Know You’ll Love
Our list not only includes stores that boast some of the coolest styles around, but their missions are rooted in equality for all, inclusiveness of all body types, and ethically-sourced fashion. That way, you can shop at these stores with the confidence that you’re patronizing a morally sound business.
L.A.-based Purrrshop’s playful patterns and designs are comparable to those of Dolls Kill, and like them, they feature a lot of colorful, Harajuku-inspired trends that never seem to go out of style. They’re also particularly big on floral and gingham patterns, so check this shop out if you’re more of an ingenue. Pricewise, they’re comparable to Dolls Kill, in that they’re a little more expensive than Nasty Gal.
They recycle vintage clothing and ‘deadstock’ fabric in an effort to reduce consumption in the supply chain. Unsurprisingly, it’s become one of the hottest underground brands among dancers, ravers, and celebrities alike in Los Angeles.
Purrrshop sells shoes, outerwear, swimwear, dresses, T-shirts, socks, bags, backpacks, hoodies, tops, and anything in between. They’re also well known for their ‘set ups,’ or two-piece outfits that are just right for warmer weather. However, tops and bottoms are sold separately.
Because they use older, repurposed fabrics, the clothes themselves can be a little delicate. Purrrshop’s website advises shoppers to hand wash all their clothes in cold water and hang dry them.
Founded in 2014 by Sophia Amoruso, Nasty Gal features an extensive array of contemporary fashion for women, including chunky shoes, lingerie, outerwear, and the increasingly popular athleisure style in regular, plus size, and petite sizes.
They also offer student discounts in the form of ambassador agreements, where you can become an ambassador for the brand and receive monthly discounts on their latest fashions. They also offer afterpay options where you can pay off orders of $35 or more in four easy installments. For the college student with little disposable income, this can be a godsend.
What makes Nasty Gal so great, though, is their commitment to sustainable practices within the fashion industry. They follow the 3-M (‘Map, Measure, Modify’) approach to sourcing their materials: they map out their supply chain to see where the biggest impacts will be, they implement tools to measure the scale of these impacts and what some possible solutions are, and they’re constantly making adjustments to reduce their carbon and social footprint.
TomboyX manufactures underwear and lingerie so that people “can express [themselves] without constraint.” They also make cozy pajamas and soft T-shirts that can be worn with the utmost confidence.
This brand is also non-gender-conforming-friendly; TomboyX manufactures tucking underwear for those who want to look incredible while exploring their gender identity. The gusset in each pair of underwear is covered in Chitosan, an antimicrobial and sustainable coating sourced from crab, shrimp, and lobster shells left over by the industrial fishing industry. Those with shellfish allergies can rest easy, too; the coating is hypoallergenic and it won’t leave you smelling like you just spent a day at the wharf.
Like Nasty Gal, they interact closely with all levels of their supply chain to ensure that best labor practices are being followed and no excess waste is being produced. They’re also starting to source their cotton from India–which is near the rest of their production line–thereby translating to a smaller carbon footprint.
Shein offers some of the most versatile styles on this list, from basics to denim to lingerie to activewear. They also sell various accessories ranging from hair clips to umbrellas, making the site a convenient one-stop-shop for just about anything you need in your closet. Although their styles are a bit more conventional than Dolls Kill, they still offer both casual and gaudier looks–it all depends on what you’re in the market for.
You’d think that a store with as many options as this one would cut corners when it comes to producing their clothes. Fortunately, though, that’s not the case. Like many other brands on this list, Shein interacts closely with and monitors their supply chain to ensure that best labor practices are adhered to for their garment workers and manufacturers. They’re also surprisingly cheap in spite of this, too; average prices on Shein are less than half the cost of other premium retailers like Dolls Kill.
Like Purrrshop, Revice Denim manufactures all their clothes in L.A., where they source their denim from vintage warehouses. Revice Denim sells jeans of all kinds: high-waisted, stretch, flared, straight, boyfriend, mom, bootcut, and skinny, to name a few. They also sell distressed, low-rise jeans if you’re aiming for a Y2K-inspired look.
You can also check out which of their products are the most popular on their ‘Best Sellers’ page. For those unfamiliar with the vintage jeans world, this is a great place to start. However, don’t wait too long to buy a pair you love; since they don’t mass produce their jeans, styles are available for a limited time only.
However, their real claim to fame is high-quality denim at an amazingly affordable price–most pairs of their jeans are under $100, yet they boast the same quality and craftsmanship as designer pairs that retail for $200 and above.
They do this by instilling and following design and manufacturing practices that actively fight against the fashion industry’s increasingly disposable nature: they sell directly to their customers, only advertise online, and recycle old material to create some of the highest-quality pairs of jeans around. What’s more, their commitment to customer transparency has them listing the materials from which their jeans are made right on the product pages themselves.
Even though most pairs of their jeans sell for upwards of $50, you get designer-quality denim for a truly incredible price.
If there’s one brand that’s totally committed to making their clothes the right way, it’s Dazey LA. With all orders made by hand in Los Angeles, the company works hard to produce no extra waste and have a positive impact on the environment. Their ‘slow fashion’ approach, as they call it, makes sure their garment workers all receive a fair, livable wage and that production facilities are always up to the highest cleanliness and safety standards.
But there’s more to them than their rock-solid mission–they also produce some seriously cute clothes. From outerwear to activewear to overalls and jumpsuits, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another super-ethical fashion brand that produces so many different types of clothes. A lot of their T-shirts are social justice-centered as well, making them perfect conversation starters for otherwise difficult topics. You’ll find playful patterns, warm, earthy colors, and a deliciously feminine bent on just about everything they sell.
Don’t let their higher price tags deter you–you can rest easy knowing that all of their clothing is ethically made with care.
Poshmark has been one of the leading online second-hand retailers for men, women, and children since 2011. This means users can buy and sell their own used clothing, which takes the guesswork out of where the clothes are coming from, as they’re coming directly from the second-hand sellers themselves.
However, the especially ethics-conscious fashionista may have to do some extra digging when browsing different brands on Poshmark, as Poshmark has no regulations against buying or selling second-hand clothing made by brands who do not necessarily pay close attention to best labor practices.
Even so, it’s still a pretty solid source for second-hand clothing, and prices can vary widely depending on what brand the particular item is, hence our ‘variable’ rating for the price range.
Ethical Practices in Supply Chains
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of ethical supply chains and why that makes these retailers stand out. To get a better idea, watch the video below to get a better idea of how supply chains work in the fashion industry.
The future of the fashion industry is promising; with more and more brands re-committing themselves to greater production transparency and a higher standard of ethics, it’s becoming easier to have a guilt-free online shopping experience. We hope you love some of the retailers we’ve mentioned here, as they’ve been vetted by us for their awesome labor practices and classic, eye-catching threads.