09 Dec

Best Ethical Outfits for the Festive Season

Deck the halls, ethical fashionistas, the festive season is here! That means Christmas parties, family gatherings, holidays and New Year’s Eve. It also marks the beginning of the biggest shopping month of the year: worldwide, you are looking at trillions of dollars spent on Christmas festivities alone (yes, twelve zeros).

Christmas consumerism is nothing new — it’s the sad truth that while Christmas should be about spending time with loved ones, it’s become one of the most materialistic holidays of the year. Brands target us with a different sale every week, and the pressures to spend money (and lots of it) are everywhere.

If you want to inject a little festivity into your wardrobe while still approaching the holiday season with a more sustainable attitude, we’ve found some amazing ethical outfits that you can wear well into the new year (and beyond). Because a good dress is for keeps, not just for Christmas!

For that office Christmas party

GRAMMAR

Rated: Great

The Pronoun Shirtdress – Ships internationally

The classic office white shirt, with a twist! GRAMMAR’s first dress, made from ethically sourced 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and produced in small batches in New York city, has a classic shirttail hem that hits just above the knee. We recommend pairing it with over-the-knee boots or sparkly tights for an even more festive look.

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Shop GRAMMAR NYC.

Emma Aitchison Jewellery

Rated: Good

Lava Ring – Ships internationally

London based designer Emma Aitchison makes unique recycled silver, gold and brass jewellery inspired by the weather. The Lava ring is perfect to accessorise GRAMMAR’s shirt dress and give your whole look a fancier feel.

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Shop Emma Aitchison.

For the late-night New Year’s party

Reformation

Rated: Good

Yara Dress – Ships internationally

The Little Black Dress (LBD for the connoisseurs) is a wardrobe staple, and this one from Reformation is all we want for Christmas! LA-based Reformation creates trendy yet eco-friendly clothes and ensures that a large proportion of its suppliers pay a living wage.

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Shop Reformation.

Shop Reformation @ Farfetch.

RAFA

Rated: Good

Simple Heels – Ships internationally

RAFA creates retro-inspired women’s footwear handmade in LA, using vegan materials! We love these classic block heels in an oh-so Christmassy moss green colour. If you’re afraid your little toes will get cold, you can even wear them with high socks!

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Shop RAFA @ Ecoture.

For drinks with the girls

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

Autumn Dress in Brick – Ships internationally

Despite its name, we felt the Autumn Dress was perfect to celebrate the holidays with your friends. This LA-based brand makes truly affordable ethical fashion that looks great — a rare find indeed.  By limiting each garment to short runs, Whimsy + Row utilises deadstock fabric, reduces packaging waste and takes care of precious water resources. For example, by buying this dress you will help save 11,080.9 days of drinking water. How awesome is that?

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Shop Whimsy + Row.

Winden

Rated: Great

Perfect Point Hoops – Ships internationally

Combining responsibly-sourced materials with elegant designs, the beautiful jewellery of Winden is handmade in New York using recycled metals. We suggest pairing these discrete hoops, available in silver and gold, with Whimsy + Row’s Autumn Dress for a minimalistic yet chic look.

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Shop Winden.

To make your crush fall in love on New Year’s Eve

Kowtow

Rated: Great

Ada Long Slip Dress – Ships internationally

Slip dresses have been trending for a while, and for a good reason — they can be worn anytime, anywhere, and paired with almost anything! This beautiful gold dress by Kowtow is made from a lightweight blend of organic cotton and Tencel, and is guaranteed to turn heads. The brand uses organic, fair trade cotton and non-toxic dyes to produce its clothes.

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Shop Kowtow @ Ecoture.

Shop Kowtow @ We-Love.

ARTICLE22

Rated: Good

Seed of Life Necklace – Ships internationally

Offers

ARTICLE22 – Bracelets

Transform negative into positive by wearing ARTICLE22 Peacebomb jewellery. 22% off bracelets with code GOY22 - Activist+Artist items excluded. (Ends: 23 DEC)

Checkout code: GOY22
Shop now

ARTICLE22 – Necklaces

The more ARTICLE22 necklaces you wear, the more land you make safe and clear from bombs. 22% off necklaces with code GOY22 - Activist+Artist items excluded. (Ends: 23 DEC)

Checkout code: GOY22
Shop now

ARTICLE22 – Earrings

Shop meaningful earrings and help ARTICLE22 make a real positive impact in Laos. 22% off earrings with code GOY22 - Activist+Artist items excluded. (Ends: 23 DEC)

Checkout code: GOY22
Shop now

ARTICLE22 – Rings

Wear ARTICLE22 handcrafted rings and buy back the bombs from Laos. 22% off rings with code GOY22 - Activist+Artist items excluded. (Ends: 23 DEC)

Checkout code: GOY22
Shop now

According to Article 22, the Seed of Life represents the creative process and is made of seven interlocking circles symbolizing the seven musical notes, seven chakras, seven in religion, seven days of the week, seven rainbow colors, and seven personalities. It is also a symbol of blessing and protection, which we all need as the new year approaches. Every piece of Article 22 jewellery is locally handcrafted in Laos using recycled materials from Vietnam War bombs, plane parts, military hardware and other aluminum scraps. It’s even Emma Watson-approved!

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Shop Article 22.

For the family gathering

Armedangels

Rated: Great

Siennaa Dress – Ships internationally

There’s absolutely no shame in stuffing your face with good food cooked with love during the festive season (guilty as charged). But when we do spend time with our relatives, we like being comfortable and at ease, and Armedangels’s Siennaa Dress is perfect for that. Fancy-yet-comfortable, it is made of organic cotton and is PETA-approved vegan! You really can’t go wrong with Germany’s Armedangels, who gets a ‘Good’ rating overall from us.

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Shop Armedangels.

 

 

Beyond Skin

Rated: Good

Beyond Skin handmakes cruelty-free, luxury shoes and boots, with love from Spain. These timeless vegan boots are going straight to our Christmas list. Pair them with any of the outfits mentioned above and you’ll look absolutely stunning!

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Shop Beyond Skin.

Just because it’s Christmas, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your values. You can look glam into the New Year while still consuming in a mindful and sustainable way, simply by shopping with ethical brands and choosing items that will last year after year. Happy holidays, ethical fashionistas!

Editor's note: feature image via Kowtow. All other images via brands mentioned. This article was updated in December 2019. To support our work, we may earn a commission on sales made using our offers code or affiliate links.

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