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Our favorite time of year is upon us. The time when red carpets get upstaged by white runways and we look to the future, as fashion’s greatest unveil their latest creations. But as the demand for transparency and sustainability continue to grow did you know the runways are getting greener as well? Long gone are the days when organic clothing meant a hippie sack dress, thank God, but now we are even evolving past the notion that fair trade products are only for mid-tier accessory brands (the TOMS of the world, if you will). As we roll full steam ahead into September, also known as Fashion Month, Here’s the rundown of ethical fashion brands to keep an eye on during the Spring/Summer 2017 presentations from New York to Paris.

The brainchild of Ali Hewson and Bono, Edun was founded in 2005 on the ethos of promoting trade in Africa by sourcing production throughout the continent. As it’s developed it’s modern aesthetic and earned some street cred in the fashion world, Edun is now a mainstay in NYFW.

In our humble opinion, there is no other brand on the planet that evokes the passion and inspiration that Maiyet does. Because from the ground up, their brand is dripping in beauty and sustainability. Working with the artisan development non-profit, Nest, they have scoured the globe since 2010, employing for the finest artisans available  to create the most stunning collection of products on the market today.

Since 2008, SUNO has been creating luxury with a conscience. Collaborating with local artisans from India, Romania, Italy, and Kenya and then culminating with production in New York City, SUNO is bringing the look of the tribal village to high end fashion.

In 2014, Kate Spade began an initiative to train female artisans in craft and for-profit business in Rwanda. This program has since developed into their own fully functional manufacturing facility with over 150 full time artisans.

Stella’s efforts in animal protection has spearheaded a change in the industry to be more cognisant when sourcing leather and fur. While they’re known for going completely animal free, they are also the first fashion brand to partner with the National Resources Defense Council on it’s Clean by Design program to improve the environmental impact of their textile mills.

It may surprise you, but Rodarte actually is keen on their environmental awareness. Every dye they use is done with environmentally friendly pigments, without harsh chemicals and without producing industrial waste. It doesn’t stop there, Rodarte’s headquarters is a ‘green space’, with no plastic bottles and established recycling stations for paper and other materials.

We include Tory not so much for any ground breaking initiatives they are doing in their supply chain, although they’re keeping up to industry standards, but rather feel it would be a disservice not to highlight the heavy efforts they’re putting into women’s empowerment. Through the Tory Burch Foundation they are providing tremendous support to female entrepreneurs by providing access to capital, education, and digital resources, and in 2016 they launched their first Tory Burch Foundation Fellowship taking 16 female entrepreneurs under their wing to help develop their businesses. Girl power!

It is our goal as a company is to help all brands run responsibly, so you as consumers can buy confidently. We dream of a day when articles like these are completely irrelevant because industry standards across the board demand high sustainability and transparency from plant to product. Do you work for a brand that could use our help sourcing responsibly? Are you wanting to be a more conscious consumer but don’t know where to start? Join in the conversation and start doing your part at thr3efold.com.

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FROM THE EDITOR
At Conscious, we are inspired by stories that cause us to think differently and think big-picture and so we set out to tell stories with the help of leaders and influencers within the social good community. You can read more stories like this when you join as a member.

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