Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands

Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands

Meet the designers that are proving slow, ethical fashion can serve a look.

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Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: Vladimir Vladimirov (Getty Images)

In case you haven’t heard: Fast fashion is out, and slow fashion is in. You can be fly, serve looks, protect the earth, and support fair labor practices and designers of color, all at the same time.

These BIPOC clothing designers and brands are on a mission to provide inclusive and equitable fashion that empowers women and promotes environmental consciousness— the perfect mesh of slow and ethical clothing. Slow fashion, coined by Kate Fletcher, means craftsmanship that considers the processes and resources required to make clothing. By advocating for better-quality garments and valuing fair treatment of people, animals, and the planet, slow fashion helps to reduce industrial water pollution and the 1.3 trillion gallons of water used for textile dyeing each year.

This spring, I want to strut in sustainability and sashay in custom, made-on-demand denim with little-to-no dye. But sustainability goes beyond reducing waste and carbon footprints: It means racial inclusion, pay rate transparency, fair labor practices, livable wages, and size variation and expansion. Revolutionizing the fashion industry into long-lasting fashion brands means catering to all body types and skin tones, while making people of all gender identities and ethnicities feel comfortable and confident in their skin. Meet the brands revolutionizing slow, inclusive fashion.

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Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: Gallerie.LA
Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: Gallerie.LA


 
I don’t know about you, but as I boldly transition out of pandemic pajamas this spring, my mission is to be dripping head to toe in soft and luxurious looks that are comfortable as hell. Enter sustainable fashion brand GALERIE.LA, founded by Dechel Mckillian. McKillian, who has styled Drake, Nicki Minaj, Fergie, and Lionel Richie, offers a range of colors and styles and matching accessories that are, honestly, to die for. GALERIE.LA is on a mission to bring socially conscious fashion to the masses with figure-shaping, unisex, easy statement pieces for everyone.

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Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: Taylor Jay Website

Taylor Jay’s clothes are just dreamy. Soft materials and figure-flattering shapes make her flowy shawls and cozy sweaters perfect for the everyday woman—particularly women of color and full-figured women. Her pieces are versatile, comfortable, and perfect for the woman on a budget that loves to mix and match. Best of all, Taylor Jay partners with an ethically sourced, fair labor practicing factory in Oakland, California, to produce environmentally safe garments from certified eco-friendly textiles. Yes, please.

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Image: LeyeLesi Website

It’s undeniable that founder of LeyeLesi, Aghogho Ogunlesi, loves her heritage. Each handbag and clutch is carefully crafted with that Nigerian influence in mind. After traveling back to her home country, she launched LeyeLesi in 2015 as a tribute to the leather clutches her mother and aunties would wear to parties when she was a child, She sources from unique artisans in Ghana and Senegal to craft her jewelry. Craftmanship, heritage, and sustainability are at the core of LeyeLesi. Each piece is designed to be a one of a kind work of art with bold colors and emphasis on finishings, while paying homage to Africa’s rich culture. LeyeLesi also compensates artisans with livable wages, living by the motto, “Leave this earth a better place than you met it”—and look good while doing it.

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Image: Brother Vellies
Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: Mireya Acierto (Getty Images)

Anyone who’s anyone knows about Aurora James, a Toronto native and the founder of Brother Vellies. James, who designed the attention-grabbing “Tax the Rich” dress Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wore to the Met Gala last year, prides herself on one-of-a-kind pieces that will “remain in your wardrobe forever.” I’d rock Brother Vellies’s luxury accessories on vacation or to a concert. Love her wrap sandals and thigh-high boots with tribal print, bangles to pair with your jumpsuit, leathers belts, hand-carved wood accessories, and adorable print mule flats. Sustainability never looked so good.

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CanDid Art

CanDid Art

Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: CanDidArt

Candice Cox, the creative mind and business owner behind Oakland-based company CanDid Art, is a self-taught jewelry designer. I’m particularly inspired by how Cox used her Fortune 100 business acumen and honed her craft to birth Candid Art in New York City in 2011. Each of her abstract designs tells a story: From her geometric-shaped jewelry to her intricate quilts, you can see and feel the African Diaspora influence. Cox’s signature staples and accessories are handcrafted to create “urban-chic” designs full of self-expression and individuality. Cox says, “We use quilting as a way of storytelling because our jackets and quilts can be passed own from generation to generation.” CandidArt’s wire hair pieces alone are a whole vibe.

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BeRESONANT Brands: Ooshie, Lola Fatoruti, Be Essentia, Megan Renee, Izayla


BeRESONANT Brands: Ooshie, Lola Fatoruti, Be Essentia, Megan Renee, Izayla

Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: Ooshie
Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: Lola Fatoruti
Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: Be Essentia
Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: Megan Renee
Image for article titled Goodbye Fast Fashion. Here Are Some Gorgeous, Sustainable BIPOC Brands
Image: Izayla

Megan Smith, Izayla, Lola Fatoruti, Randi & Taylor Leath, and Melissa Hill are the masterminds behind the femme-based brands at BeRESONANT. Self-made and true artists, these designers built their companies from the ground up to be easy, timeless and versatile for contemporary women of all sizes. By creating each item custom on demand, their state-of-the art technology enables creators to create clothing sustainably, reducing their water, ink, and carbon footprint by shipping direct to consumer. All five brands provide a complete wardrobe overhaul for the spring, including jumpsuits, rompers, swimwear, t-shirts and accessories. My personal favorite is Megan Renee’s over-sized sleeves, which make a bold statement for a night out.

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Image: Jade Swim

Former fashion editor and stylist Brittany Kozerski knows how to make a swimsuit that hugs the hips and shapes any woman, honey. Her designs combine her minimalist aesthetic with innovative silhouettes and unique design details. A mixture of edge and class makes her sustainable swimwear one of a kind. The collection is carefully crafted from luxe fabric to smooth and sculpt the body, ensuring that it looks stunning on any body type. Jade Swim is also blessedly affordable, and the brand sticks to solid colors to cut down on water used in dyeing. It uses locally sourced material to reduce emissions, and each product is shipped and sent with with 100% recyclable plastic and biodegradable bags. We love to see it.

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