People love to complain to me about eco-fashion when I tell them that I am a proponent of clothes that leave a lighter footprint and aren't dependent on slave wages. Their top complaint is always that eco-fashion is too expensive. (Next, and I think this is valid for fashion as a whole, is that there are not enough plus-sized choices). Honestly, I don't get it — not anymore. Unless you are shopping exclusively at Wal-Mart (which actually has eco-friendly options, if you look) or Forever 21 (which rips off designers small and large, flagrantly engages child labor, and makes clothes that fall apart), I'd say I'm confused.


Much of the eco-friendly clothing I've found — and buy — costs the same as clothes from the Gap or maybe Anthropologie. Both of which are huge, mega popular stores, and I don't hear people complaining much about their prices. Responsible, ethical clothing can be had at very reasonable prices.


That being said, good clothing shouldn't be crazy cheap. If you're not paying a fair price, that means that corners are being cut along the way — people aren't being paid fairly, or the fabric is made from polluting junk. Below, you will find three eco-boutiques that stock reasonably priced, super-cute clothes that are made with ethics in mind. Not only will you be supporting stores that give back, but also small businesses, all owned and run by women. (Not to mention that their sale pages have great bargains!)




Juno and Jove carries some of ethical fashion's most well-loved brands, like John Patrick Organic, Edun, Prairie Underground and Alison Watson (featuring gorgeous recycled leather bags). The Sarasota, Fla.-based store (the shop there was built sustainably from the ground up) offers plenty to choose from, with an eye towards classics-with-a-twist.


According to the website: "Juno & Jove actively supports companies that understand business should respect a balance between people, planet and profit ... and believes in encouraging individuals to minimize their negative effects on the world by emphasizing their positive footprint."


(And if you're on a budget, check out the extensive sale section, with plenty of pieces that are ideal for fall/winter — and men's too.)



Mission Savvy sells classic and current clothing and accessories for women at very reasonable prices — but they are also on a mission. Jennifer Miller, the founder and president of the company, founded the store (the brick and mortar is located in Charleston, W. Va.) with the idea that fundraising for animal protection could be easier if she had a business from which to educate and inform. Each year, five new "missions" are established (wildlife conservation, emergency relief for animals in crisis, and circus animal rescue are just some of them). When customers — whether online or in the store — make a purchase, they decide to which mission their donation (5 percent of the sale) will go.


So along with bringing the style and sustainability of eco-fashion to her community in West Virginia (and to customers online), Jennifer also "... imagined a 'what if' scenario where animal protection became part of mainstream lifestyles and everyday thinking. She explored the consequence of bringing these rather dark issues into the world; creatively, passively, kindly," and that imagining became Mission Savvy.

Fashioning Change doesn't look or act like any online boutique (green or not) I've ever seen — and that's the point. While still in beta, the site provocatively compares a pricey Gucci outfit with one that's made by an eco-fashion designer — labels include Hessnatur and the Pure Collection. Not only are they much less expensive, the site points out that the ethical choice supports fair wages, cruelty-free (for animals and people) production, and transparent and responsible supply chains.


The site features even more men's clothing than women's, so for guys looking for classic, budget-friendly and ethical clothes, this new site is sure to be a boon. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do next. 

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

3 fresh online boutiques that only stock eco-friendly fashions
In a sartorial rut? Check these web outposts for timely, affordable clothing that's easy on the earth.