Honest Department: Online Shopping Gone Green*

Ruth_July_06.jpg

“How do you find good ethical fashion brands?”

This question is probably the most frequent one I get, second only to “Isn’t ethical fashion really expensive?” (which I cover in this blog post)

There are loads of ways I both discover and go shopping for clothing in the sustainable fashion sphere, from browsing hashtags like #ecofashion and #slowfashion on Instagram, to attending fashion shows, craft fairs and pop-up shops, to visiting areas with high concentrations of charity and vintage shops, to following ethical fashion bloggers and writers, plus publications like Eco Warrior Princess, Peppermint and The Good Trade.

However, if I’m in ‘need’ (read: want) of something new and don’t have the time to research and trawl through the internet or physical shops, multi-brand platforms are my favourite place to find ethical brands all in one place.

My new discovery is Honest Department, a slow fashion space for style lovers, where there is a deliciously curated selection of womenswear from labels which have taken genuine care to minimise their environmental impact through zero waste production methods, natural, biodegradable fabrics and dyes, upcycled materials and more, provide fair pay in safe working conditions for all garment workers, and deliver products in plastic-free, 100% recycled and organic packaging. They even have a Carbon Offsetting scheme to combat their shipping footprint.

Here, explore three looks I’ve created from items gifted by Honest Department, with photos by the wonderful Ellie Morag. Check out my Instagram for more sustainable summer style using brands found on this fabulous website, and let me know what you think in the comments!

Ruth_July_35.jpg

As a staunch minimalist, this outfit had me trembling. But once I got over my socially anxious nature and the stares of Japanese tourists at 10am, I fully embraced this lime green beauty; an 80’s style shoulder-padded power suit reimagined in comfy jumpsuit form. It’s made from 100% linen (one of my favourite sustainable fabrics - read more about the benefits of linen here) and boats a unique bamboo buckle. I can’t wait to rock this bad boy at LFW. Edinburgh’s cobbled streets simply can’t handle the chic (or the heels…oops).

Jumpsuit: Tach Clothing @ Honest Department (current on sale, £89 down from £140!) #gifted
Shoes: Borrowed (read: stolen) from my gorgeous flatmate, originally Asos.
Sunglasses (worn throughout, and in pretty much every outfit I ever wear): Sum Company (now defunct, but #gifted back in 2013).

Ruth_July_02.jpg

Can you tell I love a jumpsuit? They’re just so easy and adaptable. This one is my new favourite summer staple; 100% viscose (a man-made fabric created from tree pulp), manufactured under the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code to ensure fair and safe working conditions. I love the palm/fern print and how it brings colour to the wearable black backdrop; I’ve been styling it with denim during the day and leather at night, a versatile transitional piece that I can see lasting me year after year. Oh, and did I mention it has massive pockets??? Now I have your attention.

Jumpsuit: Sugarhill Brighton @ Honest Department (currently on sale, £38 down from £54!) #gifted
Bag: Nu Blvck #gifted in early 2018
Jacket: Second-hand from my Scottish Blogger Clothes Swap last year, originally from Guess, belonging to the lovely Lucie from Call Me Dumpling
Hairband: Remode Collective from their stall at the Edinburgh Climate Festival
Shoes: Commes Des Garcons x Converse via Dover Street Market
Earrings: Marks & Spencer

Ruth_July_79.jpg

Last but not least, a rare sighting, Ruth in a dress! But before things got too girly, I chucked on some docs and a vegan leather biker jacket so I could stomp about. This lil’ wedding guest-ready summer frock is made from the softest, lightest, floatiest silk, with a flattering wrap shape and seventies bell sleeves. I didn’t last long in the Scottish wind before flashing my pants to some passing ‘men with ven’, but these are the sacrifices we make to look cute.

Dress: All The Wild Roses @ Honest Department
Jacket: Rino & Pelle @ Rosy Penguin, #gifted over 2 years ago and worn almost to death
Shoes: Dr Martens
Bag: Armstrong’s Vintage Edinburgh