Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 10.46.03 AMThis “love is the bomb” necklace may not be all that essential, but it was just to cool to pass up. It was made by Artisans in Laos from “Vietnam War era bombs, plane parts, and other aluminium scrap”, so who wants to buy me a present? Just kidding!

Anyways, as promised in the IOM X post, I have curated a small selection of wardrobe essentials from ethical brands that can all be shopped online. When selecting the brands, I looked for “Fair Trade” and/or ethical approval recognition from various organisations. Although my detective skills are not 100% perfect, I think it’s safe to assume we are making the right choice by choosing to buy from these companies.


Instead of focusing too much on the missions and impacts of the makers, for this post I am mostly going to focus on the clothes themselves. In the recent months I have made a few purchase decisions based upon a company’s ethical backing, only to end up never wearing what I bought. Although I wasn’t technically buying fast fashion, I was still consuming in a way that was wasteful. It’s kind of ironic: I buy fast fashion because it’s cheap and disposable, or I buy ethical fashion because it seems like the right thing to do, but then I don’t really like it and dispose of it just the same. At the end of the day, even if I am choosing to shop from ethical brands, I still won’t be shopping “consciously” if I am not shopping sustainably.

What I am trying to say is this: sometimes I buy clothes that are so cheap I don’t have to think about it, but then sometimes I buy clothes simply because they’re “conscious”. Yes, we should shop ethically, but we should also stop and think to make sure we love the things that we buy. After all, disposing of anything isn’t sustainable, even if it’s made ethical.

For this reason, I am putting the clothes first and brands second in this post. If you look through the items I have chosen and find that you really love something, just click on the links under the images too find out what that brand is up to. If you think it’s something you want to support, then you should buy that item!


When searching the internet for brands to include in this post, I found that the basics are pretty much covered when it comes to fair fashion. However, finding brands that are on trend AND ethical are few and far between. Perhaps this is part of the problem?

Many of the brands I found (which are not included in this post) were definitely ethical, but frankly far from fashionable. Therefore, even if I wanted to buy a Fair Trade cocktail dress for my best friend’s wedding, I literally wouldn’t be able to find one. Perhaps these things are just hard to find, but my google skills are pretty good and I came up empty.

This poses a potential issue within the fair fashion movement. How can someone like myself, who is relatively fashion forward, make the change to start shopping ethically? This may be making a big statement, but from what I’ve seen the demographic that is currently shopping fast fashion doesn’t have many other options. The majority of ethical labels out there are creating clothes that cater to the looks and tastes of people who are already leading conscious lives. What they are not doing is creating clothes that cater to the tastes of people like myself, who enjoy picking up the latest trends each season.

Although what I have just said goes against the basics and the root of what this post is about, I figured it was still worth touching upon. Wardrobe essential are necessary and will be worn often, but sometimes we still want to have a little fun. Please let me know if you have any ethical brands in mind that might cover that unmet need. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy what I’ve put together for you.



Tops copy

                          STRIPE TOP

SWEATERS (Because the APOE readers aren’t just in Thailand, but live in cold countries too!)



Bottoms copy 2

Bottoms copy

                                            SKINNY JEANS



                                                     T-SHIRT DRESS







Accessories copy