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Since fall is generally a time we purchase pricier items–such as sweaters, coats and boots–I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of investment staples isn’t just defined by how versatile those pieces are. Heavyweight separates, woolens and leather goods are investments for sure, so shouldn’t you know exactly where your money is going? And make sure your investments are in sync with your values? For this installment of New Rules, I’m focusing on slow luxury and the things to look for this season when you’re choosing where and how to spend your hard earned wardrobe budget.
All of the designers featured this month strive for an ethical and sustainable business model. Many use plant dyes, natural organic fibers, local production, as well as focusing on fine fabrics, craftsmanship and durability with timeless design and longevity. Shopping for quality goods that you will treasure for many years, while also contributing positively to the livelihood of the people making them, just makes an investment purchase that much sweeter.
The Sweater: Pari Desai’s alpaca and pima knits are produced by teams of indigenous artisans in Peru, close to the source of the wool and cotton. The result is not only beautifully-made, long-lasting garments that reflect authentic techniques, but also have long-term, positive economic impact on local communities.
The Shawl: Lauren Winter uses pure virgin wool sourced and manufactured in the Pacific Northwest. Everything is sewn in her studio in Portland, Oregon.
The Comfy Pant: Devore Poole pieces are executed with quality and ethical practices in mind, and when choosing fabrics quality is a must. They are made by people earning fair wages. The attention to detail in the sewing and construction are what make these extra special, and worth paying a bit more.
The Tote Bag: The Stowe handbags are handmade in southern Spain by a small team of leather workers. They use vegetable tanned leather sourced from Italy which is much easier on the environment than harsh chemicals and chrome-based dyes.
The Day Dress: Kamperett produces all of their apparel in California ethically using family run factories who treat their employees well and pay fair wages.
The Power Shoe: Shaina Mote’s apparel has always been produced slow with family run contractors. This season she debuts her collection of shoes made by hand in Italy with a small 4th generation family of shoemakers.
The Shoulder Bag: Crescioni hand tools all of their leather goods in-house and manufactures ethically with skilled craftspeople in the Los Angeles area.
The Button Up, Pants and Dress Coat: Seeker Studios is all about transparency and upholding ethical values while aiming to keep pricing low. Their versatile handwoven cotton garments are consciously crafted by skilled craftspeople in Northern Thailand.
The Open Toe Heel: Each pair of The Palatines shoes are made in family owned factories in Los Angeles. “All of our materials come from suppliers where conditions are comfortable and professional, where any industrial waste is neutralized and whose employees make a living wage,” explains founder and designer Jessica Taft Langdon. “All of the suppliers that we work with consider their craft an important part of their lives, and living well shows in their work.”
The Minimalist Bag: Handmade in small batches to ensure their quality, LA-based line The Common Knowledge uses vegetable tanned, raw leather for its eco-friendly quality.
The Coat, Blazer and Trousers: Lera Pivovarova coats and suiting are hand-tailored and it takes a week to make one. Seamstresses hand stitch everything, paying great attention to details. Materials are also hand picked to ensure a quality garment.
The Luxurious PJ Set: Laing Home’s view of sustainability is to make products that are quality and long-lasting. Their pajamas are made with long staple cottons. These finer, more tightly woven yarns last longer. French seams give a tailored finish and stronger seam.
The Plush Slipper: Ariana Bohling’s Alpaca Suri slippers are made from cruelty free alpaca fur by artisans in Peru. They are sustainably sourced and produced.
Let's see what we can do about that.