#TipTuesday: Sustainable Black Friday & Cyber Monday Guide

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We put together a sustainable Black Friday & Cyber Monday fashion guide for this #TipTuesday!

If you want to participate in the sales this year, we compiled some steps you should take before Black Friday shopping, questions to ask before purchasing a garment, and shared our favourite sustainable fashion brands. The goal is that you only get what you need and buy high quality clothing that will last a long time.


pre-black friday prep

Step 1: Identify what you absolutely need

Go through your closet and identify what you need. Make sure you don’t get items you already have in your wardrobe. Aim to buy solid colours, or patterns that are versatile. Avoid trendy pieces and don’t buy something that won’t pair with other items in your wardrobe.

Also, if you’re looking to replace an article of clothing that you’ve worn many times because it’s frayed or ripped, you could bring the garment to a clothing fix-it event in your area. If you’re in Vancouver, Frameworq hosts monthly free fix-it events to restore your garments. This means you can save money and eliminate the amount of textile waste going to our landfills because you don’t need to re-buy your favourite garment(s)!

Step 2: Create criteria for your purchases

After you identified what you 100% need, get specific on the criteria for the garment. For example, if you’re looking for a new wool sweater, get clear on fit, what colour you want, how you want it to feel, quality, cost per wear, etc. To get inspiration, you can use Pinterest or Google to find styles you like. Remember, the more wool sweaters you look at it, the more clear you get about what you’re looking for, meaning when you finally purchase a wool sweater that meets all your criteria, you’re likely to wear it for seasons to come. At the same time as you’re doing research, try to find sustainable and slow fashion brands that carry what you’re looking for (we have also listed our favourite brands towards the end of this post).

Rough Criteria to Consider:

  • Fit: Do you want this to fit true to size, run larger, etc.

  • Colour: Identify the colour and shade you’re looking for. For example if you want a grey sweater, determine if you want a lighter grey, darker grey, etc.

  • Comfort: How do you want the garment to feel when you wear it? We all know we don’t wear itchy sweaters, or super skin-tight-can’t-breathe jeans that often.

  • Garment Quality: The goal is to buy high-quality clothing. Often times, you can tell if something is cheaply made. With knit sweaters, you can gently pull it and if you see a lot of holes, it means the sweater isn’t very dense and thus isn’t high-quality. For any clothing item, check to make sure the seams are sewn properly and there aren’t any threads hanging.

  • Material Composition: On the tag of the garment, check if it’s a natural fibre (eg: cotton, linen, silk, wool, cashmere, hemp). Bonus points if it’s organic, meaning it was created without the use of pesticides.

  • Cost Per Wear: Keep in mind that high-quality garments made from quality fabrics might still be pricey. The idea is to invest in pieces and think about cost per wear rather than the overall cost of a garment. For example, if you find a great wool coat that’s discounted from $450 to $350 and you know it’ll last you for seasons and seasons, perhaps your cost per wear is < $1 vs. if you bought a cheaper $90 coat and only wore it 30 times before it fell apart.

  • Other Items It Can Be Paired With: Think about how the new garment will work with existing pieces in your wardrobe.

Step 3: Stick to your list & criteria

After identifying what you need and your criteria for each piece, reference the list when you go shopping. Remember the point of this entire exercise is to make sure you only get items on your list that meet all the criteria you identified. In terms of a budget, remember that if you buy something that’s high-quality and sustainable, there might not be a super steep discount. Again, it’s important to think about cost per wear, rather than the overall price of a garment. We outline some considerations and questions you should ask yourself during the Black Friday shopping experience below.


during black friday shopping

Before buying an item:

If you find an item on your list that meets all the criteria, also make sure:

  • You 100% love it

  • Find it comfortable

  • It fits, or if it’s too hectic to try things on, make sure you can return the item for cash and not store credit if it doesn’t work out

  • It’s the right size. It’s okay to size up if you want a boxier fit, but don’t buy something that’s too small because it’s on sale, as chances are you won’t wear it and it will clutter up your closet


sustainable fashion brands we love:

Due to the popular demand from our lovely male followers, we have curated a list of unisex, female, and male sustainable fashion brands that we support :)

Unisex brands:

  • Alternative Apparel: The US apparel company focuses on creating timeless essential clothing pieces made from organic & recycled materials whenever possible.

  • Everlane: The transparent pricing US brand recently released their ReNew line made from plastics, created the world’s most sustainable denim factory, and shows you where their garments are made.

  • Patagonia: The US company has been implementing sustainable fashion practices for decades (they’ve used organic cotton for 30+ years) and work with their factories to provide a minimum & living wage.

  • tentree: The Canadian brand plants ten trees for every article of clothing you buy. To date, they have planted 24,000,000+ trees! The garments are also generally made from sustainable eco-friendly materials.

  • United by Blue: For every product sold, the US brand removes one pound of trash from our world's oceans and waterways. That means everyone at the company rolls up their sleeves and removing plastic bottles, styrofoam, tires, old appliances, you name it from creeks, rivers, beaches, and streams.

Female brands:

Note: These brands ship to Canada, and Patagonia has a location in Vancouver

  • Arc Apparel: An online retailer (with a brick and mortar store in Vancouver) that does the research for you to curate ethical, sustainable and timeless designs.

  • Eileen Fisher: The US brand makes high-quality, classic designs from materials that can be regenerated and turned into new garments. We previously also did a Brand Spotlight on Eileen Fisher!

  • Encircled: Brand that is 100% sewn in Canada, fabrics are chosen for their sustainable benefits (either because of their minimal impact on the environment in production, or their longevity of wear) and the brand actively tries to minimize waste & packaging.

  • kotn: The Canadian apparel company makes quality essentials from ethically made authentic Egyptian cotton. On top of that, they recently partnered with pro-literacy organizations on the ground in the Nile Delta to stop the cycle of child labour.

  • LEZÉ the Label: This company produces sustainable, stylish workwear that feels like PJs.

  • People Tree: The stylish UK brand is often viewed as the pioneer in ethical and environmentally sustainable fashion. For over 27 years, the company has partnered with Fair Trade producers, garment workers, artisans and farmers in the developing world to produce ethical and eco fashion collections.

  • The Real Real: If you want to buy luxury garments or accessories, check out this online consignment store that has recently also opened a physical location in LA.

  • Reformation: The US company makes eco-friendly fashionable designs and also has a take-back program. We previously did a Brand Spotlight on Reformation if you want to learn more.

Male brands:

  • Apolis: This US brand creates timelines clothing from sustainable materials. The company is also known for their Market Bag, a waterproof bag that can carry up to 100lbs, aimed at reducing single-use plastic bags, and supports mothers who handcraft the bag to receive Fair Trade wages, annual profit dividends, and a retirement fund.

  • Brothers We Stand: The UK apparel company designs quality pieces that are made to last and ethically produced in a manner that respects both people and the planet.

  • Buck Mason: The US brand is creates clean, straight-forward basics that stand the test of time. Garments are made from their own knits that are designed to last many years.

  • Saltura: The US company creates aims to source and manufacture their clothing utilizing the most sustainable practices possible. 

Denim:

Recall that we previously published a #TipTuesday outlining the heartbreaking denim industry that talked about harmful dyes leaking into nearby water bodies and the sandblasting process. If you’re looking to get some new denim, we recommend the following ethical and sustainable denim brands:

PS: we were not sponsored to mention these brands - we are genuine fans :)