|Michael Kors Stretch-Jersey Sweater Skirt on left, $175 USD. StyleSaint Bridgette Skirt in Black Silk Chiffon on right,
For this week’s Conscious Fashion swap, I’m going to opt out of the outlet favourite high fashion brand Michael Kors, and look at filling my closet with sustainable styles from StyleSaint. Never heard of StyleSaint? I’ve got all the info for you!
Switch Michael Kors
Michael Kors started out as a high fashion brand in the luxury space and has quickly become an incorporated fashion behemoth with droves of fans. And although it’s only been a couple of years since the company went public, for me the name Michael Kors is now inextricably linked to outlet malls.
And don’t get me wrong, I was one of the number of Michael Kors devotees. Back in February, when I saw what he sent down the runway for the upcoming fall season, I was amazed at the accessibility of the daytime looks. Whereas other designers can present looks like make anyone outside the world of fashion go “Wha…?” Michael Kors always seems to deliver incredibly wearable pieces.
That’s the appeal of Michael Kors, but it’s also what makes the company unsustainable.
Along with Ralph Lauren as well as fast fashion retailers such as Forever 21, Micheal Kors is one of the companies that uses clear-cut rainforests to produce fabrics such as viscose and rayon. And why, exactly, would I want to purchase luxury clothing — meant to be superior in material and production — that contains the same unsustainable fabric as a $3 piece from a mass market brand?
The other problem with Michael Kors is that information on the company’s supply chain is extremely murky. It is difficult, as a consumer, to understand who made my clothes and the environmental impacts of their production when the company itself is unsure of these facts.
For these reasons, I’m saying bye-bye to toting the MK logo around on my handbag.
StyleSaint is the answer to all this worrisome murkiness. StyleSaint features collections of timeless wardrobe essentials that are bound to become closet favourites. The collections are manufactured in Los Angeles, and because it is an online shop, can be sold at prices that are the same or cheaper than any items found in a Michael Kors outlet shop.
And this brand is not just about hitting one tick in the box. According to their website, they use 99% less water than mainstream fashion. They source sustainable fabrics that are ethically made through fair labour: they pay their factory workers 2000% more than the workers in the Michael Kors supply chain are paid.
One of the best features of the website is the consumer’s ability to know the exact impact of each product. When you mouse any piece, you’ll discover the fair labour hours it took to create it, the amount of sustainable fabric used to create the item, as well as the amount of water saved. Love it!
Of course, nothing can trump the style and wearability of the clothing. Lace and silk take centre stage, with plenty of pieces that speak to a rock-chick aesthetic if paired under your favourite vegan leather jacket. Right now, I’m loving this cobalt version of the Bridgette Skirt as well as the Rosette Bralette in black.
And the Saint Jersey? I’d rock that over an MK logo any day!
Honourable Mention – Elvis and Kresse
But what about the ubiquitous Michael Kors handbags, you say? StyleSaint may not produce handbags, but there are plenty of other sustainable companies that do. I just found out about Elvis and Kresse, a company that creates handbags and other accessories from reclaimed British fire hoses, keeping them out of landfills. I’ve already got my eye on their Bowling Bag.
Have you stumbled across any conscious fashion brands that have replaced old faves? I’d love to read about in the comments!