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In her article “Why I Changed My Mind About Black Friday” UK-based writer Sascha Camilli expresses how she went from being staunchly against the retail sales day, to being much more understanding of why people choose to shop. “I’ve now also had more time to think about the meaning of Black Friday to marginalised people, such as low-income communities or single parents,” she writes. “And while pondering this, it dawned on me that my Instagram post didn’t quite align with other posts on my feed – the ones where I frequently call out the ethical fashion community for its elitism and classism.”
There is no denying that COVID-19 has impacted some parts of the business community and society differently, disproportionately affecting small businesses particularly in retail, hospitality and tourism as well as lower income households and individuals reliant on wages from these industries.
As Camilli argues in her piece, marginalised communities, low-income households and budget-conscious individuals and families are often the ones priced out of the sustainability market and judging them for their shopping habits from a place of ethical elitism and privilege does nothing to help solve the problem. The pandemic has made rising income inequalities and disparities all the more obvious.
The popularity of our first ever Black Friday and Cyber Monday ethical shopping guide was evidence enough for us at EWP that many people, even ‘eco-conscious’ people do shop discounts and sales, even if a high percentage of us in the team actually don’t.
So it’s for this reason that we’ve curated this guide to the ethical and sustainable brands offering continuous discounts and sales. While some of us are fortunate enough not to have to ‘bargain’ hunt for ethically-made sustainable fashion and goods, there are others who aren’t as economically and financially privileged.
Alternative Apparel: This fair-trade US label producing sustainably-made basics and essentials such as casual wear, sweatshirts and joggers for men and women has a sales page where past collections are discounted by up to 50%.
Amour Vert: USA-owned and USA-made sustainable label Amour Vert is a popular brand for women who have classic style preferences or are in need of timeless workwear. Offering up to 50% off on select items in the sale section of the website, you will need to act fast if you want to buy something in your size as they run out rather quickly at these prices.
Bellroy: As they constantly evolve their designs, Australian ethical travel bags and accessories company Bellroy promote discontinued styles and colours on their ‘Last chance to buy‘ page. And as the company states, once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Biome: Australia’s leading eco-lifestyle store Biome has a sale section on its website where you’ll find discounted and marked down items on discontinued styles and lines. You’ll find products from brands such as Dirty Hippie Cosmetics, Mighty Good Undies and Kowtow discounted in this section.
Boll & Branch: US-based fair-trade and certified organic bedding and bath company offers 50% off select items in the sale section of the website. The discounts are auto-applied at checkout. There are discounted organic cotton bed sheets, pillows, cushions, organic cotton beanie and scarf bundles and even 100% organic cotton classic cable-knit baby blankets down (on sale for $33 down from an original price of $50).
Brave Soles: Beautiful handmade leather sandals and footwear featuring soles made from recycled tyres and ethically-made in Dominican Republic by skilled artisans marks down select items by up to 70%. Check out their discounted ethical sandals, tote and crossbody bags on the sales page.
Carla Zampatti: The only way many designer-loving fashionistas can afford this Australian luxury label accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia is to purchase on sale. So if you’re after a well-designed suit or timeless ball gown, make sure to shop the sale section here. You’ll find evening wear and cocktail dresses slashed by up to 50% in some cases, from $799 to $399.
Coalatree Organics: American eco-friendly outdoor apparel and equipment brand has a sale section offering up to 50% off tees, backpacks, joggers, hats and more.
Coyuchi: This California-based luxury organic cotton bedding, bathrobes and sleepwear company has markdowns at up to 40% off. If you’re after discounted organic cotton pillows and cushions, bed sheets, shams and bed skirts, check out the sale page here.
Cue: Ethical Clothing Australia accredited ethical label Cue known for its design-forward workwear and fashionable apparel for the modern woman has a sale section where budget-conscious shoppers can save up to 50% off last season’s collections.
dk active: Want to support Australian businesses? Looking to buy Australian-made ethical activewear but walking a financial tightrope thanks to pandemic lockdowns? Check out dk active’s sale section for discontinued lines and colours, but you’ll need to get in quick to get your size.
Elka Collective: The prices of Melbourne-based conscious label Elka Collective can be out of reach for most people, but is more affordable on sale. Browse the range of designer quality items on sale here.
ettitude – For ethically manufactured 100% organic bamboo lyocell bedding and home decor, ettitude is the brand for you. Cash strapped shoppers can shop its sales page for discounts of up to 60% on men’s and women’s organic bamboo robes, fitted and flat sheets, PJs and more.
ethletic: You’ll find selected fair-trade, sustainable PETA-approved vegan sneaker styles, colours and prints on sale here.
Ginger & Smart: Can’t afford eco-conscious Australian luxury designer label Ginger & Smart’s pieces at original retail prices? Check out this page for sales discounts for up to 50% off last season’s ready to wear collection.
JW PEI: Looking for luxury ethical vegan bags without the hefty price tag? Sustainable vegan bag label JW PEI designs super stylish cruelty-free bags using recycled materials offers up to 50% off in the sale section of its website. You’ll find a broad range of timeless vegan shoulder bags, cross body bags and bucket bags marked down from $99 to $45.
Made Trade: If you’re after artisan ethically-made furniture, rugs, homeware, sustainable clothing and other eco lifestyle products and don’t want to shop second-hand, ethical e-marketplace Made Trade has a sale section you can browse for discounted goods such as bags, shoes and chairs.
Modibodi: Not everyone can afford sustainably-made period undies. Usually priced anywhere between $23 to $40, it can be a stretch for working families and struggling households. Australian period company Modibodi has a sale section where it marks down selected styles and colours. There is a classic bikini period underwear style marked down from $24.50 to $17.15 and a high waist bikini style priced at $19.95 from $28.50.
Nisolo: Popular American B-Corp and Climate Neutral Certified ethical footwear brand Nisolo creates beautifully handcrafted leather sandals, mules, slides, oxfords and boots. It has two separate sale sections, one for its women’s range and another for its men’s range where shoppers can save up to $69 on selected footwear, belts, bags and other items.
Nobody Denim: A premium denim brand designed and manufactured in Melbourne, Australia can be out of reach for many price-conscious shoppers, but with skinny jeans, denim jackets and other items on sale for up to 70% the ethical denim clothing is much more accessible. Discover skinny jeans for just $79 (down from $249) and denim skirts for $69 (original price $199).
Nourished Life: Australia’s largest online marketplace for natural and toxin-free beauty, skincare and personal care products offers markdowns on selected products and brands in its sale section here. If you’re on a strict family budget and in need of cheap deals on popular eco brands such as Sukin, Life Basics, Boody and Inika, make sure to browse this section of the Nourished Life website.
PACT Apparel: As if this affordable fair-trade certified, GOTS-certified organic cotton apparel brand couldn’t get more affordable, it offers discounts and markdowns on discontinued lines, colours and styles. It has four separate ‘Last Call’ clearance sections for men, women, kids and babies. You’ll find low rise organic cotton bikinis for $7 down from $12, racerback bras for just $15 (regular price $25) and organic cotton cropped leggings for $15 marked down from $25.
Parachute: For consciously produced luxurious bedding, bath essentials and home decor, Parachute offers up to 40% off on almost retired items such as shams, quilts, shower curtains and bath rugs here.
Patagonia: The world’s leading sustainable outdoor adventure apparel company widely considered a pioneer in sustainable fashion has a sale section for the shopper on a tight budget. Find discounted rain jackets, hoodies and shirts for men and women in this section of the website.
People Tree: The world’s first ever fair-trade certified fashion brand is now much more affordable for price-conscious eco-conscious shoppers. It offers its GOTS-certified organic clothing at up to 70% off in the sale section of its website. Limited stock available so first in best dressed.
prAna: Save up to 50% off select men’s and women’s styles with this American eco-friendly yoga and outdoor apparel brand. You’ll find a range of last season’s discontinued shirts, bikinis, tees and pants here.
Sans Beast: Australian luxe vegan handbags, wallets and accessories brand Sans Beast responsibly produces fashionable cruelty-free bags. If you’re on a tight budget but still want to support this PETA-approved vegan brand, check out the sale section of the site here to get up to 50% off. There are $349 backpacks on sale for $249 and $139 belt bags marked down to $69.
Spell: Are the prices of Byron Bay-based eco-conscious cult boho label Spell’s gorgeous designs out of reach for your meagre income? Make sure to check out the brand’s sale section here for discounted apparel.
TAMGA Designs: Sustainable womenswear label known for its fairly-manufactured boho prints, maxi dresses and kimonos has a sale section where it marks down previous collections by up to 75%.
Thinx: The undisputed pioneer of reusable, washable period-proof underwear has a clearance section for its discontinued lines and colours.
Thought Clothing: For thoughtfully designed organic clothing on sale, check out Thought. You’ll find discounted women’s and men’s apparel such as organic cotton jeans, waterproof coats, bamboo jumpsuits and hemp maxi dresses here.
thredUP: The world’s largest online thrift and consignment store based in the United States offers discounts from 20% to 50% in its sale section here, making its second-hand clothing even more affordable than it already is.
Timbuk2: Ethical bag company Timbuk2, renowned for its durable messenger bags, luggage and laptop bags, marks down previous collections and discontinued styles and colours by up to 71%. Check out this page for all its sales, discounts and promotions. You’ll discover ethical knapsacks for $65 (original price $129) and carry-on travel bags for $45 (original price $149).
United By Blue: This US-based sustainable outdoor apparel brand ethically manufacturing casual wear for men and women and donates to ocean conservation organisations has hemp tees, recycled polyester puffer vests and organic cotton shirts on sale for up to 70% off here.
Vestiaire Collective: One of the world’s leading online marketplace for buying and selling pre-owned luxury designer fashion has a “Daily Deals‘” section where shoppers can find designer pieces for up to 80% off selected items for that one day only.
Wolven: Sustainable yoga wear and swimwear brand Wolven known for its bold patterns and colourful range of active and swim apparel made in the United States marks down its previous collections and discontinued lines. You’ll find its range on sale here.
Cover image by Bassike.