Ah – summer! The best season of them all. And, I have finally managed to put together a summer capsule wardrobe!
This capsule is smaller than ones I’ve curated in the past – 17 pieces. I’m not sure if it’s because I am indecisive about summer clothing (I thought if I made the capsule smaller, I could potentially do two summer capsules) or if it’s because I’m overwhelmed at the prospect of moving and didn’t have the energy to pick out more items. Probably a combination of the two.
As always, I selected breezy, natural fibers for the season. For colors, I included black, which is easy for days that I need to go into the office; white, which is my favorite for summer; and some pale blues and pinks, which are the pops of color in my wardrobe.
This capsule is also hyper-focused on sustainable brands. I do wear conventional fashion brands, because I believe that sustainability is mostly about our behaviors, not about what we buy. But the pieces in this capsule are extra-special because they are all brands that prioritize sustainability, ethical practices and mindful style in one way or another. I think you’re going to love them!
I organized my capsule list below a bit differently this time as a result – by brand rather than item type.
AGOLDE is committed to sustainability. They cut-to-order, letting the demand of their products drive their production and supply. Their products are designed and produced in Los Angeles and Turkey, primarily in factories they own for better oversight of quality and sustainability. They use organic, regenerative and recycled cotton in their designs, and many of their processes are better for the planet than conventional fashion. For example, traditional methods of distressing jeans involve washing the denim with pumice stones, which produce dust and waste that is harmful to workers. AGOLDE uses eco-stones, a synthetic stone alternative.
American Giant No B.S. Ponte Pants are my go-to work pant, and are basically in my capsule every season, so I think you’re all familiar enough with them! But as a quick refresher, American Giant prides itself on high-quality, durable clothing made here in the USA.
Shop the American Giant No B.S. Ponte Pant in Black. You can save 20% on your first American Giant order with code KELLIE.
AYR prioritizes mindful style and small-batch production. They have a “Made in” tab on their website for all their garments, so you can learn more about where the piece was manufactured. My shirt, The Deep End in blue and white stripe, is made in Shenzen, China, in a factory that specializes in delicate fabrics and has passed the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit. I think many conscious consumers are wary of shopping brands that manufacture in China, but the reality is…the expertise in Chinese garment factories is bar none for many types of clothing.
Elizabeth Suzann, now Elizabeth Suzann Studio, is known for natural fibers, organic silhouettes and inclusive sizing. Every garment is cut, sewn, washed and packed in western North Carolina. After construction, everything is shipped out by their family-owned distribution center in North Carolina. The black knit tank in my capsule is from an older collection, and was given to me by a friend.
Everlane is going to be a controversial one, and don’t think I’ve forgotten their union busting in 2020. But, I’m conscious of the fact that many brands that prioritize natural fibers and traceable supply chains have become prohibitively expensive over the last few months. Everlane has work they need to do (most brands do), but I think they are far better than many conventional fashion brands given their attention to materials that meet third-party environmental certifications and their transparent supply chain. And, I always aim to share clothing at a range of price points when I can.
LAUDE the Label is one of my favorite brands for dreamy, sustainable clothing. Their minimalist designs in natural fibers are some of the most beautiful and timeless pieces in my wardrobe. Laude the Label employs 518 women artisans in Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, India, and Peru, paying them fair trade wages, which is 2-3 times the minimum wage. The LAUDE the Label Everyday Crop Set can be worn together or mixed-and-matched, and is fully lined. The LAUDE the Label Scoop Neck Knit Midi Dress is absolutely stunning, and is handcrafted in Peru from ethically-sourced alpaca.
Jenni Kayne focuses on inviting neutrals, quality construction, and attention to detail, with clothing designed to be an everyday uniform. I love that the brand can articulate the steps they’ve taken to be more sustainable, and is open about the work they still need to do. Many of their fibers are organic, OEKO-TEX certified or sustainably-sourced, and the brand regularly hosts clothing care and repair workshops. The Cropped Cabin Sweater is perfect for cool summer evenings!
MATE is sustainably made in Los Angeles with non-toxic, natural, and organic materials. They uphold a strict list of restricted substances to ensure that carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and other toxins are kept out of their apparel, and have a traceable supply chain. MATE is a member of 1% for the Planet and is certified Climate Neutral, meeting standards for measuring, offsetting, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from making and delivering products and services. They’re a favorite of mine for their sustainable wardrobe essentials at a more affordable price point.
Ophelia & Indigo is a new addition to my closet this year. Founders Claire and Lucy wanted to design the perfect throw-on dress for the heat of the New York summer, made from ethically-sourced Indian block-printed cotton. They produce their clothing in small batches, and surplus fabric is donated to make pajamas for the New York City Chapter of the Pajama Program, specifically for children in a domestic violence shelter in Brooklyn.
Tonlé uses a sustainable, zero-waste process to create clothing, accessories and homewares from reclaimed materials that other manufacturers consider waste. They strive for circularity and climate justice to mitigate the fashion industry’s devastating impact on the planet. Their Lotus Dress is made from cotton jersey remnants (t-shirt offcuts).
Shop the Tonlé Lotus Dress in Black.
Unsubscribed is another brand on this list that uses natural fibers and better-for-the-planet processes. The tank in my capsule is ethically made in Los Angeles, and the pants are a 100% textured cotton gauze.