What are you supposed to get someone who adheres to a “less is more” ideology and resists fast fashion trends? I know I’m probably hard to shop for because I’m such a killjoy with my environmental and workers’ rights advocacy. But fear not, for alas, there are options. I recently found out about Synergy Organic Clothing which specializes in wardrobe stables that are versatile, sustainable, and affordable for what they are. Full disclosure, because you know I love transparency, Synergy sent me some clothes to review + a $50 gift card to giveaway (check my Instagram!). However, know that I wouldn’t work with a brand unless I truly liked their work, and their clothes check many of the boxes of ethical clothing:
- Sustainable Materials – their clothing is made from The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton, which is grown without pesticides which run off into the water supply and soil, not to mention the bodies of the farmers working with the crop. It also uses less water, which is great because cotton is one of the thirstiest crops out there. You can read more in my fabrics guide. Their dyes are They also use recycled plastics in many of their pieces, which may pose a threat of releasing microfibers, washing with a garment bag will mitigate that significantly.
- Ethical labor – According to their website, “Each garment is ethically sewn in a GOTS certified factory by men and women who are paid a living wage for their work.” Now, they don’t say exactly what that wage is, but since they have a third-party certification, I’d like to hope that means their workers are paid at or above what experts deem a livable wage.
- Multi-season and multi-occasion – Most if not all their designs can be dressed up or down, and in hot or cold weather. The basics are well made and can easily transition from a casual Sunday to a professional workplace, and this flexibility helps reduce the number of pieces needed for a workable wardrobe.
First, let’s talk about the Recycled Poly Skirt because it’s the FIRST CIRCLE SKIRT I’VE OWNED THAT ISN’T TOO SHORT. I’m serious, as a taller than average woman with wide hips, skirts are a minefield for me. I wanted one that hit above the knee that I didn’t need to wear tights or leggings with if I didn’t want to. The fit is possibly a teensy bit large, but I’m very happy with it. The fabric is thick, and the cut is universally flattering. I love it in black (because of course I do, I don’t understand color) but it’s also available in a navy blue, berry red, and burnt orange.
I’m a missionary of the church of the bare shoulder (see our patron saint Rihanna’s recent off-the-shoulder looks) so I love the Flax Coco Top. It can be worn off the shoulder or as a slouchy cowl neck, so it’s flexible to what you like. I think it really shines as off the shoulder, but hey, I’m biased. It’s also unbelievably comfortable despite being office appropriate. You could sleep in it if you wanted incredibly fancy pajamas.
I also tried out the Recycled Poly Mockneck Dress because I’m also a sucker for high necks. While I don’t like color, I do like playing with different silhouettes in my style. This can be dressed up or down depending on how you accessorize, which makes it the perfect multi-use dress. It’s breezy enough for the summer, but the material is thick enough for it to be layered for the winter. I love how the fabric flatters my body and hugs in all the right places.
If you can’t decide between the top or dress, why not split the difference with the Flax Natalie Top? It’s a great layerable mock neck sleeveless top that could be a staple in any wardrobe.
The Sweatshirt Dress walks the line between street wear and office wear with an air of the undone style of a French woman. The pockets are really what make this stand out from other shirt dresses for me, adding an edge to this otherwise classic dress. This would be a great gift for someone with a sporty style or who appreciates a subtler design choice.
Honorable mention to the Moon Phases Paige Top because everyone needs more moon phase designs in their life. This isn’t quite as versatile as the other pieces because it’s decidedly casual, but the way it drapes, and the design are too cute not to add, even just as a loungewear piece.
Overall, if you’re buying for someone who prefers investment pieces, think of what he or she wears and what would compliment their current collection, because there’s nothing worse than a top or bottom that can’t be paired with anything.