How to start your sustainable fashion journey in Birmingham

Mend by Martha Ellen
Your sustainable fashion journey starts now. Photo by Catherine Taylor Cox for Martha Ellen

If the last year made you want to ditch uncomfortable clothes and choose pieces that make you feel confident, you’re not alone. To celebrate wearing clothes that make us and our environment happier, we reached out to a few fashionable people to learn more about sustainable fashion in Birmingham.

What is sustainable fashion?

Mend by Martha Ellen
Mend by Martha Ellen makes sustainable fashion more accessible. Photo by Catherine Taylor Cox for Martha Ellen

I’m glad you asked. Here’s the rundown: Sustainable fashion is clothing that is designed and created with eco-friendly and socially equitable practices in mind. This can include the materials used, the production and the lifetime of the pieces themselves.

Above all, starting your sustainable fashion journey means changing the way you view clothing and extending the use of what’s already in your closet.

“Your dollar has so much power. It’s really important to spend your money on brands that you believe in, if you have the privilege to.”

Samra, Owner, Cross Dressin’

According to Martha Ellen, the owner behind Mend, a clothing repair business, shopping sustainably means asking a few questions before making purchases.

“The first step is just to be more conscious of what you’re purchasing. Ask yourself if this is something that you really want? Could you keep it for a long time? Does it make you feel good?”

Martha Ellen, Owner, Mend

Whether you’ve been shopping sustainable pieces for years or you’re new to the idea, you can make small changes that add up.

Local sustainable fashion businesses in Birmingham

Samra the Curator, sustainable fashion in Birmingham
It’s time to make sustainable choices. Photo via Samra

If you’re starting your sustainable fashion journey in Birmingham, there are plenty of local resources. When you want to make intentional purchases, check out these shops carrying sustainably made pieces.

basic.

You’ve probably heard of basic. before, for good reason. They share slow fashion pieces (AKA pieces that are designed to last years, not months) and tons of info for sustainability newbies.

  • Where to find them: 2026 Morris Ave, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • Hours: Wednesday-Friday 12-6PM | Saturday-Sunday 10AM-2PM
  • Contact: Website | Instagram

The Moody Rabbit Studios

The designer behind Moody Rabbit Studios, Megan Dean, designs and produces clothing with natural materials such as hemp.

Mend

Of course, an important part of sustainable fashion is reducing your purchases. Martha Ellen’s business, Mend, repairs clothes, so you can extend their life.

  • Location: Mend is located in Dreamers Supply Co., 116 60th St N, Birmingham, AL 35212
  • Contact: Facebook | Instagram

Julie Maeseele

Julie’s designs are local favorites. She creates hand-tailored garments so you can be sure you’ll wear your pieces well.

Elidia the Label

This minimalist designer crafts ethically made accessories that will complement every outfit you style.

“I think we all know we should be shopping sustainably, but it’s about accessibility. And these Birmingham brands, they’re really doing the damn thing.”

Samra

Looking for more sustainable tips? We’ve got ya covered.

What are your favorite sustainable fashion resources in Birmingham? Let us know by tagging @BhamNow on social.

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Cecilia Wood
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