This month we’re profiling local stores that carry thoughtful, sweatshop-free clothing and accessories. After checking out a few shops west of town, we’re heading to the Hillsboro Road area. The shopping districts of Green Hills, Hillsboro Village, and 12 South have a variety of stores carrying fair fashion—with something for almost every need.
Ten Thousand Villages
Begun in 1946, Ten Thousand Villages is credited with starting much of the fair trade movement. This volunteer-run store has hundreds of locations across the US but manages to keep a friendly, small-town vibe through their helpful staff. My kids often accompany me into the store and are welcomed by the sales associates. If you want to learn more about fair trade, start here.
Best for: Sterling silver jewelry and a wide variety of handmade accessories, many of which are priced perfectly for a kid-size budget
This cozy shop on 12th Avenue South has a splendid selection of clothes—with a focus on local and ethically-made products. LA Made, Cut Loose, and Denimocracy are notable among their made-in-the-USA brands. Fair trade companies such as Indigenous and Raven + Lilly add a dreamy, boho aspect to the offerings. I was pleasantly surprised to discover boots by Fortress of Inca, an up-and-coming brand featuring shoes handcrafted by Peruvian artisans.
Best for: Trendy ensembles great for a night out on the town, locally made jewelry
This long-standing Hillsboro Village staple is a headquarters for all thing quirky and fun. Mixed among their dresses and tops you’ll find beautiful, hand-embroidered clothing from Ecuadorian Clothing Company, woven purses from Lucia’s Imports, and flowy, artisan-sewn blouses and pants from Lakhay’s Collection.
Best for: Earthy, patchwork pants, and recycled sari skirts, handwoven accessories
This newer shop in Hillsboro Village caught my eye with a 50% off sidewalk sale filled with made-in-the-USA dresses. A careful inventory of their wares revealed that many of the store’s brands are produced domestically or in sweatshop-free factories; my favorite find was American-made denim leggings for under $80. The company has several stores throughout the Southeast and will host fundraising parties for your favorite charity or cause.
Best for: Breezy resortwear, preppy dresses
Sales are one of my favorite ways to add socially conscious brands to my wardrobe. Sweatshop-free clothing can be expensive, but with careful planning and sale shopping, I can work thoughtful wardrobe pieces into my closet.
Christy Nicholson is a recovering perfectionist seeking to live one day at a time as a stay-at-home mom and wife. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, she spends her days herding two little boys, a cat, a dog, and some fish. You can find more of her writing at her personal blog Beyond the Fried.