Work from home? Often feel a bit…sloppy? These ethical outfits will have you feeling cozily stylish in no time!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Working at home is great. Kind of. The truth is that while you can pretty much take breaks when you want to, pet your cat while you do research, and wake up much later than most people, there are some downsides, too.
For example? It can either be hard to focus (if you have kids or dogs running around, for example), or you can get a bit too focused. In fact, research shows that people who work from home might actually work more hours overall than their counterparts in offices – the issue is that without a starting/ending work routine, it’s hard to know when you should just turn off the damned laptop and call it a day already.
That being said, there are some elements to working for home that are positive for people and the planet, believe it or not.
Obviously, there’s no commuting, which saves CO2 emissions (and, I’d argue, your sanity, too). And then there’s saving on plastic pollution, since home workers don’t hit Starbucks for a (very wasteful) daily coffee-to-go (no, those cups are not recyclable!). Nor do home workers buy takeaway lunches packaged in tons of plastic, paper and tinfoil; instead, we get to make our own (usually, way healthier) lunches.
But finally, home workers help the planet by saving on clothing. Or at least, that’s my theory. After all, office workers are usually forced to have two wardrobes, at least: one for work, and the other one for ‘living’. Home workers, on the other hand, have very little need for suits, starched white shirts, slacks, high heels, blazers…you get the picture. One wardrobe is all we need – and maybe a few accessories to transform our stay-at-home items into something more ‘presentable’ for meetings and such.
A New Life On Loungewear
There was a time when loungewear was merely associated with weekends, and wasn’t really acceptable for wearing outside of the household, or even indoors when receiving guests. Today, that’s all changed, thanks to first, the introduction of ‘casual Fridays’, and then to the increasing numbers of those of us who work from home. You know that when Kim Kardashian smells money and launches her own line of loungewear that casual Fridays are now applicable any day of the week!
The thing is, there’s a difference between loungewear and actual pyjamas. And, fellow home workers, I can attest to the fact (and I’m sure you’ll agree) that waking up and actually getting changed into garments you associate with work makes all the difference between being a productive worker, versus spending the day scrolling through your Instagram feed.
We home workers want clothing that’s comfy, but not quite something you’d sleep in. Something that’s casual, but presentable enough to be seen on a Skype call. And of course, we want our clothes to be sustainable, too!
Here, I’ve found ten ethical outfits for working at home that are a good starting point for dressing for success – if your office is in your house.
10 Ethical Outfits For Working At Home
Ninety Percent launched in 2018, with the goal of helping disappearing tribes and craftsmen, and maximising the virtues of a natural lifestyle, that is perfectly reflected in the brand’s responsibly made clothes. Their organic cotton-jersey jumpsuit is an excellent choice for working from home: it’s got pockets to keep your tissues, phone and snacks, and if you get chilly, throw a sweater over it and it still looks awesome!
When is a sweatpant more than a sweatpant? When it’s made from ethically sourced cashmere, of course! Ethical brand Everlane partners with conscious suppliers and factories around the world to bring its collections to life, which are ‘radically transparent’ and will last through time. The label’s Grade-A cashmere sweatpants are incredibly elegant, yet supremely comfortable, thanks to their slim-yet-relaxed fit, ribbed cuffs, and a comfortable drawstring waist, making them a timeless classic that will last through time. Just make sure you take care of your cashmere well! Click here for eco-friendly tips on how to do so.
Since its foundation, Frank and Oak has focused on minimising the impact on the environment by increasing the usage of recycled materials and reducing waste to landfill., as well as promoting socially responsible economic development. The collections from this popular Canadian label are fit for all occasions, as shown by their machine washable sweater dress, below. This is the loungewear version of the little black dress! It’s super easy to throw on, and you if you need to rush to a meeting, just throw on some tights, nice shoes and some jewellery, and you’re good to go!
The name says it all: Thought Clothing genuinely thinks about the environment, and also encourages their customers to reflect upon what they are wearing. The brand sets high standards in terms of working ethically and reducing their environmental footprint, and they put just as much ‘thought’ into their designs as they do their ethics. Take this Odelia poncho, below, for example. It can be worn loose, over tights, or tucked into trousers or even sweats. In any case, the result is relaxed and chic.
Price: Around $65
This brand has been a renowned pioneer in sustainable Fair Trade fashion since 1991. Their core mission is to create beautiful collections through the use of forward thinking, responsible fabrics, made using traditional artisanal skills. We love their 100% certified organic cotton tee shirts not only because they’re natural and cute, but because they carry empowering slogans like Be A Warrior, Not A Worrier, which is just the kind of motivation we need sometimes when we’re feeling lazy working at home!
Price: Around $30
6. We Drifters
We Drifters has designed a multi-tasking sleepwear brand that’s so well designed, you can also wear it outside of the house, too! It’s all made from natural, lightweight and sustainable bamboo fabric, which has anti-microbial properties and the ability to regulate body temperature.. This matching top-and-bottom outfit is perfect for travelling, sleeping, hanging out with friends, and yes – working from home, too!
Amour Vert, the brand that signifies ‘Green Love’ in French, has always been committed to creating a healthier planet for future generations through ethical fashion. Every item is made in limited quantities to ensure the highest production standard and eliminate excess waste. We particularly love their Ebonne wrap top that comes in autumnal hues of aubergine and rust, and offers the perfect contemporary drape: it’s roomy, it’s comfy, and it pairs so well with your favourite pair of jeans.
This warm, fleece dress distinguishes itself for its luxuriously soft thanks to its sustainably harvested beechwood Modal fabric. No pesticides, herbicides or insecticides are used for growing the beechwood, and these fibres require 50% less land for cultivation and use 10 times less water than non-organic cotton. The elegant cuffs of this classically designed dress distinguish it from PJs, and you can easily dress it up with some accessories if you need to head out. In fact, of all the ethical outfits for working at home, this is probably the most versatile in terms of being casual or fancy.
What’s the difference between the kind of joggers you actually, you know, jog in, and those which act as trousers? How about some sophisticated pleating and a classy gold button? That’s exactly what these Jaime Pleated Joggers offer. They fit in a very gracious way, and are also practical thanks to their side pockets, button closure, cuffed ankles, and a subtle harem silhouette. And did I mention they’re made from a soft blend of organic cotton and modal?
Jeans. For some of us, they’re a pain to wear; for others, they’re our working-from-home go-to. We couldn’t exclude jeans from a list of ethical outfits for working at home, but we’d suggest to make them comfy, they need to have some stretch – and that’s exactly what these high rise, skinny legged jeans from Reformation have in spades. The Serena model, below, is fitted throughout with just the right amount of elasticity. And of course, as you probably know, Reformation is an exceptional brand in terms of its ethicals and materials (these are made from organic cotton).
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