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In light of the recent tragedies at garment factories in Bangladesh, we've been thinking a lot about where the clothing we buy comes from. It's not always possible for consumers to know at checkout how or where a garment is made. But some Bay Area companies have been doing things ethically from the beginning, and some are making changes.
Below we've highlighted just a few of these companies, but check out SF Made for many more companies making clothing locally.
1. Everlane: NPR chatted recently with the CEO of Everlane, a San Francisco company that has practiced "radical transparency," sharing where and how its products are made since it launched in 2010. The brand sells t-shirts, sweatshirts, oxfords, bags and more for men and women and they do it all ethically. And the stuff is not obscenely expensive as a result: $15 for a t-shirt, $40 for a sweatshirt, $55 for an oxford. You'd pay that much at JCrew or another chain without knowing anything about the working conditions where it was made.
2. American Giant: The company makes everything in the United States, including the best hoodie in the world according to Farhad Manjoo at Slate, and good luck trying to get one. But they do have other garments in stock including T-shirts, sweatpants and hoodless sweatshirts, plus they're about to launch a women's line, like, tomorrow.
3. Marine Layer: Another t-shirt company, Marine Layer also makes everything here in the U.S. They also source all their fabric domestically. Plus they make the softest, all-around best T-shirts in the world.
4. Gap: The company says it's close to signing a fire and building safety plan for Bangladesh garment factories, according to the SF Business Times. Company officials are also in the process of inspecting factories in Bangladesh that the retailer partners with.
5. Weston Wear: We know, the list is heavy on the t-shirty retailers so far. Here's one that sells dresses, skirts and all sorts of feminine and stylish garments. Julie Weston is an SF designer who's been making her fun, flattering print dresses, skirts and tops within city limits since the '80s.
6. Tradlands: If you lean towards a menswear vibe, you'll love Tradlands, and they make all their garments by hand in small batches in San Francisco. Think boyish plaid button ups tailored for a woman.
7. Clary Sage Organics: This eco-yoga-wear company creates and sources everything locally. They make cute workout clothes that can go from studio to street without embarrassment.
8. Paddington Co.: This menswear brand creates classic anoraks, khakis, oxfords, bags and leather accessories right here in San Francisco. The focus is on quality pieces that will last a lifetime.
9. Freda Salvador: The duo behind this San Francisco-based shoe company designs their shoes at their workspace and boutique on Union Street, and the shoes are made at co-founder Christina Palomo-Nelson's family factories in Spain and Central America.
· Would You Pay More for Target's Philip Lim Collection if It Were Ethically Made? [Racked]
· SF Made [Official Site]
· Six Summer Shoes Mother Nature (and You) Will Love [Racked SF]