This Online Marketplace Is Taking the Guesswork Out of Shopping Ethically

And the clothes are actually affordable.

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This New Online Marketplace Is Taking the Guesswork Out of Shopping Sustainably
Photo: Edify

The growing awareness around fast fashion, its environmental impact, and the often-horrendous factory conditions have created a more discerning consumer in recent years. According to data provided by pay-in-four company Klarna, in a survey of over 24,000 shoppers and 29 million orders, 70 percent of Gen Z buyers were more likely to seek out ethical and or sustainable brands, while that percentage was 73 for millennials. It's in this landscape that online retailer Edify was created in 2020.

Edify is a solution for two of the biggest roadblocks to conscious consumption. Even if someone has the desire or intent of shopping ethically, it can be difficult to navigate; often it requires a brand-by-brand analysis and conscious consumer-led vetting, which requires more time than many people have. After that, there's yet another speed bump: the price. Personally, when the words "sustainable" or "ethical" are attached to clothing, I almost always expect to be confronted with prices I just can't afford.

Every brand on Edify is vetted to ensure it provides proper working conditions and living wages for workers. The other criteria is that products retailing on the website must, for the most part, be accessibly priced. Currently, the range goes from a pair of $9 socks to a $195 dress, which is an incredible contrast to many other sustainable and/or ethical retailers where prices tend to lie firmly in the hundreds.

Being an ethically-made brand is the most basic requirement for Edify, but the site also allows you to filter and shop via other values, such as being sustainable, BIPOC-owned, woman-owned, toxic-free, or made in the United States. Edify has (understandably) overcome many hurdles to find and source ethical clothing, it says, one of them being the limited availability of sizes in certain styles — but in the future, it hopes to be able to expand its size range.

But at just two years old, Edify is still in its infancy, so it feels like a small and incredibly curated boutique. Right now there are 21 brands and 148 products, but according to a spokesperson for Edify, the retailer is on track to have 40 by the end of 2022.

Below you'll find an assortment of 19 ethically-made items to shop from Edify.


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