6 Must-Have Summer Fashion Pieces From Top Sustainable Brands (Course of Trade)

Malia Mills Course of Trade Bag

With the official start of summer only a couple weeks away, what better way to welcome the season of fun in the sun than with a few new pieces to keep your wardrobe sizzling? Staying on trend doesn’t have to mean replacing everything in your closet — a few updated staples and some fab accessories will keep you looking effortlessly au courant. Bonus: These six must-have pieces are equal parts cutting edge and eco-conscious.

The Brand: Malia Mills

summer fashion: Swimsuit by Malia Mills

Photo courtesy of Malia Mills.

The Look: Starlet Maillot Swimsuit. Made in the USA and designed with a higher-cut leg than other maillots, this glamorous v-neck, low-back suit is great for A, B and smaller C cup gals. Can be styled eight different ways. $370

The Impact: Malia Mills’ production director created the nonprofit Course of Trade, offering free sewing instruction and job placement assistance within the garment industry in New York. Course of Trade students learn to sew and produce canvas bags, which are in turn offered for sale, with 100 percent of the proceeds covering training expenses and wages for each trainee.

The Brand: Kate Mchale Jensen

summer fashion: Le Pouf Blouse by Kate McHale Jensen

Photo courtesy of Kate McHale Jensen.

The Look: Le Pouf Blouse. Made in the USA and part of a collection of womenswear inspired by items found in men’s closets. $114

The Impact: KMJ Collection’s designs are created from “deadstock” fabric that is rescued and reused for a sustainable and more ethical choice in the manufacturing process. The designer’s reworked men’s vintage shirts create a modern women’s top with careful attention to the quality of the original product.

The Brand: Side Hustle Denim

summer fashion: Side Hustle Denim

Photo courtesy of Side Hustle Denim.

The Look: Locally custom-made, sustainably sourced designer denim jeans side striped with vintage ribbon. Exclusively available at pop-up sites around the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow @sidehustledenim. $250

The Impact: Upcycled and pre-loved designer denim, worn-in to perfection. Each pair tells a story and is one-of-a-kind.

The Brand: Soko

summer fashion: Cuff Bracelet by Soko

Photo courtesy of Soko.

The Look: Mixing Shapes Stacking Cuff Bracelets. Handcrafted in Kenya with recycled brass using traditional artisan techniques. $105

The Impact: Soko works with more than 2,100 artisan entrepreneurs around the globe to help them build their businesses, improve production capacity, and sustainably increase their income.

The Brand: The Little Market

summer fashion: Crossbody Bag by The Little Market

Photo courtesy of The Little Market.

The Look: Crossbody Bag in Navy. Great for everyday use, handmade from crocheted raffia and leather straps. $128

The Impact: The Little Market is a go-to shop for gifts and fair-trade home goods and an independent nonprofit member of the Fair Trade Federation, whose goal is to make the international marketplace available to more fairly paid artisans around the world. Many of the female artisans associated with The Little Market are able to work from home, providing a meaningful income for families while offering flexibility to working mothers.

The Brand: Filbert

summer fashion: Filbert

Photo courtesy of Filbert.

The Look: The Neckerchief, a perfect accompaniment to your bag (or your neck!). Made in USA from Rifle Paper Co. prints. $35

The Impact: American made, cruelty free, PETA-approved, vegan

 

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Leah-Marie Headshot

Leah-Marie loves to shop and searches high and low for the hottest trends at the local retail level.  Her fashion shows, fashion shoots, and trends pages have appeared in print and online including on Marin Magazine, Make It Better Media, LeahMarieStyle, Curbside Couture, and at many local Bay Area boutiques and private club venues. She graduated from Academy of Art University with a Masters in fashion merchandising, and immediately launched Curbside Couture, a fashion event business that directly supports local boutiques. Grey Goose martinis are the way to her heart (extra dry with olives, please). She also admires and supports Sunny Hills Services in Marin. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. @curbsidecouture, @leahmariestyle, #Marinstyle

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