Everlane: Ethical Clothing Brand Review

Posted on Location: 8 min read

This year, I vowed to make some changes. To become more aware of what I eat, wear, purchase, use, and waste.

(Except for what I say. That is to remain unfiltered.)

Little by little I have been making healthier choices, avoiding unnecessary plastic uses, limiting wasteful energy sources, and simply being mindful of my actions and purchases. This time, I have decided to dip my toes in ethical and sustainable fashion, with Everlane as my starting point.

Initially smitten by their minimalist and staple pieces, I soon became even more intrigued by their efforts of bridging the concepts of a sustainable and ethical wardrobe with affordable pricing. And let me tell you, that is a very hard combination to find, with at least a 6x markup across the fashion industry.

Further more, their honest sourcing, environmental awareness, and strong, reputable community ties are admirable, setting new industry standards, and in need of consumer attention.

Thus, before digging into a few of my purchases, make yourself a cappuccino and let’s talk about Everlane’s style, sizing, and pricing, as well as claims of quality and ethical commitments.

 

Style

Funny enough, I find Everlane’s attempt to avoid trends to be a trend in itself. And I am here for it.

The brand focuses on building a more classic and minimalist staple closet. Serving up items to fit your appropriate work wardrobe, casual outing attire, and undergarment basics. We are talking soft cotton crews, turtleneck tees, culottes, boyfriend jeans, blouses, and so many more.

In addition, practical shoes and functional handbags only add to compliment that effortless and sophisticated everyday look. Lastly, a classic colour palette makes it easy to envision countless outfit combinations and recycle already owned items. Think whites, creams, blacks, greys, and olives, with occasional pops of blues, reds, and plums.

A tank bra, white t-shirt, two sweaters, and a green puffer coat hanging on a rack in a light green room

 

Quality

Everlane prides itself in offering pieces that will last you a long time, with decades being a realistic goal. Thus, it focuses on sourcing materials such as Pima cotton, cashmere, Italian wool, and genuine leather.

Similarly, Recycled Polyester and Clean Silk are offered as part of their sustainability movement. For example, the ReNew Short Puffer coat is made from 47 renewed plastic bottles… and it still kept me warm during Quebec’s -25° C weather. Impressive, to say the least.

In contrast, and due to the high quality of the items, most require a trip to the dry cleaners. Thus, while sustainability points are given for longer expiration dates, they are slightly shaved off for the use of toxic solvents (i.e. PERC) present in most dry cleaners in North America.

Thankfully, only one of my purchases requires dry cleaning.

P.S. While I am aware that Organic Dry Cleaning is a thing, I cannot comment on its results, price points, or credibility (But, very curious).

 

Sizing

Probably the toughest topic concerning online shopping. Yet, Everlane, alongside offering sizes from 00 to 16, makes that pretty effortless too.

First, in the ‘details’ section of the item, you are informed about the height and size of the model. Second, in addition to many photos and in different angles of the item, you will see a short video of the model posing and walking in the item. A convenient reference to a realistic and live fit, really.

Third, the reviews are extremely detailed and include “usual size” and “purchased size” disclosures, along with other buyer details (e.g. weight, height, etc.). Fourth, any questions concerning the fit can be directed to fit@everlane.com. Known for their quick response rate and helpful tips.

Yes, reading and research is required in finding your perfect fit, but you should be doing that anyway. Also, a 60 day return policy does help relieve a lot of that stress. Read about the policy here, which includes their First Try return policy as well.

A white and black turtleneck, two sweaters, and a green coat neatly laid on top of one another on the bed, with Everlane tags made visible

 

Pricing

Expectedly, Everlane’s prices are reflective of the quality of their products. Yet, due to its transparent practices, such prices are very reasonable. The brand is committed to providing a detailed cost breakdown (e.g. labor, transport, etc.), while presenting it in comparison to traditional market mark ups. Which, although unsurprising, are quite hefty.

Lastly, the brand’s shipping fees have become more Canada-friendly, offering free shipping on first and $100+ orders. And, while at no fault of the clothing brand, the mean exchange rate is not as forgiving, throwing a bill and half down the drain as part of my last order. Something to keep in mind.

 

Ethical Commitments

Above all else, Everlane looks to build strong relationships with ethical, responsible factories. The brand works with 27 factories, with some based in Los Angeles, Spain, Southern China, and Sri Lanka, all of which are required to score exceptionally high in the compliance audit. A score above 90, to be exact, when it comes to safe working environments, fair wages, and reasonable hours.

Taking it a step further, some of these factories pride themselves in the reduction of energy consumption by completely redesigning their machinery, while others do their part in the reduction of waste by using post-industrial recycled material. “Clean energy and clean waste” is their motto.

Lastly, more often than not the factories are family-run and are full of creative craftspeople, passionate employees, and female company presidents. Everlane’s strong commitments to employee satisfaction (e.g. breast cancer education and healthcare services in Sri Lanka) and safety (e.g. helmets for 8,000 workers in Southern Vietnam), are definitely setting the industry bar for workplace standards.

Read more about the brand, factories, and initiatives here.

 

Purchases

 

The Merino Ski Sweater (Small) – $135 USD

A blonde woman posing in an Everlane ski sweater, green puffer coat, black jeans, and a black crossbody bag inside an indoor building complex

Hands down my favourite purchase from this order. The 100% extra fine Italian wool is soft, and never itchy.

The look has both a vintage and modern feel, due to the knit pattern and a classic, cool colour palette, respectively. The fit is relaxed, but not shapeless. It is thick enough for warmth, but not uncomfortably bulky. Could not be more perfect for layering.

This sweater is my go-to wear on it’s own, with one side slightly tucked into my black belted jeans and underneath the Emerald green puffer. Layering during the cold winter months, with a ribbed turtleneck, is highly recommended.

A blonde woman posing in an Everlane ski sweater inside a Toronto restaurant with a drink placed in front of her

A blonde woman posing in an Everlane ski sweater, black denim, and a green puffer coat with a black crossbody bag inside an indoor building complex

Would purchase again. No doubt.

 

The Tank Bra (Small) – $22 USD

An Everlane tank bra, white t-shirt, two sweaters, and a green puffer coat hanging on a rack in a light green room

I honestly can’t say that I remember my very last purchase of a traditional bra. I have been wearing bralettes for years now, and this tank bra has made my bee stings very, very happy.

The super soft Supima cotton is forgiving on the strap pressure and the skin that it covers. The double-layering gives that hard-to-find smooth visual, with absolutely zero padding. Similarly, I appreciate this bra for its tight, but comfortable, elastic band. Great for daily wear.

My only request would be to ever so slightly decrease the width between the straps, as at times I find myself feeling that they are about to slip off. They have yet to do so, but something to be mindful of.

 

The Pima Micro Rib Turtleneck (Small) – $35 USD

A blonde woman posing in a white turtleneck and black jeans inside a room

A blonde woman posing in a black turtleneck and black jeans

My obsession with this turtleneck lies in the extra lengthy sleeves. It is a rather slim fit, hugging every surface area of the upper body, kind of like second skin. Because of that, I found it to be quite warm on its own.

The ribbed Pima cotton gives it that soft feel, while elastane makes it incredibly moldable. Extra points for it being stretchy enough NOT to take off half of your face when putting it on after having your makeup done.

Definitely a layering classic: under silk dresses, chunky crew neck knits, oversized blazers. I could go on and on.

Side note: I purchased one in white and black, and found the black to be more of a dark grey. Still very much in love with it, but something to be aware of.

 

The ReNew Short Puffer (Small) – $125 USD 

A blonde woman posing in a green short puffer coat, ski sweater, black jeans, and black crossbody inside a building complex

A blonde woman posing in a green short puffer coat, ski sweater, black jeans, and black crossbody inside a building complex

I purchased this coat for many reasons. The cropped length. The boxy, puffy shape. The Emerald green colour.

It was perfect for a comfortable skiing experience during my trip to Quebec, as the above qualities kept me insulated in -25°C weather and allowed me to move around freely. Falling on my butt included.

To know that it is made from 47 renewed plastic bottle and 100% recycled PrimaLoft insulation, is definitely a feel-good buy. Yet, the slight pilling and the poor shell fabric should not be overlooked, as I noticed the insulation peeping through the seam on day one. The pilling seems to be centered between the inner arm and sides of torso, where the most ‘material rubbing’ occurs.

A blonde woman posing in a green short puffer coat, ski sweater, black jeans, and black crossbody inside a building complex

In conclusion, and while I kept this purchase, I wouldn’t recommend buying it at least until the design and materials are adjusted appropriately. Having said that, I am all here for Everlane’s strive towards sustainable and ethical fashion, so I appreciate their efforts and journey.

Will definitely keep you posted. In the meantime, do read other buyers’ reviews, as they share similar issues and experiences with retail support.

 

The Cotton Crew (Medium) – $18 USD

A blonde woman posing in a plain white Everlane tee and black jeans in a dimly lit room

First and foremost, I fell in love with this tee because of the Supima cotton, as I found it incredibly soft and lightweight.

I am glad I opted for a size up for a more loose and casual fit, since the higher-than-usual crew neck might have been a tad bit uncomfortable in my true size. The sleeves are short, but give comfortable room at the end.

This is definitely a classic, whether on it’s own with denim, layered with a silky tank, or a underneath a plaid blazer. Definitely a keeper. And in more than one colour.

Side note: Since ordering it in December, the price went up by $2.

 

The Oversized Fleece Half-Zip (Small) – $50 USD

A blonde woman posing in an Everlane stone-coloured half-zip sweater and black jeans

A blonde woman posing in an Everlane half-zip stone-coloured sweater

One of my sporty-er buys.

It is a cropped, roomier fit, but high-waisted jeans take care of that potential discomfort for you. Who wears low-waisted denim these days anyway…

The neutral tone, half-zip, and comfortable, cozy feel make this 90’s comeback a great thing. Wear it with dark denim, a cropped puffer, and combat boots for that casual, edgy look.

Would highly recommend this casual classic.

Side note: This sweater is a serious lint magnet.

 

At the end of the day, I am quite happy with my purchases, and incorporate them into my outfits on the daily. Aka when I am not wearing my all black work uniform.

I would definitely buy from Everlane again, as I am drawn to the brand’s honest and transparent approach, respect its ethical and environmental initiatives, and really love the practical and minimalist style. Also, I am already eyeing The Day Square Tote, The Cashmere Wrap Sweater, The Day Loafer, and The Wide Leg Chino

 

And that’s a wrap. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this post, Everlane, and any other ethical and sustainable brands. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Cheers,

A

 

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2 Comments
  • Marysol
    March 22, 2019

    Wowowow, I’ve been seeing this brand all over social media, and am thrilled I have someone else doing the research for me! LOVING the oversized fleece! Will definitely be checking out this brand!

    • arina
      March 22, 2019

      Thank you Marysol! Glad to have been of help, get it girl. It’s so warm!

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Everlane: Ethical Clothing Brand Review