The reason why fast fashion got so popular in the first place was because of how inexpensive it was. The industry did an incredible job of hiding why they were able to sell their clothes for so cheap. They built empires off of exploiting garment workers and harming the planet. Unfortunately, most ethical and sustainable fashion brands are on the pricier side because of their responsible production efforts. When a company pays its employees a fair wage and is environmentally conscious, it will cost them more to make their products. However, many young adults can’t rationalize spending a hefty amount for a t-shirt when they’ve got student loans to pay off. It’s totally understandable, which is why thrifting has been a Gen Z go-to. 

With many young people aspiring towards more sustainable lifestyles, new ethical brands are emerging daily. Finally, there’s a sustainable fashion brand that gen Z can actually afford; Let’s meet Kotn

Kotn features a variety of ethically-made basics made from authentic Egyptian cotton. They value honesty and quality, two of the most important aspects a company should always address in its mission statement. Kotn was founded in 2015 with the motivation to change the standard for production and design in the industry. Their goal is to leave a positive impact on the Earth. Even better, Kotn gives back to less fortunate communities by building and operating schools.  How cool is that? 

Kotn is one of those rare companies that strives for 100% transparency with its customers. Their clothing is made from organic cotton, which they obtain via direct trade. They buy their raw materials directly from farmers to ensure that they can sell their clothing at a fair price. Without having to deal with a traditional middleman, they’re guaranteed a price from their farmers that allows for their garments to have a lower price tag. 

Fair and equal pay should be an industry standard, but it is not. There are few companies, like Kotn, who want to take care of all their employees, no matter their race or gender. Their goal is to build careers, not just provide jobs. They are dedicated to providing safe factory conditions, as well. After the devastation at Rana Plaza in 2013, it’s clear that the industry as a whole needs to learn to prioritize the well being of their garment workers. 

All in all, Kotn proves that ethical clothing (that’s super cute) can be made affordable. Kotn features simple, well-constructed designs. My personal favorite is the Women’s mock sweatshirt in Alabaster. It’s perfect for a chilly day, and pairs perfectly with a casual pair of jeans or a fun skirt for date night. The Box Pleat Trouser in Black is incredibly adorable too! The best part? Everything’s under $100, with a basic tee costing only $30! Honestly, that’s about the price you’d spend at a fast fashion label. Gen Z, there’s no valid excuse to not shop sustainably anymore! Your wallet, the planet, and humanity in general will thank you when you choose to shop at Kotn.