As Autumn/Fall approaches and we make the transition from our summer wardrobe into cooler clothing, it can be hard to find sustainable pieces and stores that allow you to shop with a clear conscience. Sure, you may know of brands and can shop directly with them, such as Salt + Umber and Softwear, but for shoppers in a hurry that want to browse all in one place this can be hard. We recently discovered eco-friendly fashion boutique Kaight (produced Kate) and it’s like our prayers have been answered.
Kaight is a New York City based boutique featuring one-of-a-kind clothes made with sustainable materials that are sourced from independent and emerging designers. The collection includes eco-friendly fashions, hand-spun yarn creations, and statement pieces.
The founder, Kate McGregor grew up in Ohio and would always shop consciously. She would wear hand me downs and her mother used to make her clothes often. She had it instilled in her to support small businesses where she could buy items made in the USA that would last for years. Kate moved to NYC and started a career as a journalist, however her childhood dream of opening a store in the Big Apple kept taunting her. Her job at the time would often require her to dress in a certain way, and Kate was frustrated at the clothing that was available to her. She found a lot of brands that existed that were eco-friendly, but couldn’t find an easy way to purchase them. The thrill and ease of shopping at fast fashion retailers soon became the way for Kate, until 2005 when she was at a crossroads in her career. She decided to go for her childhood dream, reclaim the values she was taught as a young girl, and offer an alternative to fast-fashion retailers. A year later, Kaight was born out of a passion and also a personal need.
The stores can be found in Manhattan and Brooklyn. They sell a variety of stocks dresses, tops, bottoms, and denim as well as accessories and home décor pieces. Vegan and cruelty-free skincare are also available.
Many of the brands that are available are small, women-owned businesses just like Kaight that value things like local production, reclaimed materials and zero waste. When it comes to sourcing the items, Kate tells us she has a criteria of ethical production (85% of designers she uses are produced where they are based) no exploitation of labour, sustainable and organic textiles. The use of natural fibers is also very important to her.
We asked Kate what advice she would give to someone looking to become more eco-friendly. Kate explains, “Start off with an assessment of your current wardrobe and get an understanding of what your personal style and needs are. Too often people think ‘I’ll start buying only made in the US or only organic cotton,’ without understanding what they really need and what sort of wardrobe they want. People also often say they’re going to throw out their current wardrobe and only buy eco brands, but that’s defeating our objective to throw away clothes.”
Kate’s favourite product she stocks would have to be the jumpsuits. She tells us she loves how wearable and easy to style they are, and often reaches for this style.
One designer she loves to wear is Atelier Delphine. She finds their Japanese inspired pieces loose and flowy with a boho style vibe. We can see a similar style with the fashion from Kaight, and are totally loving this boho vibe!