Review: Everlane (mostly about shoes & me sitting on the fence about greenwashing)

If you had asked me what or who Everlane was before December last year (2018), I would have said who-what-say-what?

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How did I actually find out about Everlane? And are they as ethical or great as everyone says they are? And most importantly, what about the Good On You app, they’ve given Everlane a pretty bad wrap.

Firstly, I’ll start about the Good on You rating.

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Damn a “Not Good Enough” rating. This rating is lower than actual fast fashion brands such as Zara and H&M.

H&M and Zara are rated a “3” out of 5 across the board for Planet, People and Animals, while Everlane is rated a “2”.

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I do wonder how accurate the “3” is under People – given H&M’s notorious history and the Dhaka disaster. That being said, these companies have made some strides in trying to improve worker conditions and have introduced a recycling system for clothes. This of course, doesn’t out weight the bad, BUT (in my opinion) it’s a start and it’s better than nothing.

I know, I know – isn’t this greenwashing at its best? Or worse? Or however, you spin it?

Firstly – what is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing (a compound word modelled on “whitewash”), also called “green sheen”, is a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organisation’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly

Not going to lie, it does kinda sound like H&M and Zara fall under this category given that they don’t actually want you to buy less, and their model still falls under fast fashion. They still make 52 fashion drops a year – rather than your old school model of 4. Yet, is Everlane better than this? Better than your typical fast fashion brands? After all, they rated even lower in on the Good On You app. Does this mean they are even worse than Zara and H&M?

I’m a bit believer of imperfection. We need the majority to be imperfect in this journey, rather than a fraction who are perfect. And honestly, perfection DOES NOT exist. And I do not expect a person, let alone a company to be perfect.

Yeah, yeah. Get off the fence you’re thinking!

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It’s important to support small, local and sustainable businesses. These businesses matter, but I also realise corporations and large companies are important in the grand scheme of things. Yes, their “half-hearted” attempt may be labelled as greenwashing – but at least it’s something? It could be better of course, and hopefully with time and awareness, sustainable fashion (and not fast fashion) becomes the norm. Let’s not forget it has to start off somewhere. No matter how imperfect.

Anyway…I’ve gotten wayyyyy off topic (typical me) and you’ve probably forgotten that this blog post is about Everlane and not about H&M and ZARA.

Let me get back to my previous question, which I didn’t answer. Is Everlane better than your average joe fast fashion brands?

How can I answer this? I honestly can’t give you a good and facts driven answer, let alone a conclusive one. My answer is purely based on personal experience and what I’ve seen the company do. And “working” as an affiliate for the company I do get a little more info about what the company is doing, but in no way do I know everything about the company itself.

Why do I like Everlane?

I like what the company is trying to do. Making “carbon-neutral” sneakers and jackets and jumpers out of recycled water bottles. They’ve removed a lot of their plastic packaging (although not all of it) and their items are shipped in recyclable cardboard boxes or satchels, even the tape is paper-based.

Yet, like most businesses, it is still a profit driven company. So, naturally, these steps can be seen as “greenwashing”.

Do I think what Everlane is doing is considered greenwashing?

I believe it’s about the company’s intent. Are they jumping on the bandwagon or do they simply want to make a change? This is something I honestly can’t comment on. Intent would require me going into the mind of the CEO or people who have influence in the company. Unfortunately, I’m not Dr Xavier (sorry). But, what I can say is that they are trying. The steps they’ve made into becoming a more “sustainable” clothing business is above and beyond what other larger companies are doing.

But what do I think of their items?

Unlike H&M, the pricing is significantly higher. You won’t find a $5 dress here. But you also won’t find “fashion” items either. I’ve found the quality of the items to be really good and also fairly affordable considering the quality. That being said, I’m not a huge fan of Everlane’s underwear. I found the crop bras good, but the underwear itself was really poorly made. Other than that, I love all of my pieces from Everlane.

How did I learn about Everlane?

I had seen a few ethical fashion blogs promoting the brand and decided to check it out. Needless to say, now I’m kinda in love with their timeless pieces. If you’ve been following me long enough, you know I’m a huge HUGE fan of their flats, in particular their “glove” shoe.

Ever since purchasing a pair (I now have two!) I’ve found myself wearing the glove to work or when going out. It’s kinda a big deal, because for ages I was wearing sneakers to work, which isn’t a bad thing but sometimes, it’s nice to be a little bit fancy while still being super comfortable. And yes, they are SUPER comfortable. I honestly didn’t even need to wear them in. That being said, they have soften even more over the months, making it even more comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, they are not more comfy than sneakers. But for flats or fancy(ish) looking shoes they’re honestly great.

In terms of sizing, I purchased a size 8.5 in the glove. I did go half a size up from my usual size 8. Yup, when I say I’m a tiny Asian with big feet, I’m actually an tiny Asian with big feet! So, you’re probably wondering what my actual foot measurements are and how they go with the glove?

My left foot is:
Length: 26.5cm (standing – end of big toe to heel)
Width: 9.5cm (widest part of the foot)

My right foot is:
Length: 27cm (standing – end of big toe to heel)
Width: 9.5cm (widest part of the foot)

I’m approximately 5’2 tall.

I absolutely love the glove shoe. Am I tempted to get a third pair? Yeah. Fork minimalism, right??

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Now my investment in their “fancier” slightly heeled flats.

I love this blush colour. They aren’t as comfortable as the glove. And they did take a couple of wears to soften. But I actually didn’t get any blisters while wearing them in which is a bonus. (I got a size 8.5 but could have gotten a 8, I will need to purchase some heel thicker thingys – maybe it’s called a heel grip???). Plus, you know you’re winning at the shoe game, when your boss comments on your shoes and pretty much stops the meeting to ask me where I got them from!

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You’ve probably gotten the idea by now that I’m a huge fan of Everlane’s shoe collection.

Am I biased because I’m an affiliate?

Of course. 100%. Kidding! Sure, there’s slight biased but I wouldn’t have accepted being an affiliate and wouldn’t continue on supporting the brand if I didn’t honestly love what Everlane is doing. AND – I only share affiliate links for products I use and like from Everlane.

And that’s all folks. This blog post was everywhere. But I guess that’s kinda my state of mind at the moment. I wanted to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. I’m not 100% sure if I answered them. But if you want to know more, let me know if the comments below!

*Oh, full disclosure – this blog post does contain affiliate links to the Everlane shoes. And I do receive a small commission when you use my affiliate links. Please note that each dollar helps keep my blog running. And helps me sporadically blog! But I would like to blog more and reinvest the money into making this blog better!*

Affiliate link: Everlane’s shoe collection