How To Celebrate Mothers With Ethical Fashion

Motherhood is a something I feel a bit conflicted writing about.

As someone who has been through the death of a parent and a child, I am hyper-sensitive to how a day like Mother's Day is a painful reminder of those who are deeply missed. Or for those who want to be mothers, but aren't, or can't be; or to those who have living mothers or living children with whom they are strained or estranged. And I know so so many people who fall into any number of these categories and that leaves like, 3 people who can actually fully enjoy Mother's Day.

Whatever your relationship is to your mother or motherhood, I hope this week we can all find a way to honor the mothers in our lives, and here are some ideas beyond the usual relationships.

garment mothers

Globally, there are over 40 million garment workers, and over 80% of them are women, many of whom are mothers.

So when we're talking about the epidemic of low wages across the fashion industry, we're talking about an epidemic of exploiting women - and mothers.

This is not only an ethical problem, but also an economic one. Women - mothers - invest up to 90% of their income back into the health and wellbeing of their families and communities, so when women aren't making living wages, families and communities suffer, too.

But it doesn't have to be this way.


By shopping fair trade, we're ensuring living wages for mothers, who in turn can offer a better future for their children, and our world. And with so many amazing fair trade brands, it's so easy to do!

Dress: tonlé
Top Secret Maternity
Fair Anita


animal mothers

There are more cows in America being raised for food and fashion then there are people living in America, and each one of those cows came from a mother (and was most likely separated from her within days of being born).

In fact, so many animals are needed to fuel the fast fashion leather industry that the demand is outpacing the supply of byproducts from meat and dairy.

This current system uses mothers' bodies for their milk and for their babies, then further monetizes their deaths, which is an issue for feminists everywhere.

But it doesn't have to be this way.


By shopping vegan fashion, we're honoring the bodies of females - especially mothers. And with so many amazing vegan brands, it's so easy to do!

Dress: Passion Lilie


mother earth

Conventional cotton production is now responsible for 18% of worldwide pesticide use and 25% of total insecticide use. A new pair of jeans uses over 900 gallons of water. And fashion as a whole is considered the 4th most polluting industry (yikes!).

And it's not just how it is made - it's how much is made, too. According to The True Cost, the world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year - that's 400% more than the amount we consumed just two decades ago! This means that the average American now generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year, which adds up to more than 11 million tons of textile waste from the U.S. alone.

But it doesn't have to be this way.


By shopping organic cotton, small batch production, or just by simply buying less (and wasting less), we can have a huge impact on the amount of resources needed to create - and dispose of - fashion. And with the Bead & Reel Approved Brands, it’s never been easier to do!

Dress: tonlé
Connecticut Country Clothing



I only work with brands who I genuinely believe in. All opinions are my own. I may sometimes (but not always) use affiliate links in my blog when talking about products or services that I truly suggest, which means that I may get a small commission if you end up buying or trying something through a link I share. This is one of the ways that I continue to fund the stories and programs that Bead & Reel creates and supports.