Alden Wicker is a freelance journalist and Editor-in-Chief of EcoCult, a blog that covers all things sustainable, including fashion, beauty, home design, food, and travel. She is a regular contributor to Refinery29 and mindbodygreen, and has also been published in Newsweek, Racked, Narratively, Quartz, Rodale’s Organic Life, Greatist, Well + Good, and Conscious Magazine. She is a co-founder and mama bear for the Ethical Writers Coalition, a group of 75+ creatives focused on promoting the sustainable and ethical life through their work.
What excites or intrigues you most about the conscious fashion movement?
I've been thinking a lot lately about meaning versus happiness. This article at The Atlantic crystallized the thoughts I had been having about the pursuit of beautiful, glittery things versus pursuing meaningful things. In essence the author argues that we shouldn't be focused on happiness, which could lead you down a path to hedonism and self-indulgent activities (like doing hauls from Forever21). We should be focused on meaning, which encourages us to work hard for a higher purpose. I think that is why I prefer conscious fashion. Thinking deeply about where my fashion comes from, who it benefits (or exploits), and how I personally can affect lives and ecosystems all over the world with my purchase, keeps me grounded. Sometimes being a "blogger" feels vapid or silly. But then I remember that what I'm doing is trying to change the world in my own way, and I can keep going, proud of what I do.
What was the catalyst that led you to start your venture?
Honestly, it was getting passed over for a promotion at my editorial job. Plus, I was worried that if I didn't start a beautiful blog about sustainable living, someone else would. So I quit my job and took the plunge.
Where do you feel is the biggest need to push the conscious fashion movement forward?
There needs to be a simple labeling system administered by a government authority, like the FDA's organic label. Consumers are asked to do far too much research and work in order to find sustainable and ethical fashion. If it were simpler, the movement would explode.
What is the most important thing to look for when shopping ethical?
Look for the sharing of information. Any information at all. If the online store says, "Imported," then walk away. They are hiding something. If the sales associate can't tell you how or where it's made, walk away. If the brand site doesn't have an easily accessible story about their ethos, then they don't have an ethos.
What conscious brands do you love to wear?
Um, why not ask me about my favorite child? Can I just direct you to my shopping guide?