What Is It?
If you have been anywhere on social media, you will likely have come across cottagecore fashion. Perhaps you have seen it without knowing what it is: Dreamy, flowing clothing that harkens back to a simpler time, one spent in nature. Urban dictionary defines this current trend as a “niche aesthetic based around the visual culture of an idealized life on a Western farm.” Can you picture it now? Lacy or linen blouses, floral dresses, and skirts, straw hats. This is cottagecore, an aesthetic fashion that puts you in the worlds of Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, or The Secret Garden.
As it has grown in popularity on social media, consumers have speculated the target demographic of the trend. While cottagecore gives its wearer a vintage look, the aesthetic itself targets those of a younger, more current generation, garnering support even from modern brands hoping to jump on the wagon. Cottagecore has taken a large uptake in popularity throughout the pandemic, perhaps drawing inspiration from a time when nature kept people isolated as we found ourselves during quarantine.
Sustainable Cottagecore Clothing
This term has several different meanings depending on the context. When it comes to cottagecore, or clothing for that matter, sustainability has to do with how ecofriendly the resources or retailing of the product is. Were the resources (say linen or cotton) sustainably grown? Was the fabric used to make the clothing upcycled? For a company to be sustainable, these are the questions to keep in mind.
But sustainability involves the consumer as well as the producer. Consumers can partake in sustainable cottagecore by researching shops and brands, learning about their practices before purchasing. Another popular avenue when it comes to cottagecore or any sustainable fashion trend is thrifting. Finding vintage items in your style is a great way to make sure the products are not wasted, regardless of how they were manufactured in the first place. There are even some shops out there or on Etsy that repurpose vintage clothing or resell vintage pieces.
While searching for cottagecore brands, I came across the blog A Clothing Horse that had a list of favorite ethical clothing brands. While not all fit into the cottagecore aesthetic, there were a few that met the mark.
- Dôen is a clothing brand that uses primarily natural products in their clothing pieces. They encourage resale to extend the life of their products and be kinder to the planet in the process. Their shipping is also eco-friendly. On top of all of this, they make it a goal of theirs and the companies they work with to shrink the gender gap and empower women in the business industry. Dôen carries several cottagecore pieces from floral and flowy dresses to ruffled lacy tops and more.
- Girae Rigira is an Etsy shop based in Italy that uses vintage fabrics as well as vintage inspiration to craft unique and stunning pieces. Each is handmade with a number that would fit perfectly into any cottagecore photoshoot.
- Christy Dawn is a clothing brand that utilizes sustainable, upcycled fabric or organic cotton in its products. While not all of their pieces aim for the cottagecore aesthetic, anyone looking to tune their style to match this trend would not find it difficult to update their wardrobe on this site.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of sustainable clothing brands that offer options for a cottagecore aesthetic, but it can serve to get you started. That is not to say that while many modern brands are looking to harken back to that simpler time social media seems well equipped to make us long for, thrifting or vintage shopping is another (sometimes cheaper) route when it comes to finding the right pieces for your wardrobe. Though not everyone has ready access to a thrift shop, websites that offer cottagecore clothing are a blessing to have as well.
Written by Sharayah Hooper
Photo by Madeline Bassinder