Don't Buy Modcloth, Instead Try...

by - Saturday, March 18, 2017

Today, Modcloth officially announced that they were acquired by Jet.com who is owned by Walmart. As you would, they tried to announce the acquisition as if it were a good thing, saying-

"We will stay true to our mission of empowering, celebrating, and inspiring women.

Um, what about Walmart says empowering women to you? Is it their history of mistreating their own workers, paying them so little (and manipulating their hours) that you essentially guarantee they will need public assistance to live? Is it the gross and sometimes inhumane manufacturing conditions their garment workers live in (remember when the factory collapsed a few years ago, they were making clothes for some of the Walmart brands, among others)? Is it the Waltons hoarding money at the top, becoming more and more wealthy while being one of the least generous? Their business plan of squeezing out small businesses? Walmart may get a bad rep, but much of it is well-deserved, and I think "empowering" and "inspiring" with them at the helm is a pretty huge leap.

So, alas, I loved you Modcloth. I really did. Back in college, I could not get enough of your dresses, and you made me feel like it was cool to love kooky prints and cinched waists. But we are done now. I stopped giving my money to Walmart a while ago, and I don't care how cute your dresses are, I believe in American small businesses, in treating labor with respect, and in environmental responsibility, so I won't even visit your site again.

I have recommended Modcloth over and over on this blog for their "Made in USA" filter, so you could buy clothing you felt confident were made ethically and which weren't being shipped all over creation. You won't see that anymore. In fact, I will remove all the links tomorrow.

For a long time, I have used Modcloth as the first stop when I have wanted something specific that I couldn't find in consignment. It bums me out that is no longer the case, BUT if you are also feeling a little at a loss, don't despair. There are so many other good choices out there, or other places to find Modcloth brands you love. Pick based on your own ethics and priorities, but here is a list of some of your MANY options-

Fall in Love with Consignment Again- I know most Modcloth shoppers are probably no stranger to a consignment store, but it never stops being worth saying that if you care about the environment, no shopping is greener than secondhand. So many great pieces already exist, so this might be a good opportunity to go revisit stores near you. Don't have much nearby? Thred Up puts up new things everyday (not unlike another store we used to know- you can still do your daily browse) and their consigned goods are infinitely better for the environment (and your wallet).

from Bettie Page
Bettie Page- This dress company has the retro, quirky, form-fitting, bright-colored wonderfulness up the wazoo. Always playing with fun prints and really flattering styles. Also made in America by two women.


Esther Williams Swimwear- You know those Made in the USA magic swimsuits we all bought from Modcloth? Also available on Amazon (I know, not a huge step up from Walmart, but good to see how you really can find this stuff anywhere) and Unique Vintage, and for less money.

Eva Franco- This amazing designer, an immigrant from Romania, makes most of her gorgeous dresses in the US. You could usually get one or two on Modcloth, though they are on the more expensive end, it might be a good stop if you are looking for something really special. You can sometimes buy her dresses at Anthropologie as well.


Hello Holiday- An old classmate from college sent me this store, and I am already obsessed with it. Has a Made in America filter and carries some of the greatest stuff. Perfect (maybe better?) replacement for the Modcloth-shaped hole in your heart. I also love that they have a great range of sizes, which is really lacking from many of these sites. Also, someone go buy this dress, because I am obsessed with it.

from Mata Traders
Mata Traders- This fair trade company sells really flattering dresses in great prints. They are ACTUALLY empowering women by paying them fairly and building career skills to fight global poverty.
from Gilli
Gilli- This is another company that I have bought off of the Modcloth Made in USA page. It also happens to be available on Amazon and they have a perfectly great website all their own. Blue Canoe is another great spot for slightly simpler dresses and cuts.

from Reformation
Reformation- Ok, this store is cooler than I will ever be on my best day, but their clothes are beautifully made and I have loved the t-shirts I bought from them. They are extremely invested in minimizing their environmental impact, are Made in the US, and they are vertically integrated so they know exactly what is going in their clothes. The prices are higher, but again, might be great if you want something really special (or boob-baring).

Show Me Your Mumu- This brand is perfect if you tend toward the more bohemian, 70's look. Lots of swingy dresses in cool prints, and the best made in America bridesmaid dresses I have seen anywhere.

Pact- Fair Trade cotton goods, for everything from cute socks to pajamas to simple wrap dresses. A nice place to look if you want more ethical basics. And seriously, their socks and underwear are the best.
from Rachel Pally
Rachel Pally- My other favorite source for dresses. Lots of her cotton and modal dresses are so soft and flattering (even the maternity dresses). Doesn't have that Modcloth quirk, but might be worth checking out.

Unique Vintage- This other shopping site, even more committed to a retro feel, serves up a bunch of retro and American-made dresses. This includes Stop Staring!, Steady (love this one), Heart of Haute, and Bernie Dexter. You will feel like you never left Modcloth, and you have so many cute and campy options. Perfect place to quench a modcloth craving, without so much Walton.

from Shabbyapple
Shabby Apple- I read this American-made company is also under big transitions, so if they no longer belong on this list, I will take care of it. But they make beautiful collections of dresses in lots of vibrant colors and flattering cuts. Owned by a woman for a long time.

Ok, I know I am missing TONS- what would you add to the list?

There are so many good options; don't get discouraged! We lived without Modcloth before, and we can do it again. Want even more ideas? Check here. If you are looking for more eco-friendly shopping ideas, check out my Giant List of Shopping Lists.

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