Bold Babes on a Mission

Introducing SENSE of SHELF

By Caitlin Ruggero

The need for sustainable fashion is long overdue. While it’s true that there’s a few famous luxury designers riding the eco-wave, many sustainable fashion brands are still small and up-and-coming—with the majority finding their homes on the internet. Now that it seems online shopping is the norm, there are countless fast fashion sites to choose from that are a haven for your typical online impulse buyer. But for the more ethical and eco-conscious consumer, finding sustainable retailers to shop online requires time and research. It can sometimes be difficult to find a site that aligns with your values and is honest about their ethics. The good news is that the search is getting easier.

Whimsy + Row’s Ella Dress in Gold Floral, I Like It Here Club’s Pottery Piece Necklace.

Whimsy + Row’s Ella Dress in Gold Floral, I Like It Here Club’s Pottery Piece Necklace.

Whimsy + Row’s Ella Dress in Gold Floral.

Whimsy + Row’s Ella Dress in Gold Floral.

SENSE of SHELF is a site dedicated to informing consumers of the impact they have on the environment and uplifting ethical brands. They aim to be transparent and realistic. Obviously it’s not always possible to shop sustainably, and living an eco-friendly lifestyle can seem only attainable to the privileged few. Looking to change this, SENSE of SHELF opened their online doors this past April. The e-commerce retailer carries a variety of sustainable apparel, jewelry and accessories, and the small brands featured on the site are trendy and unique: Whimsy + Row, an LA based eco-conscious lifestyle brand, handcrafts their clothing entirely from dead stock (extra, unused) fabrics. Machete, an Atlanta based accessories brand, produces their colorful and funky pieces entirely from cellulose acetate, an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. If you’re a woman on the go, look no further than LA based brand HFS Collective for ethical and sustainable hands-free bags. Each brand SENSE of SHELF offers has a short bio along with descriptions of how they’re being sustainable in the production process. While the brands do their part, they urge us to do the same: think before you purchase! Clothing production, eco-friendly or not, still uses up valuable resources. Before clicking the checkout button, ask yourself if you’ll actually wear what you’re buying more than once. Will you care for it properly? Do you actually love it, or are you just bored? SENSE of SHELF carefully curates the brands they want to carry—just as you should with the clothes hanging in your closet at home.

Before embarking on the journey of sustainable e-commerce, SENSE of SHELF had long been in the business of empowerment. Directing and producing all female-staffed photoshoots around the globe, founders Madeline and Amy featured sustainable and ethical brands on their Facebook and Instagram pages. The pair met at Brown University and created SENSE of SHELF because they were tired of seeing the detrimental effects the fast fashion industry has on our planet, and wanted to create a space for people to educate themselves about sustainability. From creating eco-friendly “holiday gift guides” to attending important events such as the Women’s March, the dynamic duo is not slowing down any time soon. They call their customers “Bold Babes on a Mission” for good reason: SENSE of SHELF is for those of us who aren’t just going to sit back and watch the world go by, but is for those of who will be brave enough to change it.


Photos Courtesy of SENSE of SHELF


Modeled by:
Sydney Morrison