Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Altar #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Altar
Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Warp + Weft
Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Reformation #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Reformation

11 Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing

*This post contains affilate links


Fashion is about feeling good, not fitting in… especially if fitting in means literally fitting your body into a small range of numbers. 

Anyone else tired of seeing the same body types in marketing? Or experiencing love-at-first-sight with a dress only to click and realize they don’t even make your size? Sadly, this experience is ubiquitous. 

That’s why we’re positively ecstatic about the appearance of ethical sustainable plus size clothing brands that believe everybody is unique and every body is beautiful. Fashion that doesn’t hurt the planet or anyone’s self-confidence? That’s a serious PLUS for us.

While all these brands are shattering body-limiting barriers, a few are doing an XX-good job at it. So if you’re in a rush to find that perfect sustainable plus size clothing fit, we’d recommend Warp + Weft, Everlane and Eileen Fisher all of which use sustainable materials, have a great range of sizes, and are even inclusive in their brand image.

One last note: For a sur-PLUS of info on how we selected these brands, you can take a big leap to the bottom of the brand list by clicking here.

1. EVERLANE

Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Everlane #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Everlane
About Everlane

Here’s a name you’re probably familiar with (especially if you’ve read many of our sustainable fashion guides): Everlane!

This San Francisco brand has been around since 2010, and in the last decade, they’ve cemented themselves as one of the biggest names in ethical fashion. Between their massive selection and dedication to “radical transparency”, they’re a solid go-to for green fashion. No surprise that they also offer many of their styles in plus sizes.

Everlane’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Given their large range of garments, they also use a lot of different fabrics. While not all are what we consider sustainable, a large portion of them are. Many of their items are made of organic cotton (they plan to have all their cotton certified organic by 2023), linen, recycled polyester, and recycled down.

Their sustainable plus size jeans, for instance, are made of 98% organic cotton and 2% elastane for stretch, a small enough synthetic percentage that ensures the fabric is still recyclable.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Everlane became one of the biggest names of ethical fashion with their pledge toward “radical transparency”. This transparency means tells you exactly what factory in which country each garment is manufactured in the product description. To see all their factories, check out the interactive factory map and click through for insane amounts of detail on each.

As a Global Fashion Agenda (GFS) Associate Member, Everlane upholds all supply chain entities to their code of conduct and yearly fair labor audits.

Green business practices: 

Everlane chooses to use some of the world’s most sustainably minded factories, upheld by their yearly eco audits through Think Green Initiative (TGI).  These are separate from their labor audits, and deal specifically with emissions, water usage, energy usage, and resource recycling.

For instance, their jeans are all-made in the LEED-certified Saitex factory, AKA the world’s cleanest denim factory for water recycling and treating, reliance on solar energy, and byproduct recycling. 

Some more of Everlane’s green goings-on include: using eco friendly building materials and renewable energy in their stores and offices, having 100% landfill-free distribution, providing new employees with a kit of zero waste reusables, and working to eliminate virgin plastic from production by 2021 (see their ReNew recycled synthetics).

Inclusivity: 

Everlane is proud to offer new women’s sizes reaching up to XXL and 34” and 35” waist sizes. That means a full range of 23”-35” waists, XS-XXL tops, and even some pant cuts specifically made for curvy women.  

What we really like, however, is that you can select to see how their pants fit in sizes, 0 (24”) – 10 (30”) so you can visualize what jeans look like on larger sizes. Hopefully they’ll add their new larger sizes too soon.

Their men’s tops are also suitable for larger sizes, going up to XXL, but their men’s pants top out at 40” waists, so no plus size options there

Community & charitable giving: 

Every year, Everlane contributes $15 of every Black Friday order to their Black Friday fund.  They donate the total amount to the ocean plastic cleaning initiative Oceana. The 2019 Black Friday Fund raised $300,000, enough to sponsor a full year of Oceana projects.

Available:  Everlane


2. REFORMATION

Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Reformation #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Reformation
About Reformation

The fashion industry as it currently stands needs some major reformation, on all fronts. Enter: Reformation.  As one of the biggest names in sustainable fashion (with one of the biggest product lines to match), they’re not just challenging HOW to make women’s fashion… they’re challenging for WHOM they’re made for.

Reformation’s Extended Size Collection includes some of the best sustainable plus size clothing for curvy women. While their entire line isn’t plus size yet, you’ll find something of everything in this collection, including dresses, jeans, blouses, and jumpsuits.

Reformation’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Reformation uses many sustainable fibers (and a few less sustainable ones, but the virgin synthetics are easy to avoid). We’ll give some examples:

Their sustainable jeans are mostly made of Tencel Lyocell, recycled cotton, and organic cotton. Their sweaters of recycled and virgin cashmere, responsibly sourced yak wool, and organic cotton, and their dresses of Tencel Lyocell, Tencel X REFIBRA™, and Tencel Modal from sustainably managed forests. You’ll also find small blends of spandex. 

Currently, 56% of dyeing partners were either Bluesign® or OEKO-TEX 100 certified. They use eco friendly dyes, biodegradable denim natural enzyme washing substances, and test all pieces for these restricted substances

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Reformation actually owns 32 factories in downtown Los Angeles (which they invite you to take a tour physically or virtually). 65% of their line comes from one of these, and the rest from factories in Morocco, Turkey, and China, which are held to the Global Social Compliance Programme’s (GSCP) Code of Conduct.

Their suppliers, located all over the world, are also chosen for their ethical practices and  ranked in their Sustainable Partners Guidebook.

Green business practices: 

Reformation is both water neutral and soon-to-be-certified Climate Neutral (though they’ve actually been carbon neutral since 2015 by purchasing extensive operations offsets).

They’ve joined the Circular Fashion System Commitment aiming to recirculate 500,000 garments by 2025…and at the time of writing this they’re already over halfway there.

Some more of their many sustainability initiatives: product impact counters, wind-powered Green Business certified office buildings, eco-friendly office supplies, bio-based packaging, selling climate credits, and incentivizing customers to switch to wind energy by offering $100 of store credit.

Inclusivity: 

Reformation has specialty lines for women of different bodies, including petite, plus size, and busty. Their Extended Size Collection includes 1X-3X sizes and pants in US sizes 14-24.

Community & charitable giving: 

Reformation donates to various alternating charities like the Bonneville Environmental Foundation,  ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and LA’s Tree People (through which they plant a tree as a gift for every staff birthday).

They also give back through volunteering, both with company-wide volunteer days and a monthly paid volunteer day for all employees.

Available: Reformation


3. PRANA

Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by prAna #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by prAna
About prAna

Finding ethical clothing companies with plus size options is tough enough, nevermind trying to find inclusive athletic clothing companies (which, let’s be honest, aren’t traditionally known for their inclusive brand imaging).

prAna is trying to change that adding on a new range of sweaters, jeans, flannels, hiking pants, leggings, sports bras and more that are designed for hiking, climbing, and yoga… no matter what your size is.  

prAna’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

prAna uses a lot of biodegradable and compostable fibers like organic cotton, hemp, Tencel Modal, RDS-certified down, and ethically sourced merino wool. Equally prevalent are their recycled synthetics, like super soft fleece sweaters made from 100% recycled polyester. 

While prAna knows their materials aren’t perfect yet, feel free to use their fabric filter function to exclude virgin synthetics.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

prAna has a huge supply chain and as such, they admit they have a long way to go before they can claim full traceability and transparency.  That’s why they’ve enlisted the help of Textile Exchange.

They’re also working to increase the number of garments made in Fair Trade certified factories, and make it easy for customers to shop specifically for those that are already with their website’s “Fair Trade” and “country of origin” filters.

Green business practices: 

As an official Bluesign® partner, every single prAna garment is audited for production without the use of toxic chemicals, either at fabric mills or factories.  They also use recycled kraft paper hang tags attached with compostable string, and recycled shipping materials.

Inclusivity: 

Not all of prAna garments are size-inclusive, but they’ve made it a priority in recent years to be more than just a stereotypical outdoor brand for athletic bodies. That’s why they’ve started introducing women’s fair trade plus size clothing in sizes 1X-3X.  Right now, their pants only go up size US 14, which is good but not really plus size.

Community & charitable giving: 

Outdoor Outreach is prAna’s main giving partner, through which they provide outdoor leadership opportunities to underprivileged urban youth. On top of that, they provide funding for their sponsored athletes and ambassadors to organize their own community outreach and fundraising events.

Available:  prAna


4. MATA TRADERS

Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Mata Traders #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Mata Traders
About Mata Traders

Mata means “mother” in Hindi. Mata Traders specialized in dresses, skirts, and tops that make women feel loved and comfortable in their own skin (and in the super soft fabric, according to reviews). After all, moms love you no matter what!

Inspired by founder Maureen Dunn Fetscher’s love affair with India, each style blends sophisticated and flattering cuts with fun prints and bright colors. Between the wide selection of styles (short, maxi, and everywhere in between) and the equally wide selection of sizes, Mata offers luxurious comfortability for all bodies. 

In addition to their eco friendly plus size clothing, they even have a line of “Motherhood Friendly” extra stretchy items.

Mata Traders’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Most Mata styles are 100% cotton, though not all are strictly organic cotton. Opt for their organic cotton jersey styles if you can. They also use linen and the occasional 5% addition of spandex for a bit of extra stretch.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

As decade-long members of the Fair Trade Federation, Mata Traders ensures all their 1,000 partner artisans are paid fairly, per piece at rates well above minimum wage and determined by the artisans themselves. On top of that, they provide pension funds, health care, paid maternity leave, daycare services, on-staff social workers, and classes in everything from literacy and computer usage to parenting and nutrition.

While they’re based in Chicago, they manufacture via mostly female artisan co-ops in rural villages, urban slums, and other marginalized communities in India and Nepal. The co-op system not only ensures fair pay, but allows flexibility and work from home opportunities. They also welcome sewers of all skill levels and write, “[S]lower sewers aren’t fired for low productivity, as they would in a factory.”

Green business practices: 

Mata is a Green America Gold Certified business, and their garment construction and most of their textile printing is done by hand.

What’s more, they’re artisan cooperatives are making efforts to cut energy consumption and costs, and one has their entire central facility run on solar power!

Inclusivity: 

Mata’s plus size items offer garments in 1X and 2X, meaning their entire line encompasses US sizes 0-24. They use some beautifully big models to actually show off these designs so you won’t have to wonder what that dress looks like in a Size 20.

Since everything is under $100, their budget friendly sustainable plus size clothing are available to those with petite size bank accounts.

Community & charitable giving: 

While Mata does not have any direct charitable partners, their dedication toward empowering and providing social mobility for their artisans has had a major do-good ripple effect. Choti, one of their embroiderers, organized a successful protest with 200 other women for water access in their village. According to her, the co-op gave her the courage to do it!

Available:  Mata Traders


5. WARP + WEFT

Body Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Warp + Weft #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Warp + Weft
About Warp + Weft

Warp + Weft may only be four years old, a mere toddler in the world of fashion, but they found their sustainable living legs fast. In fact, they’re already one of the best sustainable jeans brands around as summed up by the brand’s simple but powerful ethos: “Inclusivity, Sustainability, Affordability.”

Warp + Weft are one of the best sustainable plus size clothing brands on this list. Why? Because they offer 75 different sizes and body types. So no matter what your age, shape, and gender identity (or lack thereof), they have denim designs for both top and bottom, just for you.

Warp + Weft’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

These stretch denim jeans and denim jackets are made of a unique blend of cotton, modal, lyocell, and elasterell (a type of polyester). The rigid denim classic jeans are the exception, made of 98% cotton and 2% elastane. 20% of these fabrics were recycled.

While their virgin cotton is not totally organic at this time, they do still prioritize sustainably farmed cotton overseen by The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).  The logic here is that this helps support and teach more farms about switching to organic methods, rather than discounting them in favor of those that already are certified organic.

Upon reaching out to the brand, they noted they hope to eventually be able to claim all their cotton is organically grown.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Warp + Weft jeans are designed by their small 10-person team in New York City.  But the real magic happens at their International Social and Environmental & Quality Standards-compliant supply chain in Pakistan, where all their farms, mills, and factories are located. 

They told us, “[W]e’re committed to ethical practices, expressed through fair wages, reasonable hours, and positive working conditions.”

Green business practices: 

Even though Warp + Weft doesn’t use all the classically sustainable fabrics that frequent our lists, green is still at the heart of all their blue jeans. They’re able to recycle 98% of the manufacturing water (amounting to over half a billion gallons) by using vertically integrated dyeing and washing processes.

Inclusivity: 

We’re so impressed with Warp + Weft’s inclusive ethical blue jeans, which are available from a 00 to 24 in women’s sizes.  Equally important is men’s inclusivity on top of the 28”- 42” regular waist sizes, they have an additional line of men’s “big and tall” sizes of 44”- 48” waists.

Community & charitable giving: 

Warp + Weft gives back to various organizations by asking its customers to donate $3 at checkout, which they match dollar for dollar. 

Usually, they donate to fund clean water and well projects in Malawi, but most recently they’ve added another giving option: No Kid Hungry, a program providing meal support for low-income families that rely on school lunches.

Available:  Warp + Weft


6. PATAGONIA

Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Patagonia #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Patagonia
About Patagonia

What could be better than recycled polyester fleece pullovers in tastefully loud patterns and prints?  Those same pullovers also available in sizes XXS-XXL, of course.

Patagonia may be an ethical outdoor clothing company (and one of the most sustainable fashion companies in general), but they don’t let that stereotypical outdoor athlete body sway their sizes. Plus size men and women alike can find durable, built-to-last garments for outdoor adventuring, including sweaters, t-shirts, and even dresses.

Fair trade plus size clothing aside, we personally love their stuff, and have for years.

Patagonia’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Patagonia uses lots of different fabrics and a remarkable proportion of them are sustainable. That includes natural fibers (hemp, linen, and USA-grown organic cotton), ethically sourced animal fibers (RWS merino wool and RDS down), and recycled fibers (cashmere, polyester, nylon).  

Currently, 72% of garments utilize recycled fabrics and 100% of their cotton is organic.

Since a sustainable fiber doesn’t do much good without sustainable processing, they use only natural phthalate-free dyes and PVC-free inks. Many of their garments are also bluesign® approved meaning they contain the bare minimum of chemicals.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Aiming for top notch supply chain traceability, Patagonia created The Footprint Chronicles, a section at the bottom of every product page telling you exactly where the fibers came from and which of their fair trade factory partners it was made in.

Because of efforts like this, they consistently fall in the top tier of Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Transparency Index.

Green business practices: 

Above all, Patagonia prioritizes the planet, and their many green business initiatives speak volumes to their commitment in saving it. Among these is their work in regenerative farming. They’re actually one of the leaders in creating a soon to launch regenerative farming certification. Stay tuned.

Another cool thing they do is refrain from ever-changing seasonal designs. While they do roll our new garment and styles from time to time, many of their pieces are just improvements on the timeless and beloved ones they’ve been making since the beginning (like most of their Synchilla fleece products).

Between that, their Iron Clad Guarantee of lifetime guarantee of repairs, and their Worn Wear take-back and resale program, they do quite a bit to encourage circular fashion.

Inclusivity: 

Patagonia’s tops are available in XXS-XXL, and many of their pants and shorts in XS-XXL. Select styles of pants, like their jeans, are available in a smaller range (up to 40” for men and 32” for women).

Community & charitable giving: 

Not only is Patagonia the founding member of 1% for the Planet (we’re now proud members of this organisation too!) but they exceed their own standards by donating the greater amount between either 1% of sales or 10% of pre-tax profits. These profits have gone to tons of grassroots movements, environmental groups, and environmental political initiatives.

They also seek to do good by inspiring others to do so too. This includes customers (through Patagonia Action Works which can connect you to local movements) or fellow businesses (through publications like The Responsible Company and CEO Yvon Chouinard’s memoir Let My People Go Surfing). PS: That last one is one of our favorite sustainability books!

Available:  Patagonia


7. DL1961

Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by DL 1961 #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by DL 1961
About DL1961

What’s the deal with DL1961, you ask? Only the fact that they make super sustainable and ethical denim that’s fully size inclusive (or should we say, in-blue-sive?). Whether you want jeans, a denim jacket, or both (Bon-Jovi anyone?) they have many choices for women, men, and even kids.

DL1961 is a family-owned brand based in New York.  While they’ve been making jeans since (you guessed it) 1961, the company is now female-run under CEO Sarah Ahmed.  Fun fact: Sarah’s sister Zahra is the CEO of Warp + Weft, so they’re basically sister brands headed by IRL sisters!

DL1961’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

DL1961 regular and plus size jeans are typically 100% cotton, either certified GOTS/OCS organic, or GRS/RCS recycled. A few of their performance stretch denim options are rather made of Lenzing™ Modal, Tencel, or Refibra Lyocell (and a small % of polyester and Lycra).

They dye their jeans with Dystar 40% VAT indigo blend (their chosen mill is one of just 12 mils to use this byproduct-free dye).

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Pakistan is responsible for a third of the world’s denim production, so it only makes sense that DL1961 trusts their denim to these experts, from farm to factory.  

As a brand, they are “committed to ethical practices, fair wages, reasonable hours, and positive working conditions for all our people”, and thus all entities are safe, non-toxic, and comply with International Social and Environmental & Quality Standards.

Green business practices: 

By using Jeanologia Ozone water-free zero-discharge washing and laser finishing processes, each pair of jeans requires only 10 gallons of water (which of course, they still treat and recycle). By using Jeanologia’s Environmental Impact Measurement (EIM) software, they figured out they saved 892,518,940 gallons of water in 2019.

Water isn’t the only thing they’re conservative about. They also use very little traditional energy through a combination of solar panels, natural lighting, and an onsite heat recovery system generator.

Inclusivity: 

With a range of 23”-34” waists and additional maternity jeans that stretch in the waist, DL’s womens jeans are designed with comfort and inclusivity in mind. Men’s jeans are still available in ample sizes (28”-42” waists, and 30”-34” inseam) but they don’t have true plus size men’s sizes.

Community & charitable giving: 

Any excess textiles and offcuts get donated to FABSCRAP, a New York non-profit textile recycler.

Available:  DL1961


8. EILEEN FISHER

Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Eileen Fisher #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Eileen Fisher
About Eileen Fisher

Certified B-Corp Eileen Fisher has been around since 1984 when its namesake designer “was having trouble getting dressed”.  She wanted a brand that specialized in “simple shapes that make great dressed easy”, which is why you find a huge array of stylishly simple yet classy garments for work and home.

Their line of ethical sustainable plus size clothing is equally elegant and flattering, without all the pinching, binding, and sucking-it-in of form-fitting fashion.

By the way, Eileen started the brand with just $350 in the bank and no sewing experience.  She had four basic designs and took them to The Boutique Show in New York… the rest is history. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we set our minds to task!

Eileen Fisher’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Their vegan plus size clothing options are made of fabrics like organic cotton, organic linen, and Tencel Lyocell and modal sourced from certified responsibly managed forests (ideally by the FSC). Some garments contain regular viscose which we suggest avoiding.

They also have some that are not vegan, with RDS-certified down, LWG-certified leather, chlorine-free boiled wool, and silk.

Recycled materials, too, play a big part in Eileen Fisher’s manufacturing, including velvet and satin made from recycled polyester, recycled nylon for puffers and outerwear, and recycled cashmere sweaters.  

Supply chain & labor practices: 

As a member of the Fair Factories Clearinghouse and Ethical Trading Initiative, Eileen Fisher garments are “Responsible by Design”.  Manufacturing occurs in SA8000-compliant factories in Los Angeles, New York City, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, or China (where they’ve added extra steps to ensure corporate social responsibility). 

In addition to their ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms-based Code of Conduct, they also do unannounced audits every couple years through entities like Verité, Intertek, Fair Working Conditions, TAOS Network, Good World Solutions, and Social Accountability International (which is helping them conduct anonymous cell phone satisfaction surveys with their employees).

All in all, excellent transparency. Have a browse through their website and you’ll find all kinds of neatly organized info on everything from their USA factories, a full list of suppliers, yearly Benefit Corporation reports, and how they ensure human rights are respected throughout.

They even have a staff member dedicated to supply chain traceability (one of the first companies to do so). Megan Meiklejohn tracks all their clothes from field to factory ensuring everything is grown organically and safely dyed using Bluesign certified substances.

Green business practices: 

One of this brand’s biggest green movements is their commitment to Global Fashion Agenda’s 2020 Circular Fashion System, which they tackle on multiple fronts. First, they promote repair and care, rather than waste and replace.  They’ve also taken back 41,100,000 garments since 2009 to be recycled either through their Renew line or through their new Waste No More program, which repurposes garments into new and unusual things like wall hangings and other decorations.

They’ve also partnered with Textile Exchange, the American Sustainable Business Council, the Science Based Targets Initiative (through which they aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement), and more.

EF also uses renewable energy powered stores and a green office building complete with reclaimed lumber, low VOC paints and finishes, and energy saving design. Despite all these great actions, they plan to keep improving.

Inclusivity: 

Eileen Fisher offers different lines to fit different bodies, including petite-specific items and plus-sized items. The plus sized line includes sizes up to 3X. 

Community & charitable giving: 

Eileen Fisher’s actions in the vein of Social Consciousness are impressively extensive. Through the Eileen Fisher Foundation, they do tons of work in women’s empowerment. In particular, they’re passionate about giving women the tools to fight climate change by giving $200,000 worth of Supporting Women in Environmental Justice grants.

They also engage in political policy, volunteer at events like Climate Ride, support initiatives to end modern slavery and donate to TONS of various social and environmental non-profits and NGOs.

Available: Eileen Fisher


9. ALTAR

Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Altar #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Altar
About Altar

Originally founded under a different name by designer Cassie Ridgway in 2010, Altar is a Portland-based retailer that sells apparel, jewelry, and “apothecary” products from a variety of other ethical independent North American businesses. We’re particularly interested in their own Altar Houseline clothing brand, made of all deadstock fabric in sizes up to 6XL.

With a desert-inspired color palette and edgy modern art designs, these dresses and jumpsuits are truly unique. If you’re looking to add a little art deco to your sustainable plus size clothing collection, there’s no better shop.

Of course, everything follows the mission to “uplift community by focusing on handmade story-telling. […] Ethical manufacturing guidelines and sustainable practices take many forms and narratives, and we are always committed to discovering new ways to improve upon both.”

Altar’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

The Altar Houseline uses entirely deadstock fabric, including salvaged, linen, rayon, modal, crepe, and cupro. But since the deadstock is always changing, so are their fabrics.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

All Altar Houseline clothing is made in the USA either in their Portland studio (where they also have a brick-and-mortar store) or in two factories in Los Angeles. They also source their deadstock fabric from the U.S.

Green business practices: 

Altar uses all compostable, biodegradable, and recycled shipping materials, and gives customers the option to purchase carbon credits upon checkout with their Climate Friendly Cart.

They also offer repairs.

Inclusivity: 

To Altar, “diversity is the kelson of artistry. […] We are working towards product sourcing with a focused lens on brands with founders that are BIPOC. We also care deeply about the role of representation of diversity of body types, gender identities, race and cultural identities, in our content.” 

Their sizes run small to 6XL (with the option for additional alterations if needed). Their modeling is also super diverse, both in race and body type.

Inclusivity means more than just size, too, and they even address the financial accessibility of their stuff: “The issue of classism is something we grapple with often. The challenge of manufacturing apparel in the USA with ethical guidelines is that margins are slim and price points are never, ever going to compete with those of major fast-fashion outlets.” To help make theirs more affordable ethical plus size clothing, they use AfterPay so customers may pay via four, interest-free installments.

Available:  Made Trade


10. DAZEY LA

Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Dazey LA #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Dazey LA
About Dazey LA

Dazey LA is a creator and purveyor of:

“Art apparel with a mission to empower women through conversation and community. All of our collections revolve around a subject that modern women struggle with. We provide a tool and space to talk about these tricky topics. Some of these include self care, inclusivity, women’s rights, and navigating our ever increasing digital world.”

All their sustainable t-shirts, swimwear, and activewear are flames from the creative spark of self-taught designer, artist, and CEO Dani. After years of freelancing and working for various big names in the fast fashion industry, Dani decided to forge her own better brand.

Dazey LA’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

The best of Dazey LA’s ethical plus size clothing is certainly their super soft graphic tees, made of 100% certified organic cotton.

They also have swimwear and activewear in their plus offerings, but right now these are made of virgin polyester and Lycra®. Hopefully they’ll use more sustainable fabrics in the near future.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Dani started the company’s path to transparency early on, when she shared videos of her solo making process and entrepreneurial journey. Even today, Dazey LA keeps everything small, local, and transparent, making everything in their own small Los Angeles studio:

“We believe in order to be a company that stands for empowerment that every person that touches our tees should be positively impacted. Our production process is fully ethical and our garment workers are paid a living wage and work in clean safe facilities, something most fashion companies can not claim.”

Green business practices: 

All Dazey garments are handmade right down to the hand-drawn graphics. They also use water-saving wash processes and make everything to-order to avoid any potential deadstock fabric.

Inclusivity: 

Dazey LA believes, “There is only one you in the entire universe and that alone makes you art.” And while their full fabric lineup isn’t totally sustainable, we love the relentlessly positive and inclusive message contained in every bright pattern and graphic logo, like one tee that reads “Same but different, beYOUtiful”

All “Proudly Plus” garments tack on additional 2X+ sizes (some all the way up to 4X!) onto their regular XXS-XL size range. They hope to keep expanding these plus size offerings by dedicating all proceeds from their “Allies of all size” design items and the Dazey x She’s All Fat Podcast toward size expansion.  Dazey writes:

“Being a small company is no excuse, but it does take time and money to offer more styles and sizes so we appreciate your patience as we are working hard on creating more ASAP!”

Community & charitable giving: 

Seeking to support fellow female entrepreneurs, they also sell other ethically made apparel and accessories from female-owned brands in the  Dazey Lady Shop.  To hear the inspirational stories of these boss babes see their Boss Blog.

Available: Dazey LA


11. SOTELA

Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing Image by Sotela #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Sotela
About Sotela

“Our vision is a world where you are celebrated, just as you are,” self-proclaimed radically inclusive fashion brand Sotela writes “inclusivity is a driving force in what we do.”  Not only are Sotela styles available in a wide range of sizes, but each design is specifically crafted with room to grow with your body’s natural fluctuations like bloating and pregnancy.

Founder Hanna founded the brand after an eight month period of hormonal imbalance and bloating led to constant frustration that nothing fitted her. Surely there had to be a better (and more sustainable) solution than replacing one’s entire wardrobe.  

So she made Sotela, a brand “for changing humans” to help you cultivate a positive relationship with your body and clothing. “Life fluctuates. Your clothing doesn’t have to.” While they cost a bit more, you’ll make up for it as these clothes will last you far longer than less forgiving and inexpensive clothing.

Sotela’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Sotela’s materials include a whole host of entirely sustainable fabrics like Tencel, organic cotton and linen, and recycled or surplus hemp and cotton corduroy.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Hannah sources most her fabrics either from Canadian suppliers or, in the case of their Vida collection Tencel, directly from the makers in China (“without sweatshop labor”) so as to get custom-made-to-order dyed batches. She notes, “The reason why our clothing isn’t 100% produced in the US is because the majority of woven fabric is produced overseas.”

After fabric sourcing, everything is made in the USA. Some of their fabrics (like their knits and black modal) are sourced locally in the USA, where everything is 100% made after sourcing. Check out their “Behind the Scenes” blogs to meet some of the makers.

Green business practices: 

The name Sotela, from sew and “tela” (the Spanish word for fabric), isn’t just a homage to Hanna’s cultural roots and first language, but to their by-and-made to order process. Which, by the way, happens completely under one roof in Los Angeles, including designing, cutting, sewing, ironing, and packaging. 

They also use recycled paper for all packaging and marketing materials and minimize wasted fabric by using their offcuts to make zero waste accessories and garment pouches. 

Inclusivity: 

 Sotela never uses the words “small, medium, and large”. Instead, they’ve completely shrugged off the burden of traditional and limiting sizing with the creation of their own unique body-positive sizing

Sotela sizes run 0-10, which encompasses traditional US sizes 0-30. How?  Because each numerical size encompasses 3” (whereas traditional sizes only 1”) so to be forgiving of body changes. They even have shirts designed for breastfeeding babies.

Available:  Sotela


HOW WE CHOSE THESE ETHICAL PLUS SIZE CLOTHING BRANDS

What do we mean when we say “ethical sustainable plus size clothing”?  Understanding the parameters of this topic is the first step to being a more conscious consumer.  

We started our foray into fashion by developing an in-depth sustainable and ethical guide. If you haven’t already read it, please do check it out as it will give you a greater understanding as to why sustainable and ethical fashion is critical. From it, we developed a set of criteria that we now use guide us in selecting the best brands for you:

Materials:

Most of a garment’s impact comes from the material used, so environmentally friendly plus size clothing largely hinges on this one factor. The world of sustainable fabrics is vast and complex (so much so that we wrote an extensive list on it). To summarize briefly:

First, we prioritize natural fibers that have been grown organically (i.e. cotton, linen, and hemp). The organic part is important because traditional cotton is actually one of the dirtiest most water consumptive crops around.

Next we look to semi-synthetic fibers, or those made from plant and tree pulp but processed using solvents in a closed-loop process (i.e. Lyocell and Modal– specifically that made by the Austrian producer Tencel). Be aware that bamboo viscose and rayon technically fall into this category but these fabrics are often processed using harsh chemicals in a non-closed-loop manner so avoid them.

Third we look at recycled synthetics made either from other synthetic garments or from plastic waste (i.e. rPET, eco fleece, and Econyl). Just be sure to use a Guppyfriend wash bag because even recycled synthetics will still lead to microplastic pollution every time you wash them.

While we definitely prefer vegan plus size clothing, animal-based fibers (like merino wool) can be done ethically in our opinion but we must scrutinize the sourcing and look for those certified by the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) or ZQ Merino. In general, we avoid leather unless it’s recycled, upcycled or vegetable tanned, and of course the animals are not raised for the purpose of making leather, it must only ever be a by-product that would otherwise be wasted.

Supply chain & labor practices:

This refers to actually manufacturing practices insofar as they relate to social and human rights issues (like safe work environments and fair wages). The more transparent a company is about where they get their materials and where they manufacture, the better.  Still, even some so-called transparent companies can skew the facts to make themselves seem more ethical than they are (a process called greenwashing) so third party audits and certifications play an important role here:

  • B-Corp: Gold standard certification that assesses 80 “impact areas” both socially and environmentally across a brand’s whole supply chain… every single year!  Having this certification ensures all-around ethical practices. B-Corp also publishes each brand’s exact scores.
  • Fair trade: Fair trade is sort of a lump term to refer to a certification bestowed by many possible entities.  Regardless of certifying body, the principles are the same: safe working conditions, fair pay that actually constitutes a living wage, proper training, reasonable work hours, no child or forced labor, and protection against discrimination, harassment, and abuse.
  • OEKO-Tex 100: Ensures no harmful chemicals (i.e., colorants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, azo-dyes) are used in manufacturing. This is good for sustainability as well as ethically because workers aren’t in constant contact with toxins.
  • Others: Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), Business for Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), International Labour Organization (ILO), Global Social Compliance Programme’s (GSCP), Social Accountability International (SA8000), and Fair Wear Foundation.

Green business practices:

This refers to any practices that reduce a brand’s environmental impact.  All fashion is going to have some impact on the world, but it can be mitigated through regenerative farming, recycling materials, reducing textile waste, offering garment take-back programs, carbon offsetting, renewable energy, and biodegradable packaging.

Inclusivity:

We always factor inclusivity into our assessment of a brand, but for this list, we of course made this one a priority. What exactly constitutes plus sizes? Typically, plus size starts at 1X, US 18, or 36” in the waist. We looked for brands that not only had items in these sizes, but had a good selection of different items in them.

Beyond straight up sizing, inclusivity also refers to the image a brand promotes. Do they use only size 0 models to show off their stuff? Or do they actually use a variety of body types?  Brands that aren’t afraid to use plus size models are so important for breaking down the body negativity cultivated by the fashion industry.

Community & charitable giving:

We really like to see brands benefiting outside themselves (and their impact on the planet and their workers).  Basically, we look for brands that give back to the greater community in some way, either through donating money, volunteering, raising awareness of issues, or cultivating an empowered community that cares.


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ETHICAL SUSTAINABLE PLUS SIZE CLOTHING

For all you curvy chicks and DD divas, we hope this list helps you find brands that will make you feel like the beautiful babe you are (regardless of what mainstream fashion leads us to believe). 

And while we believe clothing itself should be made larger, our closets as a whole shouldn’t be (no matter your size). The best way to be a sustainable fashionista is to only buy a new number when you need it. 

Otherwise, try something used. Online thrift stores make shopping for plus size options a breeze, or even online clothing rental companies, especially if it’s for a special event. 

While many of these options ship globally, they’re all ethical plus size clothing USA brands. If you live outside the US and know of a local plus size clothing brand that deserves to make the cut, let us know in the comments.


Body-Positive Brands for Sustainable and Ethical Plus Size Clothing #ethicalplussizeclothing #sustainableplussizeclothing #sustainablejungle

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