40+ Sustainable Clothing Brands: The Ethical Fashion Masterlist
The world of fashion has seen some serious faux pas, but none greater than the trend of fast fashion.
It’s unsustainable, unethical, and frankly, plain ugly.
Which is exactly why we’re supporting brands that are out to change the status quo. The tricky bit though is finding truly ethical and sustainable clothing brands.
But that’s why we’re here!
We’ve done all the dressy digging and style sniffing for you. After spending loads of time researching, emailing, confirming policies and finding out exactly what makes fashion sustainable and ethical (jump to the bottom of the article for more on this moving feast) we now present the Masterlist of the best sustainable clothing brands.
Remember to use this list as a resource only when you need to buy a new fashion item and want to do so sustainably.
First, try to get creative with what you already have and failing that (you can only shorten your jeans so much!) see if you can find something pre-loved. Online thrift stores make buying used easier than ever.
When you do finally opt to replace an old garment with something new, make you sure you dispose of it responsibly, either via composting (if it’s fully compostable) or through textile recycling services.
Oh, and don’t forget to use a Guppy Friend Bag to wash all your synthetic garments (recycled or not) to prevent microplastics from getting into the waterways!
Without further a-shoe, let’s cut to the base layers and talk about some of the top sustainable clothing brands.
*This post contains affilate links
QUICK LINKS FOR SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING BRANDS
SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING BRANDS IN THE USA / CANADA
Materials: Range of innovative sustainable materials (including organic, natural fabrics and recycled synthetics).
Supply chain & labor practices: Fair trade certified and a strong focus on transparency via The Footprint Chronicles.
Why we love them: Leader in the sustainable fashion movement. Founding member of 1% for the Planet.
Materials: Mostly 100% Fair Trade organic cotton but some designs have added spandex.
Supply chain & labor practices: Manufactured in Fair Trade certified factories in India near fabric sources to reduce transportation emissions.
Why we love them: Affordable fast fashion alternative. Use water and energy-saving production methods and encourage circular fashion through their clothing recycling and donation program.
Materials: Natural fibers and certified responsibly sourced animal-based materials like down and wool. Synthetic fibers almost always recycled, including Econyl and recycled polyester.
Supply chain & labor practices: Excellent transparency and sewn in Fair Trade Certified factories in Peru, Mexico, and China.
Why we love them: Durable, outdoor-ready designs. Bluesign certified.
4. SYNERGY ORGANIC CLOTHING
Materials: GOTS-certified organic cotton. Some recycled polyester, TENCEL Modal, or spandex. Dyed with low-impact non-toxic dyes.
Supply chain & labor practices: Produced in one of two factories, one Fair Trade certified, the other uncertified but fair trade principles.
Available: Synergy Organic Clothing
5. AZURA BAY
Materials: Sells only pieces made of sustainable fabrics like GOTS-certified organic cotton, TENCEL Lyocell, recycled synthetic or vintage deadstock.
Supply chain & labor practices: All brands made in either Fair Trade certified factories or low labor abuse risk countries like the US, UK, and Canada.
Why we love them: Plus-sized inclusivity. Donates to environmental and female empowerment organizations.
Product range: Best sustainable clothing retailer selling lingerie, swimwear, and loungewear.
Available: Azura Bay
6. THREADS 4 THOUGHT
Materials: Organic cotton, recycled polyester, Lenzing Modal and a few sparse synthetics for stretch.
Supply chain & labor practices: Fair Trade and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certified factories.
Why we love them: Utilizes waste reducing manufacturing techniques. Offers inclusive XS to XXL sizes. Donates a percentage of every sale.
Available: Threads 4 Thought
Materials: High percentages of organic cotton, hemp, TENCEL, and REPREVE® recycled polyester.
Supply chain & labor practices: Transparent website with a full Factory Ledger and relevant industry certifications. Suppliers and factories held to an ethical Code of Conduct.
Why we love them: B-Corp. Plants TEN TREES for every product sold in areas of damaged biodiversity.
Materials: Look out for organic cotton, hemp, recycled polyester, TENCEL modal, cruelty-free merino wool, and RDS-certified down.
Supply chain & labor practices: Can filter for Fair Trade products. Member of the Textile Exchange
Why we love them: An official bluesign® partner. Donates to youth outreach programs.
Materials: 100% handpicked Giza cotton, the finest of all Egyptian cotton
Supply chain & labor practices: Purchase cotton from family farms “direct trade” at set prices so farmers aren’t affected by market fluctuations. Third-party audits for all farms and factories.
Why we love them: Certified B-Corp. Donates a portion of each sale to stop the cycle of child labor.
10. THE CLASSIC T-SHIRT COMPANY
Materials: 100% ringspun and pre-shrunk GOTS-organic cotton, Azo-free dyes.
Supply chain & labor practices: Made in the USA. Committed to fair trade principles and cost transparency.
Why we love them: Timeless, flattering cuts and solid colors designed to never go out of style. Recycled plastic-free packaging only.
Product range: Best organic sustainable clothing brand for USA made basic short and long sleeve T shirts.
Available: The Classic T-Shirt Company
11. PASSION LILIE
Materials: GOTS-certified organic, non-GMO cotton
Supply chain & labor practices: World Fair Trade Organization certified family factories in India. Provides all workers with fair wages, health care, and loan opportunities.
Why we love them: Hold memberships to the Fair Trade Federation and Ethical Fashion Forum Fellowship 500.
Available: Passion Lilie
Materials: ZQ Merino wool for all wool shoes and FSC-certified eucalyptus-derived TENCEL Lyocell for the “tree” shoes. Other materials listed here.
Supply chain & labor practices: Provide full supply chain and sourcing transparency. Final assembly in WRAP-certified factories.
13. UNITED BY BLUE
Materials: Natural fibers, TENCEL, cruelty-free wools, and recycled polyesters, some virgin synthetics. Vegetable dyes.
Supply chain & labor practices: Seven GOTS, OCS, and/or Fair Trade-certified factories in Turkey, China, Vietnam, and the USA.
Why we love them: Certified B-Corp Donates to and organizes ocean cleanups
Available: United By Blue
Materials: Indosole turns #TiresToSoles combined with low-water vegan leather and plastic-free “ENVRO” fiber.
Supply chain & labor practices: Limits the majority of their supply chain to Indonesia. All entities audited yearly for social and environmental impact.
Why we love them: Certified B-Corp that gives back by organizing charity events and donating shoes.
Product range: Best eco friendly footwear brand for recycled flip flops.
Materials: Natural fibers (organic linen and cotton) and other responsibly sourced fibers. Some recycled synthetics and less sustainable fabrics (e.g. virgin elastane and nylon).
Supply chain & labor practices: Interactive map of all factories. Audit their factories yearly.
Why we love them: Inclusive sizes and body-type specific styles for a true-fit. Yearly giving campaigns to environmental charities.
Materials: Organically certified/FSC-certified natural fibers or recycled synthetics/animal fibers. Many are Bluesign Approved
Supply chain & labor practices: Openly disclose all their sourcing locations. Regularly audited long term partners.
Why we love them: Committed to “make clothing that lasts” and super versatile whether your jungle is real or concrete.
Product range: Best sustainable women and men’s clothing brand for outerwear, hoodies, work shirts, casual bottoms, and loungewear.
17. AMOUR VERT
Materials: Natural or cellulosic fibers like FSC-certified TENCEL Modal and Lyocell, organic cotton, Cupro, hemp, and merino wool. Recycled polyester and some virgin spandex.
Supply chain & labor practices: Made in San Francisco. 97% of garments are manufactured across six San Fran factories.
Why we love them: Have planted over 300,000 trees through their Tees = Trees giving campaign.
Available: Amour Vert
18. GROCERIES APPAREL
Materials: Natural, organic fibers (GOTS cotton, Lyocell, and hemp). Recycled plastics and Caba-free Spandex.
Supply chain & labor practices: Manufactured in their own California factory where they pay wages above California’s already high minimum wage.
Why we love them: They “are here to create a demand for our values and would rather go out of business than compromise.”
Available: Groceries Apparel
19. LA RELAXED
Materials: Non-GMO organic cotton, linen, hemp, Lyocell, and Modal, occasionally blended with small amounts of spandex.
Supply chain & labor practices: Prioritizes local vendors and keeps almost all their supply chain in the US.
Why we love them: Three words: Oprah-approved jumpsuits. They also donate clothing to local homeless youth.
Available: LA Relaxed
20. MATE THE LABEL
Materials: GOTS organic cotton, TENCEL, hemp, and flax. Low impact dyes only.
Supply chain & labor practices: Source cotton from Maharashtra, India, but the rest of the supply chain is “v localized” in Los Angeles all within a 10-mile radius.
Why we love them: Female founded and run company.
Product range: Best vegan women’s essentials clothing brand for graphic and essential T shirts and other loungewear.
Materials: Recycled wine corks, Bloom Algae Foam and/or post-industrial recycled EVA, recycled PU or chrome-free leather.
Supply chain & labor practices: Source all cork through ReCORK (which they founded). Manufacture in China with “partners we consider to have high levels of environmental and social integrity.”
Why we love them: Purchase carbon offsets. 1% for the Planet member and founder of Brands for Better give-back network.
Product range: Best eco-friendly footwear brand for flip flops and sandals
22. MATA TRADERS
Materials: 100% cotton, though some styles contain rayon (to be avoided if possible).
Supply chain & labor practices: Long-time member of the Fair Trade Federation. Partner with artisan co-ops in India and Nepal.
Why we love them: Gold-status Green America Certified Business.Top-notch inclusivity with sizes from US 0-24.
Available: Mata Traders
Materials: Working to eliminate things like spandex, viscose, and rayon in favor of more sustainable fabrics.
Supply chain & labor practices: Manufactures over 65% of garments in their own 32 Los Angeles factories. Regularly audits all other factories.
Why we love them: Carbon neutral by maximizing green practices, incentivizing customers to switch to wind energy, and much more.
Materials: GOTS-certified natural (cotton, hemp, linen, and silk), cellulosic (TENCEL Modal and cupro), and Global Recycle Standard certified regenerated.
Supply chain & labor practices: Manufacture in NEST-certified (similar to Fair Trade standards) factories in India and Vietnam.
Why we love them: Take back clothing recycling program (one of many reasons their name is short for “A Mindful Use of Resources”).
Product range: Best sustainable high end clothing brand for women’s dresses and skirts, jumpsuits, and fancy tops.
25. SHERPA ADVENTURE GEAR
Materials: Recycled synthetics and natural fibers like organic cotton and Modal. 39% OEKO-tex-100 approved and 28% bluesign® approved.
Supply chain & labor practices: Over half of the products are made in Nepal, either through socially compliant factories or work-from-home co-ops.
Why we love them: Provide scholarships to Nepalese children through the Sherpa Adventure Gear Fund.
Product range: Best eco friendly outdoor clothing brand for womens and mens outerwear, hiking wear, hats and backpacks.
Available: Sherpa Adventure Gear
SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING BRANDS IN THE UK / EUROPE
26. ORGANIC BASICS
Materials: 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, recycled nylon, TENCEL, and sustainably sourced silver.
Supply chain & labor practices: BSCI-compliant and Sedex membership. Personally visit their factories.
Why we love them: 1% for the Planet member that provides grants to grassroots activists. Carbon-neutral global shipping.
Available: Organic Basics
27. PEOPLE TREE
Materials: Organic cruelty-free merino wool, organic cotton, and TENCEL™ Lyocell. All dyes are GOTS-certified and azo-free.
Supply chain & labor practices: Fair Trade certifications for 90% of their factories and work-from-home co-op seamstresses. Proof of social responsibility in a yearly Review.
Why we love them: First ever Fair Trade certified fashion brand
Available: People Tree
Materials: Organic cotton, hemp, and wool and some recycled synthetics. Bamboo viscose and rayon (which we’d avoid)
Supply chain & labor practices: Published supplier code of conduct. Manufacture and source fabrics from China (though minimal details on these entities).
Why we love them: Founders of the fashion impact initiative Common Objective also holds them to fair trade equivalent supply chain standards.
Materials: GOTS organic cotton or Post-Consumer Recycled Denim. Recycled PET, Tencel, hemp, and linen.
Supply chain & labor practices: Major suppliers hold ethical certifications based on audits, including BSCI and Fair Wear Foundation (FWF).
Materials: Organic cotton, TENCEL Lyocell, wool or silk. GRS and Recycled Content Standard (RCS) certified recycled synthetics. Small blends of virgin elastase.
Why we love them: Encourage circular fashion through in-store repair, garment recycling program, and fashion rental service.
31. KNOWLEDGECOTTON APPAREL
Materials: Organic cotton, organic linen, Tencel, and cruelty-free ZQ Merino wool. GRS certified recycled polyester and faux leather microfiber.
Supply chain & labor practices: Member of the Textile Exchange. Suppliers certified by third-party organizations and held to their own ILO-based Code of Conduct.
Why we love them: Working toward 100% carbon neutrality. Super inclusive sizes.
Available: KnowledgeCotton Apparel
Materials: Merino wool, cotton, organic cotton, cashmere, and linen. Recycled synthetics and PET bottles. Transparency on unsustainable fabrics
Why we love them: Don’t offer permanent, non-seasonal collections. Inclusive size range.
33. PICTURE ORGANIC
Materials: Recycled plastic bottles, tires blended with Limestone. Water-based glues and laminates only.
Supply chain & labor practices: Fair Wear Foundation certified. Partnered with Agence Innovation Responsable (AIR)
Why we love them: Certified B-Corp. Partners with eco-positive NGOs like the World Wildlife Fund
Product range: Best for men’s and women’s surf and swimwear, and ski and snowboard wear.
Materials: Recycled tires, plastic bottles, and discarded nylon fishing nets. Pinatex and sorona, a corn-starch based biopolymer.
Supply chain & labor practices: BSCI or SA8000 certified factories located in Europe. Suppliers either Bluesign® certification or OEKO-Tex 100 certified
Materials: Certified Fairtrade organic cotton, coconut fiber, FSC-certified natural rubber and latex milk adhesive.
Supply chain & labor practices: Manufacture in a FLO-CERT audited Fair Trade factory in Pakistan.
Why we love them: Offer a subsidized sneaker repair program for German customers. Ship globally but only by sea freight
Materials: GOTS-certified organic cotton, banana fabric, TENCEL lyocell, and milk fiber (a dairy industry byproduct). Most polyester, elastane, and Q-NOVA nylon synthetics are GRS-approved recycled
Supply chain & labor practices: Fair Wear Foundation licensed
Why we love them: Body positive brand image. Eco-friendly packaging and biodegradable shipping materials.
Materials: ECONYL (FIRST swimwear company to use this) and recycled stretch fabrics sourced through their garment take-back program.
Supply chain & labor practices: Manufacture locally in the UK or just across the pond in Spain in safe and ethical factories.
Why we love them: Currently the world’s only not-for-profit swimwear company
Materials: Recycled rubber outsole. Upcycled cork, jute, salvaged cotton strap, and a select few with non-biodegradable EVA.
Supply chain & labor practices: Manufacture in China but do so because of the large amount of landfill-bound rubber produced there. Frequently visit their factories.
Why we love them: Sell “1000-miler” flip flops tested for durability and terrain resiliency.
Product range: Best for boat shoes, sandals, and flip flops.
SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING BRANDS IN THE REST OF THE WORLD
39. ASHA ELEVEN
Materials: “100% natural or are recycled / up-cycled”. Custom dyeing is done with digital printing
Supply chain & labor practices: Work with small production houses who have a positive company culture and provide fair working conditions. Support traditional hand craftsmanship in disadvantaged communities
Why we love them: We were lucky enough to speak directly with the founder, Olivia Kennaway! She shares inspiring stories about the people behind the brand.
Product range: Best for swimwear, dresses, knitwear, handbags, sandals and upcycled homewares.
40. SOLE REBELS
Materials: Recycled car tires, organic cotton, KOBA plant fiber, jute, and (for non-vegan shoes) naturally tanned Abyssinian Pure leather
Supply chain & labor practices: Fair Trade since founding. Entire supply chain is localized in Ethiopia to create gainful employment opportunities.
Why we love them: Use entirely hand manufacturing techniques like weaving on cotton on traditional Eucalyptus looms.
41. NO NASTIES
Materials: 100% GOTS-organic, non-GMO, and fair trade cotton only.
Why we love them: Transparent website with production videos, individual product impact assessments, and an impact report.
Materials: GOTS certified organic cotton,FSC-certified natural rubber soles. Non-toxic dyes and water based glues.
Supply chain & labor practices: Fair Trade certified and opt into a voluntary Fairtrade Premium program
Why we love them: Certified B-Corp, Australia Fashion Reports A+ ethical production rating.
Materials: Recycled nylon 6 and elastane, dyed with OTS certified dyes. Oeko-Tex 100 and Clear to Wear approved.
Supply chain & labor practices: Handmade manufacturing in a single factory in Guangzhou, China. Seamstresses paid significantly over minimum wage.
Why we love them: Body positive branding and inclusive models.
Product range: Best for women’s swimwear. Specifically sell super flattering and versatile reversible wrap swimsuits.
HOW WE CHOSE THESE SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING DESIGNERS
The fashion industry is massive. We’re talking utterly mind-boggling in scale. How else could it be one of the dirtiest? So even despite the influx of sustainable and ethical clothing brands hitting the racks over the last decade, there’s still a whole heap of harmful ones to sort through.
We’ve spent a lot of time doing just that while writing our specific fashion guides.
Not to mention pouring our hemp-cloth hearts and style-savvy souls into making this comprehensive guide to sustainable and ethical fashion, from which we developed a set of criteria that we now use to determine the most sustainable clothing brands.
Materials: This is the most important factor because it’s where the majority of a garment’s impact comes from (from the impact of raw material sourcing all the way to end-of-life outlook).
Essentially, we look for natural organically-grown fibers (e.g. organic cotton, hemp and wool), closed-loop plant cellulose fibers (e.g. lyocell and modal), and recycled synthetics (e.g. some fleece, faux leathers and swimwear fabrics), while avoiding unsustainable materials like chemically-tanned leather (or really most leather if we can help it), virgin synthetics, and chemically plasticised bamboo viscose and rayon.
Even once we discount those, there are TONS of possible sustainable materials out there, with new innovative ones popping up on the daily.
And because this is a comprehensive fashion and footwear brand guide, we couldn’t possibly touch on all these materials here. For that, we again highly recommend you checking our guide on sustainable fabrics.
Each of our specific brand guides also features a detailed description of sustainable materials for that particular type of garment at the bottom.
Supply chain & labor practices: Materials largely deal with environmental impact, while this criteria deals with social responsibility and how a brand treats its workers. This refers to ALL workers involved in the manufacturing of a garment, from raw material farmers to those putting on the final sale tags (in other words, the supply chain).
We look for brands that can provide traceability for all raw materials as well as transparency about their factories, including areas that may need improvement. We understand not every brand is 100% perfect, but it’s the honesty and willingness to improve that we really value.
One thing we use to establish whether brands are paying their workers fairly and maintaining safe work environments is by looking for one of a number of third party certifications to prevent greenwashing. Again, there are tons out there, but here are some of the most common:
B-Corp: The gold standard and quite hard to achieve, but you’ll notice a good handful of brands on this list have managed. Using third-party audits conducted yearly on ALL supply chain entities, brands are assessed on 80 “impact areas” and given numerical scores reflecting the results (which are all public record on the B-Corp website)
Fair trade: Another important one and can apply to either a brand as a whole or just individual suppliers/factories used. It means the material or garment was made fairly (imagine that!). More specifically, it means the laborers receive fair pay, proper training, reasonable work hours, safe work environments, and protection against discrimination, harassment, abuse, and child/forced labor.
OEKO-Tex 100: A non-toxic certification that means no harmful chemicals (i.e., colorants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, azo-dyes) were used in manufacturing a garment (which also means the workers weren’t exposed to them!). REACH is another similar certification under this umbrella used in the EU.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): Means a fiber was grown and processed “seed to shelf” without the use of chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, machine harvesting, bleaches, or chemical plasticizers. .
Global Recycle Standard (GRS): Applied to recycled fabrics, either synthetic or natural, and ensures a certain percentage of the final fiber is actually recycled. Otherwise, a brand could claim a garment with just 1% recycled material is “partially recycled” without technically lying.
Some other reputable certifications: Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), Business for Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), Social Accountability International (SA8000), and Fair Wear Foundation.
Green business practices: A catch-all for any other cool or interesting green initiatives a brand has going, such as garment recycling programs, limiting to reusing textile waste, carbon offsetting, using renewable energy, having Green certified offices, using closed-loop and/or manual manufacturing techniques, and low waste/plastic-free packaging.
Inclusivity: Fashion as a whole tends to be a little less than body-positive. So it’s super important to us for brands to turn this negativity and body shaming on its head by offering inclusive sizes, marketing to real women (not just airbrushed Barbie Doll models), and ensuring their image is welcoming to all cultures, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.
Community & charitable giving: The most sustainable clothing brands are those that strive for a more sustainable world by giving back. This can mean a lot of things, like donating money or clothes, volunteering, being a member of 1% for the Planet, organizing charitable events, or just using their voice to bring awareness to pressing issues.
We know that sounds like a lot, so until applying these principles becomes second nature to you (as it now is for us), we want to be here to help in whatever way we can. Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ETHICAL CLOTHING BRANDS
We’d like to take a quick moment to say how thrilled we are with how this list turned out. There are so many wonderful, sustainable brands that are changing the garment game! It’s so inspiring to see! We hope you’re as uplifted by it as we are.
And what’s even more exciting? There are likely more brands out there that deserve a spot here, too, so if you know of any, reach out to us on the comments below. We always love to get the skinny on new sustainable styles (metaphorically speaking, of course, since size inclusivity is one of our criteria!).
If you found this list as helpful as we hope, give it a quick share on your socials and help us spread the good word on green garments. It’s great that brands like these exist, but that only means so much if we don’t support their efforts to revolutionize the entire fashion industry.