For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by Amour Vert #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle
Image by Amour Vert
For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by Nadaam #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle
Image by Nadaam
For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by Organic Basics #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle
Image by Organic Basics

9 Sustainable & Fair Trade Scarves for Wrapping Up

*This post contains affilate links


For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. An ethically made fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. From sealing off the elements, to protecting our planet, too. 

As temperatures begin to drop, we’ve been digging out our winter coats and boots. So, in the continuation of our sustainable fashion exploration for all seasons, we’re setting our sights on sustainable scarves

Head to the fringe to see how we chose these brands, or wrap it up before that cold front hits with a few of our faves:

We’d let Organic Basics protect out neck in their recycled cashmere scarves any day. Ocelot Market has an impressive selection from a variety of fair trade businesses. We’re also sort of obsessed with Passion Lilie’s soft fair trade scarves, especially considering their transparent supply chain.

1. OCELOT MARKET

For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by Ocelot Market #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle
Image by Ocelot Market
About Ocelot Market

What’s warmer than an ocelot in winter? YOU, in a cozy fair trade scarf made by Ocelot Market! Okay, well the scarves aren’t made by Ocelot Market per se.

But they are handmade by a select group of independent artisans and small brands which Ocelot sells on their platform, along with other ethically made clothes, rugs, shoes, homewares and jewelry. For sheer variety of ethical online shopping options, few sites are better.

With scarves and shawls available from several makers (from thick to thin), you’ll have fall and winter well covered.

Ocelot Market’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

The cream of the Ocelot crop as far as sustainable scarves go are those by Slate + Salt, who sell four scarves made of: organic cotton (the most sustainable option), one of 100% Hand Loomed Himalayan Cashmere (but since we don’t know the exact sheep raising practices, we recommend avoiding this one), and two of baby alpaca (which is cashmere’s more eco friendly cousin), polyamide, and merino wool.

While the polyamide version is not completely natural, it does add durability so should last you many winters.

Another brand selling scarves via Ocelot is New Market Goods, whose Dhusara Shawl is made of handwoven  cotton chambray.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Ocelot Market represents nearly 100 brands (so a lot of supply chains to consider!), though you’ll only find six of them currently on the scarf page. While not all are fair trade certified, OM only works with those who provide some sort of ethical manufacturing assurance, so you know the weavers of your scarf were treated and paid well.

New Market Goods, for instance, partners with Dhaka, Bangladesh’s Deshal community of weavers and puts a percentage of profits back into funds to help improve the makers’ lives.

All three scarf brands we’ve mentioned above use traditional looms. Zig Zag manufactures in Nepal, New Market Goods in Bangladesh, and Slate + Salt in either Peru or Nepal.

Green business practices: 

Supporting small brands and artisans on their platform prevents mass production, one of the principal issues with fast fashion. Beyond that, Ocelot also has a Made-to-Order collection to eliminate potential deadstock. The Advait digitally printed silk Galaxy scarf is one such item.

Community & charitable giving: 

 99% of profits go directly toward sustaining their business models (and thus giving steady income to their artisan partners) and they donate a tree for all purchases.

Available:  Ocelot Market

2. ORGANIC BASICS

Image by Organic Basics
About Organic Basics

This Danish company got its footing in the world of sustainable fashion with men’s undies. Now, Organic Basics takes care of what’s underneath our clothes as well as what’s on top. How? By combining the world’s best materials with transparent and superior ethical practices. 

Part of the proof is in their Certified B Corp status. 

As your one-stop-shop for everything head to toe—literally from socks to scarves—you can fill your ethical wardrobe with simple pieces from Organic Basics. To keep you toasty on those cold winter walks to work, check out their range of men’s and women’s cashmere scarves, gloves and hats to match. 

Organic Basics’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Organic Basics’ classic and conscious scarves are made with recycled cashmere: that’s it. As ethical knit scarves go, these really can’t be beaten since they utilize post-consumer recycled material that would otherwise go to landfill. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Organic Basics is anything but basic when it comes to their commitment to ethically made products. They support better working conditions, living wages, and freely chosen employment, meaning no child labor whatsoever. 

They’ve got the certifications to back up their claims, and are compliant with both GOTS and SA8000 standards. Want even more transparency? You can virtually check out their factories to see how many employees they’re working with and how they’re being treated. 

Green business practices: 

Let’s start with the fact that free carbon neutral shipping is included with every purchase. They also only use Class A and B fibers (those that are low-impact, renewable, recycled, and/or biodegradable). 

While plenty of brands do that, few are allowing users to shop sustainably on a low-impact website that requires 70% less electricity for data transfer. Take a look at their Impact Report to see more ways they impress us.

Community & charitable giving: 

Through biannual grants, the Organic Basics Fund supports a range of European environmental organizations. In the past, these have included organizations fighting for communities in the Amazon and creating habitats for pollinators.

Available:  Organic Basics

3. COYUCHI

For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by Coyuchi #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle
Image by Coyuchi
About Coyuchi

Coyuchi steps off the beaten path of the conventional fashion industry to bring sustainability to our homes and hearts. 

Their manifesto says it all:“Unearth your own values from the avalanche of others. Carve your own definitions from widely held schools of thought. Discover how your life isn’t singular, but impacts your loved ones, community, the Earth.”

This thoughtful ethos is seen in all their products, from ethical pajamas to eco friendly bedding. And that’s just in the house!

For the outside, Coyuchi keeps it simple with one scarf (perhaps a good reminder that just one scarf is all we need). Their chunky Climate Beneficial scarf is perfect for men or women especially when the mercury drops… and the name says it all.

Coyuchi’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

This naturally beautifully and insulating ethical wool scarf is made with Climate Beneficial wool that comes from a ranch in Northern California. “Climate Beneficial” means that the ranch uses carbon farming practices as a sustainable way to capture more carbon than it releases.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Aside from Coyuchi’s sheep’s wool scarf and gloves, the rest of their product range is made with 100% GOTS and Fair Trade certified organic cotton, which ensures fair wages and safe working conditions. Their cotton sourcing partner is the Chetna Coalition, which is a supply chain organization that promotes and supports sustainable farming communities in India. 

Their Climate Beneficial products come from either Stemple Creek Ranch or The Jensen Ranch. These farms use conservation tillage, strategic grazing, and a range of other practices that enhance the soil’s ability to capture carbon, from their livestock and beyond.

Green business practices: 

Big green thumbs here: Coyuchi never uses synthetic materials, ensures everything is toxin-free, and recycles 98% of their manufacturing waste water. 

They also have a 2nd Home Take Back program where you can send back your old Coyuchi linens to receive a discount on a future order. So far, they’ve recycled 84,694 pounds of used linens, 83% of which has been resold. Alternatively, you can rent bedding and towels indefinitely through the Coyuchi for Life program.

While they still work with polybags, they’re made with recycled pre-consumer waste. They are aiming to be completely plastic-free by 2022. The boxes, at least, are FSC-certified and their sheets come in organic cotton bags.

Community & charitable giving: 

Coyuchi is a member of 1% of the Planet, and through it, they support the soil positive organization Fibershed. Beyond that, they’ve partnered with White Buffalo Land, an organization that focuses on carbon-neutral farming to combat climate change.

Available:  Coyuchi

4. TENTREE

For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by Tentree #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle
Image by Tentree
About Tentree

There are definitely more than ten reasons why Tentree is one of our favorite sustainable clothing brands. They use some of the most sustainable fabrics, have a transparent supply chain, and are one of the highest-rated Certified B-Corps. 

Then there’s the tiny added bonus for each product sold, that they plant, not one, not two, but …ten trees! 

We like their outdoor-targeted activewear as much as their indoor loungewear. Being a Canadian company, we can also trust they know a thing or two about cold weather wear. 

Just looking at their warm and sustainable scarves has us looking forward to winter…Okay maybe not, but they’ve at least got us as close as we’re going to get.

Tentree’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Their current scarf collection is made with arguably the most sustainable material on the planet: 100% organic cotton.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Routine audits and a strict Code of Conduct help to ensure Tentree’s ethical supply chain. They cover all the basics (no harassment, no child labor, no discriminiation) and go beyond to ensure that their suppliers protect the environment, support better human conditions, and provide a safe and healthy environment for their workers. 

If you’re curious about these specific partners, take a look at their factory ledger. You’ll see specific conditions as well as what certifications apply to each (i.e. WRAP, BSCI, SA800, Fair Trade, and Fair Wear Foundation).

Green business practices: 

Tentree was started by environmentalists and they have some lofty goals. By 2030, they hope to plant one billion trees; currently they’re just under 50 million.

They encourage everyone to do what they can to make a difference, which is why they keep prices affordable so that more people can buy one, plant ten. 

Their positive impact continues. Working with an environmental group, GreenStep, Tentree calculates their environmental impact (water, waste, and carbon emissions) of each garment which allows them to make continual improvements.

Community & charitable giving: 

Helping them accomplish their tree planting goals, Tentree partners with organizations like One Tree Planted, Trees for the Future, and Eden Projects. 

Tentree chooses fast growing trees and planting locations based on those in need of soil and biodiversity reparation. See here for the various locations in which they plant and to register your trees so you can actually track the impact of your specific purchase. They’ll even send coordinates upon request. How cool is that!?

Available: Tentree

5. PASSION LILIE

For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by Passion Lilie #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle
Image by Passion Lilie
About Passion Lilie

As their name might suggest, Passion Lilie is passionate about—sustainable clothing and fair conditions for the Indian artisans they partner with. 

In addition to t-shirts, dresses, and facemasks, Passion Lilie can take care of all your winter needs. They’ve got a range of sustainable winter coats and a gorgeous selection of unisex fair trade scarves, which being a little lighter are perfect for those frigid fall gusts.

Passion Lilie’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Let’s start out with their fair trade cotton scarves, made with (you guessed it) fair trade organic cotton. In fact, cotton (albeit not always organic) is the only material found in any of their several handwoven scarves. 

Most have been dyed using an ancient Indian ikat dyeing process and others are printed by hand with a block stamp. Regardless, you’ll only find eco dyes here.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

With every product on Passion Lilie’s site, you can see where it was made. All of their partner artisans receive fair wages and a positive working environment, but you can look further to see the individual families or people who are responsible for Passion Lilie’s beautiful creations.

In addition, you can take a look at the additional benefits that go above and beyond fair wages. For instance, most artisans receive retirement payments, double pay for overtime, and health care. 

Green business practices: 

Passion Lilie is a Green America Certified Business that uses traditional hand manufacturing practices to keep their impact down. For instance, they rinse their naturally-dyed products in the river (to reduce water consumption) before letting them dry in the sun (to reduce energy consumption).

Community & charitable giving: 

Over the years, the number of artisans employed by Passion Lilie has increased. Because of this, more people have benefitted from meaningful employment. They also provide additional skills training opportunities to other people in the community, particularly women.

Available:  Passion Lilie

6. SYNERGY

For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by Synergy #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle
Image by Synergy
About Synergy

Here’s another Certified B Corp to add to the list of best sustainable clothing brands

California-based company, Synergy shares the energy consumption (and more) of each of their garments so that customers know the true impact of their purchases. 

Since 2020 is the year of covering up—and between facemasks and scarves—Synergy has you covered. In addition to their range of organic activewear, dresses, tops, and pants, they’ve also got a versatile pashmina scarf that can be worn in a variety of ways. 

It’s even large enough to double as a shawl. 

Synergy’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Synergy’s has one scarf, but it looks like one of the most comfortable sustainable scarves we’ve covered. It’s made with 100% Pashmina wool, and is free of any dyes. 

Pashmina, for those of us not savvy on wool, is almost identical to cashmere, except that it comes from the pashmina goat. In Synergy’s case, their cashmere and pashmina wools come from Nepal. Working with local shepherds allows Synergy to support a sustainable economy in an area of the world that doesn’t export much of anything. 

However, while we can all feel good about supporting Nepalese herders, cashmere-type wool has been known to have a negative environmental impact. So, if you’re going to splurge on a scarf, make it one that you wear for a long time. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Before protecting you from the cold, Synergy scarves are produced by seamstresses in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. These factories are Fair Trade and GOTS certified, so we know each worker is paid a living wage and treated with respect. 

The family-run business also works with factories in India for most other garments, and their commitment to fair working conditions can be seen there, too.

Green business practices: 

Synergy has a program where their old garments can be shipped back to be donated. As if keeping clothing out of landfills isn’t reason enough, they even give you a 25% discount for recycling your clothes.

Between the materials they use (mostly organic cotton) and their transparent supply chain, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that Synergy is a Green America Green business, and is recognized by the Organic Trade Association.

Community & charitable giving: 

Synergy’s list of fundraising partners is lengthy—to be exact, it includes 34 organizations at the time of this article!

Available:  Synergy

7. AMOUR VERT

Image by Amour Vert
About Amour Vert

We love all things green, and so does Amour Vert. Which makes sense since the literal translation of their name means “green love”, epitomized in their sustainable fashion pieces.

They want to keep us looking good while simultaneously creating a healthier planet for future generations. And we think they’re doing a pretty good job. 

We love their sustainable jeans, winter coats, dresses, and more. If cooler temperatures have you looking for stylish ethical scarves made in the USA, your search is over. 

They’ve got fair trade wool scarves for those really cold days as well as lightweight cotton scarves that are more in-style than insulation. 

Amour Vert’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

 Amour Vert has a sizable range of scarves from a couple of designers. Though they keep their materials pretty simple: either 100% wool or organic cotton. The entire range is dyed with natural dyes and free of all chemicals.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Transparency is trendy for Amour Vert, and they share the details of most of the factories they work with. Even better, most of the factories are located within blocks of the brand’s main office in San Francisco.

As for their scarves, the wool is handspun in India by Indigo Handloom artisans. The organic cotton scarves are designed by Dear Indigo and made in California.

Green business practices: 

For Amour Vert, sustainability is embedded in the full lifecycle of each market. Considerations start with the fabrics and production processes that are used, they’re applied to how workers are treated, then how products are shipped and recycled. 

For packaging, they use compostable bags, recycled materials, and soy-based inks.

Community & charitable giving: 

You can get a tree for a tee. With every t-shirt sold, Amour Vert collaborates with American Forests and donates the equivalent of one tree (they’ve already planted more than 300,000 trees). Check out a map of all their North American planting locations here.

You were looking for the perfect tee to layer under your scarf anyway, right?

Available:  Amour Vert

8. PRANA

For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by prAna #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle
Image by prAna
About prAna

prAna could be considered Columbia Sportswear’s kind of edgy and sustainable stepchild. Since Columbia’s acquisition of them a few years back, prAna has continued to clothe climbers, yogis, hikers, surfers, and just general outdoor lovers in some of the most mindful designed-to-last duds. 

Staying in (that is, in their ultra cozy sweatpants) or bundling up to go out (in their sweaters, coats, and scarves), prAna’s got you covered. 

Their current scarf collection includes three designs available in soft, earthy color palettes with just enough pastel pop to bring a little pizzazz to a dreary winter day.

prAna’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

While not all of the materials they use are eco-friendly, we’re impressed with their scarves: recycled polyester, sustainably harvested Merino wool, and TENCEL Modal. Note the Flora Scarf does include nylon, which we would avoid for filling our sustainable winter wardrobes.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

While they’re not used for all of their products, prAna has an impressive relationship with the Fair Trade Organization. In fact, they were the first apparel brand in North America to produce Fair Trade Certified clothing and since then have worked with more than 33,000 workers around the globe. 

Even with partners that aren’t Fair Trade Certified, prAna regularly monitors them to make sure that they’re adhering to their strict standards ensuring no forced labor, harassment, child labor, and fair work hours. 

While their scarves are not among their gamut of Fair Trade certified garments, they are made in India in ethical factories.

Green business practices: 

prAna’s newest green movement is their “Clothing for Positive Change”, an outreach initiative that speaks directly to you, the consumer. prAna knows they can’t change the world alone, and so they want to know what positive change means to YOU. Tag and @prana and use #C4PC to help them “grow the movement”

They’re also certified by bluesign® which ensures that their products are free of toxic chemicals which can harm workers, wearers, and the planet.

Community & charitable giving: 

Partnering with Outdoor Outreach allows prAna to donate funding to help underprivileged urban youth have outdoor experiences and receive leadership training they might otherwise never get.

Available:  prAna

9. NAADAM

For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by Naadam  #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle
Image by Naadam
About Naadam

Naadam set out to produce “the world’s fairest cashmere.” 

Founders (and friends) Matthew Scanlan and Diederik Rijsemus traveled to a remote area of the Mongolian Gobi Desert, connected with some local herders, and decided right away that they wanted to change conventional cashmere trade. 

So, they cut out brokers and middlemen and started buying directly from traditional local herders. Soon after, Naadam was born. 

There’s nothing more [cash]mere-ly winter than a soft sweater and scarf—and Naadam has both. In fact, they’ve got some of the best sustainable scarves we could find. 

From fringed to flat edges, their luxuriously long designs can be draped elegantly or coiled around and around to cover your neck, chin, and then some.

Naadam’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

 Cashmere (obviously) takes center stage for Naadam. However, it’s sometimes paired with baby llama wool, Merino wool, and polyamide (AKA nylon).  

If you want to choose the best scarf, in our opinion, stick with one that’s been made with 100% cashmere or Merino wool (cashmere’s more eco-friendly cousin).

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Paying it forward is one of Naadam’s first priorities, which they do by paying significantly more to herders for the world’s best cashmere. 

They also ensure the best for their essentially free-range goats. They use a traditional hand combing method (so no cutting of the skin ever) and provide veterinary care to ensure the best quality of life for the goats. 

Beyond the field, Naadam also has a strict Code of Conduct and they only work with suppliers who meet their environmental standards and pay their workers fairly.

Green business practices: 

All products used by Naadam are either recycled or renewable. Because they cut by hand, they can use longer cashmere fibers than most other brands, which ensures quality and longevity for the finished products. 

A problem that currently plagues the cashmere industry is overgrazing. Goats are feisty eaters. So, Naadam has reserved a huge area of land (the size of Manhattan) for their goats to graze in the winter to reduce the environmental impact. It also helps that this region is less susceptible to goat-induced desertification than others in the Gobi desert of Mongolia.

Protecting nature is also a part of Naadam’s packaging. They only use FSC-certified recycled paper for their hangtags and 100% recycled plastic for their bags. 

Hoping to be carbon neutral by 2025, they currently offset shipping emissions through Carbon Fund, operate a localized supply chain, and use clean energy and closed-loop water dyeing systems. 

What’s more, they donate all damaged and returned items to the nonprofit Green Tree Textiles (giving back and taking away textile waste all in one).

Community & charitable giving: 

Giving back even more to the communities they work with, Naadam has a partnership with the nonprofit Gobi Revival Fund which has allowed them to further benefit Mongolian herding communities. The funds go toward a variety of things like providing clean water, new local parks, protection against desertification, and a livestock insurance program for herders.  

Naadam is working to establish another Mongolian organization as well: the Tsagan Yama Cooperative which will work to secure fair cashmere prices for herders even beyond Naadam’s own partners.

Available:  Naadam

HOW WE FOUND THE BEST FAIR TRADE SCARVES

When it comes to the winter wrap up, a scarf is essential. 

And while the impending snow may be on our minds more than sustainability, it’s important to keep in mind that what’s keeping us warm and toasty doesn’t also need to keep the planet warm and toasty, too. 

Materials:

The most sustainable scarf, mostly comes down to what it’s been made with. Scarves, like most other articles of clothing, are typically made with synthetic, plastic-based fabrics. We’re obviously not a fan of those so in this list of scarves, most of the synthetics have been recycled or are sustainably made semi-synthetics, like TENCEL modal and lyocell

Natural materials like organic cotton (ideally certified by GOTS) is our favorite vegan-friendly way to stay warm. If you’re okay with animal products, we’d recommend Merino wool (and only ever Cashmere where the brand has gone to great lengths to ensure it’s ethically and sustainably sourced, like Naadam has). Even better if it’s recycled.

Supply chain and labor practices:

You may want a scarf that’s thick and warm, but we want to see a supply chain that’s thin and transparent. That’s why these brands have been able to back up their claims of fair trade scarves with specific factory details or certifications that attest to their superior labor practices. 

The more you can find out about who and what made your sustainable scarf, the less likely you are to fall victim to greenwashing. Strict Codes of Conduct and certifications from organizations like Fair Trade, GOTS and SA8000 will keep you feeling extra toasty.

Green business practices:

Being “green” starts with the materials, but it continues with things like carbon neutral shipping, renewable energy, eco-friendly mailers, and sustainable manufacturing practices (like closed-loop dyeing systems and water recycling methods). Brands get a big thumbs from us if they employ a combination of these. 

Community & charitable giving:

Brands warm our bodies and our hearts with their contributions to their community. We’re happy to see that every single brand here is doing something to give back to the communities they work with, or the planet at large. 


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ETHICAL SCARVES

That’s pretty much a wrap! 

And while dressing for winter weather may seem like no biggi, when you and your friends support brands like these, you’re supporting a world of normal winters, not those of melting ice caps. 

And on that note, the most sustainable scarf is the one already hanging in your cupboard, or in your local thrift shop or online vintage store. And if none of those work out, then these scarves will help you stay warm while keeping the planet cool.

Who are we missing? What brand is keeping you warm as you brave the winter temperatures? Let us know your favorite.


For winter fashionistas, a warm and cozy scarf (almost) completes the picture. A fair trade scarf, however, really ticks all the boxes. Image by Nadaam #fairtradescarves #sustainablescarves #ecofriendlyscarves #sustainablejungle

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