Are you looking to buy sustainably and ethically made plus-size clothing? Here are ethical clothing brands that cater for women up to a UK size 38.

Moral Fibres readers first asked me about sustainable and ethical plus-size clothing about seven years ago. At the time, I planned to write a blog post, similar to my guide to ethically made clothing. However, after doing some fairly intensive research, it seemed there were only a handful of US brands and nothing UK-based. It was a woeful picture.

The average woman in the UK is a size 16, but for a long time, the UK ethical clothing scene was not representative of this at all. Make no mistake, ethical fashion still has a long way to go in terms of representation. However, things are slowly changing. Now there are more sustainable brands catering to the ethical plus-size clothing market.

Where to Buy Ethically Made Plus Size Clothing

Here are nine brands producing ethically made and beautiful plus size clothing, and that cater for up to a size 38. Some will even create clothing for you at any size, and won’t charge you any more for this.

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The price range key for this guide is:

 £ = Under £50 | ££ = £50 – 100 | £££ = £100+

The Emperor’s Old Clothes

Emperor's Old Clothes for plus-size ethical clothing

Caters up to UK size 28

Price range ££ – £££

All of The Emperor’s Old Clothes ethical clothing is handmade in Brighton, plus they cater for sizes up to size 24.

Here you’ll find one of a kind clothing, created from vintage and dead-stock fabric by people paid a living wage. The Emperor’s Old Clothes also invest in their local community with free sewing traineeships to encourage the continuation of their craft.

They have a strict zero fabric waste policy in their Brighton studio. This means that all of their garments are made from the end of roll fabrics. What’s more, the remnants created during the cutting of their garments go to making their accessories. Any leftover scraps from this are then either donated to local craft projects, textile recycled or made into scrap kits so you can get crafty at home.

The Emperor’s Old Clothes are also working to make their products as financially accessible as possible for their customers without compromising on their living wage ethos or the quality of their products. As such, they have introduced payment plans. Now customers can spread the cost of their ready to wear and design your own garments across 2 to 6 months rather than having to pay in full upfront.

Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective ethical clothing

Caters up to UK size 26

Price range ££ – £££

If you are looking for inclusively sized and ethically made activewear, then look no further than Girlfriend Collective. Catering for up to a UK size 26, and available via Sancho’s, their activewear is made from recycled plastic. Meanwhile, their t-shirts and tops are made from Cupro. This is a fibre made from waste the cotton industry leaves behind. What’s more, all of their clothing is made in SA8000 certified factories. What this certification means is that it guarantees fair wages, safe and healthy conditions, and zero forced labour or child labour.

What’s more, through their ReGirlfriend Scheme, Girlfriend Collective takes back your old Girlfriend Collective pieces. Here they are recycled and turned into brand new Girlfriend Collective pieces, rather than being downcycled into insulation products. And if the warm glow of doing something good wasn’t enough, then by way of thanks, you receive $15 USD towards a future purchase.

Gudrun Sjoden

Caters up to UK size 24

Price range ££

Ethical clothing can sometimes be a little monochrome. If you like brightly coloured and/or brightly patterned clothing, then worry not – this can still be bought ethically up to a UK size 24 at Gudrun Sjoden. Here you’ll find colourful eclectic clothing made ethically, and often organically.  If pattern isn’t your thing, then you’ll also find solid coloured ethical basics.

To be honest, I was at loggerheads of including Gudrun Sjoden in this article, because at the time of putting this article together (July 2021) I couldn’t find a single model above a size 10 modelling their clothes. I questioned Gudrun Sjoden about this via email and they told me:

We have several different seasonal collections per year and we use models of all sizes and backgrounds but unfortunately in this new Autumn collection, the models used are of a smaller size. Please be assured that if you purchase a garment that turns out to be totally unsuitable you can return it to us for exchange or refund.”

I don’t think that this is good enough, and Gudrun Sjoden can and should do better in terms of representation. However, I don’t want to not include Gudrun Sjoden in this article because options for plus-size ethical clothing are more limited.

Kitty Ferreira

Caters up to UK size 26

Price range: £££

Kitty Ferreira is a Black-owned brand that makes stylish ethical and sustainable clothes perfect for work or for special occasions.  Catering for up to a UK size 26, all of their clothing is made in London using upcycled and hand-dyed fabrics. Here, they use natural dyes, created using pomegranate and onions skins for a low environmental footprint. 

Kitty Ferreira doesn’t photograph their clothing on models, so unfortunately I don’t have any photos to show you!

Lora Gene

Ethically made clothing from Lora Gene

Caters up to UK size 28

Price range ££ – £££

Lora Gene makes beautiful ethically made clothing that caters up to a UK size 28. And as a certified B-Corp, this means that Lora Gene meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. 

Lora Gene’s main priority is to minimise waste in every step of the product life cycle. From the production of sustainably sourced materials, design, manufacturing, storage, transport, marketing, sales, reuse and recycling – Lora Gene takes responsibility for everything that they create. And unlike fast fashion, Lora Gene’s approach involves prioritising quality over quantity at all times.

All of Lora Gene’s garments are made to order, so you need to allow 3 to 4 weeks for delivery.

Palava

Ethical and sustainable plus size clothing for women

Caters up to UK size 28

Price range ££ – £££

Palava’s uniquely printed dresses and skirts are made from organic cotton in Europe and the UK and cater for up to a UK size 28. These seriously beautiful ethical clothes are so joyful!  

All of Palava’s dresses, skirts, trousers, tops and coats are ethically made in a small family-run factory on the outskirts of London.  And to minimise waste, all of Palava’s accessories are made from the leftover fabric after their dresses and skirts have been cut. Any scraps too small for their accessories get sold in fabric bundles for crafters and home sewists. What’s more, all of Palava’s packaging is now plastic-free.

Take 10% off your first order by signing up for their newsletter.

Sadie Alys

A guide to ethically made plus-size clothing, including Sadie Alys who will custom make clothing catering to any size.

Caters to any size – Sadie Alys will make custom clothes for any size at no additional cost

Price range: £ – £££

Sadie Alys is a made-to-order, custom-sized, slow fashion brand handmade in North Wales. Their aim is to make a positive impact on the fashion industry by making inclusive slow fashion for everyone. As such, Sadie Alys will cater for any size, at no additional cost. This really is plus size ethical fashion at its most inclusive.

Dungarees and skirts are Sadie Alys’s speciality – from long to short dungarees, as well as dungaree dresses to funky skirts. These are handmade from organic cotton and printed with eco-friendly inks.

As everything is made to order, this allows for less waste and unneeded fabric, helping to lighten the environmental load further. Because of this, please allow up to 5 weeks for your item to be made and dispatched.

Seasalt

Caters up to UK size 28

Price range: £ – ££

Offering inclusive sizing at really reasonable High Street prices, many of Seasalt’s* clothes are made from GOTS certified organic cotton. In fact, Seasalt was the very first fashion company to achieve Soil Association GOTS certification back in 2005. They’ve continued to do great things by bringing sustainability to the high street, whilst catering for a wide range of sizes.

Again, despite catering for up to a UK size 28, I could not find a single model above a size 10 modelling Seasalt’s clothes. This lack of diversity is disappointing from Seasalt. I’d like to see them do better.

Snag Tights

plus size ethical tights from Snag

Caters up to UK size 38

Price range: £

Snag, who are famous for their tights, don’t just sell ethically made tights. Oh no, as well as fun patterned tights and plain tights, here you’ll also find leggings, t-shirts, skirts, swimwear, and chub rub shorts, all ethically made and catering for sizes up to a UK plus size 38. That’s not a typo, that’s a size 38. Did I mention their prices are incredibly reasonable? Oh yes. I couldn’t find a single item over £40. Snag says that they keep a fixed margin, so they are able to pass any savings on to you.

Snag says that they are committed to doing things ethically and sustainably. As such, their entire clothing range is made from materials that are carefully considered, and all of their factories treat their workers fairly and pay living wages.

What’s more, Snag Tights are now fully recyclable. Snag has created a process specifically for their tights that turns your old tights into permanent industrial components. You can post them back to Snag for recycling (only Snag tights are accepted right now). You do have to pay postage for this, but the good news is that Snag is currently working on funding for you to send your tights back to them for free.

How To Make Ethical Clothing More Representative of Plus Size Bodies

Of course, there are many more ethical brands that don’t cater for plus sizes. Brands tell me they cater to perceived demand. If there is a particular brand that you would like to shop from that doesn’t cater for you, do email them and tell them you would shop with them if they made clothes that cater to more representative sizing. I also make a point of asking ethical fashion brands I work with if they have limited sizing options, about their plans to introduce greater size ranges to let them know that this is an important consideration for customers.

What If I Can’t Afford to Buy Plus Size Ethical Clothing?

I have aimed to cater to a wide range of price points in this article. However, if plus size ethical clothing is still out of your reach, then it’s important to remember that you don’t have to buy ethical clothing to support the ethical fashion movement. From supporting the right’s of garment workers across the globe to pressing brands for greater transparency, and calling out greenwashing when you see it, there’s much that can be done to support the movement, and those most negatively impacted by fast fashion.

As always, do let me know if you come across any more ethically made plus size clothing.

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