I regularly get emails from Moral Fibres readers asking me about ethical men’s workwear. And I hear you. When you look at my guide to ethical clothing brands for men, the vast majority of brands focus on t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and other casual attire.
As always, the men’s ethical clothing market is smaller than the ladies market, so it has been a bit tricky hunting things down, but hopefully I’ve come up with some of the best pieces available:
Ethical Men’s Workwear
1. This grey People Tree blazer (£135) is smart and ethically made. There are no matching trousers available, which is a bit of a pain, but fine if you’re just looking for a smart jacket. It’s important to note that the buttons are made from cow’s horn so it’s not vegan friendly, which can be an issue for some. 2021 edit: People Tree has stopped making men’s ethical clothing, and I haven’t been able to track down anything similar. I think your best bet is secondhand.
2. Again, from People Tree, these black Ewan trousers (£80) are the smartest ethical trousers I’ve found. There’s no matching jacket to match it though, but if you’re just looking for a pair of black trousers for the office then these are the ones. If you sign up for the People Tree newsletter you get 10% off your first order (a healthy £8 on these trousers), and you also get free delivery on them too. 2021 edit: I would instead try Thought Clothing* for men’s ethical trouses.
3. I tried to find some men’s ethical bags for this post, but I drew a complete blank. Instead here’s a super sustainable cork laptop case* (£30) from Etsy, for carrying your laptop safely. Here’s a post I wrote on why cork is so sustainable in case you missed it.
4. Arthur & Henry make some of the only ethical shirts on the market, and they look smart to boot. This herringbone shirt is £75 but will always be in style.
5. These vegan shoes from No Harm (£199.99) are very expensive but the best looking ethical shoes I found. I found some other ethical shoes from another company which were £80 (which I’d still class as expensive) that looked like £7 ones, and not in a good way. A cheaper alternative would be to buy secondhand shoes on eBay, if you don’t mind the idea of wearing secondhand shoes that is.
1. This People Tree navy blazer (£135) featured in the main image is the same as the grey one, above, just in a different colourway. No matching trousers for these ones either am afraid, and still the horn buttons, but a smart jacket for the office if you’re not a vegan.
2. These Komodo* chinos (£48.15, reduced from £75) would be smart enough for the office, but comfortable enough to wear at weekends and off days too.
3. Some Elvis & Kresse* cufflinks (£36) made from decommissioned UK fire hoses add a quirky element to your office attire. Also available in black, blue and yellow.
4. Likewise, this Elvis & Kresse* cardholder (£40) is a fun way to carry your travelcard or bank cards.
6. Another Arthur & Henry shirt (£79). There are more colours available than blue, including yellows and pinks, but I have to say I am a fan of the classic blue shirt.
What About Ethical Suits?
As far as ethical suits, despite extensive searching, I haven’t been able to find any ethical men’s suits in the UK. There are some available in the States for several thousand dollars. That’s before you even pay postage and import duty.
If you’re spending a lot of money on a suit should then I think it should be an investment piece tailored to fit. Therefore I think the best option might be to find a good local tailor/suit maker and get one made to measure using ethical fabrics. Harris Tweed is handmade in Scotland and would make a great suit fabric. Meanwhile, the Organic Textile Company sells certified fairtrade fabric by the metre. Your tailor will be able to advise which fabrics they recommend for your budget. Otherwise, eBay* or charity shops* are good places to look if you want a more budget-friendly off the peg suit.
Similarly, ties. I could not find any ethical ties anywhere. I found plenty handmade ones, but no-one of them appeared to be made with ethically sourced fabrics. Your best bet is again eBay or charity shops for cheap ethical ties.
If you have come across any men’s ethical suits, ties or bags then do let me in the comments below and I’ll add them to this post!