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ethical shopping guide

Fashion, Life & Style

Sustainable Socks and Tights Guide

ethical socks tights uk

On the lookout for sustainable socks and ethical tights?  Good news: I’ve got you covered with this handy guide.

I write lots of sustainable shopping guides. From ethical underwear, to ethical pyjamas, right the way through to UK-based ethical clothing brands. And today I wanted to turn my attention to socks and tights. Specifically sustainable socks and tights.

Socks and tights are as much of an autumn and winter staple as cups of tea, blankets, and nice woolly jumpers.  I’m never without a pair of socks.  So, as a wardrobe essential, I’ve hunted down ethical socks for men and women to feature here.  I’ve also thrown in sustainable tights for good measure too.

Listed below are a few of my favourite brands for 2021. And I’m always on the lookout for more to feature here:

ethical socks uk
Ethical socks from Thought

Guide to Sustainble Socks

To help support the running costs of the blog any links marked with a * after them are affiliate links. This means I may get a very tiny percentage of the sale price if you buy anything using the links below.  This doesn’t affect the price you pay for items or your consumer rights, such as your right to return items.

Bam: Bamboo

Bam: Bamboo* sells soft socks from sustainably sourced bamboo.  Packs of four cost around £18. What’s more, if you buy any 3 selected mix and match garments from Bam Bamboo – these don’t have to be socks – you will receive 20% off.

Boody

Are you overwhelmed by choice and just want plain black socks? Try Boody*. Here you’ll find ethically made plain black socks in every style under the sun. From everyday socks, to sports ankle socks, to even ballet pump liner socks – they’re plain, and they’re only available in black. Prices start from £4.95, and take 10% off your first order when you sign up to their mailing list.

Heist

Heist*, who has a strong commitment to sustainability, sells lightweight pop socks that despite their thinness, are designed to last. Think reinforced toes and heels.  Their stay-up ankle band also means no digging or your socks rolling down, which is great because this is always a problem with this type of sock.  Each pair is £7.

Jollies

Jollies sell colourful organic cotton socks that are made in England.  What’s more, for every pair sold, one pair of Jollies socks is donated to local homeless shelters.  So far thousands of pairs of socks have been donated to over 50 shelters nation-wide.  Prices start from £9.

Leiho

Leiho’s* sustainably sourced & vegan-friendly bamboo socks are not only fun but charitable too.  For every pair of socks sold, a pair is donated to homeless shelters.  The prices are around £12 per pair.

Organic Basics

Danish-based Organic Basics* sell soft and durable socks ethically and sustainably made in Turkey and Portugal from organic cotton. Prices start at £12 for a pack of two. What’s more, take 10% off your order with discount code WENDYOBC at the checkout.

People Tree

Ethical stalwarts People Tree* sell super soft organic cotton socks in a wide range of colours, prints, and designs.  Their ethical socks start from £7 per pair.

Thought

Thought* have a great selection of men’s and women’s ethical socks, like the beautiful ones pictured above.  All their socks are ethically made from organic cotton, and super soft bamboo or hemp. You’ll also find a wide selection of funky prints and patterns. There’s definitely a pair of socks to suit everyone.  The prices are around £6.95 for a pair.

Ethical Tights Guide

ethical socks and tights uk
Ethical Tights from Heist

The market for sustainable tights is small, but I have found some gems for you:

Heist

Heist’s* specialty is their Italian-made tights.  I love a lot of things about Heist. Where to start?! From their range of nude tights in seven representative shades. To their thicker 80 denier tights. To fishnets made from sustainable pre-consumer recycled waste. What’s more, all of their tights come in more inclusive sizes, catering for a UK size 4 up to a UK size 22.   

Swedish Stockings

Swedish Stockings* sustainable hosiery range is made from pre- and post-consumer nylon waste that is non-biodegradable. They recycle this waste nylon to create their range of tights, socks, and leggings. All of this reduces water consumption and energy., making them a great sustainable choice. They also run a great tights recycling scheme, where you can recycle your old tights.

Another option in autumn and winter, if you’re wearing boots, is to wear leggings with socks.  Ok, it’s not so attractive when you take off your boots, but I like wearing leggings as they are nice and cosy and don’t snag or run like tights do, making them much more durable.  I don’t mind spending a bit more on something that I know is going to last and are as versatile as leggings.  If you’re after leggings too then my favourite ethical leggings come from People Tree* and Organic Basics*.

Found any more sustainable socks and tights brands? Do let me know!

Fashion, Life & Style

The UK Based Black-Owned Ethical Fashion and Accessory Brands

Today let me share seven UK based Black-owned ethical fashion and accessory brands with you.

I know I’m speaking to the converted here when I say that fast fashion is built on an exploitative and racist business model. These fast fashion brands exploit people of colour by using a workforce of predominantly female garment workers in low-wage economies. These include places such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, and Vietnam.

Here, many workers labour in terrible working conditions, far below the living wage. What’s more, workers are denied paid sick leave and other basic rights. All of this just to make clothes that are worn only ten times before being disposed of.

Ethical fashion is a better choice. However, even in the ethical fashion sphere in 2021 there is a lack of representation. There’s a distinct lack of Black and minority brands. And not enough ethical brands are using Black models. It’s safe to say that in terms of diversity, fashion has a long way to go.

The UK Black-Owned Ethical Fashion Brands Guide

In order to celebrate diversity within the ethical fashion sphere, let’s shine a light on the UK based Black-owned ethical fashion and accessory brands.

AAKS

AAKS was founded by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi. Akosua is a Ghanaian native who graduated from Kingston University London.

Akosua’s goal is to introduce the world to her favourite Ghanian weaving techniques. At the same time, she wants to create sustainable jobs within Africa. 

Handcrafted in Ghana, AAKS beautiful woven bags are made using ecologically harvested raffia. Scraps are even reserved for smaller bags, in order to minimise waste as much as possible.

BMUSE Vintage

A newcomer to the scene, BMUSE Vintage launched on Earth Day 2020. Selling a beautifully curated selection of stylish vintage clothing, they are an antidote to fast fashion.

BMUSE says “by honouring vintage as preloved fashion that already exists, we are not causing any further harm to people and the environment.”

Glow And See

London based Glow and See produce ethically made reflective knitwear. This range has been created with a wide range of wearers in mind. Rather than just focusing on cyclists, their knitwear has a broader appeal. From the chic commuter to the dog walker, or the parent or child wanting to be safe on the streets, their pieces are for everyone.

What’s more, this wonderful range of headwear and neckwear does not compromise style over function. Effortlessly ready to wear in the day, they’re beautifully reflective at night. This helps you to stay safe yet stylish.

Kemi Telford

black ethical clothing brands uk

Kemi Telford design and sell beautifully bold Nigerian influenced clothing with a western twist.

Sustainability is at the heart of this Black-owned ethical fashion brand. Kemi Telford says “This brand was created to empower women. This means that our employees – and those of our manufacturers – are always treated with care and respect“.

What’s more, Kemi Telford is conscious of waste. Remnants from the clothing are made into colourful zero-waste hair bows and gift bags.

Kitty Ferreira

Kitty Ferreira makes stylish sustainable clothes. These are perfect for work or special occasions.

London made, all aspects of ethical production are considered. From the use of natural dyes. To the use of organic and cruelty-free silk. And, where possible, British-made upcycled fabrics are used.  And in a very welcome move, the clothes go up to a size 26. This is great news for customers looking for plus size ethical clothing.

Maison Archives

black owned ethical fashion brands

Maison Archives sells chic sustainable fashion accessories sourced from fairtrade co-ops. Think beautiful hair clips and headbands, as well as stylish bags and hats.

OlaOla

black-owned ethical fashion bags uk

OlaOla is a Textile design studio, ran by Ola Olayinka. Here they create bold & unique patterned accessories such as bags, hair accessories, and jewellery. As such, it’s a great one-stop-shop for ethical accessories.

Each product is printed and hand-made in small batches in the UK. Making products to order in this manner allows for less fabric waste. What’s more, OlaOla uses all smaller off-cuts. Here they are upcycled into products, such as earrings, to further reduce fabric waste.

Yala Jewellery

black-owned ethical fashion and accessories uk

Yala is a female-founded modern jewellery brand. As the first jewellery brand in the UK to be designated a Certified B Corporation®, sustainability is key. As such, they pride themselves on their intricate design, sustainable materials, ethics, and transparency.

Their beautiful range of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings are handmade by Kenyan artisans. What’s more, Kenyan models, photographers, and stylists are used for all publicity shots.

Have you come across any more black-owned ethical fashion or accessory brands? Do let me know – I would love to see this guide grow and grow.