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ethical shopping guide

Fashion, Life & Style

40+ Ethical Clothing Brands For Women

Let’s chat about ethical clothing brands for women.

The ethical fashion market is growing.  In fact, it’s never been bigger thanks to increasing demands from customers wanting more ethical and fair clothing.  In saying that though, it can be daunting knowing where to start looking for clothing.

To help you out, I’ve listed all of the UK ethical clothing brands I know that cater to women.  

I’ve stuck to UK based women’s ethical clothing brands because I’m UK based and that’s what I know.  With over 40 ethical clothing brands listed here, then I had to draw the line somewhere.  Geographical boundaries seemed like the most practical place to start!

I’ve updated this article for 2021, so it’s bang up to date.  I’ve also included sizing information for each brand.  The ethical fashion world is notorious for not being particularly size-inclusive.  While many brands aren’t, some are making steps, and I wanted this guide to be helpful for those looking for specific sizes.

I also have separate guides to ethical underwear, ethical nightwear, and ethical socks and tights (all updated for 2021), if you are just looking for the basics. I even have guides to ethical swimwear.  And if you’re after men’s ethical clothing then I also have you covered! 

I also have this handy guide on what to look for when shopping for ethical clothing.  It covers topics such as what fabrics to look for and explains what all the different eco-labels mean.

Guide to Womens Ethical Clothing Brands 2021

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Antiform – ££ (sizes 8-18)

Fashion-forward Antiform sources all of its materials and workmanship within the UK, and local to their Bristol-based studio if possible.  They are also big on the use of reclaimed materials, with many items made from 100% reclaimed material.

Bam: Bamboo Clothing* – ££ (sizes 8-16)

Bam: Bamboo sell sustainably sourced activewear made from bamboo.  And new for Autumn 2020: low impact jeans.  It takes around 7600l of water to make a conventional pair of jeans. Bam: Bamboo instead says their jeans require less water to make.

Rather than just stopping there, Bam: Bamboo is also seeking to be impact positive.  As such, they are making great steps to minimise their impacts on climate, waste, water, chemicals, humans, and land use.

Beaumont Organic* – ££ – £££ (sizes 8-20)

ethical clothing brands - beaumont organic

Working only with factories that are within the EU, pay fair wages, and provide good working conditions, Beaumont Organic’s range of GOTS certified clothing is perfect for casual wear.

Bibico – ££ (sizes 8-16)

ethical clothing directory

I would describe Bibico as laidback fairtrade fashion that’s simple yet stylish, and very wearable.  What’s more, all of Bibico’s items are made from natural materials.  As such, you won’t find any synthetics in their range.

Sign up for their newsletter and you’ll even get 10% off your first order.  They also run regular sales which are worth keeping your eye out for.

Birdsong* – ££ (sizes XS-XL)

Birdsong produces ethically made organic cotton unisex slogan t-shirts.  All of their clothing is made in East London by talented women paid a fair wage.

Boody* – ££ (sizes 6-16)

Boody produces high-quality basics, with a stringent focus on sustainable materials and ethical and planet-friendly practices.  They’re a great go-to for staples such as leggings, activewear, and loungewear.  Sign up to the Boody newsletter for 10% off your first order.

Celtic & Co – ££-£££ (sizes 6-18)

Based in Great Britain, Celtic & Co specialise in shoes and clothing made from ethically sourced natural fibres.  Focusing on quality and design, rather than seasonal trends, Celtic & Co pieces are designed to last a long time.

Earth Kind Originals – ££ (sizes 8-22)

This ethical clothing brand specialises in fairly made laid back leisure ware.

Ecoalf* – £££ – (sizes XS-XL)

A certified B Corp, Ecoalf produce sustainable and ethically made clothing, designed to last.  They don’t follow trends and focus on longevity, meaning your purchase won’t look dated in one year’s time.

Finisterre – ££ – £££ (sizes 8-16)

An ethically made and sustainable outdoor clothing brand, which even offers a repair service for your Finisterre jacket.  Finisterre is also a great choice for swimwear.  Find my full guide to ethical swimwear here.

Girlfriend Collective* – ££ (sizes XS-XXL)

Girlfriend Collective makes ethically made activewear from recycled materials, which are dyed using eco-friendly dyes.  What’s more, in true circularity, they take back your old Girlfriend pieces to turn them into brand new Girlfriend pieces.

Greenfibres – ££ (sizes 8-18)

Ethically sourced and responsibly made organic cotton basics

Gudrun Sjoden – ££ (sizes 6-24)

eco friendly fashion brands

Colourful eclectic clothing made ethically, and often organically.  I also appreciate their use of older models.  It’s such a refreshing change.  What’s also refreshing is their more comparatively inclusive sizing.

Hiut Denim – £££ (sizes 6-18)

Hiut ethically makes beautiful bespoke jeans, handmade in Cardigan.  These are expensive jeans, but whilst the initial outlay might be high, expect a pair to last forever.  Hiut stands by their jeans even when they fail you. As such they offer free repairs for the life of your jeans, with just one rule. You have to send them back washed.

They cater for waist sizes from 28″ to 40″, and offer a range of leg sizes.  

Howies – ££ (sizes 8-16)

High quality organic and recycled outdoor clothing designed to last.

Kemi Telford – ££ – £££

black ethical clothing brands uk

Black-owned brand, Kemi Telford, design and sell beautifully bold Nigerian-influenced clothing, with a western twist.  Sustainability lies at the heart of the brand.  What’s more, conscious of waste, remnants from the clothing are made into colourful hair bows or gift bags.

Check out my full guide to Black-owned ethical fashion brands here.

Kitty Ferreira – £££ (sizes 6-26)

Another Black-owned brand, Kitty Ferreira makes stylish sustainable clothes perfect for work or special occasions. 

All of their clothing is made in London.  Furthermore, clothes are dyed using natural dyes, the silk they use is organic and cruelty-free.  And, where possible, they use British made upcycled fabrics.  And in a very welcome move, the clothes go up to a size 26 – which is good news for customers looking for plus size ethical clothing.

Know The Origin* – ££ (sizes 8-16)

Know the Origin make ethical basics.  Think soft and comfortable cotton t-shirts, jumpers, and dresses. These are ethically made from 100% organic fairtrade cotton sourced from fairtrade producers.

Komodo – ££ (sizes 8-16)

komodo fashion

Komodo sell ethically sourced, organic, and natural fibre fashion that’s every bit as stylish as ethical.

Lost Shapes* – ££ (sizes S-XL)

Lost Shapes sell organic cotton Earth Positive t-shirts hand-printed with water-based inks. The quality is second to none and from experience, I can personally attest that each item washes really well.

Lowie – ££ – £££ (sizes S-L)

Lowie makes stylish heritage-inspired clothing, fairly made from organic cotton, recycled cotton, or ethically sourced wool.  They even offer a free repair service for life on all items from their current and past seasons.

Madia & Matilda – ££ (sizes 6-18)

Cotswolds made stylish ethical clothing in sizes 6 – 18.  Although they do say for more sizes to email them.  Madia & Matilda specialise in upcycled and sustainable fabrics, and they say minimising wastage is at its core.  They also say they create clothing that is high quality and timeless.  As they are not trend-focused, their pieces are ones you can truly invest in. 

As a bonus, if you sign up for their newsletter you can receive 25% off your first order.  

Mayamiko – ££ (sizes 8-14)

Mayamiko clothing is ethically made in Malawi and combines contemporary design with traditional African techniques.  Part of their profits also goes towards the Mayakiko Trust.  This helps some of the most disadvantaged people in Malawi by providing skills training, education, nutrition, sanitation, and promoting fairer trade practices.  

Prices range from £19 upwards for tops, and £35 upwards for dresses.  As well as being at the more affordable end of the scale, you can also receive 10% off your first order by signing up for their newsletter.

Monkee Genes – ££ (tops size XS-L; jeans waist sizes 24″-36″)

Purveyors of organic bamboo jeans, made in England, that are beautifully soft.  My only gripe is that Monkee Genes only come in two leg lengths – regular and long.   The regular leg length is 31″, so if you’re on the shorter side you may struggle with the fit.

Morcant* (sizes S-XL)

Morcant is a gender-neutral essentials label founded in Sheffield. Their aim is to make functional everyday clothing using high quality & long lasting premium fabrics. With sustainability at the core of the brand, each piece of their organic collection is crafted using certified eco-friendly materials and ethically manufactured in Bangladesh.  

MUD Jeans – £££ (waist sizes 26″-36″)

MUD Jeans make jeans from recycled denim, avoiding waste and cutting down on water and CO2 use.  At the moment their jeans contain 40% recycled denim.  However, keep an eye out as MUD aim to launch the first jeans made from 100% post-consumer recycled denim.  The other good news is that once your jeans are worn out send them back to MUD for recycling.

Nancy Dee Clothing – ££ (sizes 6-18)

ethical fashion brands for women

Nancy Dee offers British made fashionable ethical clothing for every occasion.  Their pieces are made ethically with sustainable eco-friendly fabrics.  What’s more, join their mailing list to get a generous 15% off your first order.

Noctu – ££ (sizes S-L)

Noctu make ethically made sleepwear and loungewear that’s both fairtrade and made using 100% GOTS certified cotton.  Specifically interested in loungewear and sleepwear?  See my guide to ethical pyjamas for more brands.  

Nomads – ££ (sizes 8-18)

Nomads make bohemian-inspired stylish ethical clothing.  All their pieces are designed in the UK and fairly made in India using GOTS certified cotton.

Nudie Jeans – £££ (sizes 24″ to 38″)

100% organic jeans made with sustainability in mind.  And if your Nudie jeans need mending you can pop into their London shop for a free repair service.  Don’t worry if you are not London based, they can send you a repair kit free of charge.  And once your jeans are finally worn out, you can send them back to Nudie and they’ll recycle them into new jeans.

Origin Africa* – ££ (sizes XS-XL)

Origin Africa is the UK’s first 100% not-for-profit fashion brand, making contemporary ethical and sustainable unisex garments.  These are produced using 100% organic cotton and vegan approved water-based dyes.  What’s more, profits are used to fund social enterprises in Africa.  These include projects around improving child health through proper sanitation, and female empowerment through skills training and education.

Outsider Clothing – ££ – £££ (sizes 8-16)

Beautiful, timeless clothes ethically made by this ethical clothing brand using sustainable materials, such as hemp, hemp silk, organic cotton, naturally coloured cotton, peace silk, and more.

Palava Clothing – ££ – £££ (sizes 6-28)

sustainable clothing brands

Palava’s uniquely printed dresses and skirts are made from organic cotton in Europe and the UK. These seriously beautiful ethical clothes are high up on my wishlist!  Keep your eye out for sample sales.  As a bonus, take 10% off your first order by signing up to their newsletter.

Patagonia – ££ – £££ (sizes XS-XL)

Responsibly made outdoor clothing designed to last, and to be repairable.  Their website also gives advice on how to repair all Patagonia items, which is seriously useful.  And for any clothing that can’t be repaired then you can drop it off at a Patagonia store for recycling or repurposing. 

I’ve included Patagonia in my guide to ethical coats, in case you want to browse other coat retailers.  

People Tree* – ££-£££ (sizes 6-18)

People Tree sells fairtrade basics, leisurewear, workwear, and occasion wear, often in 100% organic cotton.  They often work in collaboration with designers, such as Orla Kiely and Zandra Rhodes, to produce some original prints.  Quite often this ethical clothing brand is my first stop when looking for ethical clothing.  And keep an eye out for regular sales if you’re shopping on a tight budget.

Riyka* – ££ – £££ (sizes 8-18)

This ethical clothing brand sells a small collection of fun and colourful wardrobe basics.  All of which is designed in the UK and made in a fair-wage, sustainable atelier in Bulgaria.  Riyka says they use reclaimed, organic, and/or British made fabrics where possible.  What’s more, all of the organic cotton they use is GOTS certified.

Seasalt Cornwall – ££ (sizes 6-28)

sustainable clothing brands Seasalt Cornwall

Seasalt specialises in beautiful timeless clothing and stunning prints.  Through their Locally Made project, they are actively increasing the number of products they manufacture locally in the South West, Guernsey, and across the UK.  In particular, look out for GOTS certified organic cotton products and waterproof fabrics made from organic cotton.

Thought* – ££ (sizes 6-20)

Easy to wear fairtrade clothing made from bamboo, hemp, and/or organic cotton, often in beautiful prints.  Keep your eye out for regular sales.

THTC Clothing – ££ (sizes 8-18)

Short for The Hemp Trading Company, THTC is an ethical clothing brand.  In particular, they specialise in eco-friendly organic and ethically sourced and produced politically-conscious street-wear.

Totty Rocks – £££ (sizes 6-16)

Edinburgh based Totty Rocks produce stylish retro-inspired clothing, all of which are designed and made in Scotland.

The White T-Shirt Co – ££ (sizes 8-18)

The White T-Shirt Co produces simple wardrobe basics in 100% GOTS certified organic cotton.  As such, if you’re looking for the perfect ethical white t-shirt then step this way.  And take 10% off your first order if you sign up for their newsletter.

What Else Can I Do?

To make the ethical fashion movement more inclusive to all, then it’s important to take action beyond your wallet.

Sustainable fashion lacks diverse representation.  Particularly in terms of race, gender fluidity, and of the LGBTQ+ community.  However, there is also a lack of a range of sizes, and a lack of variety of styles, as well as issues of affordability.  These issues are leaving a large swath of potential would-be customers behind.

Things that you can do to help engender change include asking High St brands who make their clothes (see Fashion Revolution for their great resources).  This will help press for transparency and sustainability on the High Street.  You can also support brands that align with your values.  This means purchasing from them if you are able to, but can also mean liking, commenting, and sharing their social media posts to help boost their exposure.

Have I missed any brands?  Do let me know!  And have you found this guide to ethical clothing brands useful?  Then why not pin it for later?

35 Sustainable and Ethical fashion brands

 

Fashion, Life & Style

Ethical Wellies Guide

ethical welly boots

I’ve been on the hunt for a pair of ethical wellies lately.  After daily wear all through the winter, walking over 3 miles each day, my old trusty pair of wellies has come a cropper.  They’ve sadly developed an un-mendable hole in the heel that’s letting in water.  Even the wonder that is Sugru isn’t even saving them.

My old pair weren’t especially ethical, but I did get A LOT of wear out of them.  Whilst a part of me is tempted to buy a pair from the same shop, a bigger part of me wants a new pair of wellies with ethical credentials.  The trouble is ethical wellies are extremely thin on the ground.

ethical welly boots

What’s Wrong With Standard Welly Boots?

Wellies themselves are not particularly eco-friendly.  Making wellies is not an easy process.  And making wellies out of eco-friendly materials seems to be even harder.  I have found some boots made mostly from natural rubber from renewable resources.  However,  manufacturers seem to have to use other non-renewable materials in the making of them.

These mixed materials in turn leads to another problem.  Because of the mixed materials that go into making wellies, this means at the end of their life the boots can’t be recycled.  I, therefore, can’t class wellies as eco-friendly.  If you are here looking for eco-friendly welly boots then I’m afraid you are going to be disappointed that there isn’t such an item in existence.  Remember, don’t shoot the messenger.

The dilemma is when you need 100% waterproof boots.  I live in a more rural part of Scotland and find wellies a necessity.  I have had to compromise.  Instead, I have decided to buy a pair of more ethically produced wellies (i.e sweatshop free).  I’ll then look after them/repair them where possible so that they will last as long as possible.

Are Hunters Boots Ethical?

My first thought was Hunters as I know that they’re as Scottish as they come.  Or rather, they were as Scottish as they come.  After a bit of research, I found that the company was sold to an American buyer in 2006.  The new owners relocated their production of welly boots from Scotland to China in 2008. 

Since then quite a few people have said the quality of the boots has declined dramatically.  To the point where the boots are developing holes within a year. What’s more, Ethical Consumer ranks them rather low in terms of ethics.

I have, however, managed to find a small handful of EU-based ethical companies.  These boots will be less likely to be made in a sweatshop under hazardous working conditions.

Guide to Ethical Wellies

As I’ve done quite a bit of research for myself, I thought I’d share my finds in case anyone else needs to compromise, and requires a pair of ethical wellies.  I know we’re coming into summer, so hopefully, wellies season is behind us for at least a little while.  In Scotland, you just never can tell though, and you know what Billy says about wellies!

Aigle

ethical wellies

Aigle is one brand to look at for welly boots, as some Aigle wellies are handmade in France using natural rubber.  As I mentioned before, the entire boot is not made from 100% natural rubber, so cannot be recycled at the end of their life.   

Please also note that not all Aigle wellies are made in France.  This page highlights its current range that is made in France. Others seem to be made in China.

The good news is if plain isn’t for you, then they do have quite the collection of stylish prints and styles.

Gumleaf

welly boots

Gumleaf Wellies are handmade in Europe, although there’s no mention of the exact location. Their boots are made using over 75% rubber, so fewer fossil fuels go into their production compared to a pair made from synthetic rubber.  They do also look pretty practical and sturdy and could withstand the muddiest of puddles!  

Lakeland

I have lost count of the number of Moral Fibres readers that have recommended Lakeland* to me as a great source for ethical wellies, so it’s high time I updated this post to reflect these recommendations. Why do so many readers love Lakeland? Their boots are made from FSC certified natural rubber and lined with organic cotton. They’re not made in the UK, but they are ethically made in Sri Lanka.

As you can see, it’s slim pickings.  And the hunt for wellies is definitely full of compromise.  However, if you ever come across any other more ethical wellies out there then do let me know.  I will also keep checking for more brands and will update this post if I find any more boots that fit the bill.  This post is updated for 2021, so it’s currently up to date!

In the meantime, do check out my guide to both women’s ethical clothing and men’s ethical clothing.