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Where to Buy Ethically Made Plus Size Clothing in the UK in 2023

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Are you looking to buy ethically made plus-size clothing? Here are the best sustainable and 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 nine 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 has not been 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. There are now more sustainable brands catering to the ethical plus-size clothing market.

Where to Buy Ethically Made Plus Size Clothing

Person in active wear with a blue text box that reads where to buy sustainable and ethical plus size clothing for women.

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

The price range key for this guide is:

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

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 in the UK at John Lewis, its activewear is made from recycled plastic. Meanwhile, its t-shirts and tops are made from Cupro. This is a fibre made from waste the cotton industry leaves behind.

Additionally, all of its 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.

And there’s more to love. Through its 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.


Seasalt

Person on a beach wearing a Seasalt dress

Caters up to UK size 28

Price range: £ – ££

Offering inclusive sizing at really reasonable High Street prices, Seasalt is a solid place to look for plus-size clothing that is more sustainably made.

Much of Seasalt’s clothes are made from GOTS-certified organic cotton and/or recycled fibres.

In fact, Seasalt was the very first fashion company to achieve Soil Association GOTS certification back in 2005.

It’s continued to do great things by bringing sustainability to the high street, whilst catering for a wide range of sizes.

However, despite catering for up to a UK size 28, it is tricky to find plus-size models on the Seasalt website. I’d love to see Seasalt do better on this front.


Joanie

Caters up to UK size 26

Price range: £ – ££

If you love vintage-inspired clothing, then head to Joanie Clothing. This 100% vegan and size-inclusive brand takes the best bits of vintage clothing and reimagines them for the modern, everyday wardrobe.

Guided by the principle of buying less but buying better, Joanie has championed slow fashion from the outset by making unique styles that don’t just follow the latest trends and that stand the test of time. You can find everything you need for your timeless wardrobe – from dresses and tops to bottoms, swimwear and more.

All of Joanie’s pieces are ethically made by factories around the world, using environmentally friendly fabrics. Plus Joanie continually making improvements within its supply chain, and is committed to reducing waste wherever possible.

What we also love about Joanie is that, unlike some brands, its full collection is available in an inclusive size range.

Get 10% off your first order when you sign up for the Joanie newsletter.


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 28.

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 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, sent to a textile recycling scheme or made into scrap kits so you can get crafty at home.

The Emperor’s Old Clothes are also working to make its products as financially accessible as possible for its customers without compromising on its living wage ethos or the quality of its 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.


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 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.


Snag

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, you’ll also find leggings, t-shirts, skirts, swimwear, and chub rub shorts. These are all ethically made and cater for sizes up to a UK plus size 38. That’s not a typo, that’s a size 38.

Snag says that it is committed to doing things ethically and sustainably. As such, its entire clothing range is made from materials that are carefully considered. Snag also says all of its 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 its 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.


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 about including Gudrun Sjoden in this article, because at the time of originally 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. Particularly as, at the time of updating this post (August 2023), Gudrun Sjoden still continues to only feature models who are a size 10 or under.

How To Make Ethical Clothing More Representative of Plus-Size Bodies

Sadly there are many more ethical brands that don’t cater for plus sizes. Many go up to a UK 16 or 18 and no further.

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 rights 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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5 Comments

  1. Lucyandyak should definitely be on here. Fully GOTs
    Certified and all clothes are lovely. They also use all their offcuts of fabric to make headbands and bags etc…. Go up to I think 32 as well. Not only that but they have a shop in. Reighton if you prefer to buy/try on face to face.

    1. Thanks Alice! Personally, I’ve not had a great experience with Lucy & Yak at all, so that’s why I don’t recommend them on here. However, it’s great to hear others have had a more positive experience.

  2. Sadie Alys has closed down now. House of Flint could be a nice replacement, slow fashion to a 32 (plus customisation). And Loud Bodies is a sustainability focussed plus size brand.

  3. Hi there, I am hand painting t-shirts and wanted to get ethical and environmentally friends T-shirts that are in Plus sizes for 14+ people. I’m a size 18-20 and was very surprised I could not find suppliers selling t-shirts wholesale. If you have any idea a good place in the UK I can get plus sizes from that will save the environment and not be anything to do with child and adult slave labour I would be very grateful. Thank you so much,

    1. Hi Julie, have you looked into Earth Positive t-shirts? A few people that I know that print ethical t-shirts buy this make via wholesale, and I think they offer plus sizes too.