Shopping sustainable brands can be hard; several hours and 30 browser tabs later you’re wondering “what am I even searching for?” Or worse – “are any of these brands even ethical or sustainable?”
When it comes to ethics and sustainability, Outerknown is one of our highest ranking brands. This brand has worked tirelessly since 2015 to become more responsible and they have a long list of accomplishments to back this up.
Some of these accomplishments include being Fair Trade Certified, working to raise awareness about ocean plastic, collaborating with Levi (helping to make one of the most popular denim brands sustainable), and releasing ethically made and sustainable swim trunks (a rare feat) among other things.
As of March 2019, Outerknown launched their women’s section making this brand perfect for both men and women interested in sustainable fashion.
Takeaway: Outerknown is your go-to for sustainably made casual wear from jeans and chinos to flannels, dresses, sweaters, and swimwear.
Shoes are an important part of any wardrobe and Adelante Shoe Company has a great selection of shoes that are both fashionable and ethical. Not only that, but they have shoes for both men and women.
Adelante’s mission is to sell products that fund sustainable economic development in Latin America. This mission comes from the realization that capitalism can both cause and solve many of the greatest social challenges that exist. Adelante also created the Living Well Line, which was developed to define the relative cost of living anywhere in the world.
Takeaway: Adelante Shoe Company is great for buying shoes ranging from casual to professional that are hand-crafted, ethically made, and even offers custom sizing.
Indigenous has been making ethical and sustainable clothing for 25 years. All of their clothing is made from natural fibers like organic cotton and eco-friendly Tencel.
Indigenous is also Fair Trade certified and committed to making the lives of their artisans, both in Peru and around the world, better.
Takeaway: Indigenous is the OG sustainable brand featuring everything from essentials to more elevated pieces and even office wear.
*Use code ECOSTYLIST20 for 20% off Indigenous (deal ends 10/4).
What makes a good t-shirt? Besides a premium fit, cut, and quality, The Classic T-Shirt company makes tees from GOTS organic cotton, saving water and eliminating harmful pesticides.
They’re also committed to their people by not only being made in America but also Fair Trade. They embrace transparent pricing, use recycled packaging, and give back.
Takeaway: Premium t-shirts with an emphasis on great fit, all while being sustainably and ethically made in the US.
5) Nudie Jeans
Jeans are a staple of every wardrobe, but finding sustainable and ethically made jeans can be hard. Nudie Jeans is a great place to buy jeans for both men and women.
Not only are their jeans 100% organic cotton, but they offer free repairs for life, meaning that any pair you buy will last. In 2019, Nudie Jeans saved 50,000 kilos of textile just by repairing jeans.
In 2019 Nudie Jeans marked their 10 year anniversary as a Fair Trade Certified company. This means that they’re focused on both economic empowerment and sustainable living for their workers.
Takeaway: Shop Nudie Jeans if you want a pair of jeans that fit perfectly (Nudie has a great selection of fit options) and are made sustainably to last a lifetime.
Nisolo is a great place to find sneakers, sandals, boots, and many other types of leather shoes. They also sell bags, belts, and face masks from over 100 brands that have been evaluated in terms of style, function, comfort, and sustainability.
When it comes to sustainability, Nisolo contributes to the Amazon Basin in an effort to protect trees in the Amazon with every pair of shoes that they sell. They’re also passionate about paying their workers livable wages and have worked hard to address issues in their supply chain. Nisolo is a certified B Corporation, meaning that they strive to be a socially good company.
Takeaway: Nisolo is your place for ethically made leather shoes appropriate for casual and work attire, all while supporting tangible environmental initiatives.
Pact brings affordability to the sustainable fashion space for men, women, children, and infants. They offer a wide range of clothes from tees, hoodies, leggings, dresses, sleepwear, maternity, and many other basic clothing styles. When it comes to sustainability, Pact makes their clothing with GOTS certified organic cotton in Fair Trade Certified factories.
Takeaway: Pact is your go-to for underwear, basics and loungewear that are both affordable and sustainable.
8) Known Supply
Known Supply is working to reimagine apparel production in a way that honors and celebrates the people who make clothes. Each piece of clothing is not only well made, but also hand signed by the maker and you’re invented to learn more about the makers on their website.
When it comes to sustainability, Known Supply is committed and uses organic pima cotton.
Takeaway: Known Supply is your source for natural fiber essentials that are made to honor and highlight the people who make our clothes.
Veja sells high quality, sustainable footwear for men and women. All footwear made by Veja is made with raw materials that are sourced from organic farming and plastic bottles.
Veja also ensures that everyone in their supply chain is paid fairly for their labor.
Takeaway: Veja is your go-to for eco-friendly sneakers that can be worn casually, as streetwear, or even with a suit. They have vegan options too!
10) Arvin Goods
Arvin Goods is a great place to buy sustainable socks in all sorts of styles and colors. Their mission is to make the cleanest basics on the planet and they’re working to achieve this by using recycled and discarded scraps to make their socks.
This process requires zero water and almost no harmful chemicals or dyes. Some of the materials they use are reclaimed cotton, organic cotton, and IndiDye, which is made from plants.
Takeaway: If you want the comfiest socks around that are also the most eco-friendly, Arvin Goods just might become one of your new favorites.
Cotopaxi makes durable and sustainable gear including fanny packs, backpacks, outerwear, and activewear. Cotopaxi is a B Corporation and puts 1% of their revenue towards addressing poverty and supporting community development.
They also work with suppliers to uphold a rigorous code of conduct so the makers of their products are treated well.
Takeaway: Cotopaxi offers activewear and outdoor apparel that is made responsibly and gives back to important causes.
If you’re looking for sustainable yoga, workout, and outdoor clothes, then prAna is your new go-to. Their clothing is made with organic cotton, recycled wool, and responsible down in an effort to protect the environment while making quality apparel.
prAna shares their complete factory list, about 1/4 of which is Fair Trade certified. They are also BlueSign Standard certified meaning that they’re working to minimize their ecological footprint and ensure safe condition for their workers.
Takeaway: prAna is your new go-to for eco-friendly yoga and activewear.
13) United by Blue
United by Blue sells clothes, accessories and gear for sustainable living. In making their products, they use sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester. Not only that, but as of Spring 2020 they’ve removed all single plastics from their supply chain.
United by Blue also removes a pound of trash from our waterways with every product that they sell. They’re a certified B Corporation and they partner with factories that hold the highest standards for facilities and personnel.
Takeaway: United by Blue is great for outdoor apparel and attractive casual wear that removes trash from our waterways with every single purchase.
For Kotn, knowing where a product came from (traceability), knowing who made it, and knowing how it was made are of the utmost importance. They think of their supply chain as, “farm-to-table, but for your clothes.”
Kotn’s affordable pieces are responsibly sourced from Egypt, where every purchase helps support the lives of the farmers who grow their cotton, and their families. Kotn is a B-Corporation.
Takeaway: Kotn is where you go for “farm to table clothes” spanning basics, minimalist aesthetic, and athleisure.
15) Organic Basics
Organic Basics is a great brand for fashion basics with sustainability at its core. They also believe it’s important for clothing to last, which means that they use quality fabric and workmanship.
Organic basics pays living wages across their supply chain and they use 100% recycled packaging.
Takeaway: Organic Basics is the brand for premium eco-friendly underwear, basics, and activewear.
Groceries Apparel has a wide range of women’s clothes as well as staple pieces for men. They trace all of the fabrics they use from the farm to their California based factory.
Groceries Apparel only uses materials that are 100% GMO free, pesticide and herbicide free, recycled, and Fair Trade certified. They also support family farms, localized manufacturing, and living wages.
Takeaway: Groceries Apparel offers a range of ethical women’s clothes and while they don’t have as many options for men, what they do have is pretty damn good.
17) Filippa K
Filippa K offers timeless and minimalist clothes for men and women. As a member of the Fair Trade Foundation, their clothing production is incredibly transparent; you can see which factories sewed your clothes as well as where the fabric came from.
Circulatory is also at the core of Filippa K’s foundation, meaning that they use the four Rs: reduce, reuse, repair, and recycle. For example, they recycle cutting waste, use recycled materials in their collection, and design clothes for recyclability.
Takeaway: Filippa K is great for an elevated minimalist aesthetic (think Scandinavian style) that is radically transparent and designed to be eco-friendly.
Panafrica respects the workers that make their shoes by taking into account social, economic, and environmental impacts of their actions. Their shoes are made in Morocco from materials sourced all over Africa, like wax from the Ivory Coast and fabric woven in Burkina Faso.
Panafrica supports projects to promote access to education and job training in Africa. For every pair of shoes that you buy they donate 10% of their profits to one of their partners.
Takeaway: Panafrica offers ethical and sustainable sneakers that are anything but boring.
19) Conscious Step
If you ever need new socks, Conscious Step is the place to go. They have crew and ankle socks for everyone.
With each purchase, they donate to one of their non-profit partners including Conservation International and Oceana. Not only is all of Conscious Step’s entire supply chain Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Vegan certified, but all of their products are also Fair Trade Certified.
Takeaway: Conscious Step is a great place to grab socks for yourself and a few pairs as gifts, all while giving back to causes you care about.
Patagonia is a leader when it comes to sustainability in the apparel industry. Not only are they a certified B Corporation and 1% For The Planet, but they’re also a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
This means Patagonia shares a vision of an apparel, textiles, and footwear industry that doesn’t harm the environment and has a positive impact on workers and their communities. Patagonia is also heavily involved in environmental activism and uses their influence to support groups and people who fight for the environment.
Takeaway: Patagonia is another OG of sustainable fashion, offering high performance clothing with the highest concern for quality, people, and the planet.
Looking for sustainable fashion doesn’t have to be challenging. We hope this list helped you find some brands you love!
If you’re looking for unisex options check out these 5 brands.
Having trouble finding a sustainable brand for your style? Let us know in the comments.
*Cover image from The Classic T-Shirt Company.
Roxanna Barbulescu is a content writer at Eco-Stylist. She studies English and Creative Writing, and Health and Human Physiology at the University of Iowa. Roxanna also enjoys drawing, biking, and writing short stories.