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?”
Good news: we’ve compiled 20 thoroughly researched sustainable brands for everyone. And no, you won’t find H&M or any other fast fashion brands on this list of “top sustainable brands.”
What Makes These Good Ethical Clothing Brands?
When we say sustainable we really mean it. Like all the brands at Eco-Stylist, these brands have been researched with our sustainable brand criteria.
1) Good for People & Planet: Outerknown
When it comes to ethics and sustainability, Outerknown stands for people and planet. 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 working with Fair Trade Certified factories, working to raise awareness about ocean plastic, collaborating with Levi’s (helping to make one of the most popular denim brands more 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.
2) Pays Living Wages: Adelante Made-to-Order
Shoes are an important part of any wardrobe and Adelante Made-to-Order 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 Made-to-Order is great for buying shoes ranging from casual to professional that are hand-crafted, ethically made, and even offers custom sizing.
3) Athleisure Style: Colorful Standard
Colorful Standard is a great brand for fashion basics with sustainability at its core. Available in 48 different colors, these basics are anything but boring.
Colorful Standard makes their clothes in Portugal where they pay living wages. And they plant one tree for every order shipped!
Takeaway: Colorful Standard is the brand for eco-friendly underwear, basics, and loungewear in 48 colors.
4) Circular Clothes: For Days
For Days offers timeless and minimalist clothes for men and women. They also offer some more colorful options.
Circulatory is at the core of For Days’ clothing, with everything designed to be sent back and upcycled. They can also include take back bags with your purchase to sent back unwanted clothes, from any brand, to be recycled and/or disposed of in the most sustainable option.
Takeaway: For Days offers clothes designed to be lived in, to feel good about, and to continue their life when you’re done with them.
5) Circular Vegan Shoes: Thousand Fell
Thousand Fell makes vegan friendly and circular sneakers for everyone. Their wide selection of white sneakers, black sneakers, and sneakers with pops of color are all designed to be sent back and recycled when you’re done with them!
Thousand Fell sneakers aren’t just more sustainable in how they’re made but also in the minimalist styles. You can wear their white sneakers with just about anything, including a suit, and the most sustainable clothes get worn—a lot!
Takeaway: Thousand Fell offers stylish sneakers with a light environmental footprint.
6) Underwear, Basics and Dresses: Pact
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, loungewear, and dresses that are both affordable and sustainable.
7) Ethical Accessories: Brilliant Earth
Brilliant Earth has ethical and sustainable jewelry for every occasion. Check out their selection of men’s and women’s earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings.
Looking for the perfect engagement ring or wedding bands? They’ve got that too.
Brilliant Earth uses mostly recycled metals, lab grown diamonds, and Beyond Conflict Free diamonds to bring you some of the most ethical and beautiful jewelry money can buy. They’re also a certified Carbonfree company.
Takeaway: Brilliant Earth is your go-to for everyday ethical jewelry and for weddings and engagements too.
8) Made in the US: The Classic T-Shirt Company
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.
9) Hemp Sneakers: 8000Kicks
8000Kicks sells high quality, sustainable footwear for men and women made from hemp and algae blooms. These everyday hemp sneakers will quickly become your go-to shoe for errands, walking, the gym, and more.
8000Kicks also pays living wages to their shoe makers in Portugal and China.
Takeaway: 8000Kicks is your go-to for eco-friendly hemp sneakers that can be worn casually, as streetwear, or even with a suit. All of their shoes are vegan too!
10) Business Apparel: Ministry of Supply
If you’re looking for sustainable business casual and business professional clothes, then Ministry of Supply is your new go-to. Their selection of performance minded blazers, suits, shirts, pants, and polos is sure to impress more than just your boss.
Ministry of Supply shares their factory list on their website and has a take-back program to extend the life of their clothes. They are also Carbon Neutral certified.
Takeaway: Ministry of Supply is your new go-to for eco-friendly business casual and professional menswear and womenswear.
11) Fashion Forward Staples: Kotn
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.
12) Fair Trade Clothing Brand: 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.
13) Recycled and Upcycled Socks: 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.
14) Denim Wear: 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.
15) Footwear Brand without the Carbon Footprint: Nisolo
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 and is Climate Neutral certified.
Takeaway: Nisolo is your place for ethically made leather shoes appropriate for casual and work attire, all while supporting tangible environmental initiatives.
16) Activewear Brand: Cotopaxi
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.
17) Eco-Conscious Climbing and Yoga Apparel: prAna
prAna sells clothes, accessories and gear for people who love yoga, climbing, and sustainable living. Check out their selection of dresses, chalk bags, swimwear, outdoor apparel, and attractive casual wear.
In making their products, they use sustainable bluesign partner materials to help ensure safe chemicals usage for people and the planet. prAna also works with a number of Fair Trade certified factories, with a goal to use 100% Fair Trade factories by 2028.
Takeaway: prAna is great for active clothes to do yoga in, climb, or just be comfortable.
18) Made in LA: Groceries Apparel
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.
19) Socks with a Mission: 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.
20) Profits Fight Climate Change: Patagonia
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 more top sustainable clothing brands?
Looking for sustainable fashion doesn’t have to be challenging. We hope this list helped you find some brands you love!
For anything else this should help:
- Shop over 1,000 curated sustainable clothes in our shop.
- Discover 90+ certified sustainable brands in our Brand Guide.
*Cover image from The Classic T-Shirt Company.
**Article updated 03/11/23.
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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.