It wasn’t all that long ago that affordable ethical clothing didn’t really exist. There were plenty of ethical clothing brands doing the rounds but were typically priced out of the reach of most everyday buyers. Even if you wanted to shop with the most forward-thinking ethical and sustainable clothing companies on the market, doing so could have been prohibitively expensive.
Quite simply, ethical clothing brands were predominantly out of reach.
These days, it’s an entirely different picture. As the demand for fair trade products and green clothes skyrockets worldwide, the market for environmentally friendly clothing lines is steadily growing. Ethical apparel is no longer exclusively available for the more affluent buyer - affordable sustainable clothing is becoming the new norm.
Affordable Sustainable Clothing Companies
Unsurprisingly, experts credit the Internet with the growth and expansion of leading ethical clothing brands worldwide. Finding ethically made men’s clothing or women’s clothing on the High Street may still be tricky - shop online and you’re pretty much spoilt for choice. From the latest fair trade brands to long-established companies (finally) joining the eco-friendly clothing movement, a whole world of green clothes is literally at our fingertips.
Designer vegan handbags, shoes made from 100% recycled materials, environmentally friendly manufacturing practices - all molding and shaping the future of the international fashion industry.
But which are considered the very best ethical clothing brands on the market right now? If shopping for ethically made clothing for the first time, on which ethical clothing companies should you focus your attention?
As touched upon, anyone shopping for fair trade fashion these days will be well and truly spoilt for choice. Nevertheless, there are several renowned names in affordable sustainable clothing that are doing a great job by combining eco-friendly apparel with impressive value for money.
Their take on ethical clothing: All cotton is traced right back to the farm, regularly donates profits to pay for schools in Egypt, champions fair and equal pay for workers at all levels.
KOTN is not only an affordable ethical clothing brand but a downright luxurious clothing brand in every sense of the word. Unsurprisingly, the focus of all garments produced by KOTN is cotton. =And not just any cotton, but 100% Egyptian cotton that’s also responsibly sourced and 100% eco-friendly.
The company has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to ethics and responsibility over the years, though continues to sell products at an average price of less than $50. In fact, you’d struggle to find anything in the KOTN catalog that sells for more than $70.
PACT Organic Clothing
Their take on ethical clothing: Committed to the use of 100% organic cotton, fair trade certified and recognized worldwide, is one of the most responsible apparel producers on the market.
Since going into business, PACT Organic Clothing has made no secret of its obsession with eco-friendly operations. Extensively certified and with an enormous international following, Pact Organic Clothing ensures each and every link within its supply chain operates with the same environmental commitment as the company itself.
Nevertheless, PACT still manages to produce 100% cotton clothing for men, women, and children that is comprehensively affordable. Fabulous to look at, an absolute dream to wear and durable in the extreme - all with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re helping the planet with every purchase. PACT continues to set new standards in ethical clothing production for the 21st-century designers.
Their take on ethical clothing: Committed to responsible and transparent production and distribution processes, fair wages for all employees and the empowerment of females in fashion.
ABLE produces ethical clothing to suit all budgets, with garments ranging from around $30 up to a maximum of $150. Comprehensively affordable sustainable clothing, when compared to some of the more overpriced brands in the business. Most lines from ABLE focus on timelessness and simplicity, with creative details here and there to ensure an eye-catching finish.
Despite the luxurious and exclusive nature of ABLE’s primary product collection, their clothes and accessories alike can also be surprisingly affordable. Particularly for those who sign up to the company’s mailing list - ABLE regularly fires out all manner of promos, deals, and discounts via email.
Their take on ethical clothing: Donates at least 1% of all annual sales to environmental charities, uses 100% recycled packaging and shipping materials, striving for zero waste and zero emissions.
Established in 2010, EcoVibe Apparel is on a mission to revolutionize ethical clothing production and distribution for the 21st century. Its founding members have more than 30 years’ experience in various aspects of fashion and design, resulting in a dynamic new clothing brand with a meticulous eye for contemporary aesthetics.
The current collection of clothing and accessories from EcoVibe Apparel is uniquely accessible, featuring simple yet eye-catching lines to suit all tastes. All manufactured using sustainable materials, which can be traced all the way back through the production line right to the point of origin. EcoVibe Apparel doesn’t just focus on the environmental impact of material sourcing and clothing production, but the entire distribution process right down to the final purchase.
Their take on ethical clothing: Committed to reducing the company’s carbon footprint, traces all products right back to their origins, champions fair wages and is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative.
Old Navy may have become an increasingly premium brand over the years, but still remains one of the most affordable sustainable clothing brands on the market by far. Boasting an enormous collection of apparel for kids and adults and starting from just $5 and up, Old Navy demonstrates unrivaled commitment to affordable eco-friendly clothing.
Despite having ‘gone green’ during its time in business, Old Navy has actually managed to improve the quality and durability of its clothes with time. Clearly illustrating how switching to ethical clothing doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality or affordability. FYI - Old Navy is owned and operated by the same people who brought the world Banana Republic and GAP, so kudos to those guys, too.
MOTT & BOW
Their take on ethical clothing: Uses 100% recycled packaging, limits carbon emissions, uses sustainable fabrics and champions workplace diversity of the highest level.
Specializing in the highest-quality denim that’s also 100% sustainable, Mott & Bow has raised the bar in terms of affordable luxury. The jeans and general apparel this Canadian company produces are out of this world, yet somehow sell for an average price of just $30.
Mott & Bow has also earned critical acclaim in the United States in particular for catering to the widest possible range of body shapes and sizes. Rather than simply producing a basic collection of jeans for skinny and slender individuals, they’ve really gone to town with the options available. Mott & Bow continues to donate a portion of its profits to important international charities and has quite rightly become a celebrated name in ethically made clothing.
Their take on ethical clothing: Member of Better Cotton Initiative, committed to fair salaries for all workers, 100% transparent operations, uses renewable energy, clothing recycling program.
You cannot expect a name as large, successful and indeed affordable as H&M to make it to the list. Nevertheless, this renowned international clothing brand has taken significant strides towards immensely environmentally-friendly operations over recent years. H&M has made any number of bold promises regarding its sourcing and manufacturing activities - most of which are slowly but surely coming to fruition.
Due to the sheer size and buying power of H&M, the company is able to offer sustainable clothing at rock-bottom prices. All of which makes it one of the best and most popular eco-friendly clothing brands on the market right now. Typical lines starting from around $5 and up.
Their take on ethical clothing: Superior working conditions for all employees, products tracked all the way to their point of origin, transparent operations, the strict code of conduct.
Perhaps the best way to describe Dynamite Clothing would be as the Canadian version of H&M. Only in this instance, aimed at a slightly more grown-up audience. The company’s commitment to ethical apparel has attracted critical acclaim across Canada and beyond, though Dynamite still continues to offer premium apparel and accessories from $5 to around $100.
Dynamite Clothing may not have made an enormous impact on the international ethical clothing scene but is nonetheless a force to be reckoned with in Canada. Not to mention, a yardstick by which other affordable ethical clothing companies can (and should) be measured.
Their take on ethical clothing: Produces clothes in an extensive range of sizes, exclusively uses sustainable fabrics, committed to carbon footprint production, offers competitive wages.
Operating out of sunny California, Reformation is less about passing fads, more about timeless design. That said, every new collection that emerges from Reformation is always very much on-trend. Since going into business, the company has demonstrated exceptional commitment to sustainable and recycled materials - both for its garment production and packaging alike.
Reformation is also renowned for producing fashionable clothing and accessories in an extensive range of shapes and sizes to suit all body types. Rather than short-changing those who don’t have the traditional catwalk figure, they’ve brought extended sizing to their permanent collection…exactly as it should be.
Their take on ethical clothing: Ethical manufacturing policy, strict codes of conduct at all levels throughout the production line, premium quality sustainable materials, made in Los Angeles.
Perhaps one of the most hyped green clothes brands in recent history, Everlane shot to Internet fame and fortune almost immediately after its launch. Some say Everlane is sometimes overhyped, but you can’t help but be impressed by how much this young ethical clothing company has achieved to date.
They’ve somehow managed to strike the perfect balance between the feeling of luxurious quality, clothes that fit like a glove and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re doing the right thing. Everything always arrives in recycled packaging and the company’s clothes can be traced all the way back through the supply chain. Prices range from around $15 up to around $250 or so, meaning there’s something to suit all preferences and pockets.
Their take on ethical clothing: WRAP certified, competitive wages, fair employment terms, sustainable materials, eco-friendly dyes, and manufacturing processes.
On the surface, you could consider Alternative Apparel a mid-priced ethical clothing company. Check out the normal sticker prices and you’re looking at garments ranging from around $40 up to $150. However, anyone who knows Alternative Apparel will tell you the same - never buy their clothes at full price!
This ultra-ethical fair trade fashion brand is one of countless clothing companies to run promotions throughout the year. At any one time, a sizeable proportion of the Alternative Apparel product catalogue is on sale with up to 50% off the usual price. This might mean waiting a few weeks for the latest lines to be reduced, but it’s a small price to pay for such a small price. Committed to the use of 100% natural and 100% sustainable materials, everything that bears the Alternative Apparel label is sublimely comfortable to wear and impressively durable.
Their take on ethical clothing: Enormous reduction in carbon emissions, working towards zero waste, A+ supplier code of conduct rating, committed to fair wages for all workers.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a new pair of Converse, this is it. Despite being one of the most renowned sneakers and apparel manufacturers on the market, Converse is also one of the world’s leading ethical clothing companies. Another example of a market-leading brand that’s made quite spectacular eco-friendly alterations and improvements over recent years.
It’s also impossible to deny the impressive affordability of converse clothing and footwear in general. Prices range from around $20 to say $150 for the latest lines. Not bad, when you consider the iconic nature of the brand and its growing commitment to the environment.
Their take on ethical clothing: Committed to sustainable manufacturing and distribution practices, offers an extensive range of fair trade products, certified by the fair labor association.
Coming in somewhere around the mid-range of the pricing spectrum, Outerknown produces a renowned collection of denim apparel for eco-conscious men and women. Extensively certified and committed to sustainable operations, Outerknown is a forward-thinking brand that considers its impact before, during and after the production of its garments.
In addition, Outerknown pledges its commitment to ensuring its products are only ever sold by third parties that share the company’s relentless commitment to eco concerns. All of which means that wherever you find an Outerknown stockist, you’re probably looking at an environmentally friendly clothing company. Bottom of Form
Their take on ethical clothing: Uses 100% recycled packaging, committed to ethical production practices, manufactures apparel using sustainable materials from responsible sources.
Vetta owes its success to the innovation and creativity of its design team. Not to mention, the way in which the Vetta product collection responds to the everyday needs of real-life buyers. Possibly the priciest of all affordable ethical clothing companies on this list, every item from Vetta nonetheless represents an exceptional value for money.
This is because Vetta specializes in well thought out clothing lines that can be interconnected in an infinite variety of ways. Roughly translated, you could pick up half a dozen garments from Vetta and easily translate them into at least 25 different outfits. All exceptionally stylish, all manufactured using sustainable materials from responsible sources. It may cost a little more to shop with Vetta in the first place, but what you get out of the deal is truly unbeatable.
ASOS Eco Edit
Source: Decadent Dissonance
Their take on ethical clothing: Certified B Corporation, environmentally friendly fabrics, growing commitment to sustainability and responsible operations.
Just to get one thing straight - not all lines from ASOS are equally eco-conscious. However, their recently introduced Eco Edit collection does offer an extensive range of sustainable and certified garments and accessories. All at prices ranging from around $10 up to $250 or more.
The combination of fair trade materials and environmentally friendly production processes adds up to a perfect pick for conscientious fashionistas. Their collection also features a variety of lines that are well and truly ‘outside the box’ - bordering on the wild and wacky.
Their take on ethical clothing: Uses 100% natural and sustainable materials, committed to ethical manufacturing processes.
Last but not least, one notable French name in eco-friendly clothing to round off our list. Born in the heart of Paris just a couple of years ago, Sézane has already earned an extensive following in some of the world’s most prestigious fashion circles. Prices may be slightly elevated and size limited, but the contribution Sézane makes to good causes is truly remarkable.
Every purchase makes a direct contribution to one or more charities - most of which focus on helping disadvantaged children access education and a better future. Clothing and accessories from Sézane are not only eco-friendly in the extreme but also exude a sense of lavish luxury.