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Ethical & Affordable Clothing Brands

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By

Favy

on January 31, 2023

There are plenty of reasons you may want to buy ethical clothing: reducing your carbon footprint, supporting fair wages and the fair treatment of employees, and receiving better quality products. 

One of the downsides of ethical brands is their price: paying employees a fair and living wage and sourcing sustainable fabrics is costly. However, they do exist. 

Below are some ethical and eco-friendly clothing brands that won’t break the budget -- plus you’ll look great in these pieces!

Price Range

Before we show you our top choices, it’s important to note that prices for ethical fashion will run higher than most retailers. However, it’s still important to note that there are affordable ethical brands out there. 

For our clothing reviews, we are going to use the following scale to show the price range: 

  • $: Under $25
  • $$:  $25–$50
  • $$$: $50–$80 
  • $$$$: $80 or more

Brands

ABLE

Price range: $ - $$$$

Products: Women’s apparel, denim, shoes, clothing, accessories, home goods, bags, jewelry

ABLE is a Nashville, Tennessee-based company that focuses on empowering women by ensuring they receive a liveable wage and proper compensation for their work. In fact, 95% of the workforce is made of women, and ABLE aims to invest in women so they can break the cycle of poverty. 

ABLE offers handcrafted items, uses recycled materials to create clothing, and has in-house manufacturing to ensure minimum environmental impact. Clothing and bags are made all around the world and employees are paid fairly -- ABLE’s website even publishes their minimum wages on their website for transparency. 

EVERLANE

Price range: $ - $$

Products: Women’s apparel, men’s apparel, denim, accessories, shoes

San Francisco-based brand Everlane was launched in 2010, believes in transparency, and works with eco-friendly factories around the world that provide fair wages and reasonable hours. 

Everlane’s clothing is designed to last for years and not based on current trends that come and go; most of the pieces are gorgeous basics that can fit into a minimalist lifestyle or capsule wardrobe. All materials are manufactured as a part of a recycling or upcycling process and conservation of water resources. 

PACT

Price range: $ - $$$

Products: Women’s apparel, men’s apparel, kids, baby, bed & bath

Pact uses 100%  organic material -- specifically cotton, which saves large amounts of water and uses no toxic chemicals. 

Pact is based in Boulder, Colorado and partners with Fair Trade Certified factories that provide safe working conditions, protect the environment, and empower local communities. 74% of their clothing is manufactured in India where the organic cotton (which uses 95% less water than conventional cotton) is harvested. These garments are also GOTS (global organic textile standard) certified.

KOTN

Price range: $ - $$$

Products: Women’s apparel, men’s apparel, basics, underwear

Since it was founded in 2015, Toronto-based company Kotn has provided eco-friendly clothing, transparency, and traceability, including where products are coming from and the breakdown of the costs. 

Kotn supports small family businesses in Egypt and empowers the farmers that provide them with the cotton (which is grown using eco-friendly techniques) by buying the raw cotton directly from them at a guaranteed price. Additionally, clothes are made in safe and fair environments. 

AMOUR VERT

Price range: $$ - $$$$

Products: Women’s apparel, accessories

San Francisco-based company Amour Vert uses the sustainable fibers and raw materials that use a local supply chain and distribution channel to ensure a low environmental impact. In addition, for every t-shirt sold, one tree is planted. 

Clothing is manufactured in limited quantities to ensure that it meets high quality standards; shipping bags and boxes use soy-based inks in their print and are made from recycled materials. 

REI.COM

Price range: $ - $$$$

Products: Outdoor clothing, shoes, travel, and gear

REI is a leader in ethical outdoor clothing, gear, and high-quality, everyday clothing, and many of these products are made of recycled and or vegan materials. Everything sold at REI must be compliant with Product Sustainability Standards. 

BODEN

Price range: $ - $$$$

Products: Adult apparel, children’s clothing, baby clothing, accessories

Boden is an eco-friendly brand that focuses on protecting the environment and manufacturing quality pieces. These products are tested to make sure they are long-lasting and that all the fabrics are ethically resourced and responsibly packaged. Most of these organic items are made in the US. In addition, Boden comes with a 365-day guarantee. 

Boden focuses on educating women and empowering them in the workplace, and its employees participate in fundraising activities. 

Girlfriend Collective

Price range: $ - $$$$

Products: Women’s apparel, bags, outerwear

Girlfriend Collective manufactures eco-friendly, size-inclusive (XXS through 6XL), and stylish workout clothes (sports bras, leggings, and more) made from recycled material such as recycled bottles or plastic fished out of the ocean. 

Clothing is made in Vietnamese factories and Girlfriend Collective’s factories are SA8000 certified, meaning that they practice fair wages, ethical labor practices, and safe working conditions -- no child labor, no forced labor, and workers are allowed to unionize. 

Conscious Step

Price range: $ - $$$

Products: Socks

Conscious Step manufactures colorful, eco-friendly, and fairtrade socks that are both GOTS and vegan certified. For every pair of socks purchased, one is directly donated to a non-profit. In fact, you can even shop for your socks according to the causes you want to support. Additionally, Conscious Step supports small cotton farmers in India and works with nonprofit organizations that support wildlife preservation, violence against women, the LGBTQ+ community,  tree planting, and more.

WAMA Underwear

Price range: $ - $$$

Products: Underwear

WAMA makes underwear out of organic and eco-friendly hemp that is naturally antibacterial, soft, and breathable and gets softer and more breathable with each wash. 

Tentree

Price range: $$ - $$$

Products: Women’s apparel, men’s apparel, hats, backpacks, and accessories

Tentree is an ethically-made, organic, and eco-friendly brand that gives back to the environment. Clothing is ideal for outdoor activities and casual wear, with plenty of nature-based graphic tees. 

For every piece of clothing sold, ten trees are planted (hence the name). Tentree believes that it has the responsibility to protect the world and environment. 

Madewell

Price range: $ - $$$$

Products: Women’s apparel, men’s apparel, denim, shoes, accessories

Madewell aims to make all of their wares fair trade and sustainable in the future, but it currently offers a Do Well Shop that has a collection of ethically-made and sustainable clothing and accessories.

Threads For Thought

Price range: $ - $$$$

Products: Women’s apparel, men’s apparel, children’s apparel, denim

Threads For Thought sources some of the world’s most sustainable material, such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and lenzing modal. Its factories ensure the best working conditions and have high industry certifications. Additionally, Threads For Thought’s International Rescue Committee allows its profits to help communities and refugees around the world and its website details its transparency. 

SiiZU

Price range: $ - $$$$

Products: Women’s apparel, jewelry

SiiZU uses 100% natural and sustainably grown fabric that has 0% polyester and 0% toxins. Its sourcing team keeps fabric manufacturers and garment factories close in order to minimize the carbon footprint -- its packaging even uses recyclable paper bags. 

Levi’s

Price range: $ - $$$$

Products: Women’s apparel, men’s apparel, children’s apparel, denim

Levi’s is committed to ethics and sustainability measures that ensures its employees are treated well, that it produces less waste, and uses less water. 

Levi’s offers high-end pieces from Levi’s Made and Crafted items along with affordable pairs on sale. 

Tasc Performance

Price range: $ - $$$

Products: Women’s apparel, men’s apparel, activewear

Tasc manufactures comfortable, sustainable, durable, and functional clothing that is made from bamboo rayon, which is odor-resistant, hypoallergenic, and offers natural sun protection.

Boody

Price range: $ - $$$

Products: Women’s apparel, men’s apparel, activewear, loungewear, babywear

Boody’s clothing is made from organic bamboo that is grown in China in accordance with the international organic standard, so each bamboo stalk is nontoxic and free of chemical pesticides. These fabrics are hypoallergenic, breathable, and soft in touch to the skin. 

Boody believes in fair wages and and giving back to the community, even donating 100% of the profits to Goodbye Malaria and the Relate Organization if you buy its Giving Bracelet. 

Happy Earth

Price range: $ - $$

Products: Adult apparel, graphic tees, activewear, outerwear, beanies/hats, blankets, stickers, water bottles

Happy Earth’s products are organic, ethically made, and carbon neutral. Its philosophy is protecting the planet and giving back -- it uses recycled and recyclable packaging and sources sustainable materials. Customers are empowered to give back through each purchase of ethically made products (such as shirts, hoodies, blankets, leggings, and accessories) by planting trees and removing trash from nature. Its programs also benefit the environment and community by working to reduce poverty and provide consumers additional food and income through forest gardens. 

Bonus: Rent the Runway

Price range: $ - $$$$

Products: Adult apparel, children’s apparel

Rent the Runway is an eco-friendly alternative to buying new by allowing you to rent fashionable clothing -- dresses for special events or casual wear -- instead of buying them. This clothing is delivered to you and dry-cleaned after you’ve worn and returned them. 

thredUP

Price range: $ - $$$$

Products: Adult apparel, children’s apparel, accessories ThredUP is an online consignment thrift store that allows you to buy new or gently-used quality secondhand clothing instead of buying new.  

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Favy

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