Are you concerned about the impact your fashion choices have on the well-being of other people and the planet? Ethical fashion is a growing movement to address the high cost of “fast fashion” to the environment and those in the supply chain of each garment. While it is still challenging to find ethical fashion on the high streets and in shopping malls, many companies are making it available online. Here are FIFTY-FIVE of the ones I’ve discovered! I’ve chosen each company because they have at least one characteristic of an ethical fashion company: sweatshop-free, fair wages, sustainably-produced textiles, reduced waste, and animal welfare. Comment to let me know what your favourites are, or if I’ve missed a great ethical fashion company.

Please note: Information below is gleaned from company websites. I have not vetted the claims these companies make or their business practices, although I have purchased from some of them. While many of these shops also sell giftware, I have focused on clothing, accessories, footwear, and handbags. And since I’m Canadian, Canadian shops are identified with a maple leaf. For more information on ethical fashion, see my blog post, “An Ethical Resolution?”

 

maple leafAdhesif Clothing  makes one-of-a-kind pieces from new and recycled vintage fabrics in Vancouver, Canada. For: Women’s Apparel

Annie Greenabelle is a UK-based clothing company that offers pieces made from organic cotton, as well as items made in the UK. All factories used to produce their line comply with the Ethical Trading Initiative base code. For: Women’s Apparel, Accessories

Bibico uses 100% natural materials to make its garments and has an organic cotton collection. Clothing is produced by women’s cooperatives that are fair trade certified by the World Fair Trade Organization. For: Women’s Apparel (including denim), Accessories

Braintree is a UK-based natural clothing company that uses sustainable fibres such as bamboo, hemp, and organic cotton to make its garments. Braintree endorses a Code of Conduct approved by the International Labour Organization and helps provide healthy work conditions free from exploitation and child labour. For: Women’s & Men’s Apparel, Socks, Accessories

maple leafDear Pony uses primarily sustainable and organic materials to produce its clothing line in a home studio in Nelson, Canada. For: Women’s Apparel, Accessories

Earth Divas works with artisans in Nepal (primarily women) to produce a variety of accessories for adults and children, including bags and wallets, hats, scarves, and slippers. The company, a member of the Fair Trade Federation, reinvests all profits into its artisans. For: Bags, Accessories

maple leafEncircled uses eco-friendly materials to create versatile women’s clothing designed for travel. Items are produced in Toronto, Canada, using fairly-paid labour. For: Women’s Apparel, Accessories

Eileen Fisher produces 20% of its garments in New York and Los Angeles. It is working to increase manufacturing in the USA and ensure its factory workers are protected and understand their rights. Certain collections are handmade by artisans, made from sustainable fabrics (including organic cotton and organic linen, Tencel®, and chlorine-free wool), produced with fairly traded labour, and dyed without hazardous chemicals. For: Women’s Apparel, Accessories

Elegantees (“elegant tees”) provides hope to sex trafficking survivors in Nepal by offering them a positive source of income in its sewing centre in Kathmandu, where they are paid a fair and living wage. The clothing line consists primarily of tops and dresses. For: Women’s Apparel, Accessories

Everlane, in a move towards transparency, reveals details about its factories, which it hand selects and visits often to ensure ethical production practices are being followed. For: Women’s, Men’s, & Children’s Apparel (including denim); Shoes; Bags; Accessories

Fair Indigo works with small worker-owned cooperatives in Peru to offer “style with a conscience.” Its collection of clothing and accessories also includes a small line of fair trade certified clothing made in India, as well as a selection of organic clothing. Fair Indigo allows shoppers to select items based on their values—choosing from fair trade, organic, made in the USA, recycled, alpaca, vegan, and re-usable. For: Men’s, Women’s, Children’s, & Babies’ Apparel; Accessories

Fair Trade Winds is a member of the Fair Trade Federation of North America and promotes handmade products from around the world to benefit farmers, artisans, and the environment. Fair Trade Winds carries more than one dozen fair trade clothing brands, some made with organic fabrics. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel, Accessories, Jewellery

Freeset is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization. The cotton used to produce its t-shirts is certified 100% organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard. Freeset offers employment to women who may otherwise be trapped in India’s sex trade, and its new business ventures in Bangladesh will offer employment to adults with the understanding that they will keep their daughters in school and not arrange their marriage before age 18. Freeset T-shirts and bags can be customised with screen-printed designs. In Canada, Freeset is distributed by Kindred Apparel. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel (t-shirts), Bags, Accessories

Gather&See is a UK-based business that offers carefully-selected collections of sustainable fashion from around the world. All of the brands they carry fit into at least one of Gather&See’s six founding principles: fair trade, organic, recycled, eco-friendly, handmade, and small-scale production. For: Women’s Apparel (including undergarments), Accessories

Good & Fair Clothing Co. produces its garments and accessories in India “with a supply chain certified fair trade from farm to factory.” Cotton used in clothing is organic. The company is Fair Trade Certified and Global Organic Textile Standard Certified. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel (t-shirts, undergarments, and scarves)

Good Cloth produces limited edition pieces in small quantities, with locally-sourced materials. The online store allows shoppers to filter by ethical value: handcrafted, made in the USA, organic, recycled, sustainable, trade not aid, and vegan. For: Men’s, Women’s, & Children’s Apparel (including undergarments); Swimwear; Accessories; Footwear (men’s)

Good Society produces denim clothing in Italy with 100% organic cotton from India, Pakistan, and Turkey. Cotton used holds the Global Organic Textile Standard certification. The use of fresh water and chemicals in production are minimized. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel (denim)

maple leafGrey Rock Clothing Company offers sweatshop-free, organic, and environmentally-friendly clothing from its shop located in Guelph, Canada, and online. It also offers a custom apparel line that can be embroidered with corporate logos to distribute to employees or promote corporations at events. Grey Rock Clothing Company is a Certified B Corporation™. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel (including denim, undergarments, and socks), Accessories

Indigenous offers organic, fair trade fashion handmade by culturally diverse artisans located in some of the poorest regions of South America. It uses only natural materials—organic cotton, organic alpaca, merino wool, and silk among them— and low-impact dyes to produce environmentally-friendly fashions free from pesticides. Indigenous also partners with non-governmental organizations, and others, that provide training, educational materials, and equipment to artisans that they otherwise could otherwise not afford. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel, Accessories

IOU Project sells handmade items, often available in only one size. The use of unique fabrics means consumers can follow the garment’s story via a distinct tracking code, tracing its journey all the way from the artisan company that assembled the finished piece in Europe back to the weaver who made the traditional Lungi (Madras check) fabric in India. IOU project recruits consumers to become ambassadors by hosting Trunk Shows to sell their fashion. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel (including denim)

Komodo is a UK-based company that has been promoting the use of organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, Tencel®, and other sustainable fabrics since the early 1990s. Concerned about the welfare of those who work in small factories to make the clothes, Komodo visits its factories for at least two months annually to ensure any problems are solved together. All of the cotton and hemp used in Komodo fashions are Global Organic Textile Standard certified and the shoe soles are made from recycled rubber. Wools are 100% pure and sourced from countries that do not practice muesling. Komodo is a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum. Its London office has CarbonNeutral® status. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel, Footwear, Bags

maple leafLa Canadienne uses environmentally-friendly dyes and protective agents to produce its line of leather footwear, made with Italian hides that are by-products of the food industry—materials that would otherwise be discarded. The company is also committed to providing a safe, non-toxic, respected workplace for its employees in Canada and Italy. For: Men’s & Women’s Footwear, Coats, Accessories

maple leafLilikoi Clothing uses hand-printed fabric to create unique, limited-production pieces in Nelson, Canada, by local Canadian employees. Garments are made with sustainable fibres including bamboo, linen, and organically-grown cotton. For: Women’s Apparel

Maggie’s Organics uses certified organic fibres and fair labour practices—from farm to finish—to make its products. Maggie’s Organics makes pre-payments on direct contracts with over 2,000 cotton farmers in Nicaragua, meaning it shares the risk of crop failure with the farmers. In a 2012 study funded by the U.S. Department of State, on efforts to address child labour and forced labour in supply chains, Maggie’s Organics received an A+. For: Women’s Apparel, Socks, Tights, & Accessories; Men’s & Children’s Socks

Marigold Fair Trade Clothing uses vegetable dyed hand block-printed fabrics and detailed embroidery for its fair trade clothing, produced by a women’s cooperative in Mumbai, India. By purchasing organic cotton at fair prices from farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India, Marigold helps them escape spiralling debts that have contributed to a high rate of farmer suicides. For: Men’s & Children’s Apparel (limited selection), Women’s Apparel

Mata Traders partners with fair trade organizations in India and Nepal that train and employ artisans in marginalized communities. Gender equality and empowering women are two of Mata’s goals. Mata’s garments are handmade using artisan traditional art forms like block-printing, screen-printing, and hand embroidery. There is an organic clothing line, as well. Mata is a certified Fair Trade Federation Member and a Green America Certified Business. For: Women’s Apparel, Accessories

maple leafMatt & Nat is based in Montreal, Canada, and produces vegan “leather” handbags lined with fabric made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. The canvas collection of bags is made completely of recycled plastic bottles. The company says it diligently visits each of its small factories in China to maintain personal relationships with their owners and ensure integrity in the manufacturing process. One of Matt & Nat’s factories operates by the Social Accountability International SA8000 certification standard, which protects the basic human rights of all workers. Their goal is to make this standard a bigger part of their production in the future. For: Handbags & Wallets

Maude and Tommy is a UK shop that carries a collection of fair trade, organic, sustainable, and “eco” clothing and accessories. For: Women’s Apparel (including sleepwear), Accessories

Mayamiko is an award-winning UK brand that produces its collections in Malawi from bold traditional African printed cotton, other unique fabrics, and recycled materials (in the “Rebirth Collection”). Using a “trade not aid” model, Mayamiko sources and produces its fair trade clothing collections from artisans in disadvantaged communities and adheres to the Ethical Trade Initiative’s principles, re-investing a portion of the profits back into artisans’ communities and using techniques and processes to reduce environmental impact. For: Women’s Apparel, Accessories

maple leafMiik (and Miik Men) designs and mills its own fabric and tailors its clothing in Toronto, Canada, minimizing its carbon footprint and supporting local businesses. The entire collection is produced with sustainably-sourced fabrics such as organic cotton, rayon from organic bamboo, modal, Sorona®, and Tencel®. Many of the chemicals used to produce the fabrics are recycled and re-used to reduce environmental impact. Pieces are designed to be timeless, ageless, and last season after season. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel

Minna is an award-winning UK-based company launched by Finnish designer Minna Hepburn. Each piece in Minna’s “eco luxe” collection is made from sustainable, organic, recycled, and/or locally-produced materials using environmentally-friendly (and zero waste pattern) techniques. Most of Minna’s collection consists of bridal wear and fancy dresses for children, but Minna’s Indiebride collection offers ready-to-wear women’s dresses as well, suitable for other occasions. For: Women’s & Children’s Apparel, Bridal wear

Modavanti is an online retailer bringing ethical and environmentally-friendly products to consumers. Shoppers can filter products by ethical focus (“wellness”): fair trade, made in the USA, vegan, artisan, organic, recycled, eco-friendly, and zero waste. For Men’s, Women’s, & Children’s Apparel; Accessories; Bags; Footwear

Monkee Genes is a UK-based company making “PETA-Approved Vegan” jeans, chinos, and shorts. Some styles are made from sustainable fabrics, such as bamboo, Tencel®, and organic cotton. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel (denim)

Nancy Dee offers luxury ethical fashion manufactured in small British factories under strict UK and EU working regulations. Fabrics used are mostly from renewable natural sources, such as soya, bamboo, and organic cotton. Eco-friendly Modal and up-cycled materials are also used. Patterns are designed to minimize fabric wastage and leftover fabric is re-used. For: Women’s Apparel

maple leafNicole Bridger Design uses ethically-sourced materials including renewable and biodegradable fabrics. Many of its fabric suppliers are Global Organic Textile Standards Certified, meeting environmental requirements for production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution, as well as fair labour standards. Ninety per cent of the fashion line is produced in Vancouver, Canada, while the remaining items are produced in fair trade factories overseas. Some items are made from organic cotton. For: Women’s Apparel, Maternity Apparel

Noctu has roots in the UK and Norway and produces luxury nightwear and loungewear. It has a line using organic cotton that is Global Organic Textile Standards Certified. For: Men’s, Women’s, & Children’s Nightwear and Loungewear

Novica gives artisans from around the world (many who live in rural communities) access to a global marketplace. Consumers have the opportunity say “no” to sweatshops and learn exactly who produced the items for sale, as each product available on Novica’s website is accompanied by the artisan’s portrait and biography. Novica preserves ancient artistic traditions and empowers artisans to build sustainable businesses from their crafts by giving them control over pricing and offering microcredit support—consumers have the option to make small loans (0% interest) to the same artisans they purchase from. Novica also incorporates the principles of fair trade into the core of its operations. For: Men’s & Women’s Clothing, Accessories, Handbags 

Oliberté is a sustainable leather footwear company that makes every pair of its shoes at its own factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 2013, it became the world’s first Fair Trade Certified™ footwear manufacturing factory (certification is from Fair Trade USA). Leather is sourced from local tanneries and the main tannery has the world’s only chrome-recycling system. Oliberté is also a Certified B Corporation™. For: Men’s, Women’s, & Babies’ Footwear; Handbags

PACT Apparel says, “Robots don’t make your clothes, people do” and it is committed to making clothing that is sweatshop-free and ethically produced by partnering only with factories that treat workers well and pay them fair wages. Sustainable production is also important to PACT and it uses non-GMO organic cotton, to reduce debt-burden on cotton farmers and protect the environment. PACT cotton is certified organic by Organic Content Standard and Global Organic Textile Standard, and certified fair trade by Fair Trade USA. PACT is also a Certified B Corporation™. For: Men’s, Women’s, and Babies’ Apparel (including undergarments and socks)

Pants to Poverty currently supports more than 5,000 organic cotton farmers in India and. In 2014, Pants to Poverty was working to develop real living wage and empowerment programmes in the carbon neutral spinning, knitting, dyeing, and garment-making factory that produces its clothing. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel (undergarments)

Patagonia employs a range of due diligence activities to promote fair labour practices, safe working conditions, and environmental responsibility in the factories that produce its products. In its fall 2015 line, Patagonia offered nearly 200 Fair Trade Certified™ products. Some of the company’s pieces are made with organic cotton; recycled polyester, nylon, and wool; and reclaimed cotton and wool. Patagonia is a Certified B Corporation™. For: Men’s, Women’s, & Children’s Apparel (sport, leisure, and outdoor); Accessories

People Tree purchases products from marginalized producer groups in the majority (“developing”) world and guarantees the most of the products purchased are fair trade and “committed to the World Fair Trade Organization Fair Trade standards.” People Tree’s garments are hand-produced as much as possible. It promotes organic cotton farming (almost all cotton used is organic), and attempts to protect the environment in a number of ways in its practices. For: Women’s Apparel, Nightwear, Yoga wear, Accessories; Men’s Apparel

prAna creates sustainable clothing and accessories from organic cotton, recycled wool, repurposed down, and hemp. It partners with bluesign® systems to ensure its textile production processes are environmentally friendly, and works to trace its products’ lives from raw materials to processing and production. In partnership with Fair Trade USA, prAna launched its Fair Trade Certified™ products in 2010. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel (sport, leisure, and outdoor); Accessories

Raven + Lily aims to empower women and alleviate poverty by employing more than 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages. It is dedicated to fair trade and eco-friendly principles and is a Certified B Corporation™. Some of the items offered by Raven + Lily are made with organic cotton. For: Women’s Apparel, Accessories

Sévya is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and preserves indigenous art forms of India by supporting artisan communities that produce handmade scarves, shawls, clothing, and bags using the traditional crafts of block-printing, hand-looming, organic natural dyeing, and embroidery. For: Women’s Apparel, Accessories

Shift to Nature is an Australian company that sources luxury eco-friendly fashion made from sustainable and organic materials (such as certified organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, modal, and others). Some collections are Fairtrade International certified while others carry certifications from Global Organic Textile Standard, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (safe dyes and textile processes), and other certification bodies. For: Men’s, Women’s, & Babies’ Apparel (including undergarments and sleepwear); Activewear

soleRebels is an “eco-ethical” footwear brand producing Abyssinian leather and vegan footwear in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This artisan-powered company produces the only World Fair Trade Organization certified footwear on the planet. (Oliberté, above, is certified by Fair Trade USA.) Vegan shoes are made from traditional hand-loomed Abyssinian heritage organic cotton and recycled Abyssinian jute coffee bags, and the soles of all shoes are made from recycled tires. From its inception, soleRebels has employed and trained the highly marginalized and those thought to be unemployable, and it operates on a “trade not aid” model. Workers receive four times the legal minimum wage and three times the industry average for similar work, and take advantage of a 100% medical coverage programme with doctors who make visits to the worksite. Transportation is also provided to and from work for employees with disabilities. For: Men’s & Women’s Footwear (My note: soleRebels are super comfortable and customer service is amazing!)

Stella McCartney is a British fashion company committed to vegetarianism and operating sustainably. A member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, Stella McCartney works to ensure it supports safe and fair working conditions across its supply chain, working with suppliers that share its vision. One of the ways it protects workers is by avoiding sandblasting of denim (which can cause lung disease in those performing it). All of the company’s ready-to-wear fashions, shoes, and bags are produced in Europe and it has an initiative in Kenya creating opportunities for marginalized people who produce bags through the United Nations’ International Trading Centre Ethical Fashion Initiative. In 2014, 72% of Stella McCartney’s denim collection, 54% of its cotton jersey, and 74% of cotton used in its “kidswear” collection was certified organic cotton. For: Women’s Apparel (including lingerie and denim), Children’s Apparel, Accessories, Bags, Footwear

The North Circular is a UK-based cottage industry using natural biodegradable fibres dyed to Global Organic Textile Standards to produce its knitwear. Pieces are handmade by “Grannies.” The locally-produced product passes through a 120-mile “north circular” route from animals in the field to scourer, spinner, dyer, and knitter. For: Men’s, Women’s, & Babies’ Apparel (hats, gloves, scarves, and booties)

Thread Harvest is an Australian-based online store with a global fashion collection. Each item Thread Harvest sells has a “compelling story of social or environmental impact.” They search for designers who demonstrate significant positive impact through their supply chains and are committed to human rights and environmental preservation. Consumers can choose items based on areas of impact they care about: organic cotton, fair trade conditions, employing the marginalized, empowering women, upcycling, eco-friendly products, and cause supporting. For: Men’s & Women’s Apparel (including sleepwear), Accessories, Footwear

maple leafTwo Birds Apparel is a fashion brand that makes clothing from organic cotton and sustainable fabrics (such as bamboo). Some of the garments are OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified for not containing harmful substances in the raw materials and fabrics. Other garments are Global Organic Textile Standard certified. In early 2016, Two Birds Apparel’s focus was primarily on men’s tops (t-shirts, Henley tops, and polo shirts). For: Men’s Apparel

The Root Collective promotes social change through economic development and dignified job opportunities by partnering with artisans from marginalized communities in Guatemala who produce handmade shoes from handwoven textiles. The Root Collective, a Certified B Corporation™, also donates a portion of each sale to non-profit organizations that work in the communities where artisans live, in hopes that the “double-edged” approach provides lasting change and opportunity. For: Women’s Footwear

TS Designs is a custom t-shirt printer specializing in sustainable fabric and printing/dyeing processes. Its three t-shirt lines are made from “conventionally-grown” local cotton (North Carolina), organic cotton from overseas, and certified organic USA-grown cotton. TS Designs is a Certified B Corporation™. For: Men’s, Women’s, & Children’s Apparel (custom-printed t-shirts)

maple leafTurbine offers clothing designed, cut, produced, and retailed in Lisa Drader-Murphy’s privately-run production and retail facilities in Eastern Canada. For: Women’s Apparel; Accessories

Voon is a New Zealand-based company that, in 2015, moved nearly all of its clothing manufacturing operations to a small workshop operated on fair trade principles in Cambodia—a nation notorious for sweatshops. This move was made to follow Voon’s dream to “support ethical employment for women in developing countries.” Sophie Voon Bridal offers bridal gowns crafted in their own workroom (in Wellington, New Zealand), as well as bridesmaid dresses. For: Children’s Apparel, Women’s Apparel (including coats and bridal), Accessories

 

Header photo: iStock Photo (copyright: IvanMikhaylov).

 

8 thoughts on “Ethical Fashion – 55 Fabulous Finds!

    1. You are welcome! I surprised myself by how many companies I found. I decided to end my list at 55 but there are more!

    1. Hello Sakeenah Aleem! I am so glad you discovered my list of 55 ethical fashion finds. Please let me know if you find a favourite company/shop among them. One of my favourites is soleRebels shoes. The company does such great work in Ethiopia and the Fair Trade certified shoes are so comfortable! I have two pairs of the tooTOOS flats, and they are also vegan-friendly.

      1. I definitely will! Follow my blog, I talk about Eco fashion among other topics and I hope to end the stigma that Eco fashion is only for hippies. There are some stylish brands out there!

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