Even as we are stuck at home during the pandemic, we can still buy comfortable, stylish clothes from ethical, sustainable fashion brands that promote eco-friendly garment production and fair trade labor practices. In addition to proving in-depth lists of vegan clothing and vegan sneaker brands, this article provides a curated list of places to find sustainable clothing.


What is a sustainable brand?


Fashion companies that define themselves as “sustainable”, “ethical fashion”, “ethical clothing” and “fair trade” engage in production, manufacturing and employment practices that prioritize the wellbeing of people, animals and the environment in the production of clothes.

Sustainable clothing brands follow these guidelines:

  • People Centric: Ensure that people have safe work environments that follow international regulations and that employees all along the supply chain receive a living wage.
  • Cruelty Free: Eliminate animal testing and use of fur, leather and any materials sourced from animals in the production of clothes and shoes.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Utilize production, manufacturing and distribution processes that are carbon-neutral and have limited use of water, energy, land, wildlife and ecosystems.

What is a fast fashion brand?


Fast fashion is the mass-production of cheap, disposable clothing. Before the 1990s, most brands would release 2-3 “collections” per season.  That has increased over the past 30 years to brands releasing an average of 52 micro-collections each season, resulting in 80 billion garments per year. [1]

The sustainable clothing industry has developed in direct response to the environmental, social and economic problems created by fast fashion.


What are sustainable clothing certifications?


In compiling our list of brands, we mostly focus on fashion brands that have third party certifications of their labor and production processes. We also include a few small businesses with sustainable textiles and processes that manufacture clothing on a small-scale basis.

The following certifications demonstrate that a company has achieved specific ecological or labor-related goals in its supply chain. We indicate in our list which brands have achieved official fair trade or sustainable certification.

Labor Equity | living wages, safe workplaces:

  • World Fair Trade Organization – International review board that independently audits fashion brands to confirm the fair trade labor and workplace standards are satisfied.
  • Fair Wear Foundation – Demonstrates a brand has safe warehouses that are inspected to ensure international safety requirements are upheld.
  • B Corporation – Certification that verifies a comprehensive evaluation of a brand’s societal and environmental performance, in terms of waste, water consumption, pollution, workplace safety and employee compensation.
  • SA8000 – A social certification program that is awarded to brands that pay employees that pay a living wage and provide safe working conditions.
  • Transparency Pledge – Created by  an international collective of nine trade union federations and human rights groups. The directory publishes the names, addresses, and other information about fashion production warehouses around the world.
  • Open Apparel Registry – A directory that publicizes brands’ supply chain warehouse locations.

Non-Toxic | chemical and pesticide-free fabrics:

  • OEKO-TEX – Verifies textiles have been tested for harmful chemicals and that products are manufactured under environmentally and socially responsible methods.

Organic | natural, biodegradable fabrics:

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) – Certifies that fabrics are free of pesticides, herbicides, and have been organically produced according to strict environmental and social criteria.
  • EcoCert Organic Content Standards – Verifies that a brand’s fibers are derived from certified organic raw materials.

Eco-Friendly | recycled materials, environmentally sustainable:

  • Global Recycled Standard – Certifies the origination and composition of recycled content in textiles and documents the environmental and societal chain of custody.
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – International certification that certifies products created from ethically managed forests.
  • BLUEdot Register – Organization that records the quantity of carbon emissions that companies offset through their supply chain processes.

What are the 28 best sustainable clothing brands?


Sustainable Jeans


Kuyuchi Jeans

Kuyuchi Women's Jeans

Kuyichi Suzie Slim Jeans

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Netherlands
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Fair Wear Foundation, Open Registry, Transparency Pledge, Global Organic Textile Standard, OEKO-TEX® Non-Toxic Textiles, PETA Approved
  • Materials: Denim made from organic cotton, with no toxic chemicals or dyes.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: Kuyuchi uses a faux leather called “viridis”, which is a plant based material, mostly made from corn.
  • Price Range: $100 – $250

Mud Jeans

Mud Jeans Women's Skinny Lilly - Strong Blue

Women’s Skinny Lilly – Strong Blue

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Netherlands
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: B Corp., BLUEdot Register
  • Materials: Denim made from organic, pesticide-free, recycled cotton using production processes that offset CO2 emissions.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: Mud Jeans can be “leased” instead of purchased. They are big promoters of the “circular economy” and also have programs to recapture and recycle used denim.
  • Price Range: $100 – $250

Outland Denim

Outland Denim Abi High Rise Girlfriend Jeans

Outland Denim Abi High Rise Girlfriend Jeans

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Australia
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard
  • Materials: Denim made from recycled cotton, organic cotton, no toxic dyes or chemicals.
  • Vegan: No – the company uses leather.
  • Sustainable Features: Outland provides employment opportunities for Cambodian women rescued from exploitative circumstances.
  • Price Range: $100 – $250

Unspun

Unspun women's tapered jeans

Unspun women’s tapered jeans

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: United States
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: None
  • Materials: Denim
  • Vegan: No – the company uses a shrimp-based dye
  • Sustainable Features: When you purchase with unspun, you are also supporting their mission to reduce global carbon emissions by 1%.
  • Price Range: $100 – $250

Frank And Oak

Frank and Oak Sustainable Denim

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Canada
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: GOTS
  • Materials: Denim created with eco-safe dyes. Their dyes which are aniline free.
  • Vegan: No – the company uses a shrimp-based dye
  • Sustainable Features: Packaging made from 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard, operates a tree-planting program to offsets carbon emissions created by packaging and shipping, accepts gently used clothing at their retail stores to be repurposed.
  • Price Range: $80 – $100

Sustainable Dresses & Skirts


Beaumont Organic Dresses

Bridget Organic Cotton Dress In Black

Bridget Organic Cotton Dress In Black

  • Gender: Women
  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard
  • Materials: Locally sourced, certified organic cotton
  • Vegan: No, the company uses sustainably sourced wool
  • Sustainable Features: Beaumont Organic only works with manufacturers in the European Union who pay fair wages and provide safe working conditions for their staff.
  • Price Range: $100 – $200

Mila Vert Sustainable Dresses

Mila Vert Knitted High Boat Neck Dress

Mila Vert Knitted High Boat Neck Dress

  • Gender: Women
  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: PETA Approved, Global Organic Textile Standard
  • Materials: Organic cotton, linen and hemp.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: The company manufacturing is based in Slovenia in the European Union.  This ensures living wages and safe workplace conditions. Cotton is sourced from Uganda via an organic farming cooperative that works to empower the local community.
  • Price Range: $100 – $400

People Tree Dresses

People Tree Caroline Floral Wrap Dress Made of 100% TENCEL™ Lyocell

People Tree Caroline Floral Wrap Dress Made of 100% TENCEL™ Lyocell

  • Gender: Women
  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Fair Trade International, Global Organic Textile Standard, Fair Wear Foundation, Soil Association, World Fair Trade Organization
  • Materials: Organic cotton, wood-based TENCEL™ Lyocell, sustainable denim, flax-based linen, sustainable wool
  • Vegan: No, the company uses sustainably sourced wool
  • Sustainable Features: Founded in 1991, People Tree is one of the oldest sustainable fashion brands around. They were the first brand to be awarded the prestigious World Fair Trade Organization certification.
  • Price Range: $20 – $200

Sustainable Fashion

Thea skirt Spirulina gum print

Thea skirt Spirulina gum print

  • Gender: Women
  • Location: Australia
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard
  • Materials: Locally sourced, certified organic fabrics.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: All items are produced at the family-owned facilities in Brisbane, Australia. This ensures a living wage and safe workplace conditions.
  • Price Range: $100 – $200

Sustainable Hoodies & Jackets


Patagonia

Women's Organic Cotton Quilt Snap-T® Pullover

Women’s Organic Cotton Quilt Snap-T® Pullover

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: United States
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Remake Approved, Global Organic Textile Standard, B Corp, Fair Trade Certified, Open Apparel Registry
  • Materials: In 2020 Patagonia transitioned to the Nano Puff® 100% recycled PrimaLoft® Insulation with P.U.R.E™ textile — reducing CO2 emissions by 510,000 pounds annually.
  • Sustainable Features: Patagonia has a self-imposed 1% tax for the Planet to support environmental nonprofits.
  • Price Range: $90 – $300

Colorful Standard

Colorful Standard Women's Classic Organic Zip Hoodie

Colorful Standard Women’s Classic Organic Zip Hoodie

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Denmark
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: OEKO-TEX® Non-Toxic Textiles
  • Materials: Environmentally Friendly Dyes and 100% organic cotton.
  • Vegan: No, the company uses Merino Wool in some products.
  • Sustainable Features: The company’s workforce is based in Portugal and operates under European Union Labour Law, which ensures a high level of workplace safety and that all employees receive a living wage.
  • Price Range: $35 – $100

Honest Basics

Honest Basics Women's Crew Neck Sweater

Honest Basics Women’s Crew Neck Sweater

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Germany
  • Shipping: Europe
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard
  • Materials: Organic, vegan fabrics
  • Vegan: Yes, certified by PETA
  • Sustainable Features: The company employs equitable labor practices and ensures all receive a living wage.
  • Price Range: $15 – $100 (prices in euros)

Pangaia

Pangaia Sustainable Hoodies

Pangaia Sustainable Hoodies

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Germany
  • Shipping: Europe
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard
  • Materials: Organic fabrics
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: the company’s production is in the European Union and has a Code of Conduct that includes some of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms.
  • Price Range: $30 – $300 (prices in euros)

Picture Organic Clothing

Picture Organic Clothing Esme Hoodie

Picture Organic Clothing Women’s Esme Hoodie

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: France
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: B Corp., Fair Wear Foundation
  • Materials: 100% recycled, organic or ethically sourced materials.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: The company produces 84% of their products from 2 factories – one in China and one in Turkey. The founders regularly visit the facilities, and workplace safety is evaluated by third party organizations.
  • Price Range: $50 – $300 (prices in euros)

Armedangels

Armed Angels Women's Organic Cotton Sweathoodie

Armed Angels Women’s Organic Cotton Sweathoodie

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Germany
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard, Fair Wear Foundation
  • Materials: Organic, non-toxic fabrics.
  • Vegan: No, they use sustainably sourced wool.
  • Sustainable Features: The company verifies its workers are paid a living wage.
  • Price Range: $20 – $200 (prices in euros)

WAWWA Clothing

Wawwa Unisex Jonah Burgandy Organic Rugby Sweatshirt

Wawwa Unisex Jonah Burgandy Organic Rugby Sweatshirt

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard
  • Materials: WAWWA primarily uses recycled materials in the production of its clothes, including plastic water bottles to make polyester.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: Yes – the company’s production is in the European Union and has a Code of Conduct that includes some of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms
  • Price Range: $30 – $200

All About the Shirt

Sunshine Wave Men's Hoodie

Sunshine Wave Men’s Hoodie

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: India
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard, SA8000
  • Materials: The company uses rain water, co-planting, and insect traps to sustainably grow organic cotton.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: Yes, the company has two production facilities – one in UK and one in India. This allows them to stay in close contact with their manufacturers and monitor workplace conditions and safety protocols
  • Price Range: $20 – $60

Phyne

Phyne Fair Play Yellow Hoodie

Phyne Fair Play Yellow Hoodie

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Germany
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard, OEKO-TEX® Non-Toxic Textiles, FSC-certified packaging
  • Materials: Wood-based Tencel and organic fabrics.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: 85% of production is based in Portugal under strict EU regulations. Workers are paid a living wage, in addition to overtime compensation and bonuses.
  • Price Range: $50 – $200

Afends

Afends Womens Hemp Pullon Hoodie

Afends Womens Hemp Pullon Hoodie

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Australia
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard, Fair Wear Foundation, EcoCert Organic Content Standards, Global Recycled Standard
  • Materials: Hemp, organic cotton, wood-based Tencel and recycled polyester
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: Afends warehouse is based in Australia and is 100% solar powered. It does source materials from vendors in China and provides detailed information on each warehouse on its website.
  • Price Range: $40 – $200

Sustainable General Clothing


Ivy Sister

Ivy Sister Sustainable Yoga Wear

Ivy Sister Sustainable Yoga Wear

  • Gender: Women
  • Location: United States
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: None
  • Materials:  Products are made from sustainable, recycled polyester. The company has completely removed water dyes from the production process.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: Ivy Sister makes their products on-demand to prevent excess waste created by over-production. Thus, they are not housed in a traditional fashion warehouse, meaning their facilities are smaller and safer for workers.
  • Price Range: $50 – $110

Woodlike Ocean

Woodlike Ocean Flower Print Leggings

Woodlike Ocean Flower Print Leggings

  • Gender: Women
  • Location: Italy
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: None
  • Products: Yoga, surf, swim wear
  • Materials: Woodlike Ocean uses recycled Italian called “ECONYL®”, comprised of 78% processed nylon recaptured from ghost fishing nets and other discarded waste such as carpets. Their products has UPF 50+ UV protection and is ultra chlorine resistant.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: Woodlike Ocean packages orders in a reusable, recyclable, waterproof Tyvek® clutch that can be used as a pouch for swimwear or as a satchel.
  • Price Range: $50 – $150

Nube

Nube Women's Artifact Legging

Nube Women’s Artifact Legging

  • Gender: Women
  • Locations: United States
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: None
  • Materials: Products are made from recycled waste like plastic PET bottles.
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Price Range: $30 – $95

Vitamin A

Vitamin A Women's West Tank

Vitamin A Women’s West Tank

  • Gender: Women
  • Locations: United States
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: None
  • Materials: Organic cotton, linen, recycled cotton and Tencel®, recycled cashmere, with products manufactured in an eco-friendly warehouse in the USA.
  • Vegan: No – the company sells recycled cashmere.
  • Sustainable Features: Vitamin A uses digital printing instead of “wet” printing for the bulk of its products.  Digital printing reduces water consumption and minimizes fabric waste through detailed sizing adjustments. This process also does not require chemical cleaning products.
  • Price Range: $50 – $200

Drihp

Drihp Men's Hemp T-Shirt

Drihp Men’s Hemp T-Shirt

  • Gender: Men
  • Locations: United States
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: None
  • Products: Accessories, t-shirts, tanks
  • Materials: Drihp clothing are made exclusively from hemp fiber.  Hemp requires no pesticides or herbicides to grow, produces more oxygen than 25 acres of trees and uses 50% less land to grow as compared to cotton, and uses significantly less water. In some cases, hemp crop are 100% sustained by natural rainwater.
  • Vegan: Yes.
  • Sustainable Features: Drihp plants a tree for every piece of clothing sold.
  • Price Range: $10 – $60

Celo Clothing

Celo Clothing Men's Jet Black Training Tank

Celo Clothing Men’s Jet Black Training Tank

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Locations: United States
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Global Recycled Standard, Fair Trade Certified
  • Products: Bottoms, leggings, tanks, t-shirts
  • Eco friendly: All Celo products are made from recycled polyester.
  • Vegan: Yes.
  • Sustainable Features: Celo only works with fair trade certified partners along its supply chain. The company partners with a fair trade factory in Chennai, India to produce their entire collection. This factory adheres to strict regulations to ensure safe workplace standards for workers.
  • Price Range: $36 – $95

Nikin

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Switzerland
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: FSC packaging
  • Products: Accessories, bags, tees, shirts, hats, pants, sweaters, swimwear
  • Eco Friendly: Nikin uses bamboo and cotton from recycled jeans to make its products.
  • Vegan Materials: Yes, all products are vegan and cruelty-free.
  • Sustainable Features:  The company plants a tree for each item purchased, in collaboration with Colorado-based OneTreePlanted. To date, they have planted almost 1 million trees. Nikin ships product in FSC certified recycled paper sealed with paper tape. The company only produces clothing in EU countries with strict worker labor rights. Nikin purposefully relocated its manufacturing to reduce CO2 emissions from travel and to ensure employees along the supply chain are paid a living wage.
  • Price Range: $15 – $50 (prices in francs)

MNTN Co.

MNTN Co. Endangered Species T-Shirt

MNTN Co. Endangered Species T-Shirt

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Online
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications:
  • Materials: MNTN conserves water usage in its production process, only uses non-toxic dyes in shirt graphics and commemorates endangered animals via their sustainable clothing.
  • Vegan: Yes, all products are vegan and cruelty-free.
  • Sustainable Features: MNTN only produces t-shirts in EU countries that pay living wage and enforce strict worker labor rights.
  • Price Range: $25 – $35

For The Love of Animals Apparel

FTLA Women's GO VEGAN Lightweight Dolman Sleeve Tee In Heather Grey

FTLA Women’s Lightweight Dolman Sleeve Tee In Heather Grey

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: Online
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: None
  • Materials: In progress – the company does not publicize its environmental policies.
  • Vegan Materials: Yes, the company asserts that all products are vegan and cruelty-free.
  • Sustainable Features: The company employs all its workers locally.
  • Price Range: $20 – $75

The Classic T-shirt Company

The Classic T-Shirt Company Men's Short Sleeve Crew Neck

The Classic T-Shirt Company Men’s Short Sleeve Crew Neck

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Location: United States
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard
  • Materials: Organic, chemical-free cotton, with local manufacturing
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Sustainable Features: The company imports organic, fair trade cotton from India, and produces T-shirts in a family-owned warehouse in Los Angeles.  All workers are paid living wages and guaranteed a safe workplace
  • Price Range: $50 – $100

Flora Animalia

Flora Animalia Denim Workers Coat

Originally launched by Rozae Nichols in 1992, California-based Flora Animalia offers unique fair trade, vegan and curated designs. Clothes are locally sourced and derived of Belgian Linens & GOTS certified organic cottons.

  • Gender: Women
  • Locations: United States
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: GOTS
  • Materials: Linen, Cotton, Denim
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Price Range: $125 – $500

United By Blue

United By Blue Sustainable Clothing

  • Gender: Men, Women
  • Locations: United States
  • Shipping: Worldwide
  • Certifications: B-Corp Certified, Fair Trade Certified Factories, GOTS certified organic cotton, Build LEED Certified stores
  • Materials: Recycled polyester, organic cotton, repurposed animal-based fabrics sourced from the meat industry
  • Vegan: No
  • Sustainable Practices: United By Blue removes 1 pound of trash from the world’s waterways for every product sold. To date, over 3.5 million pounds have been removed.
  • Price Range: $125 – $500

Final Thoughts

The lowdown on sustainable brands and fair trade manufacturing.

The fashion industry is undergoing a major transformation in the ways materials are designed, produced, manufactured, transported, stored and sold. Each stage of a garment’s life cycle has severe and often negative economic, environmental and societal impacts.

Textile processes must be changed in order to preserve our natural environment and empower workers with basic human rights. As a result, innovation in textiles is happening as forward-thinking companies change their processes to become a sustainable fashion brand