Over 45 of The Best Ethical & Sustainable Clothing Brands in 2020
Have you been looking for ethical and sustainable clothing brands but have struggled because you know you’d have to spend hours upon hours doing the research yourself? We feel your pain. This is how this post came about.
A few years ago we shared an insightful Q & A with Joshua Katcher from The Discerning Brute. He shared his views and research on human rights and animal cruelty as it relates to the fashion industry. Since that post, TMV readers were keen to take action and find ethical fashion stores that they could support.
Having awareness of what’s really going on behind the scenes is always a good first step. However, we know when we first discovered the truth, we felt overwhelmed with what to do next.
Note: this list was last updated on Thursday the 28th of November 2019.
Here are some of the questions we’ve asked
Where do we shop? How can we trust the brands? Do the clothes perform and match our style? What does a sustainable textile look like?
When you start asking these questions, you quickly realise just how hard it is to find stores and brands that you can trust. You might find a great fair-trade fashion store that sells gorgeous garments, but all of their items are leather.
Conversely, you may come across an amazing vegan store but their products aren’t fair-trade or just plain daggy.
So are you ready for a highly-curated list of ethical and sustainable clothing brands you can trust?
Well, we can say with 100% confidence that you’re in the right place!
Why are we so confident?
This is the 5th iteration of this post over the last three years. Each time we update it, we find better brands. This version is a complete revamp.
In a past life, we ran an online store where it was our job to source products that ticked all our ethical boxes, including sustainability, cruelty-free/vegan, fair-trade, and organic where possible.
Historically, we desperately wanted to find brands that met our criteria, regardless of style. Even though fashion is subjective, we’ve done our best to focus more on performance and quality. For example, we’d want you to be happy with the vegan leather boots you just bought. Not only accepting something that is comparatively less quality than the alternatives because you’re trying to be a mindful consumer. We know this feeling of disappointment all too well.
Although we’re vegan, not every brand listed is 100% vegan
As we’re prioritising performance at the same level as the sustainability and ethics, it means some brands we recommend may not have a product line that is 100% vegan.
This was a tough decision for us, but we recognise that when you’re shopping for ethical and sustainable clothing, you’re generally focused on one item at a time.
For example, we found some AMAZING brands that tick all of the boxes for organic sweaters. However, they also have sweaters made of wool.
If we were shopping for ourselves, we would still buy their vegan-friendly products despite them not ticking all of the boxes across their whole product line. So it’s only fair that we create the same experience for you.
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An easy-to-use list of ethical and sustainable clothing brands
What you’ll find for each brand is a list of three different categories. They will fall either under clothing, shoes or accessories. Some will overlap with a combination of all three depending on what they sell.
Our vision for this post is to help you find go-to brands you can trust. And maybe we can start pushing conventional retailers to consider reaching out to these brands to stock their products, bringing them to the masses.
The global fashion market is valued at over 3 trillion dollars. How we choose to spend money on fashion can have an incredibly massive impact on this market.
Without further ado, here’s our updated list of ethical and sustainable fashion brands to help you live more consciously.
MUD Jeans is not just another jeans brand. They're on a mission to create a circular economy within their supply chain.
This is why they also offer the option of Lease a Jeans to make sure that they stay the owners of the raw materials and customers give them back after use for recycling and being created into a brand new pair!
They're very transparent about their factories and how the jeans are made, giving their customer more of a reason to support them. They do sell brand new jeans as well as some other basics that are made from recycled materials.
Product range: Women and men's denim jeans and a small range of jackets.
Where products are made: Tunisia.
Price: Medium to high.
Ordering: Based in the Netherlands and ship worldwide.
Thought is an ethical clothing line based in the UK that uses organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, recycled polyester and sometimes wool*. They proudly support slow fashion, so naturally, their pieces are designed and made to last.
Their mantra is “Wear me, love me, mend me, pass me on.”
Product range: Women and men's clothing, socks and accessories.
VAUTE was recommended by one of our readers and we can clearly see why! This high-end luxury brand is creating beautiful, stylish coats, gowns and sweaters that are made to last.
Designed in New York where they are made (as well as Toronto), working with the best high-tech mills around the world using organic and recycled fibres to create textiles that are innovative and made to keep you warm on the coldest day.
Ninety Percent is a sustainable womenswear brand based in Camden, London. Co-founders and friends for over 30 years, Para Hamilton and Shafiq Hassan launched Ninety Percent in 2018. In case you're wondering what the name means, Ninety Percent share 90% of their distributed profits between charitable causes. Then they invite their customers to vote for their chosen cause using the unique label found in the garments label. Pretty cool! Please note that while most of their collection is vegan-friendly, they do have some products that contain wool or silk.
Customers can enjoy FREE UK shipping & returns, or FREE worldwide shipping on orders over £75. Additionally, new member signups receive 15% off their first order!
Beyond Skin is a UK based vegan shoe brand that wanted to create stylish and cruelty-free shoes but not at the expense of animals and the planet. They opened back in 2001 and have grown year to year since. We love the fact that they try to use sustainable fabrics where possible, as well as recycled materials such as cardboard, PET plastics and resin. They have a great business philosophy, a wonderful small team and beautiful, stylish shoes.
Linenfox makes gorgeous womenswear made from sustainably sourced linen.
They run their company according to fair trade principles and pay honest wages. They apply “no waste’’ principles, as they sell their fabrics scraps, use scrawls for packing etc.
The best part is that they can do so many alterations to the garment style that you pick including adding length to the garment, making the garment shorter, adding length to the sleeves, making the sleeves shorter, raising or lower the neckline and changing the place of the waist seam.
So, if you love the basic style and design, but want to make it perfect for yourself, it’s possible! They also have a range of colours you can choose from and fabric blends. Each piece is made to order. Note: Not all garments and products are vegan. They sell beeswax candles and use wool in some of their garment options.
Product range: Women's clothing, bedding, kitchen, bathroom and accessories.
Etiko is very transparent and voices strongly that they are an ethical, vegan and sustainable company. They focus on everyday items like underwear, footwear, and clothing basics. It’s a family-owned and operated business that has had the respect and promotion of human rights at its core for a decade. We’re excited to share a 10% discount code off your total purchase by using the code: THEMINIMALISTVEGAN at checkout!
Product range: Men and woman's shoes, clothing, and underwear.
Tree Tribe is an outdoor lifestyle brand that plants ten trees for every sale. So far, they’ve planted over 150,000 trees! Talk about positive change 🙂 Their handcrafted products are made from leaf leather, a new innovative plant-based leather.
What we love most about their products is that the leaves are sustainably harvested Teak leaves which are collected from fallen leaves. No trees are harmed in the process.
The people that make the product are a small family business of Thai artisans and skilled seamstresses that share eco-friendly values and have a passion for quality crafting. If you’re looking for something with that ‘earthy’ look and feel, their bags, journals and wallets are perfect. They’ve also kindly offered a 10% discount to all our readers when you use the codeword MINIMALIST10 at checkout!
Product range: Women and Men's basic clothing, accessories and stationery.
Where products are made: Some things made in Thailand.
Tasi combines minimalism, practicality and style. The material that they use for their pieces is Tencel. They create timeless styles, shapes and colours that will last a lifetime of travels and don’t harm the environment in their production.
One tree is planted for every garment that is sold.
Samara is a minimalist, eco-friendly vegan bags and accessories. They have a simple, yet elegant line up of products. What we love about them is that they have looked long and hard to find a microfibre that was excellent quality, felt as smooth as leather, and that could be finely crafted into the shapes and forms they needed.
Every purchase through Samara covers the cost of a Soular Backpack for a child in need in East Africa.
Corkor is PETA approved and they only use cork leather is FSC® certified. This accreditation ensures the protection and adequate harvesting of the cork oak forest. Their cork is obtained by removing the outer bark of the tree, without cutting or harming it. As the bark replenishes, cork can be harvested again and again.
Corkor offers FREE standard shipping (worldwide) on orders over $79.
Product range: Women and men's bags and accessories.
What I love about this brand is that they create simple, elegant and long-lasting shoes, bags and accessories. They have been making shoes since 2009 and to celebrate their 10 year anniversary they launched an organic, biodegradable shoe line. How amazing is that? They are pioneers in the field of sustainable and ethical footwear, combining ethical values with high-quality design research.
Product range: Women and men's shoes, bags and accessories.
Insecta is a Brazilian based shoes and accessories brand that is big on making sure that they upcycle and recycle as much material as possible; things such as recycled PET bottles, recycled cotton, recycled rubber, upcycled vintage clothing, reusable fabrics, and waste that would otherwise go to landfill.
Their mission is to make shoes and accessories that have a meaningful visual, social and environmental impact. 100% vegan and transparent about their supply chain, they have in just the last year recycled 6,640.16 plastic bottles, 391.69m² of clothing and fabrics and 2120,70kg of rubber! Pretty incredible for just one business.
Eve Cork was recommended to us by a reader and we couldn’t help but include them in our updated post. They make wonderful accessories made of sustainable materials and have a transparent ethical working standard for their range.
Product range: Unisex shoes and accessories.
Where products are made: Portugal.
Price: High to premium.
Ordering: Based in Canada and currently only ship to US and Canada.
LÉ BUNS is a vegan, cruelty-free and a slow fashion brand specialising in swimwear and intimates. They use plant-based fabrics, organic cotton, and regenerated nylon. We love how they say “Don’t worry, we’re minimalists.” in the footer where they are the email sign-up.
Ecoalf is a European founded premium sustainable fashion label stocking stylish clothing, streetwear shoes and accessories. It was hard to leave these guys off the list despite them having a few products made with wool and down*. However, it's worth the trade-off as their vegan-friendly range looks incredible!
We have quite a few items saved in our cart from Ecoalf, but it may take some time for us to purchase anything because they are on the more expensive side.
Product range: Men and women's streetwear, shoes and accessories.
Where products are made: Spain.
Price: High to premium.
Ordering: Based in Spain and ship worldwide.
*Products containing wool and down are not vegan-friendly.
ARMEDANGELS have an impressive range of sustainable jeans, clothing and accessories for women and men. Their online store is a pleasure to use, with clearly displayed materials for each garment. This is particularly important if you're vegan as this brand have some products which are made from wool. Luckily, it's super easy to spot their wool products* so you can navigate around them.
Product range: Jeans, clothing and accessories for women and men.
People Tree is a well-established women's sustainable clothing brand based in the UK. They tick all of the boxes when it comes to treating people and the environment. They do pretty well when it comes to animals, however, they do unfortunately have some products made from wool*.
People Tree was one of the first brands recommended to us when we were new to a minimalist vegan lifestyle—and we can understand why. Their range is quite varied from staples to seasonal collaborations to keep things fresh. The other big feature of People Tree is their price. For what it's worth they're affordable making ethical sustainable shopping more accessible to all of us.
Note: People Tree offer a 15% discount for students
Proof eyewear produces high-quality glasses handcrafted from sustainable wood, skateboard decks and plant-based acetate. Having been founded in Boise Idaho, their brand reflects outdoors, relaxed vibe and adventure. Get $20 off your purchase by using the link below 🙂
We first discovered Wills Vegan Shoes when we were travelling through Europe in 2015. They sell classy shoes for men and women that are both vegan and fair-trade. Not only that, considering what you get, they are quite reasonably priced.
Product range: Shoes, knitwear and accessories for men, women and kids.
Brave Gentleman is a premium menswear brand that is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. The founder, Joshua Katcher is extremely well researched and has a ton of information on the Brave Gentleman about page.
If you’re a conscious man looking for stylish professional attire, definitely check out this store.
Product range: Men's dress shoes, clothing and accessories.
Founded in 2013, Ahimsa is a vegan brand that prioritizes love. Makers of quality vegan shoes and accessories, they are one of the only 100% vegan shoe factory in the world.
“We were born to make a difference in the life of animals, nature, and our fellow human beings. Through our products, we aim to share the vegan lifestyle. Our goal is to have a more conscious society, one day completely free of cruelty.”
With a statement like this, you want to be supporting businesses like this one which is transparent and passionate about creating positive change through stylish ethical fashion.
Synergy Organic Clothing was founded in 1993 by Kate Fisher after she travelled to Nepal and India. Her husband later joined the company as they embarked on a journey of building a sustainable clothing line with both Eastern and Western influences.
All of their garments including dresses, tops and yoga attire are made for compassionate women all around the globe. Unfortunately, their Eco Luxe collection is made of wool.*
Product range: Clothing and activewear for women and men.
Girlfriend Collective is an impressive sustainable women's activewear brand with passionate customers to validate it. Some of their items have thousands of reviews to help you feel confident with your purchasing decision.
Girlfriend is incredibly innovative with how they turn plastic bottles into high-performing activewear.
Product range: Women's intimates and activewear.
Where products are made: Vietnam.
Ordering: Based in the US and they offer to ship to the US, UK, Australia and Canada. Also available worldwide through nordstrom.com.
Indigo Luna makes sustainable swimwear, lingerie, activewear and some basics for women. Although, Michael did spot a very cool casual linen shirt for men. All of their clothing is ethically made in Australia and they deliver worldwide.
Like the rest of the swimwear on this list, Indigo Luna uses innovative practices to upcycle plastic bottles and nylon and turn it into quality garments.
Product range: Swimwear, intimates and activewear for women.
As of writing this post, a small group of five people in Michigan, handmake this range of beautiful sustainable female clothing and activewear. Though Rose and her team are based in the United States, they offer global shipping to anyone who wants to enjoy these handcrafted pieces.
Product range: Clothing and activewear for women.
Where products are made: United States (in-house).
By Blanch make timeless sustainable shoes for the modern woman. They make their shoes in Spain using Ecocertified PU based leather materials. Their shoes are relatively affordable and they offer international shipping.
grünBAG makes sustainable and waterproof bags from recycled materials (even from sails!). Their style of bags a polarizing as they just look unique. Denmark owned and made in Poland these eco-friendly bags are available worldwide.
MANIWALA makes very cool bags made from plant-based fibres like hemp and pineapple. It's a relatively new brand, so they often run out of stock. It's best to subscribe to their newsletter or keep an eye on their items on Amazon.
We're really impressed with MANIWALA and we're eager to see what kind of products they add to their range in the future.
Product range: Plant-based and plastic-free vegan leather bags and accessories.
TAMGA Designs make colourful sustainable fashion for women but have a few pieces for men and children as well. If you're looking for vibrant patterned dresses without doing any harm to the planet, people or the environment, then check out TAMGA Designs.
TAMGA have been super generous to offer our readers 10% off by using the code MINIMALIST10 at checkout.
Founded by Danielle Holloway in 2013, Merry People believe that wet weather shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying life. Whether that’s spending time in the garden, going for a hike or walking your dog, Merry People’s products are designed to help you overcome the obstacles of weather. Their gumboots are made from natural rubber, neoprene lining and cotton. Merry People products are 100% Vegan, not made from any animal products, nor tested on any animals.
Product range: Unisex Gumboots for adults and children as well as some women’s trench coats.
Where products are made: China. You can see how their boots are made in this video video.
Opia is an independent fashion label specialising in timeless minimalist pieces made from natural plant-based materials like linen and cotton. Their products are packaged in casava and sent out in compostable bags. They donate the offcuts and excess of their materials to the local community where their pieces are produced, which are then created into wares that are sold at the local markets.
Founded in 2009, PACT makes sustainable clothing from certified organic cotton. If you’re interested, they also have a small range of bedding and bath. What we love about PACT is that they have a large range of everyday essentials for the whole family—so it’s super convenient for you to order from them. Just keep in mind that some products are a blend of wool and organic cotton, so it’s not 100% vegan.
Product range: Men, women’s, kids and baby clothing.
Imprm is a women’s clothing brand that represents summer and freedom. They use sustainable materials including; post-consumer ocean waste, organic cotton and natural linen. Their range is carefully designed keeping in line with their summer vibes.
Product range: Women’s clothing, swimwear and accessories.
Where products are made: Poland and Portugal.
Price: Medium to high.
Ordering: Based in Poland shipping to most of Europe.
Tropicfeel is an innovative sneaker brand that values adventure, travel and sustainability. They use a combination of recycled bottles, algae and sometimes the offcuts and leftovers from previous releases to make their shoes. Even their packaging is made from organic corn which contains no conventional plastic. What we love the most, is in addition to a great looking sneaker, Tropicfeel is ultra-focused on creating a shoe that performs daily whether it’s in the city, or in nature (even swimming!).
Arsayo makes unique city backpacks made from cork leather. They specialise in a few styles of bags but offer multiple sizes to make their trendy design more accessible. In addition to cork, Arsayo does still use some PU in their products but are currently looking for more sustainable options. We love the style and focus of Arsayo, and we’re excited to support their journey.
Product range: Unisex backpacks.
Where products are made: Portugal.
Price: High to premium.
Ordering: Based in France and ship worldwide.
What’s on your list of ethical and sustainable clothing brands?
Hopefully, the brands we’ve recommended helps you find what you need. We’d love your help to expand upon this list in the comments below so that everyone can benefit. Our world needs more businesses that are ethical, sustainable and good for people, planet and animals.