35 Fair Trade & Ethical Clothing Brands Betting Against Fast Fashion

Staff Guide | Updated April 2016

Ethical Fashion Brands

It’s been three years since the Rana Plaza tragedy that killed over 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh and wounded over 2,200 more. The incident left consumers all over the world questioning who made the clothes we wear everyday and what kind of conditions those workers live and work in. 

As consumers, we are beginning to realize our responsibility to be conscious about our purchases and to recognize the power of our vocalized objections to make a positive difference for the people that are making the clothes we wear everyday.  

Thankfully, there are an increasing number of brands specifically dedicated to ethical practices throughout their production processes. The companies we have listed below are some of our favorite ethical alternatives to fast fashion companies. Each one has made it a central part of their mission to produce in an ethical way that considers both people and the planet.


Post Sponsored by Fair Trade Winds
Every month we receive dozens of reader questions about Fair Trade Clothing and Ethical Fashion. To answer these questions, we’ve partnered with Fair Trade Winds, an online and offline leader in the Fair Trade movement to seek out the companies that are betting against fast fashion. Fair Trade Winds was founded on the idea that every product has a story and that if you listen closely enough, it will tell you of the hands that held and crafted it with care.  We agree wholeheartedly with Fair Trade Winds’ mission that no one should be exploited for the things we buy. The company exemplifies the fact that our everyday purchases can have a positive impact on communities around the world and when we buy Fair Trade, we contribute to a cycle of empowerment that is sustainable for people and the planet. Fair Trade Winds is a family owned business and their passion for ethics have led them to open seven brick and mortar locations around the country. They sell a wide selection of Fair Trade clothing at their physical locations and through their online site.


Krochet Kids Intl.

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-Made Clothing
Best For | Social Impact
Product Range | Apparel & Accessories
Price Range | $-$$

Krochet Kids makes it to the top of this list for their affordable, on-trend clothing, and for the incredible impact they have on the communities where their artisans live and work. The non-profit social impact brand empowers their artisans in Uganda and Peru not only through fair wages, but also through education and mentoring programs. Krochet Kids has developed an extensive monitoring and evaluation system that measures a series of empowerment indicators every month, ensuring that every person in their program is impacted for good.
 


Everlane

Based In | USA
Ethics | Ethical Production Process, Radical Transparency
Best For | Modern Basics
Product Range | Apparel, Accessories, Shoes
Price Range | $$

Everlane is all about transparency. They spend months finding the best factories around the world—the very same ones that produce our favorite designer labels, and then they build strong personal relationships with factory owners to ensure their factory's integrity and to maintain ethical production practices at every step of the process.They believe customers have the right to know what their products cost to make and where they were made. They reveal their true costs and share the factory and production stories behind each piece of clothing. Their minimal, modern aesthetic makes them a personal favorite!


PEOPLE TREE

Based In | UK
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified Collections, Organic Cotton Collections, Biodegradable Materials
Best For | Overall Ethics & Sustainability
Product Range | Apparel, Jewelry, Accessories
Price Range | $$ 

People Tree is recognized by customers and the fashion industry as a pioneer in Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable fashion. For over twenty years, People Tree has partnered with Fair Trade artisans and farmers in the developing world to produce a collection of ethical and eco fashion. 


FAIR TRADE WINDS

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Federation
Best For | Range of Products
Product Range | Apparel & Accessories
Price Range | $$

Fair Trade Winds carries some of the best Fair Trade fashion brands committed to creating clothing in an ethical manner.  Each piece of their collection represents the hard work of talented women working in cooperatives where they are becoming empowered and improving the livelihood of their families and communities. Fair Trade Winds is a family owned business and their passion for ethics have led them to open seven brick and mortar locations around the country. They sell a wide selection of Fair Trade clothing at their physical locations and through their online site.


MATA TRADERS

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Federation Member, Organic Selection
Best For | Dresses
Product Range | Women’s Apparel & Jewelry
Price Range | $$

Mata Traders resists traditional means of factory production by directly hiring fair trade artisans in India and Nepal. Their products are handmade using artistic traditions like block-printing and embroidery to create flattering designs and colorful patterns. They carry a wide range of fair trade clothing and products.


ZADY

Based In | USA
Ethics | Ethical Labor Practices, Natural Materials
Best For | Range of Lifestyle Products
Product Range | Apparel, Beauty,  Home, Jewelry, Accessories
Price Range | $$

ZADY recognizes the systemic issues behind mistreated workers, toxic chemicals and disposable wears within the fashion industry and they’ve built a company that proves there is a better way. They are a lifestyle destination for conscious consumers and carry a curated collection of clothing, accessories and home items for women and men that respect both people and planet.


MADEFAIR

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified Collections
Best For | Customer Reviews & Photos
Product Range Women’s Apparel & Accessories
Price Range $$

MadeFAIR is a one-stop shop for ethical, sustainable, and Certified Fair Trade clothing and accessories. They know that the conscious decision to buy ethically-made products online takes a laudable amount of empathy and awareness to click past the inundation of fast fashion advertisements. MadeFAIR has put together a chic and fashionable collection of sustainable clothing that won't make you compromise your morals or your style. 


PACT APPAREL

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified, Organic Cotton, B Corp
Best For | Cotton Basics
Product Range | Tees, Undies, Socks
Price Range $$

PACT apparel is pretty obsessed with making clothes that make the world a better place. The certified B Corp goes to great lengths to make sure their entire supply chain, from the growing and harvesting of the organic cotton to the final sewing and all the processes in between, are as clean and responsible as possible. Their super soft tees, dresses and underwear are 100% cotton. Their non-GMO cotton is great for you and the farmers growing it.  


NISOLO

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-Made
Best For | Handmade Leather Shoes
Product Range Shoes & Accessories
Price Range $$

Nisolo collaborates with local artisans in Peru from the design to the handmade production of their leather shoes, chukka boots, bags, jewelry and accessories. Nisolo provides fair wages and full-time employment to their artisans and each shoe has heart put into it from every person who works at Nisolo. We love their gorgeously-designed, well made shoes and their fast, free shipping both ways.


Indigenous CLothing

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-Made Clothing, Organic & Natural Materials, B Corp
Best For | Organic Clothing
Product Range | Apparel, Outerwear, Accessories
Price Range | $$

Indigenous Clothing makes and sells organic and fair trade clothing for both women and men. Their ethically made, eco-fashion supports talented artisans around the world. With high-end techniques and attention to detail, each artisan uses their skills to create beautiful clothing. The company uses organic cotton, free range alpaca and low-impact dyes to ensure their clothing has a positive impact on the planet and the wearer.

 


Sponsored

mini mioche makes organic children's clothing with eco-friendly materials and low impact dyes. Their simple basics designed in neutral colors are leaving the planet a bit better for our little ones.  Shop their collection.


SHIFT TO NATURE

Based In | Australia
Ethics | Fairtrade, Organic Cotton
Best For | Eco-friendly materials
Product Range |Men’s & Women’s Apparel, Activewear, Kids
Price Range $$

Shift To Nature sources the best of eco friendly brands that have a strong commitment to the sustainable and ethical production of beautiful clothing items. Their products are made from certified organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and other sustainable textiles and that are also made through sustainable and ethical fair work production and business practices. You’ll find basics in luxury organic cotton leggings, beautifully made organic cotton t-shirts, dresses in unique luxurious hemp linen, and organic cotton active wear.


Patagonia

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified Collections, Organic Cotton, Environmental Sustainability
Best For | Outdoor wear
Product Range | Outdoor Apparel, Swimwear, Activewear
Price Range | $$

Patagonia was one of the earliest defenders of environmental ethics in the activewear fashion industry, and one of the first adopters of using recycled materials and switching to organic cotton. Patagonia is expanding its commitment to labor ethics as well by working with Fair Trade Certified factories in India, Sri Lanka, and Los Angeles.    


MAYAMIKO

Based In | UK
Ethics | Artisan-Made Clothing, Ethical Trade Initiative Certified
Best For | Colorful Prints
Product Range Women’s Apparel & Accessories
Price Range | ££
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Mayamiko works with artisans in disadvantaged communities in Malawi to source and produce their Fair Trade clothing collections. The label started off as a charity, but the idea was always to move on to a 'Trade not Aid' model. The brand now has a loyal base of customers who want to look great and be on trend, but also care about the story of what they are wearing, their health, and the environment.  


Alternative Apparel

Based In | LA, USA
Ethics | Ethical Production, Fair Labor Association, 70% Sustainable Materials, Green Certified
Best For | Sustainability
Product Range | Apparel, Activewear, Outerwear
Price Range | $$

It’s rare to find fashion brands that are both ethical and sustainable, but Alternative Apparel ranks well for both these categories. Alternative respects and values the rights of workers in all countries and believe in the right to fair and safe workplace conditions. Their factories operate in accordance with the Fair Labor Association Workplace Code of Conduct and they make over 70% of their garments with sustainable materials and processes. Alternative is a certified Green Business in LA. We love their LA modern and casual basics for both men and women.


Apolis

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-Made Clothing
Best For | Market Totes
Product Range | Men’s Apparel, Swim, Footwear, Accessories
Price Range |$$$

In 2004, brothers Raan and Shea Parton founded Apolis with a simple idea that business can create social change. Their travels abroad immersed them in personal stories of struggle and survival and inspired them to create a business model that bridges commerce and economic development.
Apolis (a-pöl-is) means “global citizen,” and the socially motivated lifestyle brand empowers communities worldwide through artisan made men’s apparel, swimwear, footwear and accessories. 


NAJA

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-Made Lingerie, Environmentally Friendly Production
Best For | Lingerie
Product Range | Underwear, Bras, Lingerie
Price Range | $$

Naja Lingerie is serious about empowering women. And not just the the women who wear their lingerie. Through Naja's Underwear for Hope program, Naja trains and employs single mothers in Colombia to sew their handmade pieces. Naja’s love for beautifully designed things, rebelliousness, and deep desire to make the world a better place shines through their products. We especially love Naja's eco-friendly line made out of recycled plastic bottles.

 


INDUSTRY OF ALL NATIONS

Based In | USA
Ethics | Ethically Produced Clothing, Organic Cotton, 100% Natural Dyes
Best For | Clean Basics & Alpaca
Product Range | Apparel & Accessories
Price Range | $$-$$$

In April 2010, Industry of All Nations became a design and development company founded with a commitment to rethink methods of production for consumer goods. They take manufacturing back to the regions where products and materials originate, bringing unique local businesses to an international market. They are determined to combine environmental and social awareness while promoting fair trade and open borders


SLUMLOVE SWEATER COMPANY

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-Made Clothing, Organic & Natural Materials
Best For | Sweaters
Product Range | Men’s & Women’s Sweaters
Price Range | $$

Slumlove Sweater Company is an ethically-made clothing line that provides stylish and quality products for men and women. All clothing is handmade in Nairobi, Kenya using organic and natural materials. The mission of Slumlove is to employ women living in Kenya, paying them fair wages, and using a percent of the sales profits to provide high school scholarships for children living in the slum of Kibera.

 


ELEGANTEES

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified, Artisan-Made
Best For | Tees
Product Range | Women’s Tees, Dresses
Price Range | $$

"Elegant tees" and dresses are designed in NYC and sewn by women who have overcome sex trafficking in Nepal. A positive source of income that reinforces independence, a healthy self-image, and confidence restores lives one elegant tee at a time. Elegantees carries super-soft, colorful tees and dresses for a great cause.


NOCTU

Based In | UK
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified, Organic Cotton
Best For | Loungewear
Product Range | Nightwear, Loungewear
Price Range | ££

With roots in Bath, UK and Oslo, Norway, Noctu is a family business committed to organic textiles and beautiful design. Their line of luxury night and loungewear is inspired by nature and the purest materials. All of Noctu's cotton products are certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Fairtrade certified. 


Symbology

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-Made Clothing
Best For | Block Printing, Boho Inspired
Product Range | Women's Wear & Accessories
Price Range | $$

Symbology envisions fashion as a platform to empower populations, preserve traditional arts and connect women worldwide. The ethical fashion label fuses artisan textiles made in India with fashion forward designs to create authentic, one-of-a-kind apparel. We love their gorgeous designs, modern aesthetic, and commitment to empowering women across the globe.


Sponsored

Encircled is an ethical and sustainable clothing startup on a mission to help you pack lighter. The brand creates women’s travel clothing, ethically-sewn in Canada with versatile designs that can be worn multiple ways so you can be on your journey, sustainably. Shop their collection.


BRAIN TREE CLOTHING

Based In | UK
Ethics | Organic Cotton Collections
Best For | Organic Clothing
Product Range | Women's Apparel, Swimwear, Kids, Accessories
Price Range ££

Braintree is a natural clothing company with a simple philosophy - to design and make beautiful, timeless fashion while caring for our environment. The brands has developed long lasting relationships with their factories and supplies and the company works to ensure that every person who touches their clothing is treated respectfully with fair wages and working conditions.


Fibre Athletics

Based In | USA
Ethics | Made in USA, Fair Trade, Organic, Recycled
Best For | Athletic Wear
Product Range | Men's & Women's Athletic Wear
Price Range | $$

Fibre Athletics is Chicago Fair Trade and ethically sourced and crafted from 100% organic fabrics and recycled materials. Each sale supports environmental and poverty alleviation projects around the world. Their versatile gear is high quality and can go with you from the trail, to dinner with friends. They've just launched their Pursuit Top, keep an eye on their website for other new arrivals over the next few weeks!


My SISTER

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-Made Products, Sex Trafficking Awareness
Best For | Tees With A Message
Product Range | Men’s & Women’s Tees & Accessories
Price Range | $$

MY SISTER's mission is to fight sex trafficking and provide a loving and positive future for those trapped in a life of sexual exploitation. They offer trendy, ethically produced tees, tanks and sweatshirts for women and men, handcrafted jewelry by survivors of trafficking in Nepal and a number of beauty products. A percentage of every purchase goes to domestic and international non-profit partners and MY SISTER works to raise awareness about the issue, employ survivors and fuel community support.


Sseko

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan Made
Best For | Sandals
Product Range | Women’s Shoes, Bags & Accessories
Price Range | $$

Sseko Designs is an ethical footwear brand that hires high potential women in Uganda to make sandals, enabling them to earn money through dignified employment that goes directly towards their college educations. To date, Sseko has enabled 60 women to continue on to university.

 


Prana

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified Collections, Organic Cotton Collections
Best For | Yoga Wear
Product Range | Apparel, Swimwear, Outerwear,  Accessories
Price Range | $$ 

prAna is a pioneering Fair Trade USA brand partner. In addition to Fair Trade practices, the brand also focuses on using environmentally conscious materials that have a reduced environmental such as recycled polyester and organic cotton. They carry full men & women’s apparel, swimwear and accessories.


Wallis Evera

Based In | Canada
Ethics | Local Production, Sustainable & Biodegradable materials
Best For | Hemp Businesswear
Product Range | Women's Hemp Apparel & Businesswear
Price Range | $$

Wallis Evera fabrics are sustainable, biodegradable, and chosen for their comfort, shape, and durability. The Canadian eco-clothing brand that maintains 100% local, small batch manufacturing using hemp as the foundation fibre for all their products. By ethically sourcing and developing exquisitely modern hemp blend fabrics, Wallis Evera aims to make clothes that can spark dialogue and inspire change toward a more sustainable future.  


Purple Impression

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan Made
Best For | Plus Size Selection
Product Range | Women’s Apparel, Accessories, Plus Sizes
Price Range | $$

Purple Impression is a socially conscious brand reviving the art of hand embroidery by fusing it with modern design. They are committed to empowering the women who make the clothes in their collections and each piece has a name and a story so you can see exactly who made it and take a journey through its production.


The Root Collective

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified, B Corp
Best For | Ballet Flats
Product Range | Women’s Shoes
Price Range | $$

The Root Collective partners with small-scale artisan businesses in Guatemala to handcraft beautiful ballet flats. Their makers are defying the odds and pushing forward with hope in a place where poverty in common place. The Root Collective's colorful shoes are vibrant symbols of hope. Each flat is handcrafted by various artisans, not machine manufactured. This results in uniqueness with each and every pair of shoes. At The Root Collective, their desire is to be a part of the conversation on how to create a kinder world, and they are passionate about spreading the word about the positive impact that companies can have in the world.


THREAD HARVEST

Based In | Australia
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified Collections, Organic Cotton Collections
Best For | Curated Selection of Designers
Product Range | Men’s & Women’s Apparel, Jewelry, Accessories
Price Range | $$

Thread Harvest is an Australian based online shop that searches the globe for the most inspiring men’s & women’s fashion, each with a compelling story of social or environmental impact. They believe that fashion has the potential to do great things – things like pull entire communities out of poverty, free people from the bondage of human trafficking or preserve and restore our world’s natural resources.


Raven + Lily

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified, Artisan-Made, B-Corporation
Best For | Incorporating traditional artisan crafts and techniques
Product Range | Women's Apparel, Jewelry, Accessories
Price Range | $$-$$$

Raven + Lily is a socially conscious, fashion and lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering women through design. They produce their clothing, jewelry, bags, accessories and home goods through partnership with at-risk artisan women in 10 countries at fair trade wages. All of Raven + Lily designs are thoughtfully made, and consider the impact on people and the planet.


Eileen Fisher

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified Collections, Organic Cotton Collections
Best For | Organic Linen Clothing
Product Range | Women's Apparel, Accessories
Price Range | $$

Most of Eileen Fisher’s clothes are Made in America, but since 2005, they have been supporting an alternative supply chain in Arequipa, Peru. The cotton is local and organic, dyes meet the Global Organic Textile Standard and workers are paid higher fair trade wages.


GATHER&SEE

Based In | UK
Ethics | Certain Collections, Organic Cotton Collections
Best For | Designer Brands
Product Range | Women's Apparel, Swimwear, Accessories
Price Range ££-£££

Gather & See is an online boutique based in the UK that offers carefully curated collections from the very best in sustainable fashion talent from around the world. You will find Fair Trade, Organic, Small Batch, Hand Crafted and Recycled collections from various designers on their site.


Oliberté

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified, B Corporation, 1% Give Back
Best For | Fair Trade Shoes
Product Range | Shoes, Leather Bags
Price Range | $$$

Oliberté is a sustainable brand supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa. They believe in empowerment, transparency, and doing right by all. This means making premium quality products with a lifetime warranty, and it means treating every employee, everywhere in the world, with respect. In 2009, they started off as a small footwear company partnering with factories and suppliers in Africa. Since then, they have gained enough momentum to launch our very own factory in 2012. Oliberté is the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing factory. They make every single pair of Oliberté shoes at their factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 


GOOD CLOTH

Based In | USA
Ethics | Small Batch, Fair Trade Certified Collections, Organic Cotton Collections
Best For | Handcrafted Clothing
Product Range | Women's Apparel, Swimwear, Kids, Accessories
Price Range | $$

Good Cloth is championing the important message that there is a lack of understanding in the fashion marketplace about the people that make our clothing and what conditions these workers may face. Good Cloth offers customers a space where they can purchase fun jewelry, clothing and accessories that are produced in a way that is kind to workers and the planet.


This Article Is Sponsored By Our Collaborating Partner Fair Trade Winds 

“Purchasing fair trade products marks a distinguished path towards equality, sustainability, and positive change. This direct, non-discriminatory relationship helps artisans, families, and communities become self-sustaining.”

Fair Trade Winds is a family owned and operated, independent fair trade store founded upon the idea that no one should be exploited for the products we buy and use everyday. Fair Trade Winds provides something a typical shopping experience does not – unique gifts with purpose. Shoppers can feel confident that a significant percentage of their purchase goes directly to the artisans and farmers who created it, all over the world. The company has seven stores across the country that carry a variety of practical fair trade gifts handmade by talented artisans from around the world. Their online shop also features unique, sustainable products from Fair Trade producer groups worldwide.

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