35 Fair Trade & Ethical Clothing Brands Betting Against Fast Fashion

Ethical & Sustainable Fashion Brands

On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza tragedy killed over 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh and wounded over 2,200 more. The incident left consumers all over the world questioning who makes the clothes we wear everyday and in what kind of conditions? Documentaries like The True Cost shine a light on how the fast fashion industry depletes the earth’s resources and leverages slave labor to pass on a "cheap" cost to the end consumer.

As consumers, we have become increasingly conscious about our purchases, channeling the power of our vocalized objections to make a positive difference for the people involved in the making of our clothes and goods.

Four years following the Rana Plaza tragedy, dozens of slow fashion brands have emerged dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices. The 35 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 approach fashion in an ethical and transparent way that considers both people and the planet.

Thank you to our collaborating sponsors for their leadership in the ethical fashion movement!

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 9.16.43 AM.png

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 consumers and the fashion industry alike as a pioneer in the Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable fashion movement. People Tree has long been one of our favorite go-to shops for responsibly made fashion. For over twenty years, the brand has partnered with Fair Trade artisans and farmers in the developing world to produce a wide collection of ethical and eco wear. Their collection ranges from the perfect lightweight organic cotton sundresses to work wear jumpsuits, relaxed yoga wear and more.

Shop People Tree Online


Krochet Kids Intl.

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-made clothing
Best For | Social impact
Product Range | Apparel & accessories
Price Range | $-$$

Krochet Kids Intl. makes it to the top of our 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 intl. 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.

Shop Krochet Kids Online


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!

Shop Everlane Online


Nisolo

Based In | Nashville, 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.

Shop Nisolo Online


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.

Shop PACT Apparel Online


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. This short film by Patagonia shows the positive personal impact fair trade factories have around the world.

Shop Patagonia Online


Alternative Apparel

Based In | Los Angeles, 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.

Shop Alternative Apparel Online


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 with seven brick and mortar locations around the country in addition to their online shop.

Shop Fair Trade Winds Online


HOPE Made In The World

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-made, Child Labor Free Certified, eco-friendly materials & processes
Best For | Tees & sweaters
Product Range | Men’s & women’s tees, sweaters, scarves
Price Range | $$

Calling themselves a “Brand for All Seasons,” HOPE Made In The World strives to create ethical essentials for both men and women. A collaboration of artisans and designers from around the world, HOPE is a brand for the global community. HOPE rejects cyclical and fast-fashion trends that damage our environment, releasing collections only once or twice a year. No spring catalogs, no fall blowouts. Just classic, quality pieces that never go out of style.

Shop HOPE Made In The World Online


Encircled

Based In | Toronto, Canada
Ethics | Ethical production, eco-fabrics, up-cycling, small batch production
Best For | Travel-wear, versatile items
Product Range | Men’s & women’s tees, sweaters, scarves
Price Range | $$

Encircled is on a mission to help you pack lighter and do more with less. They create clothing that is versatile in design with fabrics that are as comfortable, and travel-friendly as they are good for the earth. Encircled takes a mindful and slow approach to design, producing only what is needed. They incorporate sustainable practices into everything they do from the sourcing of eco-fabrics to up-cycling production cuttings, using recyclable shipping materials and printing on only 100% post-consumer recycled paper. We love their how to wear sections with tutorials for how to wear their pieces multiple ways.

Shop Encircled Online


Tribe Alive

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-made clothing, fair trade wages
Best For | Globally-inspired designs
Product Range | Apparel & jewelry
Price Range | $$

Tribe Alive is designed by women, made for women and by women around the world. Their passion for quality handmade clothing and responsible commerce is a platform that empowers women to raise themselves out of poverty all around the planet. Partnering with female artisans in Guatemala, Haiti, India, Honduras, and Fort Worth, Texas to employ impoverished women at fair-trade wages, their studios create safe work environments, dependable income, and the power to determine one’s own future.

Shop Tribe Alive Online


AGAATI

Based In | San Jose, CA
Ethics | Fair trade practices, artisan-made from sustainable & repurposed materials, gives back
Best For | Unique & colorful special occasion outfits and workwear
Product Range | Dresses, tops, skirts, pants
Price Range | $$ - $$$

AGAATI keeps people and planet in mind while they’re designing and producing their uniquely stunning dresses and statement pieces. Their sustainable and ethically made collections are the meeting point of couture and ready to wear. They aim to include one or more of their sustainable and ethical principles in each of the long-lasting items they make: artisan made, fair trade, recycled, humanly made, organic, eco-friendly, upcycled and zero waste. AGAATI also donates 5% of their profits to non-governmental organizations that deal with the impact of fast fashion.

Shop AGAATI Online


Tradlands

Based In | California, USA
Ethics | Ethical production, natural & sustainable materials, recycle remnants
Best For | Menswear-inspired women’s shirts
Product Range | Women’s shirts
Price Range | $$$

Tradlands was created from a simple idea to make high-quality essentials for women, inspired by classic menswear. For the woman who drifts towards the men’s section and thinks, "I wish they made this for me," Tradlands creates menswear-inspired staples for women with a relentless emphasis on fit, details, and quality. Their rigorous standards ensure that each shirt you purchase is top notch quality, and has been ethically and sustainably made. They strive to use 98% of their materials and recycle any remnants in order to keep their waste to a minimum. From their button-downs to their linen tees, Tradlands’ shirts are a staple in any capsule wardrobe.

SHop tradlands online


Karen Kane

Based In | Los Angeles, USA
Ethics | Ethical production process, supply chain transparency
Best For | Plus size clothing
Product Range | Women's apparel, swimwear, activewear
Price Range | $$-$$$

Karen Kane is a Los Angeles-based brand built upon elevated casual wear and transparent production. Boasting an “effortless style with a laid-back luxe California vibe,” Karen Kane’s clothing is feminine and versatile. These comfortable and stylish clothes also come in plus size options, which means there is something for every woman. Karen Kane’s clothing is made in sweatshop-free, human trafficking-free and fair wage conditions, and they adhere to ethical business practices in all of their operations.

Shop Karen Kane Online


YSTR

Based In | Los Angeles, USA
Ethics | Made in USA, sustainably produced
Best For | Cut-to-order pieces
Product Range | Apparel, dresses
Price Range | $$-$$$

YSTR was founded to provide a better alternative to modern fashion shopping. They create clothes using sustainable, cut-to-order technologies to combat the industry’s alarming level of fashion waste. All of their unique pieces are responsibly made at their Downtown LA headquarters and sold directly to consumers through their online shop. We love their high quality basics and unique rompers, jumpsuits and dresses.

Shop YSTR Online


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.

Shop Symbology Online


SiiZU

Based In | New York
Ethics | 100% organic, sustainably grown fabrics, partner with American Forests
Best For | Silks and tencel
Product Range | Women's dresses, sweaters & tops
Price | $$

We love SiiZU’s goal to “design and deliver beautiful, high-quality apparel made with sustainable manufacturing practices directly to you at an affordable price point.” Their soft, eco-friendly fabrics are made without any polyester or toxins, with wool and cashmere sourced from Mongolia and Suzhou. Their talented team is devoted to quality and craftsmanship, and their lean business model means they offer clothes solely online. With recyclable shipping materials and no physical storefront, they are dedicated to minimizing their carbon footprint. SiiZU also donates generously to help American Forest reach its goal of planting 2.7 million trees across 44 projects nationally and to restore and protect critical wildlife habitat.

SHOP SIIZU ONLINE


Raven + Lily

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified, artisan-made, B Corp
Best For | Incorporating traditional artisan crafts & 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.

Shop Raven + Lily Online


Indigenous

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-made clothing, organic & natural materials, B Corp
Best For | Organic clothing
Product Range | Apparel, outerwear, accessories
Price Range | $$ 

Indigenous 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.

Shop Indigenous Online


Eileen Fisher

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified collections, sustainable materials & practices
Best For | Organic linen clothing
Product Range | Women's apparel, accessories
Price Range | $$$

Eileen Fisher is quickly becoming an industry leader in ethical and sustainable fashion. They believe social and environmental injustices are a reason to do business completely differently, and carefully oversee their supply chain to ensure fair working wages. By 2020, their vision is to have 100% organic cotton and linen fibers, responsible dyes, carbon positive operations and a no-waste facility. 

Shop Eileen Fisher Online


DL1961

Location | NYC, USA
Ethics | Eco-friendly materials, sustainable practices
Best For | Denim
Product Range | Women’s, men’s & kid’s denim
Price | $$

DL1961 has brought national attention to sustainable denim practices, revolutionizing denim processes.. The brand uses innovative eco-friendly fibers in their line of men’s and women’s denim and has reduced water, dye and energy use by 50%. Their pieces incorporate tencel and modal  to increase the durability and sustainability. DL1961 has an undeniable pulse on chic denim fashion and their designs are bringing sustainable innovation into the spotlight.

SHOP DL1961 ONLINE


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.

Shop Mata Traders Online


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. 

Shop Apolis Online


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.

Shop Naja Online


Bead & Reel

Based In | USA
Ethics | Sustainable, cruelty-free, ethical production
Best For | Vegan collections
Product Range | Women’s apparel & accessories
Price Range | $$

Bead & Reel believes that fashion and ethics aren't mutually exclusive, offering eco-friendly, cruelty-free, sweatshop-free styles in a one-stop shop for the conscientious woman. Everything they sell meets the criteria of being thoughtful to animals, people, and the world through a carefully curated selection of hand-picked designers and products. They are a 100% vegan, 100% vegan-owned company.

Shop Bead & Reel Online


Kestan

Based In | California, USA
Ethics | GOTS certified organic fabric, low-impact dyes, responsible production
Best For | Casual dresses
Product Range | Women’s wear
Price | $$

The roots of Kestan come from a wholehearted concern for people and the planet. By using organic cotton, they are able to create wonderful garments without toxins, persistent pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers. They also ensure decent and sustainable working practices of the employees of our suppliers, including safe and clean working environments, fair wages and no discrimination. Their soft, sophisticated designs are perfect for the versatility required by our everyday routines. Their neutral color palette and timeless silhouettes make each piece perfect for a capsule or minimalist wardrobe.

SHOP KESTAN DRESSES ONLINE


Thought

Based In | UK
Ethics | Organic cotton & sustainable fabrics
Best For | Organic clothing
Product Range | Women's & men's apparel, accessories
Price Range | ££

Thought is an all 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.

Shop Thought Online


Shift To Nature

Based In | Australia
Ethics | Fair trade, 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.

Shop Shift To Nature Online


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.

Shop Elegantees Online


Mayamiko

Based In | UK
Ethics | Artisan-made clothing, Ethical Trade Initiative Certified
Best For | Colorful prints
Product Range | Women’s apparel & accessories
Price Range | ££

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. 

Shop Mayamiko Online


Gather & See

Based In | UK
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified 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.

Shop Gather & See Online


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.

Shop My Sister Online


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 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.  

Shop Wallis Evera Online


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.

Shop Purple Impression Online


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.

Shop Slumlove Sweater Company Online