10 Sustainable Sweaters & Cardigans For 2023
The Good Trade editors endorse products we’ve personally researched, tested, and genuinely love. Learn more about our methodology and business model here.
Say goodbye to nights on the boardwalk, summer sunsets, and effortless tank tops, and hello to crisp evenings, chic jackets, and most of all, cozy sweaters! While we’ll miss the warmer days, winter invites us into cozier moments and a quieter headspace. Plus, the change in seasons gives us a chance to revamp and refine our wardrobes; we’re always looking for ways to be more mindful and intentional with our garments—blending form, function, and fair trade.
For fall and winter this year, we’re wearing sustainable sweaters from brands we love. These companies put people over profit while maintaining ethical, eco-conscious, and fair trade production practices. So cozy up!
Size Range | XS–XL; up to US 14
Our Pick | Alpaca Open-Back Turtleneck Sweater ($228)
Cuyana believes in “fewer, better.” This means the company responsibly produces its clothes, maximizes their wear through warranties and repair, and facilitates donating and reselling the pieces once you’ve loved them long enough. Cuyana intentionally selects factories that are near the source, so it can craft clothing with Pima cotton from Peru and silk from China. The Oversized Turtleneck Sweater features ethically sourced Alpaca wool which is then sewn together in a woman-owned factory in Peru.
Size Range | XXS–3X
Our Pick | Essential Cashmere Sweater ($75)
When it comes to sustainable clothing, we have to take into account a brand’s treatment of people, animals, and the planet. And NAADAM promises the “world’s fairest cashmere.” Sourced from Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, the company works directly with herders and provides hand-combing and veterinary care to its animals. This ensures their care and that you get the softest, most sustainable fabric—like its popular Essential Cashmere Sweater, available in 11 colors.
tentree makes versatile cardigans and cozy knits with the planet in mind. For every item purchased, tentree plants 10 trees. (Hence the name!) Alongside committing to their planting projects, the Vancouver-based brand takes ethical manufacturing seriously with their production facilities meeting some of the highest ethical and international labor standards–including Fair Trade, WRAP and SAI. tentree’s high quality production processes trickle right down to their fabrics, with sweaters and cardigans made from organic cotton and responsibly sourced wool for the ultimate breathability and warmth.
The Good Trade Partner
Size Range | XS–XL; up to US 12
Our Pick | Ruth Cable Knit Cropped Cardigan ($140)
Very few brands are as transparent or women-focused as ABLE. This social enterprise team is almost entirely made up of women (95 percent!) and its manufacturing partners are based in Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and India. Plus, ABLE openly publishes its wages for consumers. Made from 100 percent GOTS certified organic cotton (like all ABLE sweaters starting in 2021), and complete with a drop shoulder and artisan stitch, the Neva Long Cardigan is pure comfort.
5. Back Beat Co.
Size Range | XS–XXL
Our Pick | Organic Cotton Ottoman Pullover ($188)
Back Beat Co. wants you to live “that laid back life.” Inspired by California’s old-school surf & skate culture, its pieces are both low key and low impact. The Los Angeles-based brand uses eco-friendly fabrics like hemp and organic cotton and ships in recycled paper mailers and compostable bags, too. The Ottoman Pullover is extra comfy and made from thick, ribbed, organic cotton knit. Pair it with Back Beat Co’s bottoms or a simple pair of leggings for a cozy look!
Size Range | XS–3X
Our Pick | Montaigne Sweater ($98)
Reformation is often touted as a leader in the sustainable fashion industry. Ethically made in China and the USA, the team seamlessly transforms responsibly sourced materials like Tencel, linen, and recycled cotton into chic styles. And the brand’s eco-friendly methods are shared directly with consumers, who can view how much water and carbon dioxide was saved in the production of a piece. The Montaigne Sleeveless Sweater is equal parts sexy and snug and perfect for layering.
Size Range | XXS–XXL; up to US 14
Our Pick | James Jumper ($170)
Based in Paris, Sézane is designed to last. With more than two-thirds of its pieces produced in Europe, and the rest crafted by long-standing partner ateliers in India, Portugal, and more, Sézane prioritizes raw materials and sustainable practices. Its super-soft Orion Jumper features crochet sleeves and a round neckline we love.
Size Range | XS–2X; up to US 22
Our Pick | Flirty Ruffle Sleeve Sweater ($125)
Summersalt isn’t just for summer—this brand serves looks for all seasons! In addition to henleys and pullovers, you can also find a few fun and flirty pieces like our favorite ruffle sweater. Plus, they’re made to fit actual bodies—the team worked with 10,000 women’s measurements to guarantee it. Summersalt uses recycled and sustainable fabrics like Tencel, cotton, and recycled polyester, so you’ll both look and do good.
Size Range | XS–XL; up to US 16
Our Pick | Alpaca Ribbed Sweater ($180)
Newly launched responsible fashion brand comes from Avocado, one of our favorite natural bedding companies, so you can expect that its sweaters are as soft as its sheets. The cropped hoodies, cardigans, and pullover crewnecks are crafted from sustainably grown Supima cotton, 100 percent responsibly sourced alpaca fiber, and biodegradable and compostable modal, making them perfect for laidback (low-impact) lounging.
Size Range | XS–XL; up to US 16
Our Pick | Cameron Boyfriend Cardigan ($450)
Founded by World Champion surfer Kelly Slater and designer John Moore, Outerknown is on a mission to create sustainable clothing that lasts. And that includes one our favorites, the Seafarer sweater. Made from recycled cashmere and merino wool, this sweater features a relaxed boatneck and dropped shoulders for an ultra-cozy vibe. Offset it with a pair of fitted jeans or keep it casual with a pair of loose pants.
Featured image from Sézane