I haven’t done a fashion post in ages! I guess that’s because we’ve been at home for over a year and I’ve been rocking sweatpants on the bottom and business on the top for Zoom meetings. That being said, I have purchased a few new items over the past year, both secondhand and from ethical brands, and I want to share some of my go-to slow fashion brands with you! Here are my recommendations for ethical and sustainable fashion from mainly UK brands.
Cover photo features: Thought Clothing socks and skirt, Seasalt stripey 3/4 length top, Organic Basics triangle bra and Y.O.U underwear.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Before I get started on the ethical fashion recommendations, here are a few tips on how you can have a sustainable wardrobe.
- Hand-me-downs! These aren’t just for kids. I’d say around 25% of my wardrobe is clothing previously owned by Lucy and my mom. If you’re a similar size to a friend, partner, or relative, and you like the style, why not give those clothes a second life?
- Capsule wardrobe – This is a great technique for reducing the amount of clothing you need by selecting neutral basics, and a few versatile pieces.
- Avoid treating secondhand clothing as disposable. You run the risk of buying to much, which isn’t sustainable, and the point is to avoid throw-away culture.
- Shop secondhand first on platforms like Ebay and Depop. On Depop, I look for ethical brands and fabric types, such as linen, or organic cotton. That way I can still get the style and brand (ethics) I want, but at a fraction of the price.
For more posts on sustainability and fashion see:
- It’s time to Quit Fast Fashion
- Cora Ball Review
- Minimalism – Helpful or Detrimental to Sustainable Living?
Although I’ve linked each brand below, you can also buy some of these brands (and many others) through ethical stockists. Please note that these are affiliate links.
Ethical Superstore – Sells household items, food, gifts, as well as clothing from fair trade, ethical and sustainable brands.
Know the Origin – Allows you to shop by standards/ your priority values such as “fair trade” or “vegan”
Ethical Fashion Brands I Support
This is a fairly affordable brand that sells bamboo clothing essentials. I have their padded shaper bra in black, which costs under £20. It’s comfy, breathable, has no wires, and offers decent support. Sizing is by XS/S/M/L/XL. Boody has several certifications from third party accreditors related to transparency in resources, and treatment of workers.
This is a UK organic and ethical brand that does clothing, homeware, skincare, and kitchen cleaning products. Find out more about their ethics here. I have a pair of their black leggings, which are made with GOTS certified organic cotton, and are very soft.
This brand has been known for ethical and fair trade clothing since 1989. Another British company, Nomads features lots of Indian style prints and it’s a great option if you like a bohemian/hippie vibe. You can find out more about their ethics here. I’ve had the cotton tunic below since 2018.
I actually only recently purchased from this brand for the first time this year. It’s a bit expensive and I was holding out until I really needed a new bra. Although pricey, the quality is good, they use organic cotton, and are members of B Corp and 1% for the Planet. They also use recycled cardboard packaging. My purchases shipped from the Netherlands, but I think they’re based in Denmark. You can read about their ethics in the 2020 Impact Report.
I purchased their triangle bra because I was looking for a non-wired bra with a bit of padding and adjustable straps. It doesn’t have padding and is too… nipply, and I think I would benefit from a less plunging fit. That being said, it is comfortable and well made, and would likely fit small busts best. I also got two pairs of their regular underwear. Sizing for the underwear is a bit off; I could have sized down, but the quality is great. My tip is to shop their bundles to save money, and look for an affiliate code to save 10%. You can try this code: OBFRIENDS
Two things that I like about this British brand are that you can return your worn out clothes to them for recycling, and their factories are powered by renewable energy. This is the first brand I’ve found that sells recycled organic cotton t-shirts (which is very comfortable). You can find out more about their brand here.
Thought is probably my favourite sustainable fashion brand. Their clothing is good quality, and they have lots of beautiful prints. My only criticism is that their midi-skirts are best designed for slightly taller women and on me 5’6”, they fall slightly below the knee, rather than knee length. Their best product is their bamboo socks, which are durable and come in fun prints! You can read Thought’s sustainability policy here.
I think this might be the only “high street” brand I recommend. Although not all of this Cornish brand’s clothing is organic, their stripey organic t-shirts are very popular. They are good quality and a classic, flattering style. Seasalt’s sizing runs small, I normally wear a UK 10-12 and I needed to go for a UK14 for a loose fit. While Seasalt isn’t there yet as a sustainable brand, they are transparent about their current status and their environmental and ethical goals: read here.
This is a sustainable nightwear brand. The pyjama bottoms I own were a birthday gift and cost £45, which is certainly expensive. However, they are organic cotton, good quality, and incredibly soft. Plus, they have pockets! I have a size L and I think I would actually fit best in an in-between size from M – L.
This is small UK brand which has great ethics. When you buy a pair of underwear, they donate two pairs through a charity. Size down if going by their measurements.
This is a outdoors/surfer brand based in the UK. You can read their sustainability information here. Lucy has a yellow toque and long sleeved top from this brand.
Expensive, but durable. Patagonia is a trailblazing company for a circular economy and the ethos of buying less and repairing. They are also involved in climate activism initiatives.
Lucy really likes their socks, but isn’t completely sold on their quality, and the price point is a bit steep. What makes 10 Tree stand out is their transparent and sustainable tree planting initiative. Levi Hildebrand recently did a video about 10 Tree’s tree planting programme, which I’ve linked below.
Great customer service and their onesies are so soft!
Gorgeous prints and again, good customer service.
As you can see, some of the main factors I look for when shopping for sustainable fashion are: comfort, quality, functionality, and price. I also like items that are versatile and can be worn casually, or dressed up for work. I’m hoping to get a bit more use out of my Thought Clothing skirts this summer, as I haven’t had much opportunity to wear them on muddy dog walks! If you’re on the hunt for some ethical and sustainable fashion brands, especially if you’re in the UK, I hope this post was helpful. What are your favourite slow fashion brands?