I’ve become a bit of a blabber mouth about ethical clothing because I believe it’s one of the most exciting and easiest changes you can make towards an ethical lifestyle. There are a tonne of great brands I could have included, but after an agonising shortlising here are my top five ethical fashion retails (in no particular order!)
Aiming to be 100 per cent Fairtrade throughout their supply chain, People Tree pledge to promote sustainability and protection of both their workers and the environment. They don’t leave a single stone unturned, and have been pioneers in the ethical fashion industry – they now even do yoga wear and pyjamas! They’re a great ambassador for the movement away from ‘fast fashion’, but bear in mind, because of their incredible accountability, their garments are more expensive than many of us are used to spending on clothes.
Isle of Wight based Rapanui has principals that lie in the perfect ethical fashion buzz words – traceability, circular economy and sustainability. They also run a site called Teemill which combines custom printing, start-up businesses, and sustainable practice. There’s an equally great range of men and womenswear, including lots of super cosy items and fun accessories! A great place to stock some on-trend basics for your wardrobe.
Annie Greenabelle’s clothes are by far the most complimented pieces in my wardrobe, and perhaps the most ‘mainstream’ and affordable fashion that I’ve found that strives for ethical practice. Their main focuses are on organic cotton, ethical manufacturing and reduced carbon emissions but sadly, they don’t do menswear.
Nomads has a beautiful bohemian style, set up by a team who fell in love with clothing in India and set about turning that love into a Fairtrade fashion business. This is a great place to buy light-weight ethical jeans, and if you like prints and patterns, Nomads will surely have something for you. Again, sadly they don’t do menswear.
Thought (formally known as ‘Braintree’) made the shortlist for two reasons. One, the company is founded on thoughtfulness in every aspect of contemporary fashion, and wouldn’t we see so much change in the world if we were all a little more thoughtful? The second reason is their bamboo socks; soft, beautiful, and such a great way to make sure every element of our wardrobes is ethically-sourced. Look out for these in high street department shops. They also have great menswear, including shirts.
gents, if you’re feeling a little disheartened about the women’s only retailers, check out Brothers We Stand.)
So, there you have it. It’s taken me a while to get used to paying a bit more for my clothes, but this is the true cost of clothing when everyone who has been involved in making it gets a fair wage, and so it’s important we get our attitude towards the value of these items right. Swap-shops and sites such as eBay can be a great place to save some money, without putting money directly into less ethically sound brands, and perhaps allowing you to save up a little to buy from more ethically focused retailers websites.