Fair trade and fashion

Fair trade and 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.

Who makes the clothing we wear and in what conditions?

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.

Now over five years after 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.

If you're making the shift to a completely ethical wardrobe check out our guides to responsibly-made shoes and fair trade jewelry. If you are located in the UK, here are fair trade fashion brands in the UK


Pricing guide

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1. Everlane

Based In | USA
Ethics | Ethical production process, radical transparency
Best For | Affordable ethical clothing for women & men
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

2. Patagonia

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified collections, organic cotton, environmental sustainability
Best For | Fair trade outdoor clothing
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

3. 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 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

4. People Tree

Based In | UK
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified collections, organic cotton collections, biodegradable materials
Best For | Affordable fair trade clothing
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 workwear, jumpsuits, relaxed yoga wear and more.

Shop People Tree

5. Reformation

Based In | Los Angeles, CA
Ethics | Made in USA, uses sustainable fabrics, tracks environmental footprint and purchases offsets, pays living wages
Best For | On-trend eco-friendly clothing
Product Range | Women's tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, denim, bridal
Price Range | $$$

For the sustainable fashionista, Reformation offers on-trend pieces that will still be stylish well after the season is over. This Los Angeles-based brand creates products only from sustainable and upcycled materials in a fair wage environment. Reformation’s dedication to sustainable production is extensively explained on their website in their signature bold and unabashed style, plus each item comes with a description of its environmental footprint.

Shop Reformation

6. Krochet Kids Intl.

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-made clothing
Best For | Knit & crochet hats signed by the artisans who made them
Product Range | Apparel & accessories
Price Range | $

Krochet Kids Intl. is one of our all-time favorites 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.

Shop Krochet Kids

7. Thought Clothing

Based In | UK
Ethics | Organic cotton & sustainable fabrics
Best For | Affordable 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 brand has developed long-lasting relationships with their factories and suppliers and the company works to ensure that every person who touches their clothing is treated respectfully with fair wages and working conditions. We love their commitment to using organic cotton and natural materials, helping us clean up our wardrobe one piece at a time.

Shop Thought

8. PACT Apparel

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified, organic cotton, B Corp
Best For | Fair trade organic 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


Based In | Nashville, USA
Ethics | Female artisan-made in Peru, fair labor practices, B Corp
Best For | Feminist brand supporting women
Product Range | Women’s apparel, denim, shoes, bags, jewelry
Price Range | $–$$

ABLE believes that to end generational poverty, you must create economic opportunities for people, especially women, to provide for themselves. Their beautiful bags and wardrobe staples like denim and basics are made all over the world by fairly-paid women who have overcome extraordinary circumstances. If you don't pick the right size or color the first time, ABLE also offers free unlimited US shipping back and forth until you find the perfect fit on your apparel, denim, or shoes.


10. Indigenous

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-made clothing, organic & natural materials, B Corp
Best For | Organic capsule wardrobe pieces
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

11. Hackwith Design House

Based In | St. Paul, MN
Ethics | Made in USA, made to order
Best For | Classic investment pieces
Product Range | Women’s apparel, including swimwear, plus sizes, accessories
Price Range | $$$–$$$$

Minnesota-based Hackwith Design House is designing their pieces with one goal in mind: for that piece to be your favorite. Their apparel lines are made in the USA and feature simple and clean basics for every season, swimwear, and include plus-size options. Many of their products are made-to-order, reducing their waste and ensuring that your piece is thoughtfully one-of-a-kind. Hackwith Design House’s soothing, always in style color palette makes this brand perfect for the minimalist looking invest in clothing that will last a lifetime.

Shop Hackwith Design House

12. Cuyana

Based In | San Francisco, CA
Ethics | Slow fashion brand, supports craftspeople, give-back program
Best For | Chic minimalist wardrobe essentials
Product Range | Women’s apparel, outerwear, bags, accessories
Price Range | $$$–$$$$

Cuyana is an essential brand for the modern woman seeking to build her wardrobe on the “fewer, better” principle—so if you’re looking for elegant and long-lasting capsule pieces, Cuyana has what you’re looking for. This global fashion brand creates each piece with integrity and kindness from the highest-quality materials in Europe, South America and the United States. We love their Lean Closet initiative, where they make it easy for you to donate clothing that no longer serves you to women in need in exchange for credit towards your next Cuyana purchase.

Shop Cuyana

13. SiiZU

Based In | New York
Ethics | 100% organic, sustainably grown fabrics, partner with American Forests
Best For | Ethical office wear
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

14. Outdoor Voices 

Based In | Austin, TX
Ethics | Recycled materials, thoughtful production
Best For | Sustainable athletic wear
Product Range | Men & women’s athletic wear
Price Range | $$

Outdoor Voices make clothes for sweating in—interchangeable layers that play nice in any season or activity. From dog jogs to dodgeball, their pieces span gym-life and life-life without sweating the small stuff. The brand sources textiles with sustainability top of mind, including their sustainably sourced merino wool and recycled polyester made from water bottles. Outdoor voices takes great care in the selection of their stateside and overseas factory partners, keeping working conditions and ethical practices a forefront priority.

Shop Outdoor Voices

15. Fair Trade Winds

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Federation member
Best For | Wide range of fair trade brands
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

16. HOPE Made In The World

Based In | Colombia & USA
Ethics | Fair Trade, Child Labor Free Certified, eco-friendly materials & processes
Best For | Fair trade, ethical knitwear
Product Range | Women’s tops, sweaters, scarves and bags
Price Range | $$

Calling themselves a “Brand for All Seasons,” HOPE Made In The World strives to create ethical essentials for both men and women. The creators of HOPE are looking to transforming the way the world perceives, produces, and consumes style. The brand believes in championing craft over quotas and valuing sustainable practices and elevated fashion in the very same breath. Each piece of clothing has been expertly and lovingly crafted by artisans, craftsmen, and makers. 

Shop HOPE Made In The World

17. Encircled

Based In | Toronto, Canada
Ethics | Ethical production, eco-fabrics, up-cycling, small batch production
Best For | Convertible clothing for travel
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

18. Tradlands

Based In | California, USA
Ethics | Ethical production, natural & sustainable materials, recycle remnants
Best For | Ethical blouses
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

19. Nisolo

Based In | Nashville, USA
Ethics | Artisan-made, beyond fair trade wages, transparent production practices
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

20. Alternative Apparel

Based In | Atlanta, GA
Ethics | Ethical production, Fair Labor Association, 70% sustainable materials, Green Certified
Best For | Sustainable activewear & loungewear
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

21. Groceries Apparel

Based In | Los Angeles, CA
Ethics | Made in USA, use organic, natural and recycled materials, fair wage production
Best For | Affordable clothing made in the USA
Product Range | Women's and men's apparel, activewear
Price Range | $–$$

Groceries Apparel traces their products from seed to skin, which means they love using organic materials to create stunning wardrobe basics. All of their products are made in Los Angeles, where they pay fair wages, source local (and often recycled) materials, and reduce waste by mindfully designing their clothing. Their color palettes are always on trend, and all of their pieces are functional and versatile. Whether you're looking for a staple plain white tee or a cozy holiday dress, Groceries Apparel has the perfect piece.

Shop Groceries Apparel

22. Karen Kane

Based In | Los Angeles, CA
Ethics | Ethical production process, supply chain transparency
Best For | Ethical 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


Based In | Hawaii, USA
Ethics | Handmade in small batches, donates excess fabric, gives back
Best For | Responsibly-made dresses
Product Range | Women’s tops, dresses, rompers, playsuits
Price Range | $$–$$$

No matter the season, YIREH has us dreaming of sunny summer days. Their floral vintage-inspired dresses and rompers are handcrafted by artisans in Bali, where they are paid fair wages, receive one-month paid vacation, religious holidays off, sick leave, and medical insurance. Plus, YIREH donates 10% of their profits to International Justice Mission to help bring an end to human trafficking. If you’re seeking the statement piece of the season with a production story you can be proud of, YIREH has what you’re looking for.


24. Vetta

Based In | USA
Ethics | Made in USA, uses sustainable materials, ethical production practices, uses recycled packaging
Best For | Versatile & sustainable capsule wardrobe pieces and collection
Product Range | Women’s capsule wardrobe
Price Range | $$$

Vetta is on a mission to help you build a more thoughtful wardrobe with their innovative shopping model: you can buy a long-lasting capsule collection of 5 pieces that translate into 30+ outfits. Or, shop pieces individually and build a custom timeless wardrobe that you’ll be wearing for years to come. Vetta crafts all of their garments responsibly in the USA from deadstock and sustainable materials, and even goes so far as to source details like buttons and elastic from the US as well.

Shop Vetta


Based In | Los Angeles, CA
Ethics | Made in USA, gives back
Best For | Dressy rompers & jumpsuits
Product Range | Women’s apparel, including jumpsuits, dresses, basics, slips
Price Range | $$$

LACAUSA, which stands for “The Cause” in Spanish, is making wardrobe essentials right in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. To ensure safe and fair working conditions, their offices are located in the same building that they make their garments in, and only source fabrics locally or from trusted partners. Plus, each season they partner with a local organization to support and donate to close-to-home causes such as environmental conservation, women’s empowerment, and arts education.


26. Naadam

Based In | New York, NY
Ethics | Hand-combed cashmere for ethical production, fair treatment of herders, veterinary care & support for goats
Best For | Ethical Mongolian cashmere
Product Range | Women's and men's cashmere sweaters, robes, and loungewear
Price Range | $$$$

Naadam is changing the world of cashmere as we know it. We love their ethical production practices and dedication to producing only the finest cashmere goods at a fraction of the price of luxury brands, since they operate direct-to-consumer. Their ultra-soft cashmere is hand brushed from the goats (which is better for the goats), and is Cradle to Cradle certified, which sets a high standard to protect the people and resources involved in production. Plus, they help support nomadic herding families in Mongolia and provide veterinary care to their goats.

Shop Naadam

27. DÔEN

Based In | Los Angeles, CA
Ethics | Women’s empowerment, ensure gender equality, especially in leadership roles, gives back
Best For | Beautiful casual dresses
Product Range | Women’s apparel, knitwear, accessories, shoes
Price Range | $$$$

DÔEN is a woman-run brand based in Los Angeles, and their California roots are evident in their vintage-inspired, bohemian dresses and blouses. Through partnerships with women’s empowerment organizations and ensuring gender equality in their workplaces (especially in management roles), DÔEN is setting a new industry standard for social equality. Their dresses are perfect for whimsical special occasions and summertime adventures.


28. MATTER Prints

Based In | Singapore
Ethics | Fairly made, supports artisanal techniques & rural communities in Asia
Best For | Patterned pants & dresses
Product Range | Women’s apparel, jumpsuits, outerwear, accessories
Price Range | $$–$$$

MATTER Prints is connecting rural artisans throughout Asia to customers through bold, bright clothing. Artisans create the fabrics and prints, then the garments are produced in fair factories that meet international compliance standards. This way, MATTER can preserve the human skills that go into creating such beautiful pieces, while also allowing them to distribute globally. Their natural dyes, block prints, and stunning Ikat techniques make for truly unique, versatile pieces perfect for the world traveler.

Shop MATTER Prints

29. United By Blue

Based In | Philadelphia, PA
Ethics | Environmental preservation, B Corp, use recycled and organic materials
Best For | Eco-friendly outdoor clothing
Product Range | Men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, accessories, outdoor gear
Price Range | $$

United By Blue is more than just an outdoor and everyday apparel brand: for each product sold, they remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through their clean up initiatives. As a B Corp, United By Blue is dedicated to doing what’s best for people and planet before, during, and after production. The whole family can explore the world in their durable, travel-friendly apparel, and you can feel good knowing you’re investing in a business that’s protecting our planet.

Shop United By Blue

30. Mayamiko

Based In | UK
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified, artisan-made clothing, PETA-approved vegan, organic lines, women's empowerment
Best For | Colorful printed ethical clothing
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. We love their stunning prints and their fresh take on business casual—and their membership in the World Fair Trade Organization and PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free practices make us love them even more.

Shop Mayamiko

31. Mata Traders

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Federation member, organic selection
Best For | Fair trade cocktail 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, and we especially love their colorful dresses and skirts.

Shop Mata Traders

32. Raven + Lily

Based In | USA
Ethics | Fair Trade Certified, artisan-made, B Corp
Best For | Artisan-made clothing & accessories
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

33. Christy Dawn

Based In | Los Angeles, USA
Ethics | Made in USA, uses deadstock materials, small batch production
Best For | Vintage-inspired casual and special occasion dresses
Product Range | Women’s tops, dresses, bridal
Price Range | $$$

Christy Dawn’s vintage-inspired designs are timeless and classic, an homage to her small-town California home. Every Christy Dawn piece is handmade in Los Angeles by talented local artisans using deadstock fabric to minimize their environmental footprint. They only ever sew a limited number of pieces, so be sure to sign up for their email list to see new dresses as soon as they’re listed online. Christy Dawn dresses are the perfect lifelong staple for the feminine, flowy, boho wardrobe.

Shop Christy Dawn

34. Elizabeth Suzann

Based In | Nashville, USA
Ethics | Made in USA, uses natural fibers
Best For | Minimalist wardrobe essentials made in the USA
Product Range | Women's tops, bottoms, dresses, knitwear, shoes
Price Range | $$$

Every elegant piece from Elizabeth Suzann embodies the idea of slow fashion, which means it is designed to last and made from timeless natural fibers right here in the USA. Their soft, neutral palette makes their clothing perfect for the minimalist wardrobe or for capsule wardrobes in any season. Their thoughtful, handcrafted clothing avoids the trendiness of fast fashion, so you can cherish each piece for many years to come.

Shop Elizabeth Suzann

35. Symbology

Based In | USA
Ethics | Artisan-made clothing
Best For | Whimsical & bohemian dresses
Product Range | Womenswear, workwear, special occasion wear
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. You'll find unique printed jumpsuits, fresh takes on classic workwear, and stunning wrap dresses at Symbology. We love their gorgeous designs, modern aesthetic, and commitment to empowering women across the globe.

Shop Symbology

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