When it comes to building an ethical wardrobe, the best thing you can do is buy nothing new.
Shop at your local thrift and consignment shops first, or try thredup, and poshmark for online consignment. Another fun way to get “new” clothing is to host or attend a clothing swap.
However, if you must buy something new, consider shopping with brands that have values that align with your own. Remember, every purchase you make is a vote for what you want to see more of in the world. Your purchasing power is real, so be mindful about where your money goes!
Great for: Entire wardrobe & versatile pieces
Price range: $49 – $179
Vetta Capsule is committed to using sustainable fabrics and responsible factories and has incredibly versatile options to mix and match. They even have collections of 5 pieces that can be worn in 30 different configurations. I’ve got my eye on this Guaze Button Up and this convertible Shift Dress.
2. Christy Dawn
Great for: Dresses & elevated basics
Price range: $68 – $378
Made exclusively from upcycled fabrics and ethically sewn in Los Angeles, Christy Dawn has a collection of vintage-inspired pieces that are crafted with longevity in mind. Each style is intentionally timeless and versatile.
Great for: Timeless staples, inclusive sizing
Price range: $75 – $785
Everything by Elizabeth Suzanne is hand sewn in Nashville, TN using the highest quality natural fibers. Built to last with silhouettes that will stand the test of time. Every item is made to order and their schedule fills up fast—make sure to try to shop on a Monday!
Great for: Modern basics
Price range: $20 – $298
Everlane focuses on partnering only with ethical factories and sourcing fine materials. Everlane is not big on trends and instead promotes investing in pieces that will be worn for decades to come.
5. Jenni Kayne
Great for: Wardrobe staples
Price range: $65 – 1195
Jenni Kayne is a lifestyle brand focused on creating timeless wardrobes that are made up of investment pieces that will last for years to come.
Great for: Versatile travel clothing
Price range: $59 – 149
Wayre is in it’s infancy as a company, but good things are coming! Their clothes are made from reclaimed plastic waste and have basic silhouettes that can be dressed up or down.
Great for: Outerwear, activewear
Price range: $29 – $799
Patagonia is one of the OG companies when it comes to sustainability. They seem to have considered everything from ethical factories to creating products that last and even giving their clothing a second life by creating a collection made from worn clothing.
Great for: Leather goods & basics
Price range: $36 – $348
Able is all about living wages. They became the first fashion brand to publish their lowest wages because they believe that true transparency and accountability is the only way we can end poverty in the clothing industry.
Great for: Versatile staples
Price range: $59 – $395
Aday revolves around the idea of a simple wardrobe that can do more with less. They work with technologically advanced fabrics, versatile staples that can transcend
Great for: Conscious essentials
Price range: $45 – $220
All Aurorei products are ethically made by hand in Brooklyn, NY. They sell direct to consumer to make their pieces more affordable and bridge the gap between fast fashion and the sustainable fashion industry.
Great for: Elevated essentials
Price range: $49 – $317
Textilehaus is made of simple, and thoughtful design. Everything is made with superior workmanship and intended to last from year to year. Each piece is designed and produced in small batches in San Francisco, CA.
Great for: Timeless staples, formalwear, inclusive sizing
Price range: $28 – $528
Reformation is focused on fit and puts sustainability at the core of everything they do. They put out a quarterly sustainability report to be completely transparent about how the company is doing. Plus, over 75% of Reformation’s management team are women.
13. MATE the Label
Great for: Everyday essentials
Price range: $47 – $158
MATE is committed to using non-toxic, natural and certified Organic materials. They have a localized supply chain (in Los Angeles) to reduce their carbon footprint, and they use 100% recycled materials in their packaging.
Great for: Basics, undergarments
Price range: $12 – $95
Finally, some ethical underpants. Pact uses organic cotton, they are fair trade factory certified, use zero harmful chemicals, and processes that use significantly less water than conventional cotton. Plus, they offer ways to recycle or reuse your old clothing.