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Realise the political power of your money and spend it with the brands you know are treating their workers and the environment in the best possible way.

Lily Cole

Once you’ve educated yourself on the negative impacts of the fast fashion industry, you’re probably looking for alternative ways to spend your hard-earned cash and support sustainable brands.

But when so many companies now use greenwashing as a marketing tactic, how do you know which brands are genuinely working to do good? I know that this was one of the biggest stumbling blocks for me when I embarked on my mission to shop more ethically.

Fortunately, I’ve done the hard work for you when researching the best UK sustainable fashion brands. From transparent supply chains to eco-friendly materials, you can be sure that these recommendations go beyond seasonal trends, adhering to responsible sourcing with sustainable credentials.

Review Summary

What Is an Ethical Clothing Brand?

An ethical and sustainable brand takes responsibility for the garment workers in its supply chain; ensuring a living wage, working hours are regulated, policies on child labour and the right to join a union.

It also takes accountability for the impact it’s having on the long-term health of our planet. This includes reducing CO2 emissions, working with more sustainable materials, plus using less water and toxic chemicals in the production process.

Finally, the treatment of animals is considered. An ethical brand aims to reduce or even cut out animal products completely with a vegan approach.

When assessing a brand’s credentials, it’s useful to look for transparency in the way they operate, as well as remembering the three pillars of People, Planet and Animals.

If you’re ever unsure, take a look at the Good On You directory for a comprehensive sustainability checker and brand breakdown.

Here are the best budget-friendly & sustainable clothing brands

Sustainable fashion may save the earth but it doesn’t have to cost the earth, as proved by the brands I’ve handpicked below.

However, what I will say is that none of these brands are going to be anywhere near as cheap as H&M or Primark. And you need to start retraining yourself to see that as a good thing! The fast fashion industry has primed us to expect a t-shirt to cost less than £5, but of course, you’re going to have to pay a little more if you care about an ethical supply chain, natural materials and sustainable practices.

With this in mind, I hope that you’ll consider investing in fewer but quality pieces that support a circular fashion model. Please be assured that this list is regularly reviewed and updated, so if anything changes, you’ll be the first to know!

 

1. Nobody's Child

  • For: Women
  • Categories: General smart casual everyday wear, nightwear, jumpsuits & co-ords, suits & tailoring, partywear, plus a collaboration with Fearne Cotton
  • Size Range: UK 4-24
  • Price: ££

Nobody’s Child is a UK sustainable clothing brand doing things a little bit differently to the rest of the fashion industry. In particular, they are passionate about lower impact fabrics, with 95% of their Spring/Summer 2023 collection being made from organic, planet-friendly and recycled materials (e.g. organic cotton and TENCEL™).

They continue to introduce circular design principles to their range, with the aim of using 100% responsible fabrics by 2025 and achieving climate-positive status by 2030. Current circular initiatives include plenty of info on proper garment care, as well as a partnership with tailoring and repair service SOJO and a recycling scheme with Refashion. They have even introduced a rental scheme via Hirestreet!

2. Joanie

  • For: Women
  • Categories: General smart casual everyday wear, jumpsuits and dungarees, nightwear, swimwear, accessories
  • Size Range: UK 8-26
  • Price: ££
  • Enter Intentional View at the checkout for 15% off your first shop!

If you’re looking for Lucy & Yak alternatives, then B-Corp certified and female-fronted brand Joanie is the perfect mix of playful and vintage! It’s great to find contemporary design and bold prints alongside the championing of slow fashion (i.e.buying less but better) as well as fully inclusive size ranges.

A lot of thought goes into the design process, including the use of environmentally-friendly fabrics, reducing waste and making continuous improvements within the supply chain. Currently, all of Joanie’s clothing is entirely free from animal-derived products, although they are in the process of developing some leather footwear.

3. OMNES

  • For: Women
  • Categories: Occasion-wear, smart casual, basics
  • Size Range: UK 6-20
  • Price: ££

Who said ethical clothing couldn’t be sexy?! OMNES is my go-to brand for simple yet stunning occasionwear. Their dresses are made from recycled polyester, with 100% mono material for ease of recycling at end of life. Everything down to the inner garment labels has been considered (these are made from recycled plastic bottles!). They also stock the perfect capsule wardrobe staples like basic tees, trousers and chunky knits.

OMNES has partnered with climate organisation Earthly to not only offset its carbon emissions, but to go one step further and become certified carbon positive. From the use of dead stock fabrics to guaranteeing a living wage across their supply chain, you can read more about their impressive credentials on their Sustainability page. This London-based brand is definitely one to keep on your radar!

4. Baukjen

  • For: Women
  • Categories: General smart casual everyday wear, sweatshirts and joggers, pyjamas and underwear, accessories
  • Price: ££
  • Size Range: UK 6-18

For ethically crafted, contemporary classics… look no further than Baukjen! They are working hard to bring you easy-to-wear pieces whilst simultaneously ‘fighting the fast fashion model’. To top it off, they are also a certified B-Corp.

What’s different about Baukjen is that they offer different ways to shop. You can buy clothing in the traditional way, or you also have the option to purchase second-hand with their ‘pre-loved’ collection. They even have a rental service, which means you can try different styles without the commitment (and minimise waste in the process!).

A word of warning: you’ll need to watch for animal-derived fabrics like leather and wool, but there are still plenty of natural and recycled fibres to choose from.

5. Plant Faced Clothing

  • For: Men & Women (mostly gender-neutral clothing & sizing)
  • Categories: Tops & t-shirts, hoodies, joggers, accessories
  • Price: £
  • Size Range: XS-XXL

100% vegan and proud, Plant Faced Clothing is a brand on a mission that is close to my heart. With playful slogans like ‘Oat is the Goat’ and plant-based puns (‘Kale ‘Em With Kindness’), this is unapologetic clothing with an activist twist. In their own words, they aim to:

Promote a new wave of consciousness that supports the non-harming or exploitation of any beings – humans, animals, or plants.

I love the visual boldness of Plant Faced Clothing, which not only looks stylish but is more than likely to going to prompt necessary conversations and spread the word amongst your peers. You can also rest easy in the knowledge that they use high-quality, sustainable fabrics, are ethical and fair trade, and your order will be delivered to your door in recycled, responsible packaging.

6. Thought

  • For: Men & Women
  • Categories: Everyday essentials (inc lots of choice of socks!), accessories, even homewares (e.g. eco laundry detergent & beauty products)
  • Price: ££
  • Size Range: UK 6-18

Thought Clothing manages to strike the perfect balance between plenty of variety and slow fashion. Specialising in plenty of innovative eco-fabrics like bamboo, organic cotton, hemp, tencel and lenzing ecovero (to name just a few), there is even a handy Vegan section to make your life easier!

Thought partners with Traid, a UK charity that promotes a circular economy by recycling your pre-loved clothes. You can request a free postage label to send your clothes back to Traid when they’ve come to the end of their lifespan.

If you’re looking for colourful, artisanal hand-drawn prints with low environmental impact, then Thought has you covered.

7. Omnitau

  • For: Men & Women
  • Categories: Casual wear, activewear, accessories
  • Price: £
  • Size Range: XS-XXL & UK 8-18
  • Use code INTENTIONALVIEW15 for 15% off your order!

Based in Somerset, Omnitau is the new kid on the block producing premium quality, ethically-made garments. Prioritising sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester, all of their clothing is made in Europe, with many items being manufactured and finished here in the UK. In particular, I love their Product Provenance page, which transparently breaks down the journey each garment undertakes – from fabric knitting to panel cutting and finishing.

Their growing collection specialises in supersoft basics and high-performance sportswear, and they’ve recently partnered with England cricket captain Heather Knight to help raise awareness about the need for sustainability in everyday life. Oh, and did I mention that they are super affordable, too?!

8. Sugarhill Brighton

  • For: Women
  • Categories: Everyday wear, jumpsuits and dungarees, loungewear, maternity-friendly
  • Price: ££
  • Size Range: UK 8-22 (they have a growing extended sizing collection)

For brands like Lucy and Yak, mood-boosting colourful clothing is just a click away with Sugarhill Brighton! It’s also responsibly created using materials like organic cotton and LENZING™ ECOVERO™ Viscose, being produced in small, limited-run collections to minimise waste (which has the added bonus of making garments that extra bit special!).

Unique designs are created by hand in pencil, paint and brush before being digitally rendered into the final print. Orders are then shipped in plastic-free packaging made from sustainable sources – 100% compostable and recyclable. 2% of each sale goes to charity and 1 tree is planted with every order.

9. Rapanui

  • For: Men & Women
  • Categories: Casual wear, surf towels, underwear & socks, accessories
  • Price: ££
  • Size Range: S-XXL & UK 8-18

Rapanui is a brand I discovered through the forward-looking fashion documentary ReDress the Future. In it, we visit Rapanui’s renewable energy-powered factory on the Isle of Wight and get a fascinating insight into their ethos and production process. Their technology-first approach means that they only need to print their organic cotton t-shirts once you place your order.

When your clothing comes to the end of its life, you can scan a QR code on the garment label and will receive instructions on how to send it back. These reclaimed materials are then remade into new pieces. This circular model attempts to solve some of fast fashion’s most difficult issues and is truly innovative!

10. Lucy & Yak

  • For: Women
  • Categories: Everyday wear, particularly known for their jumpsuits, boilersuits, dungarees & co-ords
  • Price: ££
  • Size Range: UK 6-32
  • Enter Intentional View at the checkout for 25% off a £70 spend!

As much as I love my monochrome neutrals… I’m also a sucker for a pop of colour and print! If bold is your bag, then you’re going to fall head over heels for Lucy & Yak. For matching co-ords and loud dungarees, these are seriously colourful clothes with a focus on comfort.

Lucy & Yak uses organic, natural fabrics and recycled materials, as well as having a repair and upcycle network. Their ‘buy back’ initiative in collaboration with Beyond Retro vintage shops means that garments stay in circulation for as long as possible. It’s also nice to see inclusivity, with each garment being shown on a variety of different-sized models in their online imagery. If you want to find them offline, they have four physical stores in Brighton, Bristol, Norwich and Nottingham.

11. Komodo

  • For: Men & Women
  • Categories: Smart casual wear and everyday wear, organic basis, nightwear, accessories, footwear
  • Price: ££
  • Size Range: S-XXL & UK 8-16

The OG in ethical and sustainable fashion, Komodo have been paving the way in organic fabrics, eco-friendly materials and a transparent supply chain since 1988. They are tireless innovators, breaking new ground with fabrics such as green PU coating and recycled PET (made from plastic water bottles!). They have also completely phased out single-use plastic.

GOTS certified and a member of the Soil Association, most of Komodo’s range is now vegan, and all of it is cruelty-free. They work closely with their factories to ensure fair and safe working environments that support local communities and social projects. As a member of 1% for the Planet, every purchase helps to restore natural rainforests and ecosystems.

The Sustainable Fashion Brands That Didn't Make This List

There were some brands that didn’t quite make the cut. Not because they’re not doing amazing work, but because they’re on the pricier end of the spectrum. I know that when I was first looking into sustainable fashion options, hefty price tags felt a little alienating and overwhelming!

However, if you did want to check out some more brands, then have a browse of this list:

Support Ethical & Eco-Friendly Clothing Brands

It really unsettles me that something being ‘ethically made’ is a bonus or optional extra. Should it not be the bare minimum?

Mikaela Loach

I echo Mikaela Loach – we shouldn’t have to search for ethical and affordable fashion brands. This should be the required standard for all companies, not something we choose to ‘opt in’ to as consumers. However, change takes time and it starts with our choices today.

I hope that this post has given you some inspiration and guidance when it comes to shopping for sustainable clothing brands in the UK. These companies deserve a spotlight on the good work they’re doing, so do consider supporting them and spreading the word!

If you’d prefer to shop with strictly vegan clothing brands, then you can check out my suggestions in this post. Oh, and don’t forget to take a look at these ethical vegan handbags and conscious jewellery brands to compliment your outfit.

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