21 Ethical Underwear That You Should Consider Now

Sustainable underwear is a great introduction to ethical clothing.

Looking to walk away from fast fashion for good and don’t know where to start?

Yes, we have zeroed in on sustainable shirts, denims, and even sustainable winter wear, but what about our undergarments?

Here’s the deal: if you look at your underwear tag and it says it’s made of a synthetic blend, chances are it didn’t come from sustainable sources.

Most ethical underwear companies create products made of a single fabric, and these are made from renewable sources like hemp, bamboo, or organic cotton. But you’ll be surprised to know about other eco-friendly alternatives like recycled nylon and recycled silk, for example.

Want to know more about what makes an underwear brand sustainable?

That’s where this list comes in.

I’ve reviewed 21 sustainable underwear brands to help you choose the right fit–in more ways than one! What I mean is, I’ve summarized each company’s mission and what makes them sustainable. This includes their packaging, materials, and of course, affordability.

Note that the prices given below are subject to change especially if the original product was converted to U.S. dollars.

Let’s look at each company in more detail.

1.   Hara The Label

In Hindi, hara means green. And this brand certainly lives up to its name. Hara’s mission is to educate the world about what needs improvement in the fashion world like chemical dumping and excessive plastic use. Founder Allie Cameron spent time in India and Indonesia communicating with farmers about sustainability and trying to find answers to fashion’s greatest problems.

Allie Cameron’s dedication to sustainability formed at a young age when she discovered the joy of second-hand clothing. This concern for the negative effects of fast fashion became Hara’s guiding principle.

As for ethical practices, all their workers are part of the Australian Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award 2010. This ensures fair wage and safe working conditions. Furthermore, Hara does not support child or forced labor.

Transparency is important within Hara. Since Hara sources and produces all their products in Australia, they can trace each product from all points of the process. Moreover, this lets them effectively cut down on fossil fuel use. At their work centers, they have implemented recycling systems.

  • Materials: All of Hara’s undergarments are made of bamboo fabric. This fabric comes from bamboo fiber which is derived from bamboo pulp. To get this fiber, the pulp is soaked in non-toxic chemicals which are also commonly used in organic cotton-, soap-, and food production. Their bamboo is sourced from suppliers with organic and OEKO-TEX 100 certifications. The latter certifies that they don’t use any harmful chemicals in their production process. Thus, the bamboo fabric is soft, hypo-allergenic, and odor-resistant. Additionally, Hara uses natural plant dye that they produced. These dyes include turmeric, indigo, and madder root.
  • Packaging: Hara states that their products are naturally packaged, but I could not find other specific information on their website.
  • Price: Prices range from about $28 to $33 for both bottoms and bras.

2.   PansyCo

Sourced, designed, and produced locally in California, PansyCo rightly belongs on our sustainable underwear brands list. Laura Schoorl and Rachel Corry founded Pansy in 2013 after recognizing that there were no ethical underwear brands that were also comfortable and beautiful.

Currently, their studio is located in Oakland, California. However, they ship to international stores in various countries including Japan, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, and the United Kingdom. So if you’d rather try one out in person, chances are there’s a physical store you can visit near you.

They offer a wide selection of undergarments: high rise bottoms, low rise bottoms, full bras, sports bras, and cross strap bras. Additionally, they offer shirts, shorts, pants, robes, leggings, and socks. All of their styles are minimal and natural, reflecting Pansy’s call for simple, yet beautifully-designed ethical underwear.

Bonus: they also sell coloring books featuring Pansy-inspired art from the community.

  • Materials: All of their garments are made of organic cotton from Texas, processed in North Carolina, and dyed in Novato, California. Their rubber and cotton elastics are sourced from South Carolina. Their undergarments are dyed with fiber-reactive dyes to ensure long-lasting, no-bleed colors. Choose from natural, almond, mauve, black, sunflower, rust, avocado, red, and azul.
  • Packaging: Their invoices are printed on recycled stock paper. And their products? They’re shipped in an organic cotton jersey bag fashioned from production scraps. The best part? You can reuse the bag for carrying small items like coins or buttons.
  • Price: Their products range from $39 to $62.

3.   Organic Basics

Organic Basics is a sustainable underwear brand based in Copenhagen, Denmark. However, they work with trusted factories that do not support child or forced labor. These factories go beyond and provide childcare and free meals for their workers in addition to a fair wage and safe working conditions.

This company is also defined by ground-breaking sustainable fabrics. Now get this: most companies use organic cotton and hemp, but Organic Basics? They use recycled nylon, recycled wool, TENCEL, and SilverTech fabrics. These fabrics are carefully chosen and made to last. This means less water used, less energy expended, and less carbon emitted.

In a nutshell, Organic Basics is an exemplary ethical underwear brand. They’re a certified B corporation, meaning they meet rigorous environmental and social impact standards. In 2019, they offset more than 1800 tons of carbon through their partnership with CHOOSE and a wind farm in Turkey.

Lastly, their office in Copenhagen is moving towards zero waste. They’ve begun serving vegetarian and vegan meals, cutting out plastic, and offsetting their carbon footprint.

  • Materials: Organic Basics uses recycled nylon, wool, and cashmere, and their trademarked TENCEL Lyocell, SilverTech, and Polygiene. It seems that Organic Basis is always working towards the highest standard of sustainability. If you want to see it for yourself, read their impact report here. If you’re wondering what TENCEL is, it’s a soft fabric sourced from tree pulp. It’s breathable, hypoallergenic, and most importantly, low-impact. On the other hand, SilverTech is made of recycled nylon. This makes for an antimicrobial, odor-resistance, and extremely durable underwear.
  • Packaging: Organic Basics’ new packaging is made of reusable, recycled paper. Furthermore, their cardboard shipping box is made with FSC-certified paper.
  • Price:  For women, their bottoms are available from about $40 USD to $50 USD for 2-packs. Their bras are $70 USD on average.

For men, their briefs run from about $45 USD to $65 USD. Their shirts range from $39 USD to $98 USD, which includes long-sleeve sporty undershirts.

4.   Pact

PACT is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado that champions organic cotton. Why organic cotton? It uses about 95% less water than traditional cotton. Growing and processing organic cotton doesn’t require harmful chemicals, dyes, or pesticides.

I’ll spare you all the (impressive!) statistics, but consider this: about two pounds (one kilogram) of clothing made from organic cotton saves enough drinking water to last two and a half years compared to conventional cotton! I know this might seem insignificant, but it’s actually extremely important for countries that have little water sources and farm non-organic cotton.

Basically, organic cotton kills two birds with one eco-friendly stone.

When a product requires more elasticity, Pact uses elastane. This stretchy fiber also helps make underwear more lasting. What’s more, Pact is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This organization studies companies’ textile practices such as social and environmental impact.

PACT is also fair trade certified, which ensures that their workers thrive in safe conditions. Additionally, Pact ensures that workers can contribute back to their community through social development projects. Re: Pact does not condone child labor or sweatshops.

Besides the production process, they also offer a clothes donation program to encourage reduce and reuse habits. They collect pre-loved clothes from customers and donate to nonprofits. To make it even easier for customers, they provide prepaid shipping labels.

  • Materials:  Pact uses organic cotton and elastane. Elastane is a synthetic fiber that helps extend underwear life. Equally important, they do not use dyes or pesticides in their organic cotton.
  • Packaging: Pact switched from single-use plastic packaging to biodegradable plastic. This is a tremendous discovery. A plastic-eating enzyme that eliminates wasteful packaging? Count us in!
  • Price: For women, the bottoms are $12 each. Their tops range from $20 USD to $30 USD.

For men, the briefs are $12 USD each.

For kids, they have bottoms for $6 each. For babies, the bodysuits are all $10 and below.

5.   TheVeryGoodBra

There are many sustainable underwear brands who may claim they are zero waste, but The Very Good Bra lives up to their promises. Founder Stephanie Devine wanted to create a zero waste bra that was available in a wide range of sizes. The company is based in Australia.

The Very Good Bra offers a completely biodegradable and compostable bra. They do not use polyesters, nylon, or other synthetic elastics in their product.

Get this: they left a bra in a worm farm and the little critters ate it up within 8 weeks. Why is this so important? Well, nylon, a common bra fabric, takes 30 to 40 years to break down. Compared to 8 weeks, that’s a lifetime!

Aside from materials, they work with responsible suppliers around the globe, including India, France, and Switzerland. Their manufacturing takes place in Hong Kong and China, where the owners fully recognize the important of zero waste products in today’s world.

To further reduce waste, The Very Good Bra operates in a unique way: three times a year, customers can pre-order to guarantee a size and color. This way, they don’t make excess clothing and tackle fast fashion straight from the source.

  • Materials:  The Very Good Bra is made of Tencel, which is a natural-based fabric made from tree rubber. Their elastics are made with organic cotton, as well as their labels and threads. They also use vegetable-based inks.
  • Packaging: Products are sent covered in recyclable tissue and a compostable box. This box comes from Sendle, a carbon-neutral shipper based in Australia–the first of its kind.
  • Price: Their namesake The Very Good Bra is about $55 and their briefs are around $25 each. They also offer cotton shorts and camisoles for a little more than $30 each.

6.   PROCLAIM

Proclaim is an inclusive undergarment brand specializing in nude lingerie. They’re inclusive of all sizes, but also of all skin colors. The color “nude” often overlooks a whole rainbow of skin tones, and Proclaim successfully addresses this issue.

They first started out in San Francisco, but now they are based in Los Angeles, California. All their design, assembly, and production also take place here. Furthermore, their employees are paid hourly wages compared to unfair factories that pay per apparel made.

But you know what may be the coolest thing about this company? They use recycled PET bottles to make bras! See the details below.

  • Materials: Their lingerie line is made of TENCEL, which is a wood-based fabric. Making TENCEL is extremely resource conservative because the water and solvents used are recyclable. They also use recycled polyester made of plastic water bottles. And don’t worry–they only use BPA-free bottles certified safe by the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). Basically, the bottles are broken down, reheated, then spun into yarn. If this sounds too good to be true, check out their collection for yourself; I promise you won’t be disappointed. However, it’s helpful to note that they also use Spandex in their products.
  • Packaging: They use poly mailers (a plastic), but they are reusable and recyclable. These mailers are also locally sourced in the USA and are made of recycled materials. Still not impressed? Get this: their label fasteners are made from natural hemp to replace plastic.
  • Price: Their women’s briefs are $28 each, available in three different nude shades and black. Their TENCEL bras are $59 each, available in three nude shades and black. Their recycled polyester bras are about $60 each, available in three nude shades.

7.   Boody

Boody is an Australia-based brand that solely uses bamboo in their wide range of products. When creating Boody, the founders kept sustainability and comfort in mind.

They are certified by a remarkable list of eco-friendly organizations. For starters, they’re certified by Ecocert, which analyzes companies’ agricultural and facility processes. What’s next? They’re certified by OEKO-TEX, which ensures that each Boody product is safe for customers’ skins. This includes making sure they use no harmful dyes or metals in their products.

Since they use bamboo, Boody is also certified with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which indicates that they source bamboo from responsible suppliers that do not destroy habitats.

I was also very impressed by their International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification. Here’s a little background: ISO sets global industry standards for various sectors–anything from camping gear to bamboo underwear.

Now, Boody meets the ISO 14001 standard, which means Boody is dedicated to keeping negative environmental impacts low or nonexistent. The certification holds Boody accountable to improve the company’s positive environmental impacts, achieve environmental goals, and comply with environmental codes.

  • Materials: Boody uses organic, pesticide-free bamboo. Bamboo conserves water–it only needs rainwater to thrive. Bamboo also regenerates quickly, unlike other trees that take decades to grow. As for feel and functionality, it tops the charts. Bamboo is hypoallergenic, anti-fungal, and breathable. This keeps sweat and heat at bay. More importantly, their products offer protection from the sun.
  • Packaging: Their products are packaged in recycled paper and printed with vegetable inks.
  • Price: For the women’s line, their bottoms are about $13 to $15 each. Their bras range from a little over $15 to $40.

For the men’s collection, the bottoms are about $15 to $27 each.

Their baby onesies are about $35 each, available in three colors and two striped colors.

8.   Everlane

Everlane is known for their sustainable, chic outerwear, but guess what? They also have a line of eco-friendly underwear.

Their motto is designing clothes that last. They do so by partnering with trustworthy factories and sourcing sustainable, durable materials.

For instance, their Pima cotton from Peru is one of the best quality cottons in the world. The crop is picked by hand to ensure it isn’t damaged. This is helpful in two ways: the end product is more durable and softer.

One glaring fact you’ll realize on their website is that they care about their workers, so they carefully choose factories that treat their workers right. Furthermore, Everlane donates their yearly Black Friday sales profits to improve workers’ lives.

Everlane has also partnered with Oceana, a nonprofit that’s helping ban single-use plastic around the world. They do so by talking directly with politicians and voters. Everlane’s part is helping fund Oceana’s campaign to help them continue urgent work.

With all these social impact initiatives, it’s no wonder that Everlane is proudly advocating for what they call radical transparency, or being honest with consumers about where their products come from and how they’re made.

  • Materials: Everlane products are all high quality products. There’s no doubt about it. However, I could not find a single specific sheet containing a materials list. They do however, have a page where you can browse each factory they work with and what they produce. Note that their products still contain some synthetic materials. Additionally, they have a line of outerwear made of recycled water bottles.
  • Packaging: Everlane’s products are packaged in recyclable paper boxes.
  • Price: The women’s bottoms are priced $12 each while the bras are all about $25 each.

9.   Reformation

Reformation is going back to basics: simple shapes that highlight the feminine body. How are they making it sustainable? They’re choosing fabrics that have a combined positive social and environmental impact.

At Reformation, they’ve created their own grading system for fabrics which reviews eight important factors: water use, energy use, environmental pollution (if any), greenhouse gas emissions, human safety, availability, and affordability.

So here is the big idea: Reformation aims to use all or mostly natural fibers from plants regenerate quickly or from recycled fibers.

They’ve also launched zero waste programs in their factories through fabric recycling and refurbishing. How? By partnering with a local recycling center and coordinating with their suppliers.

In short, Reformation wants to reduce fast fashion waste before the products are even made. This mindset is more important than ever, especially when you consider that only 1% of polyester clothing (a common material) is recycled.

  • Materials: Reformation uses TENCEL which is fiber made from wood material. They also combine this fabric with recycled cotton waste to make REFIBRA. Moreover, Reformation uses viscose (rayon), linen, recycled cotton, organic cotton, Recover (recycled fabric), recycled nylon, recycled cashmere, alpaca wool, and deadstock fabrics. This last one caught my eye. So deadstock fabric is basically unused fabric from other brands or warehouses. Instead of throwing these into landfills, companies like Reformation are swooping in to transform them into sustainable clothing. Almost 5% of Reformation’s product list is made of vintage clothing. This saves almost 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year per person!
  • Packaging: Reformation’s bags are biodegradable and are made of recycled materials.
  • Price: The bottoms are about $15 to $35. Their bras range from about $32 to $85.

10. Warp + Weft

Warp and Weft is a family-owned business that started out with denim. They’ve achieved remarkable feats through their efficient production systems and machinery. For instance, they boast using less than 10 gallons of water per pair of jeans compared to 1,500 for a traditional pair.

And another important thing is they reuse this water after treating it. Instead of using bleach to wash their jeans, they use Dry Ozone technology to avoid water contamination.

Beyond that, they sponsored a clean water project in Malawi to provide safe water for more than 3,000 people. If you want to make a contribution, you can: they match donations you provide to charity:water.

What’s more, their products are truly affordable, which is sometimes untrue for many brands who claim to be sustainable. Because they can trace their products from raw materials to sale, they avoid middlemen markups.

What does this mean for consumers? This means high quality products at an affordable price, making eco-friendly clothing available to all.

Another defining feature for Warp and Weft is their inclusive clothing line. Founder Sarah Ahmed believes in inclusivity and as one of the few women in the denim industry, she knows just how important representation is.

  • Materials: Their women’s undergarments are made of tencel, spandex, and cotton. Warp and Weft also uses cotton, Lycra, and Tencel from the United States. Their dyes are sourced from Europe.
  • Packaging: Unfortunately, I could not find information on Warp and Weft’s packaging, but I will update this list if anything changes on their end.
  • Price: Their women’s bottoms are $12 each, available in four shades of nude, and in black and white. The men’s briefs are $25 each, available in two-tone white and red and black and white.

11.   People Tree

People Tree started back in 1991 when sustainable underwear brands weren’t even on the  public agenda. Safia Minney founded People Tree based on respectable ethics, high environmental standards, and versatile designs and prints on top quality materials.

Their products are crafted using traditional expertise like hand weaving, hand knitting, embroidery, and block printing. It’s no surprise that they were the first fashion brand to receive the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) product label.

From the beginning until now, People Tree has always been devoted to providing fair wages, ensuring safe working conditions, and promoting positive environmental impacts.

What’s more, People Tree is helping connect traditional producers with modern technology. What’s the big idea? This helps their partners achieve control over their own products and processes while helping their business grow.

While technology helps scale production, traditional techniques like hand embroidery provides economic opportunity for countless families in various countries. Handwork also eliminates carbon dioxide emission from unnecessary machines.

Additionally, People Tree is certified by the GLobal Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Soil Association, Fairtrade International, WFTO, and the PETA-approved vegan certification. Together, the standards from these certifications holds People Tree accountable for their goals and effects whether positive or negative.

  • Materials: People Tree uses TENCEL Lyocell, responsibly-sourced wool, and organic cotton. Their clothes are dyed with low-impact, chemical-free dyes.
  • Packaging: Their reusable box is not only eco-friendly, it helps people in need. Customers can reuse their product box to donate gently used clothes or household items through the charity Give Back Box. Customers can send in anything from DVDS to jewelry to shirts.
  • Price: The women’s bottoms are $15 each. Their bras range from about $30 to $35. They also offer camisoles at $38 each.

12.   Knickey

Knickey pledges to use only organic cotton and a more eco-friendly production process. The result? Zero pesticides, less water use, no greenhouse gases released, and no chemical pollution.

What’s lesser known about the benefits of organic cotton is it reduces use of crude oil and fossil fuels. This directly affects how much carbon dioxide emissions go up into our atmosphere. Just think: about 340 million barrels of oil is used annually to make synthetic clothing. This is especially true for polyester and polyester-like fabrics.

Knickey also supports recycling by something surprising: upcycling older underwear into various purposes. Some great products are rug pads, rugs, and even insulation material. They’ve partnered with a New York non-profit to prevent recyclable clothing from ending up in landfills. As if doing a good deed isn’t enough, Knickey is also throwing in a free pair of underwear for each box you send in!

Note that their recycling program is only available in the United States.

  • Materials: Knickey uses strictly organic cotton only with non-GMO seeds, zero pesticides, and organic fertilizers. This makes for a soft, breathable fabric free from toxins.
  • Packaging: Their plastic-free packaging is made of (almost all) recycled materials. Knickey’s box materials are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, sourced from sustainably harvested trees. Their inks are safe and their adhesives are reusable.
  • Price: Their bottoms are $13 each, available in seven different colors and three styles.

13.  Cuup

Cuup is fully committed to making comfortable bras that fits all shapes and sizes. Two of the founders were baffled when they found out they had been wearing the wrong bra size their whole life. So Lauran Cohan and Abby Morgan wanted to make sure women had access to comfy bras available in various sizes.

Instead of following the bra industry’s template when it came to bras, Cuup called up women of all silhouettes and created a line of undergarments that would fit the wearer and not the other way around.

They offer cup sizes from A to H. They also provide a wide range of model photographs online to help consumers shop for the perfect fit.

  • Materials: Cuup’s classic sheer mesh bras are with nylon and spandex. Their microfiber bras are made with polyamide and elastane. Certain bras also contain thin underwires for more support. For optimal comfort, the cups are sewn, not made by molds. Their undies are made with cellulose fiber called Modal and elastane.
  • Packaging: Sadly, I could not find explicit information on CUUP’s packaging, but rest assured, I will update this list as needed.
  • Price: Their bottoms are $18 each, available in four styles and nude, black, and green. Their bras are $68 each, available in five different styles and various colors including nude, green, and black.

14.  Brook There

Brook There is a US-based brand that makes comfortable underwear that promotes personal confidence. Besides personal confidence, Brook There also inspires industry confidence through their low-impact distribution and production process.

Their fabrics come from South Carolina or California and brought to Pennsylvania for dying, and then to Massachusetts for assembly. Then it is shipped to customers. This short distance between production and distribution cuts down on transportation costs–both financially and environmentally.

And because their products don’t have to travel great distances, they don’t use plastic bags to protect items during transport or storage.

Aside from the products, Brook There chooses organic cotton to protect workers and the environment from harmful insecticides. Unfortunately, traditional cotton farming uses chemicals that puts workers at risk for cancers, skin diseases, and respiratory problems.

Insecticides also live on in water sources, in the ground, and in the air, polluting every part of our physical environment.

  • Materials: Brook There uses organic GOTS-certified cotton and genuine silk. Their elastic trims, laces, and silk are sourced from USA buyers who import internationally. They currently do not have bras with underwires, nor are they planning to make any. Note that their silk products are not vegan.
  • Fact: mainstream bra cups and pads are made with harmful chemicals that often stay on the finished product. This is why Brook There’s bras are padding and foam-free. Frankly, they have not found a sustainable source that lives up to the company’s standards.
  • Packaging: Brook There uses recycled poly bags and recycled tissue paper from a company called EcoEnclose. Moreover, larger orders come in a recyclable cardboard box.
  • Price: Brook There’s organic cotton undies are $22 to $64. Their cotton bras range from $48 to $88.

On the other hand, their silk bottoms are $36 to $64. Their silk bras are $56 to $88.

15.  Naja

Naja is a sustainable underwear brand empowering women on both sides of the market. Their workforce is mostly made up of single mothers and head of households. Being a single mother is tough enough, and when employers don’t understand the unpredictable nature of parenthood, their lives are made harder.

Good news: at Naja, employees have a fair balance between work and childcare. Additionally, employees’ children are gifted school supplies like uniforms, books, and meals.

Other social impact programs include their Underwear for Hope program, which provides economic opportunity for Colombian women. A percentage of Naja’s profits also go to local charities that provide educational opportunities for these same workers.

In terms of positive environmental practices, Naja uses digital technologies to print their garments. This saves water waste on a huge scale.

Furthermore, Naja is gradually incorporating recycled plastic fabric into their clothing lines. Aside from materials, their craftsmanship is what makes Naja stand out. Handmade products make for high quality underwear you’re proud to own.

  • Materials: Their bras are made of various materials: organic cotton, elastane, nylon, Spandex, memory foam, recycled plastic, polyester. Their bottoms are made of similar material minus the memory foam cups. Their prints are made with digital machines to avoid water waste. Note that they have an eco-friendly section for both bottoms and bras.
  • Packaging: Unfortunately, I did not find any information about Naja’s packaging practices.
  • Price: Their bottoms are available from $20 to $30. Their bras are $36 to $65.

16.  Botanica Workshop

If you’re looking for an artist-lounging-lazily-on-a-day-bed-in-underwear aesthetic, Botanica Workshop is your answer. Their name refers to their eco-friendly approach and their craftsmanship, respectively.

They began in 2014 when the founders wanted to create designer-feel and luxury quality underwear.

They then partnered with local artists and craftspeople to create a variety of high quality garments. This group of creatives meets several times in Los Angeles, California. At the heart of Botanica Workshop is the importance of local sourcing and manufacturing. The company invests in local talent and businesses to foster a thriving community.

Sustainability is also a distinct lifestyle within the brand: most employees walk or take public transportation. At their studio, they practice composting, recycling, and utilizing second hand tools.

  • Materials: Botanica Workshop uses organic cotton, silk, and recycled nylon. Their organic cotton is GOTS certified and knit in the USA, though there are some instances where the cotton is not locally-sourced. Botanica Workshop’s recycled nylon is OEKO-TEX certified, making it skin-safe by strict European standards. Their clothing trims are made from both natural and synthetic materials. Lastly, their dyes are made from low-impact synthetic dyes. Note that their silk underwear is combined with Spandex for elasticity and a stronger product.
  • Packaging: For Botanica Workshop’s packaging, I could not find explicit information about their recyclability or biodegradability. As always, I will update this page if and when new information comes to light.
  • Price: Botanica Workshop’s organic cotton bottoms are $65 to $82 each. On the other hand, their stretch silk briefs are $92 to $120 each.

Their organic cotton bralettes are $78 apiece, available in fifteen different colors/patterns. Their silk bralettes are $138 to $202 each.

17.    The Nude Label

The Nude Label is based in Valencia, Spain where the city is nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the wondrous mountains. This calm aesthetic and natural feel comes through in their products.

Furthermore, their family-run factory is located in the same city, so the founders have greater control over the production process. More importantly, they’re able to ensure firsthand that working conditions are up to code.

Instead of machine-produced products, The Nude Label utilizes skilled workers in every step of the undergarment’s construction. Each piece is assembled by a different person, which speaks to the product’s high quality.

  • Materials: The Nude Label’s undergarments are made with organic cotton and elastane sourced from Portugal. The supplier is GOTS-certified and meets the OEKO-TEX 100 Standard. Moreover, they’re part of the Better Cotton Initiative, which is an international nonprofit that champions cotton farmers and the environment. The Nude Label also uses recycled polyamide or recycled nylon. This fabric resists pilling, which makes it long lasting. And where does the material come from? The Nude Labels saves fishing nets, clothing scraps, leftover carpeting, and landfill plastic, among other sources. Recycled nylon also provides UV protection and dries easily. 
  • Packaging: I was unable to find information on the Nude Label’s packaging, but we will keep an eye out for updates!
  • Price: The bottoms are about $15 to about $25. Their bras are a little more than $35 to about $50. Each product is available in at least nine warm, gentle colors like pumpkin, rust, and soft lilac.

18.    Azura Bay

Azura Bay’s motto is cute, comfy, and conscious. But the company’s mission to empower women doesn’t stop at making comfortable, eco-conscious clothes. What’s different about Azura Bay is it’s a one-stop-shop for ethical lingerie brands.

Founder Ashley McIntosh wanted customers to easily find environmentally-friendly undergarments that were also stylish and high quality. She took the work out of sifting through countless brands and created Azura Bay.

These brands embody sustainability through ethical practices, Fair Trade materials, and environmentally-friendly processes. Brands include New-York based Only Hearts, Miami-headquartered Cosabella, Quebec-based Sokoloff, England-sourced Iris London, and Copenhagen-based Underprotection.

  • Materials: The materials vary by company, but these include: hemp, organic cotton, Spandex, cotton, polyamide, elastane, supima cotton, TENCEL lyocell, and recycled lace. Their dyes include vegan, vegetable dyes.
  • Packaging: Azura Boxes ships products in recycled boxes and recycled tissue paper made in the USA. They also use compostable mailers using Better Packaging Co, which is headquartered in New Zealand but have centers in the US.
  • Price: Their undies are about $25 to $60.

Their bras range from $30 to about $110 for a nursing bralette.

19.   Wama

Wama proudly uses hemp for their products. Partnering with organic farms, Wama wants to make hemp a substantial contender in the sustainable underwear world.

They manufacture all their products in China-based textiles, where factories work with employees under safe working conditions and fair wages. Furthermore, they’re certified as a Green America Certified Business, which means they meet rigorous standards for social and environmental impacts.

All of their products are also PETA Approved Vegan, which means no animal products or byproducts are ever used in any of their collections.

So why hemp? For starters, to date, they have saved enough water to last more than 650,000 days. As a clothing material, hemp has various benefits. It is naturally anti-bacterial and thus resists odor. A great feature to have for undergarments, right?

Moreover, hemp is best washed with cold water and hung dry. So this saves energy from avoiding hot water and the dryer. It’s a win-win!

  • Materials: Wama uses hemp, which is soft, organic, and breathable. For dye, they use safe fabric-reactive dyes.
  • Packaging: Wama ships a majority of their orders with recycled poly mailers, which are designed to be reused or recycled. Their tissue paper is made from recycled materials and is biodegradable. Additionally, their promo materials like stickers come from recycled paper. For larger orders, Wama ships products using custom-made recycled boxes that are also biodegradable.
  • Price: For men, the briefs are $24. For women, the undies are $20 each, available in four styles: hipsters, bikinis, thongs, and boy shorts.

20.  Patagonia

Patagonia is one of the more well-known brands on our list, but they’re usually known for outdoor or active gear. Did you know they also have a collection of eco-friendly underwear?

They have  established environmental and social initiatives. For instance, more than 70% of their clothing line in 2020 is made from recycled materials like recycled cotton, recycled polyester, recycled nylon, hemp, and more. For new, raw materials, they use eco-friendly options like organic cotton and lyocell.

Since they’re such a big company, it’s no wonder they’re able to impact thousands of lives. Through their Fair Trade program, more than 65,000 workers have economic power.

Moreover, Patagonia is actually a founding member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) which is based in Washington, D.C. This group does important work in the fashion industry: they hold companies accountable for their labor practices. An accreditation from FLA means workers receive fair wages and protected working conditions.

  • Materials: The bottoms are made of recycled nylon, spandex jersey, polyester, and spandex mesh. Their bras are made of a nylon and spandex blend, mesh, and polyester. Their undergarments are treated with HeiQ® Fresh for odor control.
  • Packaging: Patagonia uses a polybag for each product, but they are currently working on more eco-friendly solutions. They haven’t discovered an alternative to poly bags, but they are implementing practices like making the poly bag sizes smaller, cutting out paper mailers, and recycling collected poly bags.
  • Price: Patagonia’s bottoms are $18 to $24. Their bras are $45 to $65.

21.    SheThinx

SheThinx is more than a sustainable underwear brand. They’re making period talk less taboo, so girls and women don’t miss out on life just because they are experiencing something natural.

This brand makes underwear that absorbs your period. Yes, it’s that simple. They make custom-made undies that keep period products out of landfills while keeping you safe and comfortable.

Of course, this depends on how heavy your flow is, so you might need some adjustment period. Needless to say, you might want to undergo this adjustment period at home until you know what works for you.

Besides great products, SheThinx provides help for disadvantaged communities. They’ve implemented a GiveRise program, which advocates for better puberty education and supports activism. This activism helps fight discrimination in the school and work place and helps provide menstrual products to students.

So for each purchase you make with SheThinx, you’re actually supporting millions of young students across the USA.

  • Materials: They use organic cotton, elastane, polyester, nylon, Spandex, and polyamide. Furthermore, they use OEKO-TEX certified fabric treatments to control odor and moisture.
  • Packaging:  Their packaging is completely biodegradable.
  • Price: Their undies are about $25 to $45.

What is your favorite sustainable underwear brand?

15 Sustainable Swimwear to Fall in Love With

Sustainable swimwear for every eco-consciousness babes out there who love the ocean. When buying regular clothes, making the Earth-friendly choices is easy:   just buy vintage or second-hand. You can fill up a whole closet with almost every piece of clothing you’ll need for work and play without any of them being new. There is, however, one place where making the greenest choice can often be a difficult thing and that is in the realm of swimwear and intimates.  

This presents us, planet-minded consumers, with a problem: we know we need to buy these items new but we are also very much aware of the fact that the artificial knits used in swimwear are made out of petrochemicals and use up immense amounts of water and energy during their manufacturing processes.

Lucky for us, swimwear has become one of the easiest garments to produce responsibly thanks both to the wave of environmental conscience that has washed over the fashion industry in the past decade and to the availability of better-recycled knits from which to make sustainable swimwear from such as Econyl. Since it’s introduction more than a decade ago, this knit made from recycled plastic waste went from being a novelty to one of the most sought-after materials by companies looking to satisfy customer demand for sustainable products.

Let’s talk a little bit more about Econyl, since you’ll encounter the name so often on this list: the process for making this knit takes materials such as fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring, industrial plastic, etc. and chemically breaks them down to reassemble them into nylon. Econyl is essentially trash that has been turned into high-quality fabric that is nearly indistinguishable from newly-made nylon. This reduces demand for petrochemicals, uses less water and less energy all while removing plastic waste from the environment.

The brands that made our list all use recycled materials such as Econyl for their garments and take steps to ensure that every other part of their production process, shipping and retailing is also done responsibly. Many of these companies are small, independent labels that produce styles in small batches to avoid excess waste and hire local seamstresses to cut and sew their pieces in an effort to contribute to local economies. They all eschew the use of toxic dyes, follow fair trade labor practices and take steps to reduce their environmental footprints by using compostable packaging, renewable energy, local production, among other environmentally and socially-responsible practices.

Check out my list below with sustainable swimwear brands:

1. Nu Swim

Nu Swim – Lora One Piece ( 61.43 $ )

Best for: Swimwear that feels like a second skin

Leave it to someone who’s been wearing a swimsuit every day of her life to design some the most comfortable swimwear around. Nu’s collection is made up of simple, sporty pieces that are designed to move with you.

Their swimsuits fit comfortably – like a second skin – and are meant to be worn both in and out of the water, either underneath clothing or as pieces of actual clothing. The label is designed and manufactured in between California and New York by Gina Esposito, a lifelong swimmer who set to make her dream of designing swimwear a reality, supported by an all-female staff. Nu’s pieces are made using exclusively Econyl recycled knits plus recycled threads and feature simple, minimalistic designs that are meant to last you for many seasons

2. Reformation

Reformation (68$-78$)

Best for: Trendy

Before Reformation, Earth-friendly clothing was the stuff of specialty brands and crunchy, gypsy types. Nearly 10 years after their founder decided to start a sustainable fashion brand with mass appeal, the LA label’s responsibly-made designs have amassed a loyal cult following both amongst celebrities and mere mortals alike and their clothes have become objects of desire for thousands of women.

Reformation aims to be a greener alternative to fast fashion that can actually keep up with the industry’s notoriously short turn-around times by designing, cutting, sewing, photographing and shipping all of its garments from the same site. This system on cuts emissions and water use and ensures smaller-scale production that generates less waste – information that they proudly display on a “RefScale” label in the info section of every one of their products.

The company has a transparency policy regarding the materials used to manufacture its clothes and has developed a grading system that goes from A to E taking into account elements such as water and energy usage, toxicity and microfiber shedding. You’ll be happy to know that they count the Econyl that they use to make their swimwear amongst their favorite fabrics to use for the opportunity that it offers to turn plastic waste into raw materials and its Oeko-Tex guarantee of no harmful chemicals being used to dye the knits.

Reformations ethical swimwear collection features the same vintage-inspired cuts, fabrics and daring LA vibes that the label has become famous for. 

3. Cos

COS – Recycled Nylon (25$-39$)

Best for: The design-minded

H&M’s artsier, more cultured and environmentally conscious sister runs under the motto of “Buy better, keep forever”. Their high quality, minimalist designs are inspired in art, architecture and design and aim to be the type of clothes that you reach for over and over again.

As part of their commitment to sustainability, COS’s pieces meet the quota of containing at least 50% recycled or repurposed fabrics and use only 100% organic cotton. Their recently-launched Recycled Nylon Collection of sustainable swimwear is made up of beautifully cut pieces in a variety of bright patterns and colors and contains – as promised – at least 85% fabric made from recycled post-consumer materials.

4. Love Street

Love Street (12$-24$)

Best for: Swimwear made in the USA

This Salt Lake City-based online apparel store named after a song from The Doors started out as a small Etsy shop. They offer a hand-picked collection of vintage, upcycled, hand made and independently-designed items and beauty products. The swimwear section is filled with a variety of options that go from heavily detailed to classic basics that are all made to last from sturdy materials in the USA.

5. The Saltwater Collective

Salt Water (78$)

Best for: Plus size eco-conscious shoppers

The Saltwater Collective has a commitment, not only to the environment, but also to towards people. Upon taking charge of the company, Camilla James realized that she had a golden opportunity in her hands to create a space where diversity and inclusion were celebrated – something nearly unheard of in the swimwear industry. Their website, look books and Instagram feed are populated by an astoundingly diverse group of women that are far from the cold-faced, cookie-cutter looks most brands go for and they have a policy of not retouching any of their photos.

The Saltwater look is comprised of well-constructed, hardware-free basics in bright and neutral hues made with a blend of Econyl and Lycra Xtralife knits. As part of its efforts to support the Canadian economy, Saltwater commissions a team of independent seamstresses in its Toronto hometown to sew its pieces.

6. Mara Hoffman 

Mara Hoffman – Gamela One Piece (290$)

Best for: High fashion swimwear that does no harm

In 2015 Mara Hoffman took a big decision: “Change or die”. After more than a decade working in the fashion industry and witnessing first-hand just how damaging every aspect of it was for the environment, she’d had enough. None of it aligned with her personal ethos of doing no harm to anyone or anything and so she upended her very successful company and turned it into a sustainable and responsible business that took into account the impact of every single aspect of her brand’s design, sourcing and production processes.

By using better fabrics for her garments, such as Econyl for her swimwear, and investing in digital printing and dyes certified to be non-toxic, Hoffman was able to continue making the colorful and pattern-heavy designs she became known for sustainably without having to compromise artistic vision.

7. Vitamin A 

Vitamin A (90$-110$)

Best for: Luxury swimwear you can feel good about

Vitamin A is straight up vintage SoCal beach glam with plenty of ribbed fabrics, metal hoops, rusty colors and teeny bikinis. Their pieces are everything but basic and feature an interesting variety of colors, prints and textures. All other brands on this list can thank its founder, Amhalia Stevens, for coming up with the idea of using sustainable fabrics in swimwear 20 years ago. She was inspired to start using knits made from recycled materials for her swimsuits after a stint at Patagonia, which had been turning plastic bottles into fabric for their signature fleece jackets since the early 90’s. After realizing that there were no recycled knits that would be appropriate for swimwear, Amhalia worked with manufacturers across three different countries to develop EcoLux, a soft and luxurious jersey that is exclusive to Vitamin A and used in most of their pieces. Both Vitamin A’s swimsuits and almost all of their fabrics are made in California.

The company hasn’t stopped innovating in the textiles department and recently launched two new exclusive knits that have further allowed them to offer a variety of textures in their pieces named EcoRib, for ribbed pieces, and EcoTex, for textured pieces.

8. Madewell 

Madewell (39$-45$)

Best for: Affordable pieces with a conscience 

Did you know that your go-to for perfectly-fitting jeans and laid-back tees is making strides in becoming a socially and environmentally responsible company? Madewell’s Do Well Initiative tackles everything from the materials and chemicals used during manufacturing and the rights of the people making their clothes to the use of low-waste packaging, making their offices and stores more energy efficient and recycling their fabrics. Their Second Wave swimwear collection aims to give plastic waste a second life by using fabrics made from recycled plastic to make affordable, easy-to-wear pieces with Madewell’s signature bohemian spirit.

9. Stidston Studio 

Stidston Studio

Best for: Hand-made swimwear

Thanks to it’s rep for cloudy skies and bad weather, most people forget that the U.K. is a collection of islands with plenty of coasts and water for swimming – when the weather decides to cooperate, that’s it. Stidston Studio was started by a Devon native who’s spent her whole life doing exactly just that. Most this label’s beautifully cut and tailored pieces use Econyl knits and are all expertly made in the UK.

The company’s made-to-order style of production guarantees, not only that there will be minimum waste from extra fabric and unsold products, but that you will also receive a very special piece that has been hand-cut, hand-made and hand-finished just for you.

10. Boden 

Boden (38$-42$)

Best for: Children’s eco-friendly swimwear

While you were busy ignoring it, this old-school casual-wear mainstay decided to clean up its act and start being more responsible towards the planet and the people it employed.

Boden company has become especially committed to reducing its environmental impact the improvement of the lives and the rights of the people that work in their supply chains with and emphasis in ending modern slavery. A big part of their plan to reduce the company’s environmental impact is making a shift towards sustainably sourced and recycled textiles. Their recently-launched capsule line of planet-friendly & ethical swimwear is made using Econyl knits and includes options for children and babies plus four styles for women inspired by hot summers in the Greek islands.

11. Galamaar 

Galamaar – ALL THINGS CACAO (125$-157$)

Best for: Pieces that you can wear as outerwear

If you’re tired of flimsy swimsuits that are see through and won’t stay put, Galamaar is the place for you. Their ultra sexy swimwear collection features construction and tailoring reminiscent of vintage lingerie and a structured fit that adds support and just enough coverage.

The company believes that polluting nature, especially in order to create garments meant to be worn in it, is just plain wrong. To avoid this, they rely on a combination of practices that include the use of Econyl knits and recycled hardware and hangtags, use local manufacturing in their LA hometown and make creating well-made, long-lasting pieces their number one priority.

12. AlynedTogheter 

AlynedTogheter (30$-35$)

Best for: Vintage pattern lovers

Alyned’s retro-inspired pieces will make you want to hop on the next flight available to somewhere sunny where you can sip Mai-Tais by the ocean. Their all-female design team is focused on offering an alternative to the tired basic and plain choices most sustainable swimwear companies have by using bright, colorful prints and stitched and pleated details on their pieces. Designs are made with sustainability and inclusivity in mind: all garments are made with recycled polyester and their super flattering styles go up to a size 3X.

Alyned also offers a line of eco-friendly men’s swimming trunks made out of recycled polyester and featuring more masculine versions of their summery tiki-inspired patterns.

13. Amara 

Amara – All Of The Ways One Piece (190$)

Best for: Bohemian luxury

Amara’s daring pieces are the true embodiment of Tulum’s bohemian and artistic spirit. Their effortless designs are exquisitely cut using soft curved lines that lay beautifully on the body for a flattering fit. The label was started by Lisa Jackson, a Canadian expat and former New Yorker who first visited Tulum on vacation and simply never came back. Her brand’s sustainable ethos was born after she had the misfortune to directly witness the environmental destruction going on in Tulum – a lot of it being done by businesses that claimed to be “green” and “eco-friendly”.

Amara is on a mission to help people get more out of its products by making all of their styles reversible in mix-and-match colors and patterns and using a blend of Econyl and Lycra Xtralife knits to ensure sustainability and durability. In addition, the company is committed to giving back to it’s adopted hometown by helping the local economy with local production and job creation and making sure that Tulum remains a paradise by organizing to beach cleanups, using clean energy and managing their waste responsibly.

14. Davy J 

THE JONES BRIEFS – Black/Grey

Best for: Watersports lovers

Davy J’s swim suits are not for lazy beach bunnies looking for Instagram-ready styles. The label describes it’s garments as “designed to survive a dive, pull off a cliff jump or handle a waterfall” and it’s made for women who need swimwear that can handle their active lifestyles. Forget tiny bikinis made up of three pieces of fabric held up by four strings: Davy J’s swimsuits have thick straps that will stay in place during a long swim, a double lining for structure and worry-free coverage and rubber edging that eliminates all the pulling and re-arranging we’re so used to doing whenever we’re in a swimsuit. Unlike most brands, Davy J’s website embraces its native UK’s often gloomy weather with images of women of all ages and sizes daring rough seas and stormy conditions in their pieces.

The company not only aims to create sustainable swimwear but also to create a closed loop system in which they commit to being responsible for all the pieces they create, starting wit the design and manufacturing process all the way down to their disposal, by encouraging their customers to return their worn items for recycling.

15. Ohoy Swim 

Ohoy Swim (61.43$)

Best for: Catching waves

OHOY’s swimsuits are tried and tested to comfortably stay in place through swimming, surfing and any other water adventures you heart wishes to undertake. The brand was created by a duo of Swedish surfers who had grown tired of having to choose between unpractical swimwear that wouldn’t hold up to the normal wear-and-tear of an active lifestyle and the uninspired styles of traditional sports swimwear. True to its Scandinavian roots, OHOY offers simple and functional designs made sustainably in Econyl fabrics that are chlorine, oil and suncream resistant and provide 50+ UV protection. If Scandi minimalism is not your thing, OHOY’s Maryam capsule collection features more elaborate pieces in classic styles that will have you channeling 90’s supermodel vibes in high-cut, vintage-inspired silhouettes. 

Make sure to couple that new sustainable piece with appropriate care by always hand-washing it in cold water and hanging it to dry. This will extend its life, help it keep it’s original shape and avoid the release of polluting microfibers into the water. Don’t forget to dispose properly of your old swimwear by bringing it to a textile collecting center near you where they will either be reused or recycled into new materials.

13 Eco Friendly Purses Ethically Made

13 Eco friendly purses for every budget.

Sadly, luxury accessories are not made with the environment in mind. We are going to explore this lack of moral code.

Find your new favorite accessory on the list of 13 eco friendly purses below.

Hot Couture Right Now

Six major conglomerates own forty of the top luxury fashion brands. The amount of influence these companies have is monopolizing. They decide the money moves. They allow animals and people to be tortured for profit. Allocating funds to sustainable materials, paying fair wages, and innovating fashion technology are all in their realm of capabilities. Are they acting? No. That type of paradigm shift has too much risk.

Subliminal Advertising

Starting with advertising, fashion corporations thrive on it. They spread their seed via expensive conventional and digital ads: billboards, buses, banners, radio, television, videos, search engines, email, etc. Meanwhile purchasing body space on some notable figures: musicians, actors, athletes, etc. Teeming with money the fashion industry subliminally forces product into our lives. They tell us these names—Versace, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, and more—define “luxury.” It works. We validate this ideal by buying their purses and other goods. This enables them to exploit the earth.

Leather – the bad, the ugly

Many high-end purses use leather. Leather rapes society in an awful way, and a handful of people profit. Fans of animal leather claim that is better to use the entire cow, versus let it go to waste. They are right. That is something we learned from Native Americans. Example: the buffalo. It was hunted and used to the fullest extent. In an ideal world this would be great. That is not the world we live in. The industry makes more money when more animals are killed. Even when there is little demand for meat, there is demand for hide.

And this..

The agriculture industry requires land. Land has to be cleared. Established ecosystems are cut away. Co2 is released into the air. Greenhouse gases increase. This is a huge problem in the Amazon Rainforest where deforestation is rampant. With that farming commences. Mass scale farming operations opt for extreme confinement. Animals are kept in close quarters with horrible living conditions. They are stuffed with self-feeders until they are bursting at the seams.

..there is more

At a certain stage cattle are crammed into trucks and transported to a slaughterhouse. The journey is tough: no food, no water, in heat or cold. They are poked and prodded off the truck. Then they go through the slaughter chute. Each cow is supposed to be shot with a captive bolt gun. This renders a painless death. But the line is never stopped for a missed animal, that is still alive. So many cows are chopped limb from limb while they are conscious.

Even More

Tanning cowhide is the next step. 80% of animal leather in the world is tanned using chromium, a highly toxic chemical. It results in 800,000 pounds of toxic waste runoff into our landfills and waterways. This is common in countries with poor environmental regulations like China, India, and Bangladesh. People die from working in tanneries. How do they die? By being boiled alive, drowning or buried in chemicals. People in contact with the chemicals or polluted water runoff suffer from severe illnesses. Cancer, respiratory, endocrine, and genetic maladies are just a few inflictions.

Not done yet

Moving on to the labor factories. Major brands pay workers very little. They all claim to be houses of quality and exclusivity. Yet many products are manufactured in the same factories, some in Italy and some in China. Labor costs are always being squeezed. In factories you find poor working conditions, long hours and low wages. Illegal immigrants are a source of cheap labor. Often workers get little training, and are put to work with dangerous equipment. While these factory owners like to boast zero medical incidents, workers report otherwise. With no medical insurance, they are cut out of jobs and left with life-altering injuries.

No More Leather

We do not need to settle for killing animals, people and the planet. If we are talking eco friendly purses then the best made without leather. There are plenty of new advances lighting a fire into fashion. Ingenuity comes in the form of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Did you know?

Faux leathers made out of plastics are on the rise. They have the same look, feel, and durability. Plus they account for a fraction of the petroleum used for animal leather. More eco friendly materials like fruit waste, canvas, cork, and linen also create unique textures. A few accessory brands have taken on the challenge of repurposing materials. Old tires, seat belts, or car interiors are just a few leather alternatives.

13 Eco Friendly Purses:

1. Destin Satchel by Sole Society x StyleSaint – $

Vegan Studded Whipstich Satchel (69.95$)

The Company: These are affordable eco friendly and fair trade purses. Designer Allison Beal with StyleSaint promises a line of essentials that are consciously produced. They like cutting out the middleman. By participating in a direct to consumer model, they cut distribution costs. This guarantees a nice price for customers. All products for this line are manufactured in Los Angeles.

Sustainability and Ethics: They track three measures of responsibility for their goods – gallons of water saved, yards of sustainable fabric created, and hours of ethical work paid.

The Bag: The Destin Satchel is a vegan shoulder bag that can convert to a hand held purse.

2.  Triple Compartment Tote by PINKSTIX – $

PERFORATED TRIPLE COMPARTMENT TOTE (65$)

The Company: A Canadian brand that provides quality fashion items at accessible price points. They display a commendable social agenda. Supporting agencies that empower women is a top priority. Among many charitable projects, they make stylish PINKSTIX diaper bags for mothers of premature babies.

Sustainability and Ethics: Their eco bags are made with a 100% PETA-approved, vegan polyurethane (PU) leather. The factories they partner with are reviewed several times a year. Factory workers have an open line of communication that promotes long, loyal relationships.

The Bag: This tote will get you through the long day. It has multi use compartments to store everything you need. Not only is it sustainable, it won’t crack in cold winters. Plus it can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth.

3. Black A Clutch by grünBag – $-$$

Black A-Clutch (45$)

*Please note: this is the only brand on the list using new animal leather; it is one of three brands using recycled animal leather.

The Company: Their main purpose is to make quality eco bags. Their mission is to reuse scraps in creative ways. All of this is to prevent waste.

Sustainability and Ethics: 90% of all of the materials are reused or sustainably sourced materials. They use: tarpaulin; VIKING life bags; seat belts; advertising banners; recycled nylon; material made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles (aka PET); recycled leather; vegan leather; a limited amount of sustainable animal leather. The animal leather they do use is tanned with vegetable dyes in factories with the highest grade working conditions. Their goal is to eventually cut out animal leather altogether. Any of their bags can be made with a vegan alternative. The eco bags are made in factories in Denmark and Poland. All factory workers get paid fair wages, and work in safe conditions.

The Bag: This is a small elegant clutch. Perfect to carry the bare essentials. It is made out of tarpaulin but has a matte finish.

4. Dover Shoulder Bag by Matt & Nat – $$

OVER Shoulder Bag – Veil (150$)

The Company: Committed to never using leather or any other animal-based materials. Matt & Nat have been endorsed by the likes of Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde, Charlize Theron, Emily Deschanel, Toby Maguire, and the list goes on.

Sustainability and Ethics: These fair trade purses are crafted from recycled nylon, cardboard, rubber, and cork. The linings are made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. Most exciting, is the new addition of recycled bike tires to their collection.

The Bag: Sleek design on the outside. A thoughtful smartphone pocket on the inside! The adjustable strap allows for comfort in any situation.

5. Cher Mini by Angela Roi – $$   

CHER MINI – BLACK (225$)

The Company: They believe personal style should not come at the expense of personal values. These are bags made from non-animal materials. Each is meant to achieve a timeless look that reflects a conscious mindset.

Sustainability and Ethics: These purses are designed with EPUL (Exquisite Polyurethane Leather). The process results in a smooth texture, luxury look and feel. Artisans earn fair wages in clean, comfortable factories. The company does not align with the use of sweatshops and child labor. Quarterly visits ensure the factories are up to code.

The Bag: Going vegan never felt so luxurious. The material appears like real leather. This is a stylish addition to the workday.

6. Cross Body Purse by Corkor – $$

CORK CROSSBODY PURSE (155$)

The Company: A lovely couple began this company at a young age, messing with cork in their backyard. A fun hobby turned into a thriving company.

Sustainability and Ethics: They use sustainable and natural material to minimize the use of polyurethane plastic. All materials are sourced and manufactured locally in Portugal.  They use non-toxic and water-based inks. Bags are made in small batches by hand. Shipping is done in bulk to logistics warehouses, reducing carbon emissions. All of their cork leather is FSC certified–a marker for the protection of the cork oak forest.

The Bag: This purse has a completely different look. Very natural, has a smooth feel, and a flat base with metal feet for stability.

7. Vie Limited Edition 1 by Mariclaro – $$

MARICLARO VIE LIMITED EDITION 1 (139$)

*Please note: this is one of three brands on the list using recycled animal leather.

The Company: They have been mastering the art of upcycle since 2008. Located in Canada, this brand creates luxury fashion out of repurposed materials. To them, recycled materials are rich with stories and character. They are winners of the 2011 Globe Award for the best green Canadian product.

Sustainability and Ethics: Materials like leather come from car interiors in wrecking yards and airline seats. Plus they use seat belts, tires, fire overalls, etc. They use it all! Due to the nature of sourcing, all products are made in small batches. Each, is one of a kind and unique.

The Bag: It is a limited edition bag, with only 10 others made in this color combination. It has a striking blend of Italian leather and patterned upholstery fabric off-cuts. I’ve ever seen anything like it.

8. Cottontail by Gunas – $$

COTTONTAIL (189$)

The Company: They advocate conscious consumerism over fast fashion. Their belief is clear; Leather is not just a by-product of the meat industry; animals are not a property of humans; animals should not be bullied or dominated.

Sustainability and Ethics: They are a PETA-approved brand. All products are 100% vegan and cruelty free. They adamantly refuse exploitation in the manufacturing of their products. Gunas supports an incredibly long list of animal rights charities.

The Bag: This bag was featured in Netflix’s Series of Unfortunate Events. It has a wild color and a floppy bow. If this bag doesn’t scream luxury I don’t know what does.

9. Nila 40 by BLK Sheep – $$

Nila 40 White (150$)

*Please note: BLK Sheep is the only brand found on this list that uses PVC as their vegan material.

The Company: A glamorous collection of vegan handbags and accessories. BLK Sheep designs for the modern fashion lover. These are timeless pieces that don’t sacrifice morals.

Sustainability and Ethics: These bags are made out of PVC. While PVC is better for the environment than animal leather, Polyurethane (PU) material is far less toxic. The material does provide certain features not found in other vegan bags. They are completely waterproof, weather resistant, and easy to clean.

The Bag: In search of an eco friendly purse or bag that you can get rough with, look no farther. This is a great option for the beach, kids, gym, etc.

10. Large Post Bag by Elvis & Kresse – $$

FIRE & HIDE POST BAG (241.34$)

Please note: this is one of three brands on the list that uses recycled animal leather.

The Company: Since 2005 this UK brand has been rescuing raw materials and repurposing them into luxury accessories. They got things going when they reclaimed decommissioned fire hoses from the London Fire Brigade. They donate a whopping 50% of their profits to charities!

Sustainability and Ethics: Beyond fire hoses, they incorporate parachute silk, old printing blankets from newspaper printers, coffee sacks, and auction banners into their bags. In 2017 they partnered with Burberry to tackle 35,000 tons of leather waste. This duo gets pretty creative with their packaging too. They make packaging materials in house from recycled shoe boxes and tea sacks.

The Bag: It is made out of fire hoses, parachutes, and recycled Burberry leather. Enough said.

11. Gigi Pyrite Clutch by HFS – $$$

GIGI PYRITE CLUTCH IN GOLD PIÑATEX (316$)

The Company: Sustainability is the backbone of the company. Their eco friendly purses are produced locally and ethically. Regarding their materials, HFS maintains extreme transparency on their website. Their products fall under four categories: recycled, upcycled, deadstock or low impact.

Sustainability and Ethics: They utilize recycled fabrics, and deadstock fabrics often thrown out from major companies. Their low impact materials are sourced from hemp, cork, and organic cotton. Pinatax, a pineapple leaf leather and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 polyurethane leather, are used for their bags.

The Bag: This clutch has a stunning look and finish. Included is a gold chain to really set this piece off. The inner lining is made of pineapple suede!

12. Soft Crossbody Bag by KWONN – $$$

KWONN SOFT CROSSBODY BAG – BLUE (535$)

The Company: This is your source for luxury eco friendly purses. The story goes like this: Nicole Kwon was a fashion designer running her own concept store. She had a turning point when she realized luxury leather goods were imposing problems on the environment. KWONN was born.

Sustainability and Ethics: All bags are cruelty-free, PVC-free, and toxin free. Each one is crafted in NYC with vegan suede from Japan. The eco bags are made with care in small batches. They are easily washable with a damp cloth and water.

The Bag: It has a minimal design but packs a punch. The bright blue color really adds a pop to the wardrobe. This vegan purse is ultra light.

13. Falabella Mini Tote by Stella McCartney – $$$

Falabella Mini Tote (930$)

The Company: They commit to operating a modern and responsible business. Since their opening in 2001, they have had a strong stance as a vegetarian brand and remain cruelty-free and ethical.

Sustainability and Ethics: They never use leather, skin, fur, or feathers. They also utilize “fur-free-fur” made out of acrylic, polyester, wool and mohair. By using recycled polyester their products are 24x less harmful than products made out of leather.

The Bag: Their style is unheard of. Talk about a collector’s piece. This mini tote would be beautiful for use or display.

Just One

The fashion industry is going through a renovation. Lucky us! We are witnesses to the magic. Consumers are raising the bar. Brands cannot snub the earth for profit. Thanks to technology, information is readily available. It is easier for us to discover the truth about materials and labor. Let’s welcome brands making an effort to change. We have to fail in order to succeed. Past failures are sparking change. Change in mindsets and skillsets.

As we move away from unsustainable practices we will be reducing our footprint. A much needed relief for the planet. With scientists warning us about the dangers of climate change. One eco friendly purse or a sustainable backpack can make a difference. Let people live in peace. Let animals know peace.

15 Sustainable Backpacks For Every Budget

Sustainable backpacks for every budgets!

So you are an environmentalist and need to carry stuff around? Maybe your backpack broke. Maybe it just isn’t cutting it for you anymore. You need a new one.

But you recognize that the fashion industry is one of the most wasteful in the world. And that many companies who promise to be sustainable and environmentally-friendly are just greenwashing.

Oh no, you think, if only someone had an easy to read list of all of the best and most sustainable companies to buy backpacks from!

Is very important for me to find a sustainable backpack brand that is ethically made, a product that creates less waste, and treats the workers and the environment right.

Fret not, your sustainable-prayers have been answered!

Look no farther than this list with all the BEST sustainable backpack options. I really have it all-affordable bags, expensive bags, sleek bags, bulky bags, bags made from bottles, and even bags made from bananas.

Peruse and then choose!

1. Tentree

Brooklyn Backpack (68$)
  • Price: $$
  • Material: REPREVE recycled polyester, BLOOM foam padding
  • Bonus: B-Corp certified, plants ten trees for each bag purchased, transparent production process

Tentree’s backpacks are simple in their design, and simply sustainable- they not only use REPREVE recycled polyester to make them, they also use BLOOM foam padding.

BLOOM foam padding is a HUGE deal; it is the first plant-based foam.

And it gets better.

Not only is BLOOM plant-based, it is made from surplus algae that is harming the ecosystems they grow in, threatening them with deadly algae blooms.

Tentree not only clears murky water to create its foam, it also strives for clarity in regard to its production process.

Tentree is COMPLETELY transparent about  what is used in the creation of its products. Each product that Tentree creates has an eco-log, which records how much water was used to create the product, how much waste was created by the product, and how much CO2 was emitted in the creation of the product.

Even more impressive, Tentree is B-Corp certified! To be a B-Corp is a huge honor, only the businesses with the highest standards in regard to how they treat the environment, society, and their employees can become certified.

The best part of Tentree’s products though is that for each one you purchase, they will plant ten trees!

The name makes a little more sense now, doesn’t it?

Their goal is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030.

These eco friendly backpacks range in price from $65 to $118, depending on what model you are interested in. The Brooklyn and Motion backpacks are better suited for school, while the Mobius is more geared towards hiking.

2. Rewilder

AIRBAG BACKPACK WHITE (118$)
  • Price: $$
  • Material: Upcycled industrial trash
  • Bonus: Unique look, strong return policy

Rewilder’s bags are truly unique!

Rewilder is a small, American business, who handcrafts all of their bags in Los Angeles.

All of the bags are completely, 100% made out of upcycled industrial trash.

What kind of trash you wonder?

Well, one example is beer filters. Yes, you read that right. Rewilder came up with the genius idea to take beer filters from American beer manufacturing plants and turn them into a lightweight cloth for their backpacks. The idea is all the more genius when you consider that beer manufacturing plants go through 100,000 tons of filters every year.

That is a TON of waste.

Other materials that Rewilder repurposes include: car cover fabric used by the container shipping industry, airbag material from the end of rolls that factories normally throw out, and backdrops for entertainment events.

In other words, odds and ends, that create far too much unnecessary waste.

All of Rewilder’s bags are less than $120.

That isn’t because they skimp on quality.

To prove it, Rewilder has a 30 day return policy with no questions asked. If a bag you have had for a while is damaged or experienced wear and tear, Rewilder will take it back from you and repair it, or upcycle it into a new bag. If you want the new bag, they will give it to you at a 35% discount to thank you for recycling the bag.

3. Stubble & Co

The Backpack (110$)
  • Price: $$$
  • Material: Recycled plastic
  • Bonus: Water-resistant, multi-use

Stubble & Co is an internationally recognized brand, whose Adventure Bag is a phenomenon, receiving rave reviews from all who own it.

The bag is made mostly from recycled plastic and is HIGHLY functional. You can take it traveling, on adventures into nature, to school, or to work. It is weatherproof, sturdy, has a ton of room, and lots of compartments for you to organize your belongings in.  

Not only is it functional and sustainable, it is also built to last!

Not all of the bag is made of recycled plastic. This is because in some parts of the bag, using the recycled plastic fabric would have compromised its durability. Stubble & Co wants you to have this bag for life, so they valued the bag’s long-term ability to perform over using recycled elements for those parts.

Back this project on Kickstarter!

 As of now, the bag is $110.

4. thredUP

thredUP Second-Hand Backpack
  • Price: $
  • Material: Range of materials
  • Bonus: Second-hand bags

Out with the new, and in with the old!

A great sustainable backpack choice is a second-hand backpack. The online second-hand store thredUp has some incredible options. They have a huge amount of backpacks to choose from, that could appeal to anyone, of any age, gender, or style.

The prices are incredible, and range from $13.99 to as high as $50. These incredible prices aren’t because the bags are falling apart or poor quality. On the contrary all of the bags are all merely gently-used and come from great brands.

Thredup’s mission is to make people think of second hand, first.

The fashion industry is incredibly wasteful, and that is because they keep on pumping out new products, and we keep buying them.

It is unbelievable!

Every year, consumers, on average throw away 70 pounds of clothes and shoes, per a person!

Even if you are not interested in a thredUp backpack for yourself, consider donating to second-hand stores the next time you want to throw out clothes, shoes, or accessories!

5. Fjällräven

KÅNKEN Backpack (80$)
  • Price: $$
  • Material: Recycled plastic bottles
  • Bonus: Trendy, lots of color options

You are definitely going to recognize this brand.

Fjällräven’s backpacks are everywhere! Most people don’t even know that these quirky-yet-fashionable bags are sustainable. Their most popular bag, the Re-Kånken backpack is made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles.

This is because Fjällräven doesn’t just want you to appreciate nature, but also support it.

Not only is the fabric sustainable, so is the dye!

Fjällräven uses SpinDye technology on the Re-Kånken so it takes less water, energy, and chemicals to create.

Awesome!

And not only are the bags sustainable, the company is also humane. They based their code of conduct on the Fair Labor Association’s Workplace Code of Conduct. This code emphasizes the importance of sustainability, human rights, and environmental protection.

Fjällräven is a progressive company, and they hope to continue to make progress in regard to sustainability, hoping to go carbon neutral by 2025.

These eco friendly backpacks prices range from $55 to $225.  

6. Patagonia

Women’s Tamangito Backpack 20L (79$)
  • Price: $$$
  • Material: Recycled nylon, recycled water bottles
  • Bonus: Water-repellant, Fair Trade certified, they donate 10% of profits to environmental groups

Patagonia has always prioritized the planet and people.

They are a company that was a sustainability leader since before it was trendy to be one.

They are known for having incredible quality products.

This goes as far as them wanting people to buy LESS from them.

That’s right, a business who wants you to buy LESS.

They want their products to last your entire life. The Ironclad Guarantee promises to repair or even replace any product that you’re not satisfied with

They aren’t perfect, no company is.

But, they are transparent about their faults, and areas of production that are not sustainable, because they believe in accountability. 

Their bags are made out of recycled materials- from recycled water bottles to recycled nylon. They are dyed with a solution that saves half a gallon of water per bag and uses 96% less CO2 than normal dyes. The packs can withstand any weather. They are incredibly versatile in what they can be used for. They are meant to meet all your needs, to carry whatever you have to, but not to be sturdy to the point of clunky.

The bags can be expensive, starting at $79, however they will be your bag for life. Also, 10% of pre-tax profits go to environmental groups. So when you buy, you will also be donating to great causes.

7. STATE

STATE Bags Bedford Backpack (175$)
  • Price: $$
  • Material: Canva
  • Bonus:  When you buy a bag another is given to an at-risk youth

Can you be stylish AND sustainable?

STATE says yes, with their sleek line of vegan-friendly, earth-friendly bags.

The price of these bags ranges from $55–$140. However, you are not just buying one bag, but rather two. For every bag that you buy, STATE fills another with school supplies and hand delivers it to students in need in Brooklyn.

So not only are you giving back to the planet, but also children in need.

They have incredibly useful features like water bottle holder, numerous compartments of different sizes, and soft padded easily adjustable straps. Because of this, and the bags elegant and simple design, they are perfect for going to school.

The only downside of these bags is that only some of them are sustainable.

Some are made with 100% Recycled Polyester while others are not. Make sure to check before you buy.

8. Lo & Sons

The Prospect Backpack (495$)
  • Price: $$$
  • Material: Recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton
  • Bonus: Sleek, multi-functional

Lo & Sons prides itself on its “thoughtfully designed” backpacks.

The thoughtfulness comes into play in two components of their sustainable backpacks.

The first is the backpack’s sleek, elegant design. They look sophisticated, but are fully functional, with lots of different sized pockets and compartments within them. They are perfect for work, school, or travel and many of them even have two functions in one, with one changing from a backpack into a suitcase, and another changing from a backpack into a tote.

The second component is how sustainable the backpacks are. Lo & Sons is striving to use more sustainable materials in their bags, with one collection that features fabric made from recycled plastic bottles, and another that features canvas that was made from cotton that was grown without pesticides or chemicals.

Lo & Sons is striving to start packing products in biodegradable poly bags. These bags will break down in landfills instead of filling them up. They are also starting to design products that will be made from plant based fibers.

Lo & Sons isn’t just striving to not do harm.

They also want to work reverse environmental damage.

They are part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and they have partnered with The Renewal Workshop.

While these bags won’t hurt the environment, they will hurt your wallet, with prices ranging from $118–$428.

9. Millican Roll Pack

Smith The Roll Pack 25L (190$)
  • Price: $$$
  • Material: Bionic Canvas, Bionic Yarn, Organic Cotton
  • Bonus: Cutting-edge environmentally-friendly fabric

Millican is an INCREDIBLY innovative company.

They pioneered the use of Bionic Yarn and Bionic Canvas.

Which are great names, for a simply sustainable product.

Millican recovers plastic from shorelines and waterways. They then turn that plastic into Bionic Yarn. The yarn ends up being made from the plastic, natural fibers and recycled polyester. They recently engineered Bionic Canvas, which is made of 65% recycled content. They also use 100% organic cotton to make their bags. When weaving the fabric they try to create as little waste as possible.

The fabric is not only environmentally-friendly, it also includes the features of being abrasion-resistant and weatherproof!

They make a range of backpacks for a range of purposes-school, work, travel, adventures, you name it!

These backpacks are minimalist, and perhaps not the most stylish option on this list, but definitely one of the more sustainable ones.

They bags aren’t just planet-friendly, they are also people-friendly. They are ethically made in by Millican’s garment specialist in Vietnam and the UK.

Prices for these vegan backpacks start at about $147.

10. United By Blue

25L Transit Pack (88$)
  • Price: $$
  • Material: Organic cotton, recycled polyester, vegetable tanned leather
  • Bonus: B-Corp certified, remove a pound of trash from the ocean

Not only are you paying for a backpack when you buy from United By Blue, you are also paying for a pound of trash to be removed from the ocean! They have removed 1,638,501 pounds of trash so far!

They aren’t just saving fish, but also animals.

United By Blue uses vegetable tanned leather in their bags, which is a vegan substitute for leather. They also use organic cotton and recycled polyester.

This backpack is perfect for adventures, so after you are busy saving nature by buying it, go experience it.

The price of the backpacks ranges from $78–$168. Some of the functions the backpacks have include water bottle pockets, laptop sleeves, different sized compartments, and water repellent material.

These bags are a commitment for life-they have a lifetime guarantee.

United by Blue is a certified B Corp. This means they are the best of the best, that they are not just a business, but also kind to people and the planet. This honor is only bestowed upon the most ethical socially and environmentally conscious businesses.

11. QWSTION

ROLL PACK / BANANATEX (340$)
  • Price: $$$
  • Material: Bannatex, cotton canvas, vegan leather
  • Bonus: Bag made from bananas

This bag will absolutely be a-PEEL-ing to you.

Because it is made from banana fibers!

All of QWSTION’s bags are made from banana fibers from the Abacá plant.

This material is called Bannatex. It is durable, waterproof, and biodegradable, and is the first fabric in the world to be made out of a banana plant. The bags also use high-density cotton canvas and leather. However, the leather is made using an eco-friendly vegetable tanning method.

It is BANANA’s how sustainable these backpacks are! (Last banana joke I promise)

Like a banana, these bags are sleek! They have a minimalist aesthetic that is perfect for work, school, or travel and come in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors. They put a water repellant coating on the bags, so don’t be afraid to travel with them.

The company is based in Zurich, Switzerland. They use ethical manufacturing, and are monitored by the Business and Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), which makes sure European manufacturing standards are used in companies outside Europe, since many of the bags are made in China.

The only downside is that these bags are expensive, starting at $260.

12. GOT Bag

ROLLTOP BACKPACK (139$)
  • Price: $$
  • Material: Recycled ocean plastic
  • Bonus: Made from 3.5 kg of ocean plastic

The GOT bags are 100% made out of recycled plastic from the ocean.

They not only come from the water, they are also resistant to it, with cutting-edge water proof technology, a BIO-PU coating.

This bag is versatile, and multi-purpose, suiting school, work, travel, or adventures. It’s versatility is rooted in its excellent features, like a removeable laptop bags, a flexible roll top, and tons of space for your belongings.

These features were concocted during the two years it took the GOT owners to design the bag. The owners wanted them to be as high-quality and sustainable as possible.

GOT uses its connections with SEAQUAL and a network of 1,500 fishermen who remove plastic from the water they fish in to collect plastic to make the bags. Each backpack is made from 3.5 kg of plastic that was removed from the ocean.

The bags start at $100, and are meant to last, with a two-year warranty.

13. MAFIA

W-PACK NAVY (149$)

Price: $$$

Material: Recycled Sails

Bonus: B-Corp certified, one-of-a-kind bags

These bags are on sale! I mean, MADE from sails.

How cool is that?

MAFIA uses recycled kitesurfing, windsurfing, and sailboat sails to make their bags. 80% of the bags are made from the recycled sails, and the rest of the material is sourced from suppliers in the USA, near the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.

Browse their bags on their website, it will show what they are currently offering! Each bag lists out the materials that were used in its creation, so you will know where the rope and fabric actually came from that made the bag. They have a few pack options, all of which are stylish, with pops of color. Unlike some of the other bags on this list, you can definitely tell they were upcycled, but that works in their favor.

Also, MAFIA is also a certified B-Corp, so you know that they are putting as much good into the world as they claim to be!

Their price ranges from $149–$195 but these bags have a lifetime guarantee. If you have an old sail and donate it to them, they will even make you a bag, free of charge.

Wait until everyone catches WIND of these!

14. Solgaard

Shore-Tex™ Daypack (95$)
  • Price: $$
  • Material: Recycled ocean plastic
  • Bonus: Sleek urban look, removes five pounds of plastic from the ocean with each purchase

These bags are perfect for walking in the city, or walking in the woods, with a demure style, and incredible features!

For example, their bags have a solar-powered charger for your phone, smaller compartments for valuables, and anti-theft lock.

These are also eco friendly backpacks.

They all use recycled ocean plastic!

Even better, for every backpack purchased, Solgaard removes five pounds of plastic from the ocean through their partnership with The Plastic Bank.

Solgaard is trying to improve as a company, and is currently in the process of removing all single-used plastics from their production and shipping process.

The bags start at a very affordable $95.

15. Kathmandu Eco-Friendly Backpacks

Federate Adapt Women’s Pack (160$)
  • Price: $$$
  • Material: REPREVE, recycled polyester
  • Bonus: This bag is made of, can you guess? I will give you a hint, it has been featured on this list approximately a thousand times. DING DING DING. RECYCLED PLASTIC!

We have a winner.

Kathmandu uses REPREVE to make its bags, an eco-friendly fabric that is made from recycled plastic. They also use recycled polyester, and in some spots, normal polyester, in their bags. 

Kathmandu is a widely trusted, sustainable brand. Their range of backpacks range in purpose, some are better suited for school and work, while others are better for adventures and hiking.

They have great features, like lots of pockets and zippers, detachable shoulder straps, eyelet locking docks, and removable packing cells.

The bags start at $178, but are so functional and durable, that price is a steal!

What was your favorite sustainable backpack from the list?

12 Affordable Ethical Clothing Companies [2020]

Today I will go through my favorite affordable ethical clothing brands,

While jumping into a zero-waste lifestyle, you probably have learned how to avoid packaging, purchase reusable products, and generally be more conscious of the environmental impacts of your daily decisions.

However, have you ever thought about how the clothing you choose to wear plays into this?

Affordable Ethical Clothing

Listen to this:

The most commonly used material to make clothing today is polyester.

It takes 70 million barrels of oil yearly to produce and takes 200 years to decompose. Yikes!

Material choice plays a huge role in how a garment affects the environment, however, there is a myriad of problematic elements to the fashion industry. Certain materials are resource and labor-intensive. They also are not biodegradable and take hundreds of years to break down.

Not only are we eating up resources quickly to produce the clothing, but then the industry deems certain looks “out of style” within a few weeks. This ideology makes people get rid of clothing at an alarming rate.

Swallow this:

Americans tend to throw out around 81 pounds of clothing per year.

clothing waste

While some clothing gets reused or recycled, a huge portion of it finds it’s way into the landfill.

It’s quite a silly environmental catastrophe to have when it is so easily avoidable.

Some solutions are to shop secondhand and invest in quality pieces. For example, stop following trends and become more conscious of the fashion brands you choose to support.

Many affordable clothing companies outsource their production to lesser developed countries. They do this because the labor is cheap and there are fewer industry standards to be held accountable for.

A large majority of people that manufacture the clothing we wear are not paid fair wages and are forced to work in poor, unsafe conditions.

Listen to this:

90% of clothing production workers interviewed in Bangladesh cannot afford enough food for themselves and their families, forcing them to regularly skip meals or go into debt.

sustainable brands

We can be smarter about the clothing companies we choose to purchase from.

Today I will be sharing my top 12 affordable ethical clothing brands.

Affordable Ethical Clothing Brands

That is to say, what does it take to qualify to be an ethical clothing brand?

To me, a large part of it is environmental awareness.

I support brands that are trying to minimize their footprint and use materials that are safer for us and the environment.

Ethical production is a huge part of it, as well. I only support clothing brands that are transparent about the standards and practices of their manufacturing facilities.

no fast fashion

It is imperative that these clothing brands are paying their workers the wages that they deserve to make a good life for themselves and their families.

Lastly, price is important to me. I think that in order to be inclusive, clothing brands need to find a way to make affordable ethical clothes for everybody. These clothing brands may be slightly more money than your typical fast fashion retailer, but the quality makes it worth it because the garments will last so much longer.

Okay, here we go. This is my top 12 list of affordable ethical clothing brands:

1. Everlane

Everlane is a warrior when it comes to what they call “radical transparency.”

This means that they put a lot of time and energy into finding the best factories to partner with to produce their clothing.

Affordable Ethical Clothing

Get this:

They often visit these facilities and score them to make sure that they are up to standard on fair wages, reasonable hours, and environmental expectations. On every single garment listed on Everlane’s website, they tell you the exact factory the piece was produced in.

There’s more:

Everlane is also radically transparent about cost, which makes them one of my top affordable ethical clothing brands. They break down the material, labor, and transport costs of each item and then compare their price to the typical retail markup of other companies.

I love these wide-leg cropped pants that they make. Like most of their products, they are simple and classic.

sustainable brands
Everlane Wide Leg Pants (68$)

Everlane does not follow the trends of the fast fashion world. They make pieces that are timeless, made to last, and will never go out of style.

2. People Tree

People Tree is a leader in sustainable and fair trade fashion.

They promote organic farming, avoid polluting substances, practice water recycling in production, promote environmentally responsible initiatives, and much more.

Get this:

The organic cotton that People Tree uses is Global Organic Textile Standard Certified.

This type of cotton has met strict environmental and social standards. They also do not use any harmful, polluting dyes.

People Tree is also Fair Trade certified which means that all of the farmers, manufacturers, and workers that help bring a piece of clothing to life are given sustainable wages and safe working conditions.

You can help:

When you support a Fair Trade certified company, you are supporting the sustainable development of villages in developing countries.

You are helping people feed their families and feel empowered.

This 100% organic cotton People Tree jumper is heavenly. It’s comfy, cozy, and only $55!

zero waste brands
People Tree Organic Cotton Jumper (55$)

This piece is made in the Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills in India, which is People Tree’s main manufacturer of Fair Trade, certified organic cotton garments. Finally, cute, affordable, and guilt-free clothes!

3. Prana

If you love fitness, yoga, and sustainability, you need to check out Prana.

They make amazing environmentally conscious clothing items that fit perfectly into your lifestyle. This is another Fair-Trade certified, organic cotton using brand, but wait, there’s more:

ethical brands

Prana is really smart about seeing where there is waste in other industries and figuring out how to use that in their supply chain. For instance, instead of using virgin wool, they use recycled wool that is reclaimed from textile waste. This reduces overall energy consumption by cutting down on the resources needed for fiber processing.

Similarly, they use “responsible down” in their winter pieces. They use the feathers from animals that are used by the food industry. These facilities are also RDS certified which means the animals are free from hunger, thirst, discomfort, pain, fear, and distress.

I am obsessed with this organic cotton headband that is only $10! It comes in a wide variety of fun colors and is perfect for any on-the-go person.

It keeps your hair out of your face and the sweat from running into your eyes. I love this product and I love Prana!

ethical brands
Prana Organic Headband (10$)

4. HARA the Label

If you are having a hard time finding cute, sustainability-focused undergarments, look no further than HARA the Label.

Their mission is to bring change and awareness to the fashion industry through the ethical and sustainable production of their pieces.

One sustainable aspect of HARA’s production is that they use bamboo fabric.

Bamboo grows quickly and requires no irrigation systems or harmful pesticides. It provides 30% more oxygen than trees and can be harvested over and over again, making it one of the most sustainable raw materials.

There’s more:

Once the bamboo is processed into fabric, they only uses natural dyes to give it color. These dyes are plant-based and safe for both your skin and the planet!

HARA the Label also tries to have the entirety of their supply chain in one location to reduce the emissions caused by transportation.

sustainable fabrics
Hara The Label Pumpkin Cut Bra (37$)

All of HARA the Label’s bras and undies are super cute, but my favorite would have to be the leo high cut bra. This rectangle cut bamboo fabric bra is so comfortable that you will forget you have it on. All of the amazing colors are made with natural dyes and it is only $37!

5. Reformation

The reason why Reformation makes my list of the top affordable ethical clothing brands is because of how transparent they are on their sustainability efforts. Every single year, they post an updated report on the amount of resources saved and used in comparison to the previous year.

It gets better:

Reformation has invested in green building infrastructure so their manufacturing facilities are as efficient as possible.

They also believing in offsetting their footprint. This means that they track the resources they use then invest in programs that help replenish them. Whether that means replanting rainforests or restoring water, Reformation is making a difference.

Affordable Ethical Clothing
Reformation Crystal Bodysuit (48$)

If you love classic, high-fashion sustainable clothing, you will love their inventory.

I love this everyday bodysuit that is only $48. Oh, and get this, it is made from TENCEL, a fabric that comes from Eucalyptus trees. It only takes half an acre to produce one ton of material and is not resource or labor intensive!

6. Kotn

Kotn is focused on making wonderful clothing from ethically-sourced Egyptian cotton. Since Egyptian cotton is such great quality, many fast fashion brands switched over to cheaper alternatives which devastated local farms and businesses.

sustainable brands

Kotn is striving to reinvigorate this industry and empower the people of the area.

Kotn does direct trade with farms which provides farmers with better business practices and gives customers a fair price. In addition, they work closely with factories to ensure that their employees are being paid fairly and have safe, clean working conditions.

ethical brands
Kotn Fitted Henley (28$)

I love this fitted henley that is only $28. It’s so great for everyday use. It can be worn alone or be layered. The best part is that it is made from 100% Egyptian cotton which people also refer to as “white gold.”

7. Poetry

Remember before how I mentioned how the fast fashion industry quickly deems trends outdated?

Well Poetry is trying to combat that. At the heart of their mission, Poetry is aiming to create long term pieces that can be worn in multiple seasons.

ethical fabrics

Here’s the scoop:

With subtle shades and tactile fabrics, Poetry uses natural materials to create their garments.

They work closely with various cotton and alpaca farms to ensure an ethically-produced, high-quality product.

I personally love all of the linen pieces that Poetry carries because they are light and airy. This striped 100% linen top is so adorable and it is only $69! I love how subtle the pattern and color is. This is a piece that would look and feel great on anyone.

ethical fabrics
Poetry Striped Linen Top (69$)

8. Christy Dawn

Christy Dawn’s slogan is “honoring mother earth” and they do not miss the mark! If you love sustainable, feminine clothes you will love this brand.

They believe in doing things the right way.

Affordable Ethical Clothing

Here’s how:

Christy Dawn only uses deadstock fabrics.

This means instead of creating new fabric to make garments out of, they source waste from other clothing manufacturers.

This prevents all that waste from going to landfill and gives it a second life.

In addition, they produce all of their clothing in Los Angeles. They pay their seamstresses well and provide health benefits. If that’s not sustainable, ethical fashion, I’m not sure what is!

Affordable Ethical Clothing
Christy Dawn The Delphine Dress (167$)

I am in love with the Delphine dress. At $167, this dress may be for a special occasion, but the quality is amazing. It will last you for years. I love the bright flowery pattern and the flow cut on the dress. Wow!

9. Mate the Label

Mate the Label is a Los Angeles based clothing company that is reimagining vintage graphics and essential pieces for everyone’s wardrobe.

ethical clothing

Here’s the deal:

With sustainability and ethics placed in the foreground, Mate creates garments in small batches. Also, all the factories that produce the clothing are within a 5 mile radius of the design headquarters.

They use organic, clean materials in their products, as well.

All of Mate the Label’s clothes are simple, comfortable and great for everyday use. I especially love the Alex Crew t-shirt which is made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton.

sustainable clothing
Mate The Label Alex Crew T-shirt (68$)

Such a great brand!

10. Outerknown

Although it is important to put your customer first, it is also imperative to put the planet first, which is exactly what Outerknown is doing.

They believe that there are two parts of sustainability: people and the environment.

Outerknown uses raw materials that are not making a negative impact on the planet.

There’s more:

They are a global company, but only work with companies and suppliers that abide by the guidelines of the Fair Labor Association.

In doing so, they have started to think beyond clothing.

They aspire to create deep changes in labor and environmental practices all over the world through transparency, collaboration, and shared values.

I love the simplicity of the Neptune tank.

ethical clothing
Outerknown Neptune Tank (48$)

Made from a blend of hemp and TENCEL, this tank is environmentally friendly and comfortable. At only $48, you are really getting a bang for your buck on this tank that can be worn throughout the year.

11. Organic Basics

It’s all in the name when it comes to Organic Basics. The company produces basics such as underwear and t-shirts for the environmentally conscious.

Organic Basics are a carbon balanced company which means they offset their carbon.

They use profits in order to invest in carbon reducing projects such as solar or wind energy.

Affordable Clothing

There’s more:

They only work with trusted, certified factory partners. These are places that share in the same sustainable vision and practice fair labor. This means employees are paid, respected, and are given safe working conditions.

I love the SilverTech Active Leggings and always wear them when I go to yoga. For each article of clothing, this company shows a resource comparison to other fast fashion brands. For instance, by buying these leggings instead of a cheaper, less sustainable alternative, you are helping save 58 gallons of water. See?

Affordable Clothing
Organic Basics Active Leggings (94$)

You can make a difference by choosing which brands to buy from!

12. Pact

Pact is a great one stop shop for affordable ethical clothing.

They only use 100% organic cotton because it is better for the environment and only work with ethical factories. When you are wearing clothing that is ethical, sustainable, and comfortable, you are bound to feel confident.

organic clothing

Pact also promises their customers to not be “gross.” This simply means that they do not use any dyes or pesticides that are bad for humans and the planet. Their approach is clean and nice.  They would rather have a safe and healthy customer than cut corners to make a cheaper product.

I can’t even put into words how soft their hoodies are. Seriously, it’s like slipping a cloud onto your body and it’s only $45! Made from organic cotton which helps save water, you’ll feel great while wearing this hoodie!

zero waste clothing
Pact Classic Zip Hoodie (45$)

I hope that you now understand what it means to be an ethical clothing brand.

Choosing sustainable materials, partnering with fair trade certified factories, and rethinking the way we use resources are all integral to a great fashion brand. 

sustainable ethical brands

By choosing to support brands that care about offsetting their footprint and making a difference, we are showing companies what we want to see out of the fashion industry. There need to be standards for people to be held accountable for.

Wearing clean, ethical, sustainable clothes do not need to drain your bank account. I hope that you will take a look at some of the brands I recommended today and consider some affordable options.

Remember, we can make a difference!

My favorite online vintage & second hand stores

I love finding hidden gems in second hand stores. Nothing like finding a vintage one-of-one from a small thrifty boutique.  What makes it even better is when I know I’ll get it for a great price. 

Most people in the world wear second hand clothes so why not look for some ‘hidden gems’ for yourself right? 

Believe it or not, there are wins across the board for wearing thrifty clothes

I have saved tons of money visiting websites of my favorite thrift shops.

vintage second hand stores

There’s plenty of high-quality clothes and of sustainable material.  The prices for second hand clothes are much more reasonable. 

Shockingly, there has been 10 million tons of clothes that have ended up in landfills in the previous year.  The average American throws away about 80 pounds of clothes every year alone. 

It’s very beneficial to shop for secondhand clothes because you are saving the environment while saving in your bank account at the same time. 

Resale shopping saves so many unique, good quality clothes from being wasted. 

Most clothes casually thrown away aren’t even recycled in any way.  That explains why the vast amount of clothes the population wears temporarily ends up at landfills.  

It’s more to resale shopping than just saving the environment for discounted prices on clothes. 

You’ll be sure to find high-quality vintage items from even the smallest of second hand stores. 

vintage second hand stores

You’ll be proud to support small businesses that have one-of-a-kind pieces you’ll fall in love with.  Regular clothing stores never have those exclusive, vintage pieces that you happen to find in the small secondhand businesses we support. 

Let’s continue to do that as we’re contributing to eliminating waste in our environments and supporting those businesses that stand behind that same cause.

Here are my favorite vintage and online second hand stores:

1. ThreadUp

vintage second hand stores

On ThredUp’s website, thredup.com, you can search through a wide range of designer styles for a fraction of the price.  They have great sales and many different search options

You can make money by sending any clothes you no longer use for resale.  They can give store credit, a prepaid gift card, or send money via PayPal. 

According to their website, they only accept less than half of the clothes they receive based on ensuring high-quality resale items.  How’s that for guaranteed quality without spending a pretty penny?

2. Etsy

Searching vintage items on etsy.com is very convenient too.  Many different sellers have individual items for a variety of brands. 

You can even find vintage designer brands for lower prices than some competitors.  There’s no limit to what you can find on Etsy

vintage second hand stores

Find a few sellers who are more your style and likely have secondhand items you’re interested in.  Save them in your favorites on Esty and now you can access their inventory much easier.

I found this amazing seller on Etsy by the profile name of ‘rawsonchicago’. 

They have an average five-star rating with lots of great reviews. The fabrics have great quality, and everyone loves the fast shipping

The clothing is worth every single penny.  You’ll find great one-of-ones from rawsonchicago on Etsy

vintage second hand stores

Visit etsy.com/shop/RAWSONCHICAGO and see why other resale shoppers like myself rave about this seller.

3. Ebay

ebay.com has been around for years and it is very similar to Etsy. 

There are tons of search options from searching by the brand, type of clothing, size, color, and more

To get a look at what’s secondhand, simply apply the ‘pre-owned’ filter in your search options. 

I recommend finding some go-to sellers when shopping on eBay and save them to your favorites too, just like Etsy.  Narrow your search so it’s much easier to browse through. 

4. Adored Vintage

Is an online boutique where I can find many different vintage items.  The coolest part is how you can search their vintage items by era.  

vintage second hand stores

Adored Vintage has styles going back as far as the 1910’s!  Talk about an overflow of one-of-one pieces. They provide product descriptions explaining each piece’s physical condition along with the photos of course. 

vintage second hand stores

I could appreciate that since Adored Vintage is an online boutique and it’s not the same as an in-person shopping experience.  It’s a plus when any online second hand store does this. 

But when viewing each product, there are sustainable care directions provide as well.  What a way to preserve amazing clothes with a lot of history. 

Imagine the way we can make an impact on the environment if we preserve clothing and they continue to last for decades.  

Check out adoredvintage.com, a cool business I found on Instagram

5. Boheme

To my ladies who love Bohemian style clothes, Boheme is great place to grab your secondhand threads

vintage second hand stores

They sell more than just clothes for women and children, but also household items and accessories

Boheme has vintage one-of-ones and the clothing has great quality

vintage second hand stores

If an item is a little more worn, Boheme notifies you in the product description when viewing the item.  And yes, the price will be even cheaper. 

vintage second hand stores

Check out bohemegoods.com to catch all your Bohemian vibes.

6. Na Nin’s second hand store

Secondhand items are great to buy at Na Nin’s online store. 

vintage second hand stores

They provide product descriptions of flaws of the pre-owned items they sell but encourage to contact them via email if any other questions and concerns arise. 

vintage second hand stores

For Na Nin to be an online store, they establish great trust with their customers.  The products are preserved well and made of quality fabrics.  If you’re a silk lover, they have plenty of those items in their secondhand collection

vintage second hand stores

Go to shopnanin.com and see what this small business I found on Instagram has to offer.

7. Ochre

Is another small shop on Instagram I absolutely love. 

Ochre is a small resale store that has some quality vintage items for very cheap prices.  They don’t have a large collection, but you may find an item worth looking at. 

vintage second hand stores

Ochre sells other items too like books and mugs which are also vintage

vintage second hand stores

Supporting small businesses that prevent wasting clothes makes me a proud resale shopper. 

See Ochre’s unique pieces at ochreshop.com.

8. Depop App

Want to do some thrift shopping on an online store that has somewhat of an Instagram feel?

No problem.  Download the Depop app and see for yourself.  If you go to depop.com, you can have the app download link sent straight to your smartphone. 

You set up your shopping profile based on your interests and clothing sizes.  From there scroll down the timeline of products and get a product’s description in the post when you click on it. 

It’s a different experience shopping with Depop but it’s a great way find those sellers with unique, pre-owned clothes.  Depending on the seller, you can even get free shipping on your discounted items. 

How cool is that?

9. Poshmark

Poshmark has the social media feel also.  You can shop poshmark.com as you normally would do in another online store.

But when on your personal homepage when logged in, you’ll see a timeline of people posting about items for resale.  The search options are great, and the network of sellers is huge.  Find the perfect designer item too as there are so many brands to search through.

Secondhand shopping can be beneficial in several ways. 

Wasting clothes is an unnecessary environmental threat.  There are some cool styles out there just waiting to be brought back to life. 

I’ve given you a rundown of my favorite online second hand stores and you should give them a look if you’re not familiar with them. 

Great second hand stores have those ‘hidden gems’ that we can’t let end up in a landfill wasting away

vintage second hand stores

Let’s continue to enjoy our eco-friendly hobby and collect those high-quality, vintage one-of-ones.

Sustainable fabrics are great to look for. 

Search for fabrics made of organic cotton, industrial hemp, organic wool, soy cashmere or silk, and other fabrics that contribute to helping the environment.

Organic cotton has no toxic chemicals or synthetic material in it.  Over a quarter of the world’s pesticides are used in conventional cotton alone (Spector). 

Clothing made of hemp is very sustainable.  As you may know, hemp is a renewable natural resource.  That’s money well spent in a thrift shop for lasting fabrics.

Other fabrics like organic wool, Tencel, and soy cashmere or silk are good to look for on the clothing racks also. 

Organic wool does not contain toxic chemicals and is a highly renewable fabric.

Tencel is a fully biodegradable fabric.  It might be a little harder to find a Tencel piece in the secondhand shops.  However, check it out if you come across any Tencel pieces. 

Soy cashmere and silk can be a good choice because soy fabrics are made from soybeans or even genetically engineered. The fabric being genetically engineered helps decrease the use of natural resources. 

Keep all these eco-friendly fabrics in mind when shopping for new threads.

What’s your favorite online secondhand and vintage shops?