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43 Ethical Womenswear Brands You Should Know

43 Ethical Womenswear Brands You Should Know

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AESTHETIC STORIES

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Amsterdam-based womenswear brand Aesthetic Stories designs timeless clothes for an effortless look using top-notch materials such as wool. Our favorite styles: their timeless merino wool sweaters that keep you warm and cozy. Each piece is fairly produced in Portugal by carefully selected factories. The employees make a living through fair working conditions and are considered as part of the Aesthetic Stories family.

ALICE ALEXANDER

Philadelphia, USA

Instead of saying “my body doesn’t fit into this shirt”, we should rather say “this shirt doesn’t fit my body”. The size-inclusive, ethical women’s apparel label Alice Alexander celebrates women of all body types. And also if their size chart (ranging from 0-28) doesn’t work for you, Alice Alexander is happy to make a garment adjusted to your body without any additional costs. Every piece is produced under fair conditions in their home base in Philadelphia, using sustainable fabrics. The result: clothes in unique colors, prints, and cuts for your unique body. Made to order within 2-3 weeks.

ANNE JAMES

New York, USA

It started with Anne James presenting a collection at a sustainable fashion showcase during New York Fashion Week. The young fashion designer now creates sustainable womenswear in classic silhouettes which feature traditional craft textiles and embroideries sourced from artisans across the world. The company is committed to sustainability—be it through deadstock or upcycled fabric (less waste), digital printing (less dye), or new technology “smart” fabrics made of recycled materials (the Parsons grad also studied sustainable textile development in Milan). And, as a strong supporter of the arts, proceeds from collections go to various arts nonprofits.

AERRAI

Vancouver, Canada

Clothes that make you feel more connected to nature because of their basic, natural fabric hemp. The South African designer and artist Natalie Florence founded the ethical and sustainable women’s fashion brand Arraei with the desire to bring nature, simplicity, and humanity together. Inspired by the vast nature of her home country and travels around the world, she created a capsule collection of 5 timeless and chic pieces for women that are in harmony with themselves and their natural surroundings. Each Arraei piece is responsibly hand crafted in Vancouver.

ARMEDANGELS

Cologne, Germany

“Touch Nothing Toxic” is the mission behind ARMEDANGEL´s non-toxic denim collection, called DetoxDenim. The German fairtrade brand creates jeans and casual ready-to-wear for women and men in diverse and modern styles. The denim fabric is made from certified organic non-toxic cotton by ISKO. Because taking responsibility for our skin and protecting our environment is not an option but a must.

ATOLYE REN

Istanbul, Turkey

It’s all about the journey, not the destination: living up to her dreams, founder of the sustainable fashion label from Istanbul, Gözde Karateki shares three motivations to produce slow fashion with the world: the freedom to be yourself, the awareness for the environment and the solidarity with others. Handcrafted in their own little studio (Atölye means studio in Turkish), they upcycle discarded fabrics, reuse their own production waste and work with natural materials such as cotton, linen and tencel. Believing that beauty lies in diversity, they produce minimal, comfortable and timeless clothes for different body shapes and all sizes.

AUGUST

Estonia

If minimal, contemporary clothing is your thing, then August is for you. Founded by an Estonian designer Äli Kargoja, the brand is founded on providing well-made, environmentally friendly fashion to the conscious woman. Each of their pieces is carefully designed and mindfully manufactured to form modern, elegant silhouettes with clean lines and expressive shapes. They source only the best GOTS certified natural materials for the highest quality garments that don’t cost the earth. Their small-scale production benefits both the workers and the environment, and allows Äli to oversee all parts of production and ensure the highest quality end product.

BUKI AKOMOLAFE

Berlin, Germany

Based in Berlin, designer Buki Akomolafe combines her German-Nigerian roots into her high-end clothing for women and men. Precise cuts, flashy colors and an androgynous touch make her collections outstanding. They are locally handmade in a small atelier in Berlin using eco-materials such as certified cotton, organic hemp-silk, and African wax print. Don’t miss out on having a look at her reversible quilt pieces, they are limited in stock!

CASS

France

Founded in 2017 by French designer Eléonore Cass, CASS clothes are manufactured by tailors that put their skills and talent into what you wear. This is why each of their pieces bears a label with the name of its maker and the country it was made. To ensure transparency, the brand provides all info about their materials so you can trace back the origin of every item – from buttons to stitching thread –  in their ‘materials & origins’ tab. CASS uses natural, cruelty-free, certified organic materials and, if possible, uses dyes with the lowest environmental impact. The minimal design goes with minimal packaging: their timeless high-end pieces come in up-cycled and reusable garment bags. Take a sneak peek at their elegant vegan silk tops made from 90% bamboo modal and 10% cotton.

DEADWOOD

Stockholm, Sweden

The two rebels Carl Ollson and Felix von Bahder were running their own vintage shop in Stockholm before they created Deadwood in 2012. Being passionate about timeless design and second-hand clothing, they use 100% recycled leather to make their punk-inspired jackets and accessories. Instead of ending up in landfills, old leather garments are turned into iconic-looking pieces (we love the soft worn feel!) that are the environmentally- and animal-friendly alternative to newly produced leather items. The collections are released bi-annually and include women’s, men’s and unisex.

DISCOVER BOUTIQUE

Bali, Indonesia

Founder of Discover Boutique, Michelle, fell in love with traveling the world and discovering secret, off the beaten track locations, along with the style that came with this exploratory life. Each piece is designed in Barcelona using inspiration Michelle has drawn from her worldly travels. She then works with ethical sources and producers in Bali to bring her travel-ready pieces to life. Hand-dying and hand-printing techniques effortlessly blend with modern feminine cuts for pieces that make a statement. Her latest collection celebrates her travels through Bali. The custom print designs symbolise the values and unique story behind Discover Boutique.

GNANA

Bucharest, Romania

From their Bucharest studio, Gnana seamlessly blends ancient weaving techniques with modern designs. With tendencies on the contrast between natural, simplicity and craftsmanship, Gnana brings a versatile and conceptual design with simple cuts, completed by the use of natural materials that are either locally woven or upcycled from deadstock. Their star material is the locally developed cotton gauze with Air Soft Technology. This modern implementation of archaic woven techniques makes it possible to keep the resistance and natural properties of the fiber unaffected which supports the longevity of each garment, being easy to care for, non-allergic, and breathable. Gnana focuses on the work with local craftsmen, artisans and ateliers to produce versatile, contemporary pieces. Their minimalistic forms and choice of high quality materials bring to life creative pieces for modern men and women who care and want to protect the nature.

HARLY JAE

Vancouver, Canada

The Canadian slow fashion house was born from a desire to change the fashion industry. We love their feminine timeless styles of which some are named after icons from the 70s. We can literally see Jane Birkin or Brigitte Bardot wearing these beautiful pieces on the French Riviera. harly jae’s summer shorts, dresses, tops, jackets and pants all come in a natural color palette featuring eco-friendly materials such as linen, hemp, organic cotton and deadstock fabrics. Each garment is of premium quality and locally manufactured by seamstresses who are paid a fair wage in Vancouver, BC.

HENRI

London, UK

Henri is all about the harmonious relationship between form and function. Every shirt is designed to be versatile, comfortable, practical, and chic. Founder, Henrietta, has made it her personal mission to find the perfect balance between form and function while weaving in (quite literally!) a strong emphasis on sustainability. All fabrics are 100% organic cotton, with the majority of the cotton being GOTS certified. All Henri shirts begin with expert designing and excellent pattern cutting by Henriette herself. She tests each design herself before the final pieces are manufactured in London or Portugal. Henrietta is also working to employ more disadvantaged women and those in rural communities to help grow and strong and meaningful supply chain.

HOTH & BOTHERED

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Hoth & Bothered is a sustainable fashion brand committed to making a positive impact on our environment and its people. Their minimalistic, timeless and at the same time eco-friendly pieces show that saving the world goes without compromising style. – And can indeed be pretty sexy. Their non-seasonal collections boast organic silk and cotton basics for women who care more than just about their looks. All pieces are ethically made which means that all employees are paid fairly and work under good conditions. Hoth & Bothered was founded in New Zealand and is now based in The Netherlands.

HOUSE DRESS

New York, USA

Inspired by both the effortless feel of California and the modern aesthetic of New York, Katie Goldman Macdonald started the stylish slow-fashion brand House Dress. What we especially love about this brand are the generous silhouettes of their pieces which are mainly size-free, fitting women of all different shapes and sizes. Designed and made by women for women in New York, House Dress uses beautiful materials such as raw silk, linen and Akoya shell buttons.   

JEAN FRANKLIN

Los Angeles, USA

Above’s handwoven accessories are traditionally made by local artisans in Thailand. Having grown up in a province near Bangkok, the founder of the brand Sommy was always taught how valuable our nature and environment are. For her collections, she uses natural materials from local areas and cherishes the weaving skills of the people in her home country. Above helps preserve Thailand’s culture and supports traditional craftsmanship so the artisans can pass it on to the next generations to come. Each unique piece sold will empower local villagers and contribute aid for them to make a living.

JALINE RESORT

New York, USA

The mission of this sustainable resort wear brand Jaline Resort is to inspire consumers to appreciate the traditional craftsmanship of talented weavers in Oaxaca, Mexico. Founder Jacqueline Lopez works closely with a family of textile weavers in a small workshop in Mexico where they develop beautiful beachwear with vibrant colors and exclusive prints. After the textiles are carefully handwoven on a pedal-loom, they are then sewn and finished in an atelier in New York City. We are in love with the colorful dresses and jumpsuit of her new Summer 2020 collection. 

JPL ATELIER

London, UK

At JPL Atelier, the past and the present meet. The London-based eco-luxe label wishes to help secure our future by creating sustainable fashion pieces inspired by women of the past. Catherine De Medici, Emily Davidson or Emmeline Pankhurst are just some of the daring women who come alive in JPL Atelier´s collections. The sophisticated dresses, blouses, and bottoms have a touch of romantic nostalgia and are entirely made from certified recycled and/or organic materials such as post-consumer water bottles or Ramie. Each garment is made by hand with the highest quality finishings in their social factory in London. The JPL Atelier-team consists of strong female individuals and everyone involved – from seamstresses to designers and shoot stylists – is treated equally.

JAN 'N JUNE

Hamburg, Germany

When we think of eco-wear, many still think of green – not so sexy. To make it cool and sexy, JAN ‘N JUNE founders Anna and Julia decided that black is the new green (their collection boasts many colors though, no worries). The idea was to create stylish and affordable transparent eco-fashion, without compromises. Because just like you, Anna and Julia love both, fashion and the planet. Founded and based in Hamburg, they produce in a family-owned manufactory in Wroclaw, Poland. All materials are certified and sustainable using organic or recycled cotton and polyester, organic linen, and Tencel. The outcome: beautiful and minimalistic sustainable clothing for a better world. #byebyefastfashion!

KOMANA

Zurich, Switzerland

Inspired by tribal art and the wonders of nature, the two power women Livia and Nina behind KOMANA are designing clothing with original and quirky prints that tell a story. Forward thinking and at the same time old school, they use local and organic fabrics as well as non hazardous dyes and upcycle scraps that would normally go to waste. To create their designs, they work with free hand drawing, paint brushing and then print their clothes with silkscreens and woodblock. Appreciating the talent of local artisans and providing seamstresses and field workers in India with a fair living wage is a matter close to their heart.

LÂCHER PRISE

New York, USA

The ethical brand made in New York City creates gender-fluid contemporary designer pieces. Inspired by the urban environment and its unique vibe and people, Lâcher Prise is all about simplicity, comfort, style and the freedom of expressing who you truly are. Designer Marine Delmau’s first idea was the ‘liberte’ design in which all other collections find their origin. She mainly works with sustainable materials such as MicroModal®, and cotton/tencel blends from Japan that are incredibly soft, comfortable and versatile to wear. Discover the different timeless and unisex styles from Lâcher Prise, create multiple looks, feel free and leave a positive footprint!

LANIUS

Cologne, Germany

Since 1999 Claudia Lanius and her team follow one vision: to combine ecological and flawless materials with fair working conditions, feminine designs and clear silhouettes. Love fashion, think organic and be responsible is what Lanius stands for. The company’s philosophy is based on creating fashion that feels good on your skin and your conscience. Lanius fairly produces their pieces in their atelier in Cologne and works with small companies across the globe. The label is GOTS-certified, obtains a strict no-mulesing-policy and provides a big variety of vegan styles, which are “PETA-approved vegan”. From pants, knitwear, tops, coats, bedding and more: sustainable fashion can be that beautiful!

LOVJOI

Riedlingen, Germany

LOVJOI was founded by Verena Paul in Riedlingen, South Germany in 2014 where fairness, local sourcing, and social responsibility meet love and passion. All LOVJOI collections have been produced in their own in-house factory, an old VW-factory, in Riedlingen twice a year by Syrian Refugees. LOVJOI only uses vegan and sustainable fabrics sourced from Germany and certified organic, fair cotton grown in Europe. LOVJOI is the perfect label for you to wear comfortable organic basics and everyday pieces with a really good feeling. If you are ever in Riedlingen, you are always welcomed to stop by their factory and say hello to the team.

MANAKAA PROJECT

Berlin, Germany

Manakaa means “bead“ or “pearl” in Hindi. True to its name, the small high-end clothing label from Berlin honors the precious art of Indian bead embroidery and those who create them. The two women behind Manakaa, Stefanie and Valerie, incorporate this Indian tradition into their modern patterns. Their incredibly elegant pieces come in limited batches and are mainly available in black and sometimes in yellow. Stefanie and Valerie ensured to only use the finest materials such as Ahimsa silk from Coccon, India, 100% premium Cashmere from Bodio’s, Mongolia, and Miyuki glass beads from Japan which are known for their high quality, brilliance and uniform shape.  

MASKA

Stockholm, Sweden

“My grandmothers kept telling me that it never shows how long something takes to make, only how well it is made.” Growing up in a textile family, founder of MASKA (which means “knitted stitch” in Swedish), Maria Svensson followed in her grandmothers’ footsteps who ran a sewing mill in Sweden. She now designs relevant, quality garments that are produced in a sustainable way. Passionate about the idea of taking the best parts from the world of hand-knitting, her first collection included a range of cardigans. MASKA’s beautiful designs now include knits, jersey and woven.

MAYAMIKO

London, UK

Mayamiko is a women’s wear and life style brand, producing clothes, accessories and homeware, lovingly made in Malawi. Mayamiko’s collections are cross-seasonal and are inspired by artisanal traditions, with ethical trading and sustainability at the core. Alongside statement African textiles, Mayamiko took its commitment to sustainable materials forwards by introducing GOTS certified organic cotton pieces and upcycled textiles. Mayamiko also collaborates with artisans all over the globe such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, Kenya and Italy on bespoke collections. Mayamiko’s profits are re-invested in the community through the work of the Mayamiko Trust, a charity that provides knowledge and skills disadvantaged women need to grow their own businesses and improve their communities.

MIOMARTHA

Berlin, Germany

Heidi Koselowski’s claim to her fashion line is forward-looking and at the same time flexible in the creative concept. Her clear handwriting runs like a thread through the collections and makes the individual pieces seasonally and sustainably combinable. The result is uncomplicated and pure fashion, which stands out for its simplicity. MIOMARTHA produces ecologically and fairly in factories in Germany. Made of woven fabrics in Europe, every single piece of clothing is created in high quality craftsmanship.

NÄZ

Lisbon, Portugal

Näz is a Portuguese brand that marries minimalist design with transparency and love for our planet. Knowing the challenges of producing new clothes without leaving an environmental impact, the sustainable brand tries to find a balance by both obtaining and producing their clothes locally. Näz uses eco-friendly, sometimes recycled materials that are turned into simple basics in their social factories in Portugal. With the aim of narrowing the relationship between consumer and producer, they are happy to show their entire transparent production process.

See Also

NINÊH

New York, USA

Make a difference in the world and look amazing while doing so: Ninêh is a women’s slow fashion brand that promotes ethical practices to connect the consumer to the maker. Her luxurious, timeless and contemporary pieces are artfully crafted and will make you look beautiful on any occasion, all year around. Ninêh works with a non-profit manufacturer called Saheli Women, located in the rural village of Bhikamkor, Rajasthan, India. 20 incredibly talented women work there under the best conditions. The parent organization called IPHD sponsors the education of their children, runs a female health clinic in their village and delivers workshops on human rights, feminism, and menstrual hygiene. So far, Ninêh uses the following fabrics: chromium-free leather, cupro, and 100% silk.

NOUMENON

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Noumenon is a PETA-approved and sustainable fashion brand from Amsterdam that offers Dutch-urban-inspired, slightly oversized styles with a Scandinavian look, using cruelty-free fabrics such as organic cotton (GOTS), Tencel (Lenzing) or linen. They also reuse unwanted deadstock fabrics. Each Noumenon piece is ethically produced in Europe and comes in a recycled packaging. #ChangeTheGame! From vintage couch to vintage coat: Noumenon also turns surplus furniture fabric into unique jackets. As the fabric of one couch only makes a certain amount of jackets, each jacket is one of a kind – proving that a vintage sofa can look pretty damn good on you.

OCEAN + MAIN

Los Angeles, USA

For Mary loving the ocean means to protect it. Mary grew up near the coast and couldn’t imagine a life without floating happily across the beach. Having worked in the fashion industry, Mary has seen how much water and fabric is wasted to produce our clothes and how much of this waste ends up in our oceans. Sparked by making a difference and inspired by her Mom who would always wear beautiful caftans in Hawaii, Mary founded ocean+main. She provides eco-friendly caftans and tunics by using upcycled fabrics and zero water in the production. To reduce plastic, she uses recycled packaging only. Made in Los Angeles by local artisans.

R-COLLECTION

Kajaani, Finland

The family-run fashion label was established in Kajaani, north-east Finland in 1978 and designs and produces clothes and accessories ever since. Classic, simple shapes characterize R-Collection’s styles that are for both casual and elegant events. The majority of pieces are made in Estonia and Finland, some knits are made in Lithuania using natural materials such as cotton or wool. They source some fabrics from Finland but most of their high-quality fabrics come from abroad such as their silk which comes from Turkey. Its sweatshirts, pants and tricot clothes are made from a local Finnish textile. Sustainability is one of the core values and the brand guarantees that all pieces are durable and easy to maintain. Their most popular piece is (surprise) the anorak jacket.

ROTHOLZ

Berlin, Germany

Rotholz is a German eco-streetwear label for women and men. Originally born out of the idea to create fair and sustainable skatewear, skate culture & street art are still part of their DNA. Inspired by Japanese minimalism, Rotholz produces simple, easily combinable and timeless pieces including hoodies, knitwear, sweaters, beanies, t-shirts, pants and more. The eco-label only produces what they can sell. So while their basic line is regularly re-produced, their seasonal collections are strictly limited. All Rotholz products are made from certified sustainable high-quality materials such as organic cotton, merino wool, linen, recycled PET or Tencel. Rotholz works with local manufacturers and artists and ensures fair production.

RŪPAHAUS

Perth, Australia

The designer behind RŪPAHAUS has quite literally scoured rural Indonesia for the best traditional artisans the islands have to offer. She then works directly with these artisans to design, hand-weave, hand-dye, and hand-make each and every piece. Each small collection is different due to the variations in the natural dyeing techniques, and what the weather is like at the time of dying! The brand effortlessly blends traditional, cultural stripes and colours with modern, minimalist design. The final product is a high quality, eco-luxe piece of wearable Indonesian culture that can be worn for years to come. Check out their website for more of their amazing story and to shop their collections.

SOULDAZE

Rome, Italy

The creative genius behind Souldaze Collection, Domitilla Mattei, descided she wanted to make a difference in the fashion industry. She wanted to offer limited collections of consciously created, high quality pieces and reduce the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. Souldaze Collection seamlessly combines the latest fashion trends and ideals with ethically and environmentally responsibly production methods. All fabrics are either natural, recycled, vintage, or surplus and each piece is designed and created locally by talented seamstresses. Domitilla Mattei has designed something for every occasion; from swimwear to loungewear, through to chic casual and eveningwear.

SUNAD

Madrid, Spain

SUNAD specialises in shirts, and boy, do they do them well! Being a Spanish brand through and through, each and every shirt is designed, cut, and then sewn in Spain. SUNAD’s diverse collection of shirts celebrates Spain’s rich history in textiles while adding their own touch of contemporary design. While the inspiration of masculine tailoring still peaks through, all pieces are designed to flatter the female form. Classic, elegant cuts combined with natural fabrics and a modern colour palette ensure each piece can fit into any existing wardrobe. SUNAD’s shirts are a simple yet timeless and extremely versatile addition to any outfit.

SUNDAYS

Florida, USA

Sundays is a curated collection of breathable, natural fiber clothes and accessories for open-minded women who travel the world. The brand combines vegan lifestyle, conscious fashion, and love for traveling. Each piece is responsibly made in the US, using botanical linen fibers, leaving almost no waste in their production. We love their mix and match travel capsule collection which perfectly prepares us for our next trips. We like that their timeless styles come in biodegradable packaging made from recycled materials.

TALES OF ANYDAY

Copenhagen, Denmark

Tales of Anyday is created for women to look and feel beautiful in their everyday lives. Founder Sintija, has incorporated sustainability into the very heart of each and every one of her designs. She believes the design itself is one of the most important factors in a piece’s sustainability. Longevity of the style and the correct material selection can make or break a design. Sintija also experiments with new, and more environmentally friendly printing methods while developing her collections. The uniquely designed pieces are carefully cut to enhance the natural feminine beauty of the wearer.

THE RUSHING HOUR

Australia

Reuse, repurpose, recycle is the main sustainable goal behind the Australian brand. They use organic, cast off designer materials or repurposed fibers for their collections, creating tailored styles that last for season after season. To save water and energy, they use digital printing and eco-friendly dyes, they also work with a factory that uses 85% of sun solar renewable energy. Big win: with every item sold, Rushing Hour provides one month of education to a girl in need in West Africa. We love: Every piece features an inspirational quote from female game changers across history – It’s truly one of a kind.

THOKKTHOKK

Munich, Germany

VFX Johow is the creative mind and founder behind ThokkThokk. His passion for extraordinary, minimalistic design made the trained carpenter, interior and graphic designer create unique clothing lines. ThokkThokk’s combines good design with ecological consciousness: the clothes are fairly made in India, where the organic cotton they use is grown. The printing of most shirts is made by themselves in Munich and by sustainable print shops in Germany. For spring/summer 2018 the label launched its very first “ThokkThokk extended” collection, including a variety of new cuts and fabrics.

UNRAVELAU

Utrecht, The Netherlands

Unravelau is a Dutch sustainable brand, founded in 2017 by Laura Meijering in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Unravelau garments are handmade in her atelier which is located in the Upcycle Center in Almere, an innovative building where disposed items are given a new life. Designer and artist Laura Meijering creates high-end fashion with a unique story, using organic and recycled materials only. True to the motto “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” Unravelau creates zero-waste patterns, and reuses fabric from worn-out garments and threads giving her collection an individual look. 

ZANNI

Los Angeles, USA

One is never over or underdressed with the basics: the ready-to-wear brand ZANNI believes in wear-anywhere-whenever styles for busy women. By combining the aesthetics of a classic silhouette with the comfort of workout apparel, ZANNI reinvented the perfect capsule closet. All pieces are designed and produced in Los Angeles, using OEKO-Tex certified, Italian-made technical performance fabrics. You will not want to take them off again. The good news: these styles are super easy to take care of, you can wear them anywhere, and they will be a part of your closet for many years, keeping your wallet full and landfills empty.

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