The party is over. A new year has begun, and for many of is it’s back to the old work routine.
Whether you are teaching 5-year-olds to read or doing business deals late into the night, you should feel empowered to do it without shelving your ethical and sartorial values. Here are 8 ethical brands for work that will keep you looking sophisticated and comfortable for when commitment calls!
Classic Pants – Ships internationally
Kowtow makes elegant and practical pieces appropriate for work. The New Zealand label has sustainability at their core, using organic fair trade cotton and non-toxic dyes during production. All garments are made in an SA8000 accredited factory in India. This means employees receive a living wage and other workplace benefits. Check out their documentary titled ‘From Seed To Garment’ to learn more about this pioneering brand.
Better Than Silk: The Sleeveless – Ships internationally
One of the keys to successful office styling, is to have a go-to work uniform to cut down on the hassle and stress of finding ‘something to wear’ in the morning. Those of us who have project-based work know what it’s like to feel like work is never over! So staple workwear is becoming a priceless asset.
Enter Berlin-based Citizen’s Mark, which began with a collection of beautifully cut blazers that redefine power dressing as both empowering and ethical. The Better Than Silk range is made with a sustainable fibre called Lyocell, a tree fiber they sourced from Austria and is made in a closed loop production process. It is also machine washable, 100% biodegradable and drapes just like silk.
Keira Pencil Skirt – Ships internationally
For those who work in a more casual office, People Tree is a brand to get excited about. This UK label features a range of comfortable, office-appropriate blouses, trousers and dresses that are practical yet light and airy, made from certified organic cotton.
All People Tree garments are created by producers who adhere to Fair Trade standards. In fact, the label itself was chosen as a pilot example by the World Fair Trade Organisation when developing its Fair Trade Manufacture certification. They produce their entire range using safe dyes and organic fabrics.
Tillmann Shirt – Ships internationally
Fairness is a serious business with Armedangels, which designs beautiful and organic clothing. The brand uses some eco-friendly materials, like GOTS certified organic cotton in this beautiful moss-colored shirt, and limits the amount of chemicals, water and wastewater used in production.
The Chino – Ships internationally
Asket makes beautiful mens outfits from socks, chinos, t-shirts, belts through to sweatshirts and beanies. Each piece is compatible with the next, making it easy to create a capsule wardrobe, or as Asket would call it, a permanent wardrobe. The brand is on a mission to slow down fashion, encouraging consumers to reduce their impact and ensuring fair labour conditions.
The Carpasus Classic Black Tie – Ships internationally
There are plenty of casual ethical brands out there but finding sustainably made clothing that’s fit for the boardroom is a bit trickier. Carpasus make truly tailored mens business wear, but from 100% organic fairtrade cotton. This beautiful shirt is made with white warp and rose weft yarn and natural corozo buttons – an ivory-like material derived from the nuts of certain plants.
Marks & Spencer is a go-to brand for smart corporate that transitions seamless into nightwear. They have a wide range of fitted pants, button-down tops, pencil skirts, bodycon dresses and print shirts. The British brand has set some strong environmental policies and is a Carbon Trust-certified brand.
Even the most considered work wardrobe can fall apart without the right shoes to compliment your style. Thankfully UK-based Bourgeois Boheme has a massive range of luxury shoes. An added bonus is that these shoes never skimp on ethics!
Founded in 2005, Bourgeois Boheme is certified 100% vegan and does not use animal products at any stage of production. It also uses innovative vegan materials, like Pinatex!
What brands do you love wearing to work? Let us know in the comments below!
Editor’s note: Sarah’s original article (May 2016) has been updated in January 2019. Brand ratings and prices correct at time of publication. Feature image via People Tree. All other images via brands mentioned.