20 Oct

Our Favourite ​​Alternatives to Uniqlo’s Best Sellers

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Uniqlo is known for its timeless aesthetic and high-quality basics. But sadly, the “It’s a Start” brand’s ethics don’t quite hold up. But we have good news: we went on the hunt to find more sustainable alternatives to Uniqlo’s best sellers.

Uniqlo’s making a start, but it’s not enough

Uniqlo is known for its timeless aesthetic and high-quality basics. Some of its items go viral on social media, like this nylon bag TikTok went wild for, or more recently, this pair of wide-legged work trousers. And let’s not forget the brand’s famous light puffer jacket.

Sadly, the Japanese brand’s ethics don’t quite hold up, and we rate Uniqlo “It’s a Start” based on our team’s research here at Good On You. While Uniqlo has set some decent environmental policies in place and has made a start for animals, there’s no evidence it’s providing fair wages for its workers. It still has a lot of work to do before it can be considered a “Good” or “Great” ethical brand.

This rating can raise questions, especially when applied to large, fast fashion brands. But “It’s a Start” means just that—the brand is making a start. Uniqlo is already ahead of comparable brands by creating timeless staples that don’t go out of fashion nearly as fast. And if your options are Uniqlo or a brand like SHEIN that is making little to no effort for people, the planet, and animals, Uniqlo is a clear winner. Progress over perfection.

So, if you like Uniqlo’s basics but are looking for alternative brands making a solid effort across the board for sustainability and ethics, we have good news. There are “Good” and “Great” brands making items similar to Uniqlo’s best-selling pieces but doing better for people, the planet, and animals.

A note on affordability

Good On You wants to help you find sustainable options no matter your budget. But we recognise that many sustainable brands appear more expensive up front. That’s because more goes into a price tag than the cost of fabric. Fast fashion prices are often low because workers are not paid living wages and sustainable practices are not followed in production.

Fast fashion has also distorted our view of clothing prices. We now spend much less and buy far more low-quality garments than we did a few decades ago. When taking into account cost-per-wear, higher-quality items you’ll wear again and again end up costing less in the long run despite the initial investment.

We aim to highlight the range of more affordable sustainable brands, but we also encourage you to seek out the most sustainable options that work for you. Sometimes this means shopping second hand, other times rediscovering and restyling what you already own.

More sustainable alternatives to Uniqlo’s best sellers

Instead of the ultra-light down jacket, shop:

tentree

Rated: Good

Cloud Shell Packable Puffer – Ships internationally from Canada

We love this black packable puffer from tentree’s sustainable outerwear collection. It is made from 100% recycled materials and cruelty-free insulation and can—as the name suggests—be easily packed into the attached pouch for on-the-go adventures.

Canadian brand tentree believes big change starts small. Small as in bringing your reusable bag to the grocery store, making fewer, more thoughtful purchases, and choosing to purchase sustainably when you do. The brand plants ten trees for every item purchased to help regenerate ecosystems and provide planting jobs in communities around the world and has already planted over 65 million trees.

All tentree’s products are created with an Earth-First approach, meaning they’re made in fair, safe working conditions, and constructed using only sustainably sourced and recycled materials. tentree’s super comfy fabrics and easy wardrobe staples are typically available from XS to XL.

See the rating.

Shop tentree.

Instead of the long sleeve shirts, shop:

ASKET

Rated: Good

The Shirt and Oxford Shirt – Ships internationally from Sweden

ASKET has been creating timeless wardrobe essentials since 2015 with revolutionary sizing and fair pricing, and it recently launched its womenswear collection featuring The Shirt in 100% organic cotton. We also recommend checking out the brand’s classic Oxford Shirt. The brand disregards seasonal collections, cuts out all the intermediaries, and only sells directly to you—putting its entire focus on building a single permanent collection. Find the range in sizes 2XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop ASKET.

Instead of the jersey tank top, shop:

A.BCH

Rated: Great

Tank Top – Ships internationally from Australia

A.BCH is a Melbourne-based, Australian-made fashion label for individuals who care about garment provenance. It utilises renewable, organic, and recycled materials. The brand has created the perfect scoop neck tank top, made from organic cotton and perfect for warmer days or layering underneath a sweater. Find the range in sizes XS-XL, or customise it to fit you.

See the rating.

Shop A.BCH.

Instead of Uniqlo’s basic t-shirt, shop:

The Good Tee

Rated: Great

The Fave & Fair Unisex Tee – Ships internationally from Canada

Canadian brand The Good Tee is on a mission to be a positive example of responsibly made basics for the whole family and strives to humanise the fashion industry. The brand’s unisex tee is a tried and true essential organic cotton piece for every wardrobe. Find its range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop The Good Tee.

Instead of the active stretch joggers, shop:

Harvest & Mill

Rated: Great

Women’s Organic Jogger Pants in Natural – Ships internationally from the US

Harvest & Mill pieces are grown, milled, and sewn exclusively in the US, supporting American organic cotton farmers and local sewing communities. The brand makes basics for everyone, like these organic joggers, always ensuring they are not dyed or bleached, greatly reducing the use of water, energy, and dye materials. Even better, by cultivating different varieties of cotton, the brand is able to bolster biodiversity, which is essential for ensuring healthy ecosystems and keeping our planet resilient in the face of climate change. Shop the range in sizes S-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Harvest & Mill.

Instead of the Heattech leggings, shop:

Girlfriend Collective

Rated: Good

Black Compressive Mid Rise Leggings – Ships internationally from the US

Girlfriend Collective creates minimal, luxury activewear made with fair labour, certified by the Social Accountability Standard International SA8000. The brand uses recycled polyester as well as low-impact, non-toxic dyes and is fully Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. Girlfriend Collective provides the goods with these classic black sustainable leggings. Inclusively sized Girlfriend Collective offers products from 2XS-6XL.

See the rating.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Girlfriend Collective.

Instead of the cashmere crewneck sweater, shop:

Colorful Standard

Rated: Good

Wool Crew Neck Sweat – Ships internationally from Denmark

Colorful Standard is a Danish clothing brand that makes organic fashion essentials for men and women. The brand doesn’t care much for seasons or trends, instead, it creates timeless and long-lasting products to avoid the downward spiral that is over-consumption. This lightweight sweater is a good dupe for Uniqlo’s cashmere sweater. It’s designed to make you feel comfortable thanks to its naturally breathable wool fibers and its antibacterial characteristics. Find most items in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Colorful Standard.

Instead of the famous work pants, shop:

Armedangels

Rated: Great

Regular Fit Pants – Ships internationally from Germany

Germany’s Armedangels gets a top score overall from us. The brand covers all the basics for women, men, and kids. Armedangels’ quality and long-lasting pieces are made from more sustainable certified materials, like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton in these pants. The brand also adopted the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Conduct to protect its workers abroad. Its products are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Armedangels.

Shop Armedangels @ Earthkind.

Shop Armedangels @ Veneka.

Instead of the viral bag, shop:

Sealand

Rated: Good

Upcycled Moon Bag – Ships internationally from South Africa

Sealand is a South African active clothing brand for both men and women that focuses on functional designs and longevity. Sealand’s Moon Bag keeps your hands free, and stuff secure all day long and is made from upcycled, weather-resistant materials.

See the rating.

Shop Sealand.

Editor's note

Feature image via A.BCH, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands.

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