For consumers For business
16 Sep

These 18 Clothing Brands Actually Pay Their Workers A Living Wage

Our editors curate highly rated brands that are first assessed by our rigorous ratings system. Buying through our links may earn us a commission—supporting the work we do. Learn more.

 

Living wages are a crucial part of a more ethical and sustainable fashion system for all, and while some brands may make vague claims about paying the “legal minimum wage”, others are committed to certified living wages that ensure workers can lead a decent life.

Living wages v minimum wages

Fashion supply chains are murky, and despite our best intentions as conscious consumers, it can be tricky to track whether brands are ticking all the right boxes behind the scenes and ensure we’re making purchases that match our morals.

One crucial topic finally starting to garner the attention it deserves on the world stage is living wages, making headlines in 2022 with the Good Clothes, Fair Pay campaign in Europe. A living wage can be defined as the bare minimum monetary compensation required for workers and their families to have a decent life. Not to be mistaken for minimum wages, which simply refer to the lowest legal amount employers are allowed to pay employees in any given area. Minimum wages often don’t meet workers’ basic needs, and not all countries have a lower minimum wage limit.

A living wage can be defined as the bare minimum monetary compensation required for workers and their families to have a decent life.

Workers in all industries deserve to be paid enough to ensure they and their loved ones can live a life of safety, health, and dignity. Fashion, in particular, is notorious for unfair wages, problematic “piece rate” payments, and even forced and child labour. While there is no globally agreed-upon definition of a living wage, organisations like The Asia Floor Wage Alliance and the Global Living Wage Coalition are two widely accepted methodologies used to calculate minimum living wages.

The reality is, there’s no evidence that the vast majority of major brands pay living wages. We dug into the rich data here at Good On You, fashion’s most rigorous and comprehensive ratings system. What we found is alarming but not all that surprising: there’s no evidence to be found about living wages for a whopping 86% of large brands. That means 86% of the world’s most profitable fashion brands either don’t disclose anything about living wages or are confirmed to not pay living wages at any stage of the supply chain.

86% of the world’s most profitable fashion brands either don’t disclose anything about living wages or are confirmed to not pay living wages at any stage of the supply chain.

The following brands have been rated by our world-leading methodology, which considers 500-plus data points across more than 100 key issues, indicators, and standards systems to award final scores, including the “People” score that pays close attention to progress towards and implementation of true living wages. Let’s meet the brands doing better for workers by paying a living wage in some, most, or all of their supply chains.

18 brands paying their workers fair wages

The ANJELMS Project

Rated: Great
People wearing handmade cotton clothing by the Anjelms Project.

Offers

The ultimate play date tote bag by the ANJELMS Project.

The ANJELMS Project – Site-wide

The Ultimate Play Date tote bag is crafted from block-printed, handspun, and handwoven khadi cotton. Enjoy free shipping and a free tote bag with every purchase. (Ends: 22 MAY)

Shop now

The ANJELMS Project is an Australian clothing brand on a mission to help improve the lives of its makers. It celebrates traditional techniques, creating clothes that are naturally dyed and hand-loomed in India using more sustainable practices and limiting production to minimise waste.

Find most garments in XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop the ANJELMS Project.

POPLINEN

Rated: Good
Three people wearing lower-impact loungewear by POPLINEN.

POPLINEN is an LA brand that specialises in more sustainably made basics using plant-based materials.

Find items in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop POPLINEN.

Monsoon Blooms

Rated: Good
man wearing yellow monsoon blooms t-shirt

Following the wisdom of Ayurveda, Monsoon Blooms creates Fairtrade International-certified organic cotton underwear and basics, naturally dyed with plants. It does not use any animal products and makes its product by hand to reduce its climate impact. It ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain.

Find sizes S-L.

See the rating.

Shop Monsoon Booms.

The Classic T-Shirt Company

Rated: Good

The Classic T-Shirt Company is a US brand that creates premium, responsibly made t-shirts with luxury and integrity. All of its products are made from GOTS certified organic cotton and it doesn't use any animal-derived materials.

The Classic T-Shirt Company’s range is available in US sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop The Classic T-Shirt Company.

People Tree

Rated: Great

Conscious fashion pioneer and leader People Tree is a seriously more responsible brand. It uses lower-impact materials and addresses labour risks by adopting the Fairtrade International - Small Producers Organisations Code of Conduct.

Find most products in UK sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop People Tree EU.

Shop People Tree @ Wearwell.

Armedangels

Rated: Great

Innovative, responsible, and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels gets a top score overall from us. The brand covers all the basics in womenswear, menswear, and kidswear. Armedangels' quality and long-lasting pieces are made from lower-impact and certified materials, like Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. 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 @ Cerqular.

Yes Friends

Rated: Great

Yes Friends is a UK-based fashion brand that creates more affordable clothing for everyone. Yes Friends' first product, classic cut t-shirts, cost less than £4 to make and the brand only charges £7.99. Using large scale production and direct to consumer margins means Yes Friends can charge you an affordable price for its more responsible clothing.

Find the range inclusively sized in 2XS-4XL.

See the rating.

Shop Yes Friends.

KOHR

Rated: Great

KOHR is a UK-based slow fashion brand that designs and manufactures in house. The brand has three main focuses to ensure it’s responsibly innovative: longevity, versatility, and traceability.

Find the range in sizes S-XL or made to order.

See the rating.

Shop KOHR.

Dawn Denim

Rated: Great

Dawn Denim is a German denim brand that features jeans that fit our times. The brand strives to empower women to change the way clothes are made, sold and worn. Making your butt look good in jeans is a welcomed side-effect.

Find the jeans in XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Dawn Denim.

Shop Dawn Denim @ Cerqular.

Citizen Wolf

Rated: Good

Citizen Wolf uses revolutionary technology to give you high quality custom-fit t-shirts that it guarantees will be the best you’ve ever worn. After capturing your customisations, the brand handmakes each tee in Sydney using certified lower-impact fabrics like cotton, hemp, and Merino wool milled in Melbourne.

See the rating.

Shop Citizen Wolf.

Etiko

Rated: Great
person wearing blue and white ethical sneakers by Etiko

Etiko is an Australian designer of organic fair trade clothing and shoes. The brand constantly sets the bar for upholding and campaigning the human rights of people working in traditionally exploitative industry supply chains.

Find the clothes in AU sizes 8-20, and the shoes in UK sizes 3-13.

See the rating.

Shop Etiko.

Joyya

Rated: Great

Joyya makes organic apparel that helps create good jobs in communities in Kolkata, India. The brand was founded through the merger of three companies that knew they would be better together. The New Zealand-based brand originally started back in 2001 in Kolkata, India, with one ambitious goal: to spark opportunity where little is found until there is an end to the horrors of extreme poverty and human trafficking.

Find most items in sizes XS-4XL.

See the rating.

Shop Joyya.

Where Does It Come From?

Rated: Great

Where Does It Come From? creates clothing and textiles that are kind—to the planet, the makers, and to you, too. You can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are helping others and our planet through your buying choices. After all, it’s cool to care.

Find items in sizes 8-18.

See the rating.

Shop Where Does It Come From?.

Subset (Knickey)

Rated: Great
People in underwear by Subset.

Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory, US brand Subset’s organic cotton underwear sets are some of the best in the responsible fashion market. Taking it a step further, the brand has also partnered with an NYC non-profit to recycle old undergarments, turning the fibres into insulation and rug pads. Sending in your old undies will not only help cut down on the amount of fibres that wind up in the landfill, but it’ll give you the freedom to buy new, responsibly-made sets.

Find most items in sizes 2XS-4XL.

See the rating.

Shop Subset (Knickey).

Nudie Jeans

Rated: Great

Nudie Jeans designs 100% organic cotton denim and is transparent about its production. The brand also offers a free repair service, resells second hand products, and even recycles worn out items.

Find the perfect fit with the Virtual Size Guide on the product pages.

See the rating.

Shop Nudie Jeans.

Shop Nudie Jeans @ Farfetch.

Shop Nudie Jeans Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Christy Dawn

Rated: Great

Christy Dawn is a minimalist showroom for vintage-inspired women's clothing and footwear, locally made with surplus fabric. The US brand rates "Great", making it a fabulous option for your wardrobe.

Find the clothes in standard sizes XS-XL, or shop the Extended and Petite collections.

See the rating.

Shop Christy Dawn.

LA Relaxed

Rated: Great
Someone in long sleeved top and dress by LA Relaxed.

"Simplicity, sustainability, style" is LA Relaxed's motto. The brand reduces its climate impact by using renewable energy in its supply chain. It also uses some lower-impact materials, including organic cotton and TENCEL Lyocell.

Find the collection in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop LA Relaxed.

Shop LA Relaxed @ Cerqular.

FUTURA Jewelry

Rated: Good

FUTURA Jewelry is a New York based responsible jewellery brand. Each piece of FUTURA Jewelry is handcrafted with mercury-free 18kt Certified Fairmined Ecological gold. The brand's gold comes from the three certified Fairmined mines in the world that mine for gold without the use of toxic chemicals including mercury and cyanide.

See the rating.

Shop FUTURA Jewelry.

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash. 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.

Ethical brand ratings. There’s an app for that.

Wear the change you want to see. Download our app to discover ethical brands and see how your favourites measure up.