8 Ethical Alternatives to Primark - Good On You
12 Aug

8 Ethical Alternatives to Primark

Whenever I think about Primark, I picture the huge queues that form every time the brand opens a new location. I also think of very cheap, petroleum-based Christmas jumpers. Just me?

Primark is a pure fast fashion brand. The Irish chain is known and loved worldwide for its range of on-trend clothing, footwear, accessories, and homewares for men, women, and children at very, very, VERY low prices. So what’s the cost of Primark’s fast fashion model on the planet, people, and animals? And what sustainable and ethical alternatives to Primark are there?

Primark has taken a few steps in the right direction by implementing initiatives to reduce waste and increase energy efficiency in its stores and factories, signing the Bangladesh Accord and Cotton Pledge, and adopting the ETI Code of Conduct. These actions are commendable—but the brand still has a long way to go. Primark needs to use more eco-friendly materials in its products, set specific reduction targets in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and wastewater, and ensure its workers are treated fairly, including paying them a living wage and providing safe and healthy working conditions!

Overall, we rate Primark ‘Not Good Enough. Primark’s business model is based on creating vast amounts of short-lived, poorly-made fast fashion products, which inherently contradicts the values of ethical fashion and is ultimately bad news for the planet, people, and animals.

So if you want to ditch the poorly-made, cheap, and harmful clothes and give Primark a miss, we found brands like Primark that are making a solid effort across the board for sustainability and ethics. Keep reading to discover ‘Good’ and ‘Great’ ethical alternatives to Primark!

studio JUX

Rated: Great

Amsterdam based studio JUX designs fairtrade and sustainable clothes and jewellery with its own factory in Kathmandu, focusing on women empowerment projects. Find most products in sizes 34 to 42 for women and S to XL for men.

See the rating.

Shop studio JUX.

Yes Friends

Rated: Great

Yes Friends is a UK-based fashion brand that creates sustainable, ethical, and affordable clothing for everyone. Yes Friends' 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 a sustainable and ethical t-shirt. Find the tees in sizes 2XS to 2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Yes Friends.


Rated: Good

nu-in is a European brand that features activewear, loungewear, and underwear collections, as well as trend-led men's and women's ranges. It prioritises the planet by using a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, and reuses offcuts to minimise textile waste. The brand is inclusively sized, and features an extended sizing range up to 6XL!

See the rating.

Shop nu-in.

Plant Faced Clothing

Rated: Good
3 images of plant faced's latest collection

Streetwear without sweatshops, that's the motto of this British 100% plant-based, ethical, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free streetwear apparel brand. Buy Plant Faced Clothing in sizes XS-2XL.

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Shop Plant Faced Clothing.

Honest Basics

Rated: Great

Honest Basics is a GOTS-certified basics brand based in Germany. It's on a mission to make sustainable fashion accessible to everyone, by keeping prices low, making quality basics that everyone has in their wardrobe, and constantly improving the sustainability of its products and supply chain. The range is available in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Honest Basics.

People Tree

Rated: Great

Sustainable fashion pioneer and leader People Tree is a ‘Great’ ethical brand and one of our favourites. The brand uses eco-friendly materials and addresses labour risks by adopting the Fairtrade International - Small Producers Organisations Code of Conduct. Find most products in UK sizes 6 to 18.

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Shop People Tree.

Shop People Tree @ thegreenlabels.


Rated: Great

Affordable, ethical, and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels gets a ‘Great’ rating overall from us. The brand covers all the basics for women, men, and kids. Armedangels' quality and long-lasting pieces are made from eco-friendly 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 @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Armedangels @ OASEAS.

Sense Organics

Rated: Great

Sense Organics is an established German brand that has been dressing kids in its colourful organic cotton range for 18 years. We give it a ‘Great’ rating for its commitment to eco-friendly materials and its treatment of garment workers, including ensuring suppliers pay a living wage. Find clothes for kids aged 0-10!

See the rating.

Shop Sense Organics.

Editor's note

Feature image via nu-in. 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 the Directory to search more than 3,000 brands. To support our work, we may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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