12 Oct

8 Ethical Brands You’ll Love More Than Zara

Many people credit Zara with perfecting the art of fast fashion. It is a pioneer of super-fast turnaround times from design, manufacture, order, and distribution. Its twice-weekly drops of new lines that quickly sell out—creating a sense of urgency to buy—got many of us hooked on shopping for entertainment’s sake. Zara has been a key driver of the massive, wasteful, polluting, exploiting, and unsustainable fashion industry we have today: not exactly a legacy to be proud of!

Zara gets a rating of ‘Not Good Enough’ from us. It has introduced some measures to make its business more sustainable, such as the Closing the Loop program, and publishes a detailed list of suppliers. However, we believe the business model that Zara adopts can never be truly sustainable. The promotion of such rapid consumption is inherently harmful to both people and the planet.

That’s why we’ve listed a few of our favourite brands that between them cover all bases in terms of reliable wardrobe go-to items all while respecting the planet, animals, and the people who make their clothes. Here are 8 ethical brands you’ll love more than Zara.

MATE the Label

Rated: Great

MATE the Label creates clean essentials made with GOTS certified organic fabrics and low-impact dyes. Its goal is to offer women everywhere a clean product that is just as beautiful as it is sustainable. It is proudly female-founded and is predominately operated by women. This US brand also manufactures locally to reduce its carbon footprint. Find the range in inclusive sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop MATE the Label.

Armedangels

Rated: Great

Affordable, ethical and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels get a ‘Great’ rating across the board 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.

Mila.Vert

Rated: Great

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Mila.Vert – Dresses

Mila.Vert’s beautiful dresses are easy to wear, versatile, and always make you look and feel your best. Exclusive 10% off dresses with code GOODONYOU. (Ends: 3 DEC)

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Mila.Vert – Coats and Jackets

Timeless, minimal, and chic jackets and coats with sophisticated details that give your outfits a modern feel. Exclusive 10% off coats and jackets with code GOODONYOU. (Ends: 3 DEC)

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Mila.Vert – Knitwear

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Mila.Vert offers timeless, minimal, and chic clothing, adding sophisticated details that give the garments a modern feel. The Slovenia-based brand wants to make desirable clothing, avoiding the ethical and environmental issues that the fashion industry represents. Find the garments in sizes XS-XL, or make a custom fit order free of charge!

See the rating.

Shop Mila.Vert.

OhSevenDays

Rated: Good

OhSevenDays was started by Australian-Canadian Megan Mummery to promote slow fashion and the "power of circularity". Based in Istanbul, the brand reclaims end-of-roll fabrics from the city’s garment factories and creates sharp, everyday womenswear that’s as wearable as it is ethical. Essentially, it makes slow fashion from fast fashion's leftovers. OhSevenDays' garments are available in sizes XS-XL or custom sizing.

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Shop OhSevenDays.

Shop OhSevenDays @ SlowCo.

Seek Collective

Rated: Good

Seek Collective is a US brand of thoughtfully made items with a dedication to transparency, authenticity, craft, and sustainability. Seek is focused on establishing connections between art, product, consumers, process, and makers. Its items are made in India through partnerships with like-minded communities and people. Find most products in XS-L, with an extended sizing range up to 4XL.

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Shop Seek Collective.

No Nasties

Rated: Great

No Nasties provide a beautiful range of simple and stylish pieces for both women and men. Their flattering collections are perfect for anyone hunting for wardrobe staples. Made with 100% certified organic and fair trade cotton – No Nasties lives up to its name and never uses plastics. All their packaging is either made from organic cotton or recycled cardboard.

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Shop No Nasties.

Shop No Nasties @ Made Trade.

MUD Jeans

Rated: Great
A man wears navy jeans and a blue top

Dutch brand MUD Jeans rates ‘Great’ on all issues! Their 100% Peta Approved vegan jeans use GOTS-certified organic cotton and ensure workers are paid fair wages. Deadwood (Good) and Monkee Genes (Good) are also amazing ethical denim brands when looking to renew your wardrobe!

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Shop MUD Jeans.

Shop MUD Jeans @ Labell-D.

Kowtow

Rated: Great

Founded in 2007 by Gosia Piatek in New Zealand, Kowtow is a conscious label with a strong design philosophy. Their minimalist and effortless collections are made with sustainably and ethically sourced materials. Kowtow’s ethical cotton is Fairtrade certified use Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) approved inks and dyes. All of their clothes are made at SA8000®-certified organisations in India and their sustainability and ethical commitments go right down to their recycled packaging, which we love!

See the rating.

Shop Kowtow.

So there you have it: 7 ethical brands that really deserve your love.

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Editor's note

This article was first published in 2017 and updated in October 2020. Feature image via MATE the Label, 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 more than 2,500 brands. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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