14 Feb

7 Ethical Brands You’ll Love More Than Zara

Zara is a fashion giant. Its parent group Inditex is worth $13b (2018), and has more than 2,000 stores in 96 countries worldwide. It’s big. And that means what it does has a big impact.

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.

Zara gets an ‘It’s A Start’ from us. That’s because it has introduced some measures to make its business more sustainable, such as the Closing the Loop program. It also has a ban on child labour, forced labour and discrimination in its supply chain. 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 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 and also respect the planet, animals and the people who make their clothes.


Rated: Good

Launched in 2009 by Yael Aflalo, Reformation is best known for their killer clothes, from eco-friendly dresses to jumpsuits and bottoms.  Based in downtown Los Angeles, this fashion brand states that sustainability is at the core of everything they do.

Although their style is carefree, there is nothing careless about this label. Reformation uses eco-friendly materials such as Tencel as well as recycled materials. Some of its products are Bluesign and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified and it also minimises the use of packaging and uses packaging from 100% post consumer waste.

See the rating.

Shop Reformation @ Farfetch.

Shop Reformation.


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.

See the rating.

Shop Armedangels.

Amour Vert

Rated: Good

Amour Vert creates beautiful sustainable staples in San Francisco, California. Its final stage of production is done in the US and it works closely with suppliers in all of its supply chain. The brand also uses only eco-friendly materials and promotes a zero-waste strategy.

See the rating.

Shop Amour Vert.


Rated: Great

For fashion-forward, handcrafted, smart womens and menswear in understated colours, look no further than Movinun.  This Slovenian brand is tackling climate change head-on by using renewable energy in its operations as well as using a high proportion of eco-friendly materials. If you are searching for your own expression and pieces with a story, then Movinun is made for you. The brand offers a range of minimalist and unique tops, tees, jumpsuits, dresses and outerwear. It also keeps very small stock, so that each garment gets the attention it deserves.

See the rating.

Shop Movinun.

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.

See the rating.

Shop No Nasties @ Ecoture.

Shop No Nasties.

Shop No Nasties @ Made Trade.

MUD Jeans

Rated: Great

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!

See the rating.

Shop MUD Jeans.

Also find MUD Jeans @ Ecoture.


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 @Ecoture.

Shop Kowtow @ We-Love.

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

Editor's note: This article was first published in 2017 and updated in February 2019. Feature image via Zara. Images via brands. Good On You has big plans for ethical fashion! To support our work, we may earn a commission on sales made using our offers code or affiliate links.

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