17 Jan

16 Ethical Fashion Brands to Fulfil That Prints and Patterns Craving

After years of severe minimalism, prints and patterns are back. People have been rediscovering the joys of both classic and contemporary prints: from luxe-inspired baroque opulence, to animal prints, to geometric modernism.

This month we’re looking at patterns and prints. We love them for so many reasons. They’re expressive, fun, and interesting. They can champion a traditional craft. They set off an outfit of basics. In a time when we’re breaking free from old conceptions of who and what we should be, it’s the perfect opportunity to express ourselves with something more creative and artistic than plain old… well, plain.

Another reason we love prints and patterns is that they add a layer of story to your clothing. While ethics and quality of clothing are important, there’s no denying that we buy things to express and define ourselves—and in the past, many people did this through an allegiance to a famous brand and their attitude. Ethical clothes have a story to tell through the journey of the garment, and so much the better if the design has its own chapter, too.

We’re actually riding a bit of a maximalist trend right now—layers and layers of colour and print as fashion lovers look to use their outfits as a creative outlet. We’re all for it—as long as it’s ethically sourced!

Apart from the fab brands we rate here at Good On You, don’t forget to look out for those second hand and vintage shops where you’ll find patterns and prints from decades gone by. In the 80s and 90s they REALLY knew how to do a print. But if you’re looking for some quality ethical brands to fulfil that pattern and print craving, we’ve got you covered with these brands below!

Tasi Travels

Rated: Good
woman wearing printed pants by tasi travels

Journey Pants – Ships internationally from Australia

For travelwear designed for adventures, look no further than Australian brand Tasi Travels. Boasting a stunning collection of handmade garments in eco-friendly materials that are made-to-order, you can feel good out in the world knowing you are leaving a light footprint behind. Garments come in sizes XS/S, S/M, and M/L.

See the rating.

Shop Tasi Travels.

Mayamiko

Rated: Great
woman wearing printed dress by mayamiko

Chiara High Neck Dress – Ships internationally from the UK

Get on to Mayamiko’s site for a wide range of prints handpicked from the from the local fabrics market in Malawi. Everything’s made on demand to reduce waste and the brand works with organic cotton and fair trade labour. It puts out a wide range of unique styles and there’s masses of information on the site about the process and partnerships.

See the rating.

Shop Mayamiko.

Bozena Jankowska

Rated: Good

Blue Leopard Single Breasted Blazer – Ships internationally from the UK

Bozena Jankowska is a London based label set up in 2016 by founder and creative director Bozena Jankowska. Driven by her passion for sustainability, the label started with a focus on small capsule collections that were inspired by and told the story of critical social and environmental issues. Find the collection in UK sizes 6-14.

See rating.

Shop Bozena Jankowska.

Mashu

Rated: Good
zebra patterned bag by mashu

Amaryllis Zebra – Ships internationally from the UK

Mashu is a British sustainable and vegan accessories label specialising in handbags. Mashu’s environmental rating is ‘Good,’ crafting its exterior with vegan leather and recycled polyester, while its interiors feature vegan suede made from recycled polyester, ensuring you never have to sacrifice your morals for style again!

See the rating.

Shop Mashu.

Birdsong

Rated: Good
woman wearing print red wrap dress by uk brand birdsong

Red Print Wrap Dress – Ships internationally from the UK

Birdsong is a boutique label producing gorgeous womenswear. Its clothes are handmade in London by knitters and seamstresses earning above the London living wage. The business is built on a philosophy of fairness and authenticity, promising customers “no sweatshop, no photoshop”. Birdsong's products are inclusively sized from 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Birdsong.

Nube

Rated: Great
printed leggings by nube

Currents Leggings – Ships internationally from the US

Nube turns recycled plastic into responsible and fashionable activewear, designed and made in the US. The brand partners with artists and designers around the world to create prints motivated by the environmental crisis that inspire connection and action. This fully woman-owned business uses a closed-loop manufacturing process by recycling all off-cuts created during the manufacturing process. Find Nube products in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Nube.

Shop Nube @ Curate.

TAMGA Designs

Rated: Great
woman wearing lilac ethical dress by TAMGA

Suzi Mini Dress – Ships internationally from Canada

This mini dress takes tropical to a new level, with a bold pattern over a lilac base. It’s made of Tencel and, like TAMGA’s other garments, you can see the difference in its environmental impact right there on the product page. Check out the gorgeous lookbooks for many more cool and spirited styles. You can find the full range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop TAMGA Designs.

Dazey LA

Rated: Good
woman of colour wearing moon print colourful tee by Dazey LA via Curate

Moon & Back Tee – Ships internationally from the US

Dazey LA is an art apparel and accessories brand that features hand drawn designs inspired by '70s posters and vintage graphic art. Find most of the range in sizes S-2XL, or shop extended sizes up to 4XL.

See the rating.

Shop Dazey LA @ Curate.

Shop Dazey LA.

No Nasties

Rated: Great
pattern mens shirt by no nasties

Half Sleeve Shirt Agonda – Ships internationally from India

Another leader when it comes to ethical fashion, No Nasties makes simple and stylish clothing from Fairtrade organic cotton in India where it is actively working to grow the ethical consumer market. Find the clothes in sizes S-XL.

See the rating.

Shop No Nasties.

Shop No Nasties @ Made Trade.

Gung Ho Design

Rated: Good
pink and blue patterned dress by gung ho design

Protein Dress – Ships internationally the UK

Gung Ho Design makes striking and bold pieces ranging from jumpers to dresses to playsuits—and each piece has an environmental story to tell through prints or graphics. The brand has created visuals about marine life, sustainable food production, and even the water footprint behind food with this flowing dress. Truly the embodiment of ethical plus stylish, the team even organises beach clean-ups!

See the rating.

Shop Gung Ho Design @ Staiy.

Shop Gung Ho Design.

Batoko

Rated: Good
printed ethical swimsuit by batoko

Squiggle Swimsuit – Ships internationally from the UK

Whichever way you look at Batoko’s swimsuits, they’re awesome. They’re made from recycled ocean plastic. They’re fun and funky, covered in sharks and lobsters and fruit and squiggles. They’re bright and colourful. They’re designed for clever support. Go and buy one.

See the rating.

Shop Batoko.

Seek Collective

Rated: Good
woman wearing blue printed blouse by seek collective

Artist Shirt – Ships internationally from the US

Bright azure colour… take-no-prisoners print… massive over-sized cut…. This is a shirt for women you don’t mess with! Check out the rest of the collection for more powerful prints, and feel extra good wearing the pieces knowing the brand provides jobs for workers from disadvantaged communities.

See the rating.

Shop Seek Collective.

Patagonia

Rated: Good

Out walking or in the city—doesn’t matter. Great-grandpa Istvan might have been upset at the demise of the suit and tie. We have precisely zero interest in being cold and will happily wear this to an important business meeting. Just look at that pattern.

See the rating.

Shop Patagonia @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Patagonia @ Labell-D.

Shop Patagonia.

Shop Patagonia Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Patagonia Kids Pre-Owned @ Retykle.

Studio 189

Rated: Good
woman wearing purple printed dress by studio 189

Lilac Small Leaf Sleeveless Dress – Ships internationally

Studio One Eighty Nine is a social enterprise that provides a platform to help promote and curate African Fashion.

See the rating.

Shop Studio 189.

tonlé

Rated: Good
woman wearing pattern dress by tonle

Anja Dress – Ships internationally from the US

tonlé provides environmentally-friendly women's clothing with a zero-waste design process. To do so, the brand uses remnant fabrics from large manufacturers as well as recycled threads and reclaimed wood from local suppliers for its trim and accessories. Its range is inclusively sized from XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop tonlé.

Mila.Vert

Rated: Great
woman wearing black and beige pattern scarf by milavert

Knitted Scarf – Ships internationally from Slovenia

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Mila.Vert – Accessories

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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

No matter the occasion: these exquisite, elegant, finely knitted pullovers bring in versatility and a touch of snugness. Exclusive 10% off cardigans and pullovers with code GOODONYOU. (Ends: 3 DEC)

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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.

Keep your eye out for the other articles in this series that look at Streetwear, Colour, and Wild & Wonderful options!

 

About the author: Pete Gomori is a creative director, writer and Londoner who helps ethical fashion companies with their branding. Find him at www.studiogomori.com.

Editor's note

Feature image via Batoko, 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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