12 May

8 Sustainable Alternatives to Free People We Know You’ll Love

American label Free People, rated “Not Good Enough”, is not pulling its weight when it comes to protecting the Earth and its inhabitants. So, if you’re into the boho vibe, we found 8 sustainable alternatives to Free People we know you’ll love. This article is based on the Free People rating published in August 2020.

Free-spirited fast fashion doesn’t make the cut

If you’re into the bohemian vibe, you’ve surely come across Free People, an American label known for its range of aesthetic clothes and accessories, and worn by the likes of Kaia Gerber and Hailey Bieber.

Sadly, Free People’s free-spirited image doesn’t align with its ethics. Whilst the brand has made some progress, its reliance on a fast fashion model ultimately renders it unsustainable.

Free People isn’t doing enough

Free People rates “Not Good Enough” for people, the planet, and animals. While the American label (and its parent company URBN) has made some progress when it comes to reducing its impact on the planet, there is still room for improvement. Promoting reusable shopping bags, using energy efficient LED lighting in stores, improving fuel efficiency in transport, and renewable energy being installed in part of the brand’s direct operations, are nice touches, but not enough.

Free People needs to use more eco-friendly materials and make commitments to reduce direct and indirect carbon emissions, hazardous chemicals, water usage, and wastewater.

Sadly, none of Free People’s supply chain is certified by labour standards which ensure worker health and safety or other labour rights. The brand received a score of 11-20% in the Fashion Transparency Index, which shows it should be more transparent about its practices. We also found no evidence that Free People workers are being paid a living wage.

When it comes to animals, Free People also has a way to go before it can achieve a higher rating. The brand still uses leather, wool, and exotic animal hair from unspecified sources.

Overall, we’ve rated Free People “Not Good Enough”. The brand has taken some positive measures, but it’s simply not pulling its weight when it comes to protecting the Earth and its inhabitants. Free People has to do better for the planet, people, and animals, be more transparent, and treat all its workers fairly.

Like Free People’s boho vibe (think effortless and breezy style, floaty skirts or dresses, loose blouses, boots, and bold prints) but don’t dig the unfair treatment of people, the planet, and animals? We found the perfect “Good” and “Great” alternatives to Free People, just for you.

Sustainable alternatives to Free People

Ace & Jig

Rated: It's A Start
Three images side by side of people wearing colourful and patterned items from Ace & Jig.

Ace & Jig is a textile love story. The brand does not use any animal products and reduces its carbon emissions by hand-weaving its products, which are made-to-order. It also reduces wastage by using its cutting room scraps and provides clothing care instructions so you can make your items last longer! The range is inclusively sized in 2XS-4XL.

See the rating.

Shop Ace & Jig.

Shop Ace & Jig Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Altar

Rated: Good
Three images side by side of people wearing items fro eco-friendly clothing brand Altar.

Altar is a US-based boutique that specialises in alternative and custom fashion, apothecary, and gifts. The brand celebrates independent manufacturers and artists from across North America, with a focus on the stories that are woven into their work. Its clothing brand, Altar Houseline, is proudly made in America using deadstock materials and serves size gradations from size S to 6XL.

See the rating.

Shop Altar.

Christy Dawn

Rated: Great
Three images side by side of people wearing ethical clothing from Christy Dawn.

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 boho 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.

Luna + Sun

Rated: Good
Three images side by side of people wearing items from sustainable clothing brand Luna + Sun.

Luna + Sun is an Australian, cruelty-free fashion line creating gorgeous feminine designs. Its factory is certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, and its products are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. Find the clothes in AU sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop Luna + Sun.

OhSevenDays

Rated: Good
Three images side by side of people wearing ethical garments from OhSevenDays.

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.

See the rating.

Shop OhSevenDays.

Shop OhSevenDays @ SlowCo.

TAMGA Designs

Rated: Great
Three images side by side of people wearing colourful, sustainable clothing by TAMGA Designs.

TAMGA Designs is out to prove how colourful and exciting sustainable fashion can be, serving up gorgeous, flowy designs that will glide you into warmer weather with poise and grace. TAMGA offers a range of tops, skirts, dresses, and accessories made from 100% Micro TENCEL® and LENZING™ ECOVERO™. You can find the full range of this Canadian brand in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop TAMGA Designs.

Tasi Travels

Rated: Good
three images side by side of people wearing green dresses and tops from Tasi Travels.

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.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

Whimsy + Row is an eco-conscious lifestyle brand born out of a love for quality goods and sustainable practices. Since 2014, its mission has been to provide ease and elegance for the modern, sustainable woman. Whimsy + Row utilises deadstock fabric, and by limiting each garment to short runs, the brand also reduces packaging waste and takes care of precious water resources. Find most products in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Whimsy + Row.

Shop Whimsy + Row @ Earthkind.

Editor's note

Feature image via OhSevenDays, 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. We may earn a commission on sales with top-rated partners made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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.