10 Nov

9 Sustainable Alternatives to Monki

I discovered Monki around the time when I started dipping my toes into sustainable fashion. Their website was so cool, and they had on-trend pieces with a unique twist. They proudly talked about empowering and inspiring young women like myself while taking care of the planet. I thought, “Hey, this looks like an easy, eco-friendly switch!”

But it felt too good to be true. After doing a bit of digging around on the H&M-owned brand (this should have been a red flag from the start), I realised Monki was not as sustainable as it seemed.

What is Monki doing to protect the planet, people, and animals? And most importantly, what ethical and sustainable alternatives to Monki are there?

The issues with Monki

Monki says sustainability is at the core of everything it does, aiming to drive global change. Since 2020, it has positioned itself as “kind and empowering” by aligning with two United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We’ve discussed Monki’s ethics and sustainability practices in our “How Ethical Is Monki?” article, but here’s a little recap of how the brand is doing on our three key ratings pillars of Planet, People, and Animals.

Monki has taken some good steps on the environmental front, including using some eco-friendly materials and setting a science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from its operations and supply chain. Despite these positive steps, Monki remains a fast fashion brand, with fast fashion traits, such as on-trend styles and regular new arrivals.

Monki has a long way to go when it comes to labour—the most troubling issue is that we don’t know how the brand’s project to improve wages in its supply chain is going.

And for animals, despite not using fur, down, angora, or exotic animal skin, Monki still uses leather, exotic animal hair, and wool from non-mulesed sheep.

We rate Monki “It’s A Start” based on our research. The Swedish brand has adopted some positive practices and policies across the board, but it is still not quite there yet. Monki’s use of eco-friendly materials is a good start. Still, the brand needs to work on its labour and worker empowerment policies and primarily ensure the payment of a living wage. Monki is owned by H&M, the world’s second-biggest producer of fashion products designed to be worn just a few times and discarded, so it’s no wonder there is some work to do across the board.

If, like me, you fell for Monki’s on-trend styles but are not a fan of the not-so-great practices, then keep reading–we’ve found the most amazing ethical and sustainable alternatives to Monki out there.

Sustainable alternatives to Monki

Dedicated

Rated: Good

If you love a great graphic tee, Swedish label Dedicated has you covered. Dedicated is an ethical streetwear brand for men, women, and children. All cotton used in its pieces are 100% organic and most are Fairtrade-certified, which means that you don’t have to sacrifice your ethics to dress in style. Find the clothes in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Dedicated.

Shop Dedicated @ Curate.

Shop Dedicated @ Earthkind.

Nudie Jeans

Rated: Good

Nudie Jeans designs 100% organic cotton denim and is transparent about its production. The brand also offers a free repair service, resells second hand products, and even recycles worn out items! Find the perfect fit with the Virtual Size Guide on the product pages.

See the rating.

Shop Nudie Jeans.

Shop Nudie Jeans @ Farfetch.

Shop Nudie Jeans Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Hopaal

Rated: Great

Hopaal makes simple, timeless clothing for women and men . We give the brand a ‘Great’ rating for the environment because of its use of 100% recycled materials as wells as its efforts to use renewable energy. It even stocks Guppy wash bags so you can be sure you’re not sending microfibres into the ocean when you do your laundry. Hopaal also takes care of workers, paying a living wage at the final stage of production. A great example of a brand that puts ethics at the heart of the business, without compromising on style.

See the rating.

Shop Hopaal.

Culthread

Rated: Great

Offers

Culthread – Accessories

Sustainably made, functional bags and accessories. Durable enough to be worn and loved for years and years. Exclusive 20% off full priced bags and accessories with code COP20. (Ends: 24 NOV)

Checkout code: COP20
Shop now

Culthread – Jackets

Made of the highest quality recycled materials, these are jackets and coats you will want to wear and treasure forever. Exclusive 20% off full priced jackets and coats with code COP20. (Ends: 24 NOV)

Checkout code: COP20
Shop now

Culthread is a UK-based clothing label that offers stylish, practical, and everlasting jackets and accessories from vegan and deadstock materials. Culthread's goal is to make quality coats and lifestyle products that you will want to wear and treasure forever. Find most items in sizes XS to XL.

See the rating.

Shop Culthread.

Shop Culthread @ Immaculate Vegan.

Phyne

Rated: Great

Phyne is a German sustainable brand that offers minimalist streetwear for a fearless future. All its garments and accessories are made from organically produced natural fibres, in accordance with the environmental and social requirements of the globally recognised Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). You can find Phyne products in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Phyne.

Womsh

Rated: Good
sustainable sneakers made by Womsh

Fashion and sustainability can go together and Womsh is the footwear brand that proves it. Its shoes are entirely designed and manufactured in Italy. Find most styles in EU sizes 35-42.

See the rating.

Shop Womsh.

Shop Womsh @ COMOVITA.

Shop Womsh @ Curate.

Armedangels

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.

Shop Armedangels @ Earthkind.

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.

Lucy & Yak

Rated: Good

Independent, handmade, and ethical, we love Lucy & Yak’s playful take on classic garments. With a range for both men and women, this UK brand will brighten up your day.

See the rating.

Shop Lucy & Yak.

Editor's note

Feature image via Monki, 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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