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Black zero waste cargo pants by The R Collective.
14 Oct
Black zero waste cargo pants by The R Collective.

Our Favourite Sustainable Cargo Pants and Combat Trousers

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Cargo pants, combat trousers, utility pants—whatever you call them, these military-inspired casual bottoms have made a comeback in 2022. Discover the brands we love doing more sustainable cargos you’ll love.

From workwear to streetwear

Despite their humble origins in workwear and the military, the practical pocket-filled wonders that are cargo pants have stomped back into mainstream fashion culture thanks to the likes of Hailey Bieber and Rihanna. A staple streetwear garment that gives us major Lara Croft in Tomb Raiders vibes, it’s no surprise powerful women are rocking them in their day-to-day.

But the problem with such trends is that they get scooped up by fast fashion giants in the blink of an eye, and before we know it, troublesome brands like SHEIN are pumping out cargo pants on the cheap made from fabrics with bad habits like conventional cotton and polyester.

So, where should you look if you’re on the hunt for more ethical and sustainable cargos or combats? As ever, the first place to turn is second hand stores or apps like Depop to give an old pair new life. But if they don’t meet your needs and you’re invested in the lewk, we’ve rounded up some of the best options for more eco-friendly cargo pants on the market. You’re welcome, Lara.

We’re loving the zero-waste, maximum-attitude cargo pants from The R Collective (Hong Kong), the basic black men’s cargo trousers from WAWWA (UK), and of course, the Hailey Bieber-inspired parachute pants from Local European (US). Happy stomping.

Conscious cargo pants from better brands


Rated: Good
Bleed's basic sand men's utility cargo pants.

Organic Cargo Pants Sand – Ships internationally from Germany

Staple men’s cargo pants for all your backpack-rejecting needs. Made from certified organic cotton.

bleed was founded in 2008 by German skateboarder Michael Spitzbarth. bleed’s mission is to inspire a sustainable lifestyle that excites and easily integrates into our daily life, by creating ecological, vegan, and fairly produced sports and streetwear. Find sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop bleed.


Rated: Good
Clay coloured men's cargo joggers by Tentree.

Stretch Twill Cargo Pull On Jogger – Ships internationally from Canada

All the style of a combat with the comfort of a jogger, and made from organic cotton? Yes, please.

Canadian brand tentree believes big change starts small. Small as in bringing your reusable bag to the grocery store, making fewer, more thoughtful purchases, and choosing to purchase sustainably when you do. The brand plants ten trees for every item purchased to help regenerate ecosystems and provide planting jobs in communities around the world, and has already planted over 65 million trees.

All tentree’s products are created with an Earth-First approach, meaning they’re made in fair, safe working conditions, and constructed using only sustainably sourced and recycled materials. tentree’s super comfy fabrics and easy wardrobe staples are typically available from XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop tentree.

People Tree

Rated: Great
Flattering denim cargo jeans by People Tree.

Cargo Jeans – Ships internationally from the UK

One of our favourite iterations of the cargo comeback has to be cargo jeans, and these organic ones from People Tree are doing it for us.

Sustainable fashion pioneer and leader People Tree is a seriously ethical brand and one of our favourites. The brand uses eco-friendly materials and addresses labour risks by adopting the Fairtrade International – Small Producers Organisations Code of Conduct. Find most products in UK sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop People Tree UK.

Shop People Tree EU.

Shop People Tree @ Wearwell.

Stella McCartney

Rated: Good
Red velvet eco cargo trousers by Stella McCartney.

Velvet Wide Leg Cargo Pants – Ships internationally from the UK

You read that right—these aren’t just any old cargo pants, these are red velvet cargo pants. Stella has really outdone herself on this one.

A member of the Ethical Trading Initiative and Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Stella McCartney has set some excellent environmental standards across the luxury fashion industry. Stella uses some eco-friendly materials, including recycled polyester and organic cotton, and has a strategy in place to reduce waste across its entire supply chain. It has also adopted the ETI Code of Conduct that includes a living wage definition. UK sizes 6-12 are available.

See the rating.

Shop Stella McCartney @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Stella McCartney Kids Pre-Owned @ Retykle.

Shop Stella McCartney Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Stella McCartney.


Rated: Good
Green RAEBURN cargo trousers with an upcycled parachute silk pocket.

PWVC × RÆBURN C9 PKT Trouser – Ships internationally from the UK

Ok, technically these are regular trousers with a cargo-esque pocket on one side, but what a pocket. It’s made from upcycled parachute canopy and no two designs are exactly alike.

British streetwear brand RÆBURN makes an art out of upcycling. This is a fashion-forward brand for men and women that creates sharp looks from military surplus, with materials that include 1950s Airforce silk maps, and Danish military wool blankets. It also offers free repairs so you can take care of your precious investment pieces. Find most of the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop RÆBURN @ Farfetch.


Balenciaga (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start
A selection of second hand cargo pants by Balenciaga.

Pre-Owned Cargo Pants – Ships internationally

Balenciaga is a luxury fashion house founded in 1919 by Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga in San Sebastián. The Kering-owned brand has been making some efforts to reduce its environmental impact, setting targets to reduce its direct and indirect emissions, and implementing initiatives to reduce water use.

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Shop Balenciaga Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.


Rated: Good
Beige eco-friendly cargo pants by Ecoalf.

Linen Gork Trousers – Ships internationally from Spain

For a more relaxed cargo look, we love Ecoalf’s linen cargo trousers that come in three neutral tones.

Thanks to recycled materials like rescued ocean plastic, Ecoalf creates sustainable fashion with the same quality, design, and technical properties as the best non-recycled ones. Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Ecoalf @ Farfetch.

Shop Ecoalf.

Napapijri (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start
A selection of second hand cargo pants by Napapijri.

Pre-owned Cargo Pants – Ships internationally

Napapijri was born in 1987 in the shadow of Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc, where an Italian manufacturer of travel bags gave outdoor apparel a new meaning by combining innovative materials and close attention to style. The brand has made a public commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and uses a few more responsible materials.

See the rating.

Shop Napapijri Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

The North Face (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start
A selection of second hand cargo pants by The North Face.

Pre-Owned Cargo Pants – Ships internationally

For more than 50 years, The North Face has made activewear and outdoor sports gear that exceeds expectations. The brand has good policies to eliminate hazardous chemicals in its supply chain and uses some lower-impact materials, including recycled materials.

See the rating.

Shop The North Face Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.


Rated: Good
Basic black men's cargo pants by WAWWA.

Cargo Pants – Ships internationally from the UK

For basic black sustainably made cargo pants made in the UK, you can’t go wrong with WAWWA.

WAWWA aims to make clothing that puts the Earth and its inhabitants first by creating organic, fairtrade, and vegan friendly clothing with a positive social impact. It uses eco-friendly materials including recycled materials, low impact non-toxic dyes, and reuses its offcuts to minimise textile waste. Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.



Rated: Good
Sustainable black silky cargo pants by Minimalist.

Marilyn Vegan Silk Cargo Pants – Ships internationally from the US

If you prefer sleek and chic over dramatic dungeon-crawling for your utility pants, Minimalist’s pair are made from subtle, silky viscose satin and can be paired with anything.

Anchored in timeless design, Minimalist is a curated collection of women’s ready-to-wear pieces all made in New York and designed to be recycled at their end of life. It seeks to be part of the solution to make fashion sustainable, using certified eco-friendly materials and ensuring fair wage and work conditions in the local New York City factories it supports. Find it in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Minimalist.

MUD Jeans

Rated: Great
Ethically made dark blue cargo jeans by MUD Jeans.

Wilma Works Stone Indigo – Ships internationally from the Netherlands

More cargo jeans, this time from one of our top-rated brands, MUD Jeans. This pair is sophisticated yet comfy.

Dutch denim brand MUD Jeans is all about sustainability. Not only does it offer a repair service, but it also provides a rental service where you can lease a pair of jeans for up to a year. MUD Jeans uses a combination of GOTS certified organic cotton and post-consumer recycled cotton. MUD Jeans are available in a range of sizes, usually from W25 L30-W33 L32 for women and W28 L34-W36 L34 for men.

See the rating.

Shop MUD Jeans.

The R Collective

Rated: Great
Black zero waste cargo pants by The R Collective.

Ryde Pants – Ships internationally from Hong Kong

Last but certainly not least, we’re low-key obsessed with these zero-waste maximum-attitude cargo pants from The R Collective. Swoon.

The R Collective’s womenswear collections are made by reusing rescued excess materials from leading luxury brands and reputable manufacturers. The brand uses a high-proportion of eco-friendly materials, which limits the amount of chemicals, water, and wastewater used in production. It also ensures the payment of a living wage in its supply chain. The garments are offered in two sizes: XS-S and M-L.

See the rating.

Shop The R Collective.

Editor's note

Feature image via The R Collective, 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.

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