07 Mar

Meet the 28 Women-Owned Brands Making Waves in Ethical Fashion

Happy International Women’s Day! To celebrate one of the best days of the year, we’ve rounded up some dynamic, ethical women-owned brands rated “Good” or “Great” on our directory.

Feminism and sustainable fashion

As many of us can attest, fast fashion is inherently anti-feminist, a constant violator of human rights, and terrible for the planet. Since the 1990’s and the dawn of globalisation, most of our garments have been grown, sewn, and crafted outside of our home countries where a majority of the garment workforce are women, too often exploited and underpaid. Along with severe underpayment, many of these women also face harassment, insults, and pressure to continue working in less than adequate conditions—all for the sake of a $10 SHEIN top that will tear as soon as you wash it.

If you’ve seen “The True Cost”, or any other film documenting fast fashion’s horrors, you know that the buck doesn’t stop here—that fast fashion also disempowers women by promoting unrealistic beauty standards, lining the pockets of majority male C-Suites, encouraging excessive spending, and causing other environmental injustices. Luckily, we’re here to report that in this story, there is definitely no “knight in shining armour,” but instead an empowered entrepreneurial community of women committed to changing the fashion industry in their own unique, innovative ways.

Before diving in, if you’re interested in understanding the intersectionality between environmentalism and feminism a bit more, the resources below will help you get started:

Now, without further ado, we’re pleased to introduce to you 28 of our favourite female sustainability superheroes.

The Good Tee founder Adila Cokar and four garment workers holding up Fashion Revolution

North America

The Good Tee

Rated: Great
two women of colour wearing ethically made fashion by The Good Tee

“Jane Goodall said it best: ‘What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.’ Sustainability means different things to different people. Understand your values and integrate them into your brand.” 

Adila Kokar, Founder of The Good Tee

Kokar’s Canadian brand The Good Tee strives to be a positive example of responsibly made basics for the whole family, while simultaneously humanising the fashion industry. Find its range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Support The Good Tee.

Harvest & Mill

Rated: Great
Harvest & Mill sustainable socks pack in ivory

“The Harvest & Mill family includes team members that have a background in organic agriculture and sustainable systems and who work side by side with our designers. We are serious about creating a more equitable and healthy fashion industry.” 

Natalie Patricia, Founder of Harvest & Mill

Founded in 2012, Harvest & Mill makes organic cotton clothing that is entirely grown and milled in the USA and sewn in the Bay Area. Shop the range in sizes S-XL.

See the rating.

Support Harvest & Mill.

Proclaim

Rated: Good

“I started Proclaim because I was tired of not being able to find a nude bra that matched my brown skin. What started as an annoyance about the colour nude turned into something much bigger. It turned into the opportunity to revolutionise an industry. Proclaim is a love letter to women who demand change rather than settling for the status quo.” 

Shobha Philips, Founder of Proclaim

Los Angeles-based Proclaim makes beautiful bras, underwear, and basics from eco-friendly materials like recycled plastic bottles and TENCEL. Its designs come in three shades of “nude,” building inclusivity into the brand. It also ensures the people in its California factory earn a living wage, and visits suppliers regularly. Find the range in sizes S-3XL.

See the rating.

Support Proclaim.

The Tiny Closet

Rated: Great
ethical basic white shirt by Tiny Closet

“I am a small-business owner, responsible for manufacturing and selling new clothing from outsourced fabrics. I make my business available to both a domestic and global audience yearlong. Because of these choices, I am very conscious of how I operate my business, and I take every action necessary to minimise my carbon footprint, support ethical wholesalers, source and use only deadstock fabric, and eliminate waste with made-to-order production.” 

Natalie, Founder of The Tiny Closet

The Tiny Closet is a line of simple, beautiful statement clothing. Each garment is made to order from deadstock fabrics to reduce waste, and designed to be worn for years to come. The clothes are available in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Support The Tiny Closet.

Thesus (Alice + Whittles)

Rated: Good
A single black gum boot with a white sole on a piece of wood

“We’re not trying to make people feel guilty about what they buy, we’re trying to make a product that’s about workmanship, craftsmanship, and quality. We want the shoes to be affordable and facilitate change on a grassroots level.”

Sofi Khwaja, Co-Founder of Thesus

Thesus favours transparency, ethical manufacturing practices, and sustainable materials as a means of creating long-lasting, positive change. Find the boots in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Support Thesus.

Parker Clay

Rated: Good
Someone unfolding a striped cotton towel on a beach, wearing a light leather backpack by Parker Clay.

Offers

Two leather travel bags by Parker Clay sitting on a neatly made bed.

Parker Clay – Travel Bags

Sustainable travel bags that help empower women in Ethiopia, to carry confidence among your fellow travellers. Free organic cotton blanket with code FREESEASIDE. (Ends: 16 MAY)

Checkout code: FREESEASIDE
Shop now

“We created Parker Clay because we wanted to bring these beautiful products to the world, create jobs to empower vulnerable women to become economically independent, and protect traditional, sustainable, and ethical craftsmanship all at once.”

Brittany Bentley, Co-Founder of Parker Clay

A bag that saves lives? You got it. Parker Clay is an American-based brand looking to create a future without exploitation by bettering lives and communities in Ethiopia. The brand has partnered with Ellilta Women at Risk program, fighting to bring women out of prostitution by providing a more stable income and safe working environment.

See the rating.

Support Parker Clay.

Chelsea Bravo

Rated: Good
Woman wearing sustainable swing top

“I was honest with myself about where I was and where I saw myself going, that process led to me having a sustainable business that works for me.”

Chelsea Bravo, Founder of Chelsea Bravo

Chelsea Bravo’s collections creatively infuse her artistry with simple silhouettes for both women and men. Brooklyn based and sustainably made with a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, her pieces are contemporary and eye-catching. Find them in sizes 2XS-XL.

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Support Chelsea Bravo.

Knickey

Rated: Great
knickey sustainable underwear set

“Our biggest contribution to disrupting the traditional supply chain is in considering the ‘end of life’ of garments after consumer use.” 

Cayla O’Connell Davis, Founder of Knickey

Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory, Knickey’s organic cotton underwear sets are some of the best in the sustainable market. Find most items in sizes 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Support Knickey.

tonlé

Rated: Great
woman wearing tonle white sustainable jumper

“When I first came to Cambodia, minimum wage was about $60 a month. It’s gone up more than double since then which is a good thing, but there’s still a long way to go. There are still a lot of problems in the garment industry here, but there’s more transparency. I think the world is becoming more aware of what’s going on in the factories so that’s putting more pressure on brands. Some things are improving, but there are still many things that need to change.” 

Rachel Faller, Founder of tonlé

tonlé provides environmentally-friendly women’s clothing with a zero-waste design process. Its range is inclusively sized from XS-3XL.

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Support tonlé.

Two Days Off

Rated: Great
woman wearing small gold hoop earrings

I worked in the sustainability climate change world for over a decade and this was always a question at every single conference, ‘How do you define sustainability?’ Now, as an entrepreneur, my definition of sustainability has broadened. I used to view it in environmental terms, but it’s really looking at any system that might be in your life, and ensuring the habits you form are sustainable and nourishing. It’s not just about not draining resources but should also include replenishing resources.”

Gina Stovall, Founder of Two Days Off

Two Days Off brings a sense of ease to your wardrobe and your mind. Prioritising deadstock and biodegradable materials, Two Days Off’s limited run pieces are long-wearing and thoughtfully designed. They are inclusively sized from XS-4XL.

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Support Two Days Off.

ARTICLE22

Rated: Good

“I met artisans in a rural village melting US bombs into spoons. Having studied history at Williams College and Oxford University, I was beguiled by my lack of awareness of the Secret War in Laos (1963-1974) which left a legacy of 80 million unexploded bombs. Recognising that market linkage and design are major constraints on artisans, I founded ARTICLE22.” 

Elizabeth Suda, Founder of ARTICLE22

Every piece of ARTICLE22 jewellery is locally handcrafted in Laos using recycled materials from Vietnam War bombs, plane parts, military hardware, and other aluminium scraps. The range is available in sizes S-XL.

See the rating.

Support ARTICLE22.

Europe + the UK

O My Bag

Rated: Good

“The classes I took at university on global issues like development aid shaped my ideas. It made me realise that fair trade can create social change. People can live better lives when they are given equal access to the global marketplace.”

Paulien Wesselink, Founder and CEO of O My Bag

O My Bag merges style and a responsible approach, creating vintage inspired, rugged-chic bags made from eco-friendly, high quality materials. The Dutch label also uses low impact and non-toxic dyes in its products.

See the rating.

Support O My Bag.

BASTET NOIR

Rated: Good

“Making the world a better place one woman at a time. Because we give a damn.” 

Daniela Milosheska, Founder of BASTET NOIR

BASTET NOIR offers custom-made clothing manufactured by women in Macedonia, ensuring that every purchase contributes to the welfare and education of these women and their children. Find most items in sizes 36-42, or in custom sizing.

See the rating.

Support BASTET NOIR.

Jyoti – Fair Works

Rated: Good

“We will probably not be able to change the textile industry by ourselves. But we can serve as a positive example by showing that it can be done differently, better, more justly. We can be an inspiration for other companies and an alternative for our customers. And we can provide fifteen women in India with a livelihood. We think that is already quite an achievement.”

Jeanine Glöyer, Founder of Jyoti

Truly embodying ethical fashion practices, this German company provides employment for people from marginalised or disadvantaged groups in India. Sizes available are S-XL.

See the rating.

Support Jyoti.

Birdsong

Rated: Good

“We’re helping women make a decent living, using skills they already have and doing something they love. For us, fashion is a tool for change and self-expression. But it was about reimagining that in a way that was simpler and fairer, in a way that we could sleep at night!” 

Sophie Slater and Sarah Neville, Founders of Birdsong

Birdsong is a boutique label producing gorgeous womenswear handmade in London. The brand’s products are inclusively sized from 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Support Birdsong.

Mother of Pearl

Rated: Good
girls wearing mother of pearl

“Sustainable fashion isn’t always about buying something with a green tag on, it’s just considering what you’re doing. There are so many things that everybody can do that would make things a lot better. The number one thing is just consuming less and looking after what you buy.” 

Amy Powney, Founder of Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl is a sustainable and ethical luxury womenswear and accessories designer brand from the UK that celebrates individuality and authenticity. Find most products in UK sizes 6-16.

See the rating.

Support Mother of Pearl.

Culthread

Rated: Great

I want to cater to those who have a similar vision and mindset as me: women who are ethically and environmentally conscious and are always eager to release their inner fashionista.” 

Rina Einy, Founder of Culthread

Culthread is a London based brand that offers stylish, practical, and everlasting jackets and accessories from vegan and dead-stock materials. The garments are offered in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Support Culthread.

Swedish Stockings

Rated: Great

“After learning that traditional pantyhose are petroleum products planned for obsolescence, we started Swedish Stockings with the mission to change and influence the entire hosiery industry towards sustainable production overall.” 

Linn Frisinger and Nadja Forsberg, Founders of Swedish Stockings

Swedish Stockings creates the best quality eco-friendly black and patterned stockings, knee highs, tights, socks, and pantyhose. Find the perfect pair in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Support Swedish Stockings.

Australia

A.BCH

Rated: Great
Asian woman wearing red sleeveless skivvy dress by A.BCH.

A.BCH

“When you buy one of our intelligently crafted garments, you’re becoming part of the solution.” 

Courtney Holm, Founder of A.BCH

Founded in 2017, A.BCH is a Melbourne-based, Australian-made fashion label for individuals who care about garment provenance. Find the range in sizes XS-XL, or customise to fit you.

See the rating.

Support A.BCH.

The Common Good Company

Rated: Great

“The Common Good Company was started to prove there is not only a better way to consume but a better way to produce. This is echoed through our supply chain and we’re proud to have a number of key female leaders within our business model. By employing and educating women, we can mitigate Climate Change through leadership and by inspiring community action to build climate resilience, adopting green tech and lead local and global policy.”

Tessa Carroll, Founder of The Common Good Co.

The Common Good Company produces clothing using recycled materials, proving that there is not only a better way to produce but a better way to consume. Find the clothes in AU sizes 6-14.

See the rating.

Support The Common Good Company.

All the Wild Roses

Rated: Good

“Our brand was inspired by my first overseas visit to my native Vietnam when I was 19 years old. For the first time, I met many of my extended family, like most women in the region, they worked as seamstresses but opportunities were very limited due to lack of skills, education, and access to markets. After this experience and through our growing connection with each other, we wanted to create something together with the aspiration to provide work opportunities and prosperity not only for them, but for women in their community in Hai Phong, Vietnam.” 

Hang Osment-Le, Founder of All the Wild Roses

All the Wild Roses uses up to 50% deadstock fabric to create high quality and long-lasting products. Find most items in sizes XS to 2XL.

See the rating.

Support All the Wild Roses.

Tasi Travels

Rated: Good

“We exist to inspire and allow others to lead adventurous, authentic, well-travelled lives that impact positively on the planet. It’s not just about the clothes; the clothes are the conversation starter; the platform we use to reach our audience.” 

Jessica Abrahams, Founder of Tasi Travels

For travel wear designed for adventures, look no further than Australian brand Tasi Travels. Garments come in sizes XS/S, S/M, and M/L.

See the rating.

Support Tasi Travels.

Luna + Sun

Rated: Good
woman wearing ethical yellow dress by Luna + Sun brand

“Just after I launched Luna and Sun I also found out I was pregnant and becoming a mother has changed me in so many ways. I completely understand how other mothers feel after having a baby. Our bodies change and unfortunately a lot of the clothing out there doesn’t accommodate this. This is why I’m creating clothing that isn’t only sustainable, ethically made, and cruelty free, but also made for comfort and suits a variety of shapes and sizes for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond.” 

Teshani McManus, Founder of 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 most pieces in AU sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Support Luna + Sun.

Little Emperor

Rated: Great
girl wearing pink little emperor t-shirt

“Whether we realise it or not, every time we buy something, we’re voting. When we buy clothes that have been made in factories where workers are underpaid and working in life threatening conditions, we’re supporting it. And when we spend our money with businesses that do the right thing throughout their supply chain, we’re supporting that.” 

Elizabeth Bold, Founder of Little Emperor

Little Emperor creates affordable clothing made from environmentally friendly organic cotton, with every garment designed in Sydney, Australia, and made in a Sedex-approved factory ensuring living wages and safe working conditions for workers.

See the rating.

Support Little Emperor.

Elle Evans

Rated: Great

“I knew I wanted to structure my company differently, and starting from scratch meant that sustainability could be at the heart of every decision I made.” 

Elle Evans, Founder of Elle Evans

Founded in 2013, Elle Evans Swimwear creates beautiful, sustainable swimwear and activewear for people who care about fashion and the future. The range is stocked in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Support Elle Evans.

Pure Pod

Rated: Good

“I was completely mentally and physically burnt out by my industry at that stage and had to heal myself.”

Kelli Donovan, Founder of Pure Pod

Pure Pod is an ethical lifestyle fashion label based in Australia using organic and fair trade accredited materials.

See the rating.

Shop Pure Pod.

Asia

Loop Swim

Rated: Great
two girls playing in water wearing colourful sustainable swimwear by Loop Swim

By the time Loop founders, Itee Soni and Heather Kaye, met in Shanghai in 2008, they were both fed up with the unnecessary waste they saw being generated first-hand by the fashion industry. So, they decided to do something about it.

Loop Swim is a Chinese brand that transforms post-consumer use plastic bottles into phenomenal REPREVE UP50+ sun protective swimwear for men, women, and kids. Find most items in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Support Loop Swim.

The R Collective

Rated: Great

“I believe that sustainable fashion is not just an environmental issue—it is also an opportunity to uplift and empower ourselves as women. We make up 80% of the garment industry’s workers, which represents enormous potential for fashion to be a force for positive change.” 

Dr. Christina Dean, Founder of The R Collective

The R Collective’s womenswear collections are made by reusing rescued excess materials from leading luxury brands and reputable manufacturers. The garments are offered in two sizes: XS-S and M-L.

See the rating.

Support The R Collective.

That’s all, folks. We hope this article provided a plethora of insight and inspiration on women making a difference in their communities and within the larger fashion industry.

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash, group image via the Good Tee, 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 made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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