An ethical clothing brand is usually called a pioneer who is steering the world of fashion in a new, greener direction. As the use of social media and our exposure to trends rapidly grow, the lifecycle of a trend has started lessening. With instant access to fashion brands and bloggers, we are constantly exposed to the latest ‘it’ products. Most companies have turned to fast fashion to keep up with this pace and are manufacturing clothing with a quick turnover rate. These pieces are easily and cheaply made and are not meant to last. After all, if these ‘trendy’ pieces are going to be out of style within a few months, why make them durable?
The Problem with Fast Fashion
This fast turnaround way of thinking about and producing clothes poses a big risk to both the people making it and the environment. While the wearers happily parade around town with their ‘freshest’ look, they fail to think about the people who actually make their clothes. To set such a low price point, most companies usually outsource their manufacturing to third world countries where there are no worker unions, no standard minimum wage, and usually have very hazardous work conditions.
Some people started realizing what fast fashion was actually doing to the environment and what it meant for the people who were making it and realized that they had a choice. They could either continue supporting such brands and indirectly support their unethical treatment of their workers, or they could buy from ethical clothing brands instead. We firmly stand as the latter, fashion is meant to be a vessel of self-expression and art, not represent unethical and hazardous living conditions for the very people who make it. Curating a wardrobe of ethical clothing (link to https://alta-8.com/blogs/news/alta-8-s-guide-to-a-stylishly-sustainable-wardrobe) and supporting sustainable living does not have to be a great daunting task! And with the support of fashion pillars like Vogue, ethical fashion is definitely in!
10 Game-Changing Ethical Clothing Brands
We have rounded up 10 ethical clothing brands who share this philosophy of ethics in the fashion world and vow to make it a better industry:
Kotn: Kotn sells ethically made, affordable clothing comprised of authentic Egyptian cotton that is sourced in a sustainable way. Founded in 2015, this company not only gives topmost priority to conscious creation and consumption, but they also fund various social impact projects from their sales. So far, they have built new schools in areas without educational access and operate them and have provided private subsidies and resources to smallholder farms and impoverished communities.
Pact: Pact hails from Boulder, Colorado, and ensures that it does every step of the way right. They only use organic cotton grown by natural farming processes to make their clothing. They also partner only with Fair Trade Certified factories to manufacture their products so they can guarantee fair treatment to both their workers and the community. They also provide the option of offsetting the carbon print of their shipments and of using their shipping box to donate old clothes to nonprofits. Lastly, when it comes to packaging and shipping, they only choose materials that minimize their packaging lifecycle footprint.
Happy Earth: Happy Earth Apparels state that they prioritize the planet in everything they do. They only source sustainable and vegan textiles. For their packaging, they make use of recyclable and post-consumer materials to ensure zero-waste packaging. Happy Earth is also 100% carbon neutral and thus play their part in combating climate change. Needless to say, Happy Earth also ensures ethical manufacturing, their products are certified by the World Fair Trade Organization and other international labor standards.
Alta 8: Alta 8 armwear is made from deadstock fabric, which means all the extra fabric that could potentially end up in landfills is instead made into beautiful sleeves. This way, we create splendid ethically made products for women and minimize waste all at once. We also use minimal and recyclable packaging and partner with a manufacturer who is as committed to fair and equal treatment as we are.
Boden: The British brand Boden has a very simple tagline that speaks volumes: “We love clothes that last”. And that is exactly what they provide! They are well-known for their exceptionally made clothes that last for a very long time and that comes with a 365 days guarantee. Their products are made in 152 factories across 15 countries, however, they only work with suppliers whose values are compatible with theirs and who create a healthy working environment for their employees.
Pangaia: Pangaia is an ethical clothing company that calls itself ‘A materials science company on a mission to save our environment’. Their wardrobe essential collection uses bio-based, recycled fibers, and materials made from recycled plastic bottles. They also support grassroots NGOs and with each purchase of a Pangaia product, they either plant, protect, or restore a tree. On top of that, they use NFC technology for complete supply chain transparency.
Lucy & Yak: Lucy & Yak create unique high-quality, ethically made clothes while making sure that everyone in the chain receives their fair share. Their factory in India is clean, is air-conditioning to shield against the harsh Indian sun, and they have installed solar panels onto the roof of the factory to create a greener manufacturing process. Their clothes come with a sewn-in label that has a custom number for all their tailors. This way, a customer can go to their website and see who made their clothes!
House of Sunny: House of Sunny is an independent, sustainable brand. They support slow fashion and thus only produce two seasonal collections a year. They have the goal of producing zero waste and thus, they recycle or donate all their textile scraps and samples.
Acne Studios: Acne Studios has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2008. This foundation helps monitor and improve labor conditions at the factories where their member companies’ products are made. Every year, the foundation also does a 'Brand Performance Check' where they evaluate and grade the performances of those brands. Furthermore, Acne Studios only partners with transparent and responsible sourcing partners to promote fair working conditions and to create ethically sourced clothes. When it comes to their clothing, they only design high-quality products that are meant for long term usage.
Prada Re-Nylon: Prada is one of the top designer labels that is taking a greener initiative with its ‘Re-Nylon’ project. Prada is offering a sustainable line of its iconic bags made with a new regenerated Nylon fabric- Econyl. Econyl is made through the recycling and purification of plastic waste from oceans, fishing nets, and textile fiber waste. To top it all off, a percentage of proceeds from this collection is also donated to an environmental sustainability project.
Slow fashion, sustainable clothing, and an ethical manufacturing process are the new much-needed trends that are sweeping over the fashion industry. It is a welcome yet delayed change but it is here now and that is all that matters. We are proud to be an ethical clothing brand who is taking the initiative to pioneer change and we are hopeful for a greener, better future for the fashion industry.