When you hear the words “ethical” or “sustainable” prefixed before fashion, you’re immediately going to think they’re expensive. You wouldn’t be wrong either. Ethical clothing is priced higher not just due to the materials used to make lasting clothes, but to properly pay workers manufacturing the clothes, and upkeeping the systems in place to reduce a brand’s environmental impact.
It’s because of fast fashion that we see certain items as expensive. We question why a top is £40, rather than why a £3 top is well, £3. Can that £3 really help a garment worker support themselves and their family? Absolutely not. Whilst I’ve titled this as a roundup of affordable ethical fashion brands in the UK, it’s important that we adjust our expectations and think about how the price we pay is lessening its impact on the environment and amply supporting the garment worker who manufactured your clothing.
So without further ado – below is a roundup of some of my favourite UK sustainable fashion brands with ethical practices.
Know The Origin
Manchester-based sustainable brand Know The Origin (KTO) is a label that offers a lot of transparency when it comes to its production process. They produce lines for women, men and a plastic-free home living range. What’s great about KTO is how vocal they are on limiting chemicals, water (including waste water) and their general efforts on educating their customers in the importance of repair and after care.
According to the Know The Origin Good On You report, the brand has a formal statement on worker rights and traces all of its supply chain – great news for those conscious of who’s actually making the clothes!
What I love about Thought Clothing (TC) is how there isn’t a set inspiration they draw influence from – it’s a bit of everything! More importantly, TC have a Code of Conduct meaning fair wages for all – which is basically how it should be. Their brand is certified OEKO-TEX and GOTS, and uses materials like Bamboo, cotton, wool and hemp. Style-wise, it’s a great brand for those after simplicity and a timeless look.
Monika the Label
Monika the Label is a slow fashion brand that produces two seasonal collections a year. They describe themselves as a “love affair between Cali cool and East London grunge”. They’re all about looking cool whilst making a difference – a trend many of us can get on board with. Each piece is limited and only two collections come out per year. Their clothes are crafted from a variety of ethically sourced and produced materials, some of which have OEKTO-TEX certification. Plus, as their manufacturing is done in England, they lower emissions and support the local economy!
A sustainable sportswear brand for petite women? Count me in! Lacuna Fit not only fills that gap in the market, but they do it with the planet in mind too. Boasting zero-waste postage and 75% recyclable leggings, Lacuna Fit is on track to becoming one of the most sustainable gym legging brands for women under 5′4″. And like most sustainable brands, they offer an extensive guide on aftercare too!
House of Sunny
House of Sunny is really clever when it comes to reducing their impact on the environment. Besides their 70s vibes making me want to twirl around in my living room to Dancing Queen – what I love the most is their choice to avoid print placements. Perhaps this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it definitely is when it comes to waste. Not only is it more eco-friendly, but it makes every piece unique. Plus, they also make use of e-flow technology for their denim pieces, which means less wastewater compared to more traditional methods.
What’s your favourite sustainable fashion brand? Let me know in the comments!
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