12 Crazy Affordable Ethical Clothing Brands

 
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Are you dying to shop ethical brands but your wallet starts screaming the minute you click over to one of those ethical, limited-run, recycled only, handmade boutiques?

Yeah, me too. Finding ethical fashion is mostly easy these days, because it’s become a trend. Trends come at a premium when they play on our conscious. Ethical brands know that we want to buy better and we’re willing to pay more, but that doesn’t mean we can all afford some of the exorbitant prices…

In an effort to keep from going broke while trying to save the world, I’ve collected all of the affordable ethical clothing brands I consider to be easy on the wallet and the conscious. No more justifying a $500 dress from an ethical brand, girlfriend. You’ve gotta survive too.


1| Kotn

Ethical | Certified B Corporation, Fair & Equal pay for employees, profits help fund schools in Egypt, All Cotton, has direct relationship with farms

Price Range | $28-78

Is it weird to have a favorite fabric? Because cotton is like for sure mine. And just like their name, everything at KOTN is made from luxurious Egyptian Cotton, but not at a premium.

With the top price only hitting $78 this brand is solidly affordable and ethical. Each piece is deceivingly simple but so flattering and unique.Their company ethics are impeccable, and so is their clothing. It’s all so simple, but it doesn’t feel boring or plain.

Take me there!

kotn-oatmeal-cardigan

2 | Able

Ethical | Focus on empowering women in fashion, publishes all wages, transparent manufacturing and production

Price Range | $34-158

ABLE starts on the higher end, but check their extensive sale section and sign up for email discounts. My favorite part about their clothing is the interesting details on most pieces. The piece may be a simple jumpsuit, but they add a unique tie or have a textured fabric or creative seaming.

Each piece is ethically and thoughtfully made, truly. Their fabrics are more luxe than some other low and high end brands, which helps justify slightly higher prices for me.

Don’t miss their handbag and jewelry collection, either! It is divine, and they don’t overcharge for quality and charm. Currently the abstract pieces make all my dreams come true.

Take me there!

able-black-jumpsuit

3| Old Navy

Ethical | Restricting Carbon Emissions, Member of Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Traces all of Supply Chain, Pays Living Wages, Member of Ethical Trading Initiative

Price Range | $5-90

Oh yeah, Old Navy, baby. I’ve adored Old Navy since their iconic Fourth of July t-shirt stage, and I was pretty depressed when I started getting into ethical fashion. I thought I would have to give up one of my favorite brands that is hella affordable to boot.

Not so! In the past 5 or so years Old Navy has improved their ethics immensely, and honestly I think the quality of their clothing has improved too. I’ve found some very well made jackets, sweaters, tees, etc. in recent years.

I think some people still consider Old Navy to be fast fashion, but I don’t believe they are anymore. Their prices have gone up, though still affordable, quality improved, and ethical initiatives have changed my view. You should note that Old Navy is able to have these lower prices because of their large size.

You know how it’s cheaper to buy paper towels in bulk? It works the same for companies. They can buy materials in bulk and charge lower prices because of their scale. Low prices doesn’t always equal fast fashion.

BONUS: Old Navy is a part of the GAP and Banana Republic group, which means you can also shop at those affordable brands!

Take me there!

old-navy-pink-boucle-coat

4 | Mott & Bow

Ethical | Designed in Canada, recycled packaging, diverse employers, sustainable fabrics and efforts to limit carbon emissions, and donates portion sales to Equitas

Price Range | $30-

Mott & Bow excels at affordable, premium denim. But, don’t discount their other products like the “Perfect Tee” which earns the name. Their denim comes in a variety of cuts and fits, and oh yeah, a curvy fit!

Plenty of ethical brands cater to the thin rich women, which explains their size and pricing. The rest of America has a conscious too! Mott & Bow is inclusive in their sizing and pricing.

And for the man in your life, don’t forget to check out the Men’s line for some jeans that haven’t been with them since college.

Take me there!

mott-and-bow-jeans

5| H&M

Ethical | Recycled clothing program, Member of Better Cotton Initiative, uses renewable energy, transparent supply chain, and pays livable wages to workers

Price Range | $10-200

Remember what we said about Old Navy and their pricing? H&M falls into the same category. They’ve also made strides to get away from their “Fast Fashion” reputation, and it’s working.

I find most of their clothing to be fairly well made, although I avoid things made of polyester, which sheds microplastics in the wash. And we all know we don’t need any more plastic pollution.

H&M is always going to be there to fill your need for trendy pieces that smaller, ethical companies simply don’t have the capacity or time to produce. I’ve done my homework on H&M, and I’m comfortable that they are staying true to their word and their ethics.

Take me there!

hm-white-sweater

6| Dynamite clothing

Ethical | Designed in Montreal, Strictly enforced Supplier Code of Conduct, Employee Insurance, Good Working Conditions, Livable Wages

Price Range | $5-110

All the Canadians might be rolling their eyes at me for just learning about this brand, but it’s a winner! Dynamite is like an H&M but Canadian and for the adult adult. Yes, the double adult. Not the 21 year old who thinks she’s an adult.

The adult who lives on her own in an albeit shabby apartment and wants to look grown up but still have a bit of fun. They’ve really curated a mix of interesting basics and officewear with items you can wear out and about or on the weekend.

Take me there!

dynamite-clothing-velvet-wrap-top

7| Everlane

Ethical | Made in LA, Top Quality Materials, Transparent Pricing, Ethical Factories

Price Range | $16-250

How could I leave Everlane off a list of affordable, ethical brands?! Honestly, it would be a crime to not have them on here. Everlane has fallen prey to a lot of hype, as most internet famous brands do.

However, I don’t discount them because of their internet fame. They can be overhyped, but most everything I’ve bought has at the least met my expectations and often exceeded it. I love that my clothing arrives in recyclable packing, it pretty much always fits, and it always feels luxe.

If you’ve forgotten about Everlane or somehow never heard of it, their lines have now greatly expanded from those initial t-shirts only lines. You can get anything from shoes to cashmere to denim (my fave) and so much more.

Take me there!

everlane-blue-wrap-dress

8 | Alternative Apparel

Ethical | Eco-friendly and natural materials in their fabrics, Fair wages and employment, WRAP Certified, and low-impact dyes

Price Range | $20-148

The prices at Alternative are soooo good, but I implore you, never pay full price! You don’t even have to sign up for their emails, they are constantly having sales between 30-50% off.

I mostly save Alternative Apparel for simple basics, but I’ve gotten a few work appropriate dresses and skirts here also. All of it is cozy and soft, no polyester or fabrics that hold in your glorious sweat. Their ethics are pretty impeccable, to boot.

Take me there!

alternative-apparel-striped-tee

9| Converse

Ethical | A+ Supplier Code of Conduct Rating, Massive Reduction in Emissions, Minimal Waste & Off-Cuts, Pays Livable Wages

Price Range | $25-150

Need some new shoes? Converse is where you should go. Okay, maybe not if you need heels or work shoes. But if you want to hearken back to ye olde high school days, Converse is an ethical and affordable place to go.

If comfort or fit is a problem, then I would suggest replacing the insoles with SuperFeet or VivoBarefoot Soles. They’re a bit pricy but a podiatrist when you’ve destroyed your feet costs more.

Take me there!

converse-blue-hightops

10| asos eco edit

Ethical | Made in Canada, Reversible Clothing, Eco-Friendly Fabrics, Certified B Corporation

Price Range | $5-260

Not everything at ASOS is “Safe” to buy, but their Eco Edit collection makes it easy for the conscious consumer to separate the thousands of brands and lines on ASOS.

The prices are affordable, the materials organic and fair trade, and the production eco friendly. ASOS’s Eco Edit is my number one recommendation for the lover of wacky fashion who is struggling with this whole ethical thing.

Always look out for their sale section in this collection and any days when there is an extra percent off of clearance, and you’ll get an even better deal.

Take me there!

asos-black-midi-dress

11 | people tree

Ethical | Ethical & Eco Fashion pioneer, Organic & Fair Trade Fabrics, Only uses Azo-Free Dyes, Locally sourced design and products, Rural and Minority Community Support, and Ship by sea to reduce emissions

Price Range | $25-280

If you want to shop at the OG ethical fashion retailer, People Tree is it. I’ve always been a giant fan of People Tree, because they don’t limit themselves to black and white color palettes or only minimalist styles. As someone who wants to care for the earth and her people but not want to lose herself doing it, I really really appreciate this. Ethical fashion shouldn’t have to mean a sacrifice of your style.

People Tree has such insanely good ethics and transparency that I’m willing to pay a bit more. If some prices are too high for you, the sale section is a pretty good bet.

Take me there!

people-tree-paisley-jumpsuit

12 | & Other stories

Ethical | Uses renewable energy, Transparent supply chain, Recycled clothing and Beauty products program, Member of Better Cotton Initiative, and pays livable wages to workers

Price Range | $29-248

& Other Stories is actually a member of the H&M group, which means what big sister is doing, baby sis is doing, too. Their clothing is a bit more designer and a little less mall fashion, but the prices do not reflect the typical high designer prices. & Other Stories is designer fair trade on a budget, and I couldn’t be more happy about it.

Like Dynamite Clothing, & Other Stories is the grown up version of H&M. If you love Reformation, this is a fabulous dupe on a budget.

Take me there!

and-other-stories-gold-skirt