It’s time. As my final post for 2020, it’s time for my bumper guide to the best sustainable fashion brands in the UK! After six years of writing, and hundreds of posts, I’ve condensed all my favourite fashion brands into this massive list for you to explore…
This guide is the antidote to my guide to fast fashion, which came out in the middle of this year. I had been getting so frustrated by the lack of transparency, ethical working conditions, and sustainable practices, despite a huge surge in greenwashing campaigns. This list will hopefully help you to steer away from those brands, or at the very list, give you something to compare mainstream brands to.
I’ve always been hesitant to simply list out all of the brands that I consider to be more sustainable than mainstream fashion brands, because as we’ve seen with the likes of Everlane or Reformation, it’s a lot harder to discern if a business truly does put people and planet before profit. However, for every single business listed here, I do trust the transparency and work that they are putting in to create a cleaner, fairer fashion industry.
And, as with all my guides, I’ll be updating this over time. So if there’s any brands missing, or if you have a question over something, please do comment!
What Makes A Fashion Brand Sustainable?
There’s no official definition for ‘sustainable fashion’, but I believe anyone can suss out whether a fashion brand is sustainable or not.
When it comes to finding out which brands are more sustainable than others, I recommend looking for the four following factors:
- Social sustainability: the brand shows clear information around who makes their clothes, and how they treat their people ethically, with respect and fair pay.
- Environmental sustainability: the brand uses organic, natural and regenerated materials, and actively works to reduce its impact across energy and water use, as well as avoiding harmful chemicals.
- Slowing down production: the brand produces a moderate amount of clothing, with a maximum of four seasons or collections each year.
- Circularity: the brand recognises its duty to take back clothing at the end of its life, and reuse, recycle, and reduce the amount of waste it produces.
How To Approach Fashion More Sustainably
Alongside the four principles that can make fashion brands more sustainable, it’s also worth changing how you approach fashion. According to a Government report, in the UK we buy more clothes than any other nation in Europe, and that rate is simply unsustainable.
To enjoy fashion more sustainably, I recommend:
- Reducing how much clothing you buy
- Accessing fashion in a circular way, such as shopping second-hand
- Taking time to work out which styles suit you, so you’ll be more satisfied with the pieces in your wardrobe
- Caring for your clothes so they last longer
If you’re wondering about “eco-friendly” ranges within larger fashion brands, my response remains: why can’t they be sustainable across all their products? In almost all cases, these collections focus on using materials that are more sustainable than the regular ranges, but that isn’t saying much. In my opinion, that isn’t real sustainability.
Nevertheless, these high-street shops are a great place to start getting fashion conscious, but there’s so many better brands to explore below…
170 Sustainable Fashion Brands in UK
This guide draws upon all of my shopping guides, as well as the knowledge, advice, and recommendations of my favourite ethical fashion blogs, influencers, and the pillars of the sustainable fashion space.
For this guide, I decided to order the brands by price. Sure, sustainability is often more expensive, but there are affordable and mid-range options out there too!
Oh, and just a note – these brands are focused on womenswear predominantly, but may also do menswear, accessories, homewares, and more. If you’re looking for something more specific, check out my shopping guides.
42 Affordable Sustainable Fashion Brands
- The Nera Project
- Nude Ethics
- Organic Basics* (10% off: BESMAOB)
- Origin Africa*
- Peper Harow Socks (20% off: CURIOUSLYSTYLISH)
- People Tree*
- Plant Faced
- Second Cashmere
- Staiy (20% off: BESMA20)
- Stanley & Stella
- We Are Hairy People
- Yenna Label
75 Mid-Range Sustainable Fashion Brands
- Akojo Market
- Bad Habits
- Baukjen* (15% off: BESMA15)
- Beaumont Organic*
- Blonde Gone Rogue*
- Boyish Jeans*
- Clemmie Rose
- Clo Stories
- Colie Co Lingerie*
- EDIS Fashion
- The Endery
- Flax London
- Gingham Palace
- Gung Ho
- G-Star Raw
- Hiut Denim
- Holi Boli
- Ilk + Ernie
- JulieMay Lingerie (10% off: JULIEMAY)
- Kemi Telford
- Kings of Indigo
- Lavender Hill*
- LF Markey*
- The Line By K
- Little Things Studio
- Mud Jeans*
- Nandni Studio
- Navy Grey
- Ninety Percent* (20% off: BESMA20)
- Nudie Jeans
- On Good Authority
- Outland Denim
- Peachy Den
- Riley Studio
- Seventy + Mochi
- Skall Studio
- Sophie Hawkins
- Swedish Stockings*
- Thinking Mu
- Veronika Guardi
- The White Briefs*
- The White T-Shirt Co
- Zola Amour
53 Luxury Sustainable Fashion Brands
- Alice Early
- Another Tomorrow*
- Bella Freud*
- Beulah London*
- Bite Studios*
- Buki Akomolafe
- Cotton Citizen*
- Cult Gaia*
- Deploy London
- Edward Mongzar
- Eileen Fisher
- Filippa K
- Francis Stories
- Hip + Happen
- Isabel Manns*
- Katherine Hamnett*
- Kitty Ferreira
- KZ_K Studio
- Mara Hoffman*
- Marine Serre*
- Mary Benson
- Mashu Bags*
- Max Zara Sterck
- Mother of Pearl*
- Phoebe English*
- Rave Review*
- Riona Treacy
- Rosie Assouline*
- Son de Flor*
- Stella McCartney*
- Trace Collective
- Vivienne Westwood*
Looking For Something More Specific?
Sometimes less is more! If you’re looking for a specific item, why not check my existing sustainable shopping guides →
I am super thankful for the list of sustainable brands! A lot of the time, we spend so much time looking for this exact thing! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and taking the time to create this list. 🙂
Always happy to help signpost more sustainable brands! I’d love to build on this list more, so if you have any additional recommendations please let me know and I’ll add them!
Thank you for compiling this list, I am very new to sustainable fashion and I thought sustainable brands would be super expensive (mainly because Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood were the only brands I knew). Can’t wait to look through the entire “affordable brands” list :))
This makes me so happy Lulu! Thank you for checking out my guide and for the kind comment.
Hello, I am a recent convert to sustainable buying, I have bought a pair of mud jeans and they are lovely, so hard wearing and comfy. However when I tried to get more they were sold out on Know the Origin and Mud were not selling directly in the UK due to Brexit. Do you think this will continue to be a problem for sustainable brands?
Hi Lucie, thanks for sharing this! It’s great to hear you’re a new convert, but also sad to hear that MUD’s collection is a lot harder to get hold of in the UK now due to Brexit. I bought a pair from the brand directly a few years ago, but it seems the best way to get them now is through an online boutique (Content sells them if you can’t find them on KTO, here’s a link to their selection of MUD Jeans*)
I’ve tried to keep up with the effects of Brexit on the fashion industry through Fashion Roundtable – have you heard of them? Their newsletters are great for industry insights. That said it appears our Government is not taking the fashion industry’s issues very seriously, and it’s causing a lot of issues with shipping, customs, availability, additional costs etc. If only Brexit had never happened!
Important information catagory wise and sustainable brands or buyers who follow laws
Thanks Abdul – it’s often hard to distinguish this, but I hope the lists only include fashion businesses doing things in a better and fairer way!
This is such an amazing post!!! Thank you.
Have you thought about creating a post to highlight alternative or sustainable ways of marketing for brands? Facebook, Instagram, Google and all the others are cashing in, spreading hate and driving fast fashion. It seems crazy for conscious brands to fuel this negativity by advertising on those platforms. Surely there must be another way to reach consumers directly?
Hi Keira, what a great concept! It’s interesting to see that big media businesses are happily saying they’re greening themselves while still promoting the fast fashion industry (and many other industries linked to fossil fuels!) It may well be a long time before there’s a true change, because of the vast power and money that exploitative businesses make in comparison to more sustainable ones, but I do hope this happens.
Thank you so much for this, it is super useful! I was just wondering what happened to some of the websites that now just appear as asterisks? Thanks, Helena 🙂
Hi Helena, this is caused by your adblocker – please disable it for this site so they show.
Wow, what a feat! Thank you so much for all the effort that went into this!
Thanks Emily! It was a labour of love, I hope you find some sustainable brands to love in the list!