This is the first post in my new¬†budget buys series¬†to help more people shop consciously.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time because I know that price is the main deterrent for most people when it comes to switching over to ethical and sustainable fashion.¬†In compiling this superlist of affordable ethical fashion brands, I was surprised by how many options we have now, not just in the US, but in Canada, UK, India, and other countries.¬†Many companies are online only, with direct-to-consumer models, which allows them to pass on the savings to us by cutting out the middleman.
The first section is a general list of brands, followed by sections for online secondhand/consignment stores, ethical lingerie + sleepwear, ethical¬†activewear + loungewear, ethical swimwear,¬†ethical shoes, ethical jewelry, ethical accessories, and ethical gifts.¬†Some shops have clothes for men and children as well.
The country of each company is noted for those who want to know where their items are being shipped from to keep custom fees in mind. The default prices are USD while other currencies are listed when relevant.
While we can’t expect the dirt-cheap prices of fast fashion, ethical fashion items under $50, $100, and $150 are reasonable price points when investing in quality. If you have a lower budget than that, I always recommend thrift and vintage shops, where I’ve been able to find cool stuff under $30. The section on online secondhand shops will help if you don’t have great thrift stores in your area.
If you want to look at the stuff I’ve curated in a pinch, I’ve started a Pinterest board for affordable ethical fashion. I’ll be updating this board as I discover new items.
This post contains affiliate links
AFFORDABLE ETHICAL BRANDS + RETAILERS
♦EVERLANE (US) – A lot of my basics are from Everlane. It’s easy to build a good quality capsule wardrobe with their items. I either own or am about to own the following picks under $50: Cotton V-neck tee ($18), Pima Stretch Turtleneck ($32);¬†Packable Backpack ($35); under $100: ¬†Oversized Fleece Half Zip¬†($50),¬†Wide Leg Pants ($68),¬†Cheeky Straight Jean ($78); under $150: Cotton-linen Blazer ($145), Day Heel ($145).
♦FRANK AND OAK (Canada) – Sustainable label using eco-conscious materials. Most of their clothes are under $150. My picks under $50: Organic Cotton Tank ($22 / C$29.50), Organic Cotton Boy Tee¬†($22 / C$29.50);¬†under $100: Recycled Packable Windbreaker ($97 / C$129), TENCEL Jumpsuit¬†($97 / C$129);¬†under $150: Palace Chelsea Boot ($123 / C$165), Organic Denim Jacket ($112 / C$149).
♦PEOPLE TREE¬†(UK) – Sustainable and fair trade fashion. They often have sales. My picks under $50: Organic Cotton Leggings ($34),¬†Emery Top ($48); under $100: Cat Robe ($77),¬†Yoga Abstract Leggings ($71),¬†under $150: Bella Wide Leg Trousers ($129),¬†Adele Meadow Dress ($148).
♦MATA TRADERS (US) – Vintage-inspired, fair trade fashion made in India and Nepal. Lots of dresses under $100 and a sale section. My picks: Delia Wrap Dress ($86), Aloha Midi Dress ($98), Ruffled Midi Dress ($98),
♦PASSION LILIE (US) – Fashion designed in New Orleans and made in fair trade factories in India. Many items seem to be under $85, and they have a great sale section. My picks:¬†Pink Pomegranate Dress ($76),¬†Just Peachy Floral Wrap Dress ($86),¬†Georgia Wrap Dress ($90).
♦KOTN (Canada) –¬†Ethically-made quality basics. B Corporation. They have a sale section. My picks under $50: Square Neck Tank (C$25), Mock Neck Tank (C$28),¬†Fitted Crew Tee (C$30); under $100: Culotte Sweatpants (C$85), Mock Neck Sweatshirt (C$85).
♦TAMGA DESIGNS (Canada) – Colourful, sustainable clothes and accessories made ethically abroad. My picks under $50: Hana Headband ($22),¬†Oritz Anklet ($41); under $100: Mila Off-the-Shoulder Top ($59),¬†Gita Pants ($63), Zane Maxi Kimono ($78); under $150: Annisa Dress ($126), Bethari Dress ($126).
♦DOODLAGE¬†(India) – Upcycled and recycled clothing. My picks under $50: Ethical AF Eye Mask ($7),¬†Overlap Pants ($48);¬†under $100: Front Knot Jumpsuit ($82),¬†Striped Kahlo Dress ($97); under $150: Floral Gathered Dress ($104), Floral Bow Dress ($104).
♦THE SUMMER HOUSE¬†(India) – Sustainable clothes, swimwear, and homeware made in India. My picks under $50: Harper Fox Top ($42), Rustic Platter ($28);¬†under $100: Boyfriend Shift ($62),¬†Arandi Dress ($92); under $150: Piko Dress ($121),¬†Hersh Dress ($142).
♦NO NASTIES (India) – Organic fair trade cotton clothing. My picks under $50: Flared Tank Top ($28),¬†Oasis Dress ($50); under $100: Merak Wrap Skirt ($62), Carina Shirt Dress ($92); under $150: Oxford Jumper Dress ($120).
♦REFORMATION (US) – Reformation is popular for their sexy sustainable dresses, which are usually over $150, but they have affordable denims and tops. Look out for the occasional sale. My picks under $50: Perfect Vintage Tee ($28),¬†Bardot Top ($48); under $100: Alexis Top ($78);¬†High & Skinny Jeans ($98); under $150: Eloise Jean ($128), Hart Top ($148).
♦LA CAUSA (US) – California chic fashion made in LA. They have a good sale section. My picks under $50: Racer Slip ($48), Frank Tee ($48); under $100: Button Cami ($58),¬†Triangle Bikini Top ($75); under $150: Tallulah Dress ($102),¬†Sunflower Dress ($140), Rosie Jumpsuit ($124).
♦KNOWN SUPPLY (US) – Quality tees that you can customize, made in ethical factories abroad. My picks: Women’s Fitted Crew ($28), Women’s Long Sleeve ($36), Almond Showdown Striped Tee ($44), Leigh Maxi Skirt ($65), Petra Jumpsuit ($65).
♦ASOS ECO EDIT (UK) – The big online retailer’s sustainable section. My picks under $50: Linex Coral Pajama Top ($24), Eco Boxy Sweater ($43); under $100: Organic Cotton Mom Jeans ($64),¬†Organic Cotton Mini Skirt ($72).
♦THOUGHT CLOTHING (UK) – Sustainable clothes, socks, loungewear. My picks under $50:¬†Naturegram Bamboo Thought Scarves¬†($18 / ¬£23), Spring Flower Socks Box ($32 / ¬£25);¬†under $100:¬†Tegora Ikat Print Hemp Dress ($91 /¬†¬£70), Rosabel Paperbag Waist Hemp Trousers ($91 /¬†¬£70); under $150: Vase Print Tencel Dress ($116 /¬†¬£89),¬†Dominika Kimono Sleeve Tencel Maxi Dress¬†($116 /¬†¬£89).
♦LIZ ALIG (US) – Fair trade fashion made with recycled and sustainable materials. Dresses and jumpsuits under $120, and they have a good sale section. My picks: Savannah Jumpsuit ($52),¬†Charlotte Dress ($75).
♦GROCERIES APPAREL (US) – Casualwear made with organic or recycled fabrics. My picks: Organic Cotton Cami Crop ($48),¬†Organic Cotton and Recycled Plastic Della Hoodie ($88),¬†Montclair Mock Neck Dress ($128).
AFFORDABLE SECONDHAND + UP-CYCLED FASHION
♦THE REALREAL (US) – Online luxury consignment store. Has a good sale section. My picks under $50: Boy. by Band of Outsiders Sweater ($35), FRAME Le Crop Jeans ($35); under $100: Alexander Wang Striped Top ($52), Reformation Midi Dress ($66); Under $150: Brian Atwood Velvet Boots ($101),¬†Moschino Wool Jacket ($115).
♦THREDUP (US) – Fashion resale website for consumers to buy and sell secondhand clothing online. Ships to US and now Canada. A lot of options and very affordable. Tip: do a search for your favourite mid to high-end label and the category you’re looking for, ex: “J.Crew blazer,” “Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress,” etc., or shop by brand.
♦EBAY (different countries) – I use this online auction site to buy designer fashion and pricier ethical fashion. If there’s a specific item or brand you want to keep an eye on, save your searches, and keep an eye out. I like to use the Ebay app for this.
♦ETSY (different countries) – Handmade and vintage goods from different sellers. The choices can be intimidating. Here are some affordable vintage sellers I follow: Granta and Garbo, SL Vintage, Time Travel Fashions.
♦SWAP.COM¬†(US) – The largest online consignment and thrift store for women’s and men’s apparel, baby, kids’ items, and accessories. Note they only ship within US for now.
♦ASOS VINTAGE (different countries) –¬†Rare clothing and accessories from boutiques around the world is ASOS’ online marketplace. Search boutique by your country on the lefthand side.
AFFORDABLE ETHICAL LINGERIE + SLEEPWEAR
♦ORGANIC BASICS (Denmark) – Women and men’s underwear made from organic cotton. Get 10% off with code¬†TERUMOBC
♦THINX (US) – Period-proof underwear using ethical and sustainable manufacturing.
AFFORDABLE ETHICAL ACTIVEWEAR + LOUNGEWEAR¬†
♦ATHLETA (US) – Big fitness brand owned by Gap, but they are a B Corp and 60% of their materials are made with sustainable fibres. My picks: Hyper Focused Sports Bra ($49), Essence Tank ($49),¬†Contender Shorts ($59), Elation Tights ($89).
♦ALTERNATIVE APPAREL¬†(US) – Responsibly made basics, loungewear, and activewear made with organic cotton or recycled polyester. My picks: Eco-Jersey Hoodie ($46), Cozy Pullover Hoodie ($46), Eco-Fleece Jogger Pant ($54).
AFFORDABLE ETHICAL SWIMWEAR
AFFORDABLE ETHICAL SHOES
♦MATISSE FOOTWEAR (US) – Shoes made with¬†fair labor standards and penchant for small-scale artisanal production in family-owned factories. Options for vegan shoes. My picks: Catalina Slide Sandals ($30),¬†Pebble Sandals ($30), Astoria Boots ($90), Paris Heeled Sandal ($115).
♦CASTANER (different countries) – Classic Espadrilles from the famed Spanish label. I buy from MatchesFashion because duties are included in the price. My picks:¬†Carina 60 ($85), Campesina 30 ($107).
♦THE BENDY¬†(US) – Comfortable walking shoes handcrafted in Los Angeles. Under $150.
♦VEJAS¬†(US) – ¬†Sneakers made from¬†organic or recycled and fairly traded cotton for the canvas of the shoes and wild & fairly traded rubber for the soles. Recycled plastic bottles are also used to create technological fabrics. All products are made in a high standard factory in Brazil. $95-$150.
AFFORDABLE ETHICAL JEWELRY
♦CATBIRD (US) – Ethically sourced jewelry made in Brooklyn. Price range varies and there are plenty of pieces under $150. My picks: Yellow Gold Mignon Memory Ring ($48), Silver Dollhouse Locket ($58), Yellow Gold Twisted Stacker Ring ($78)¬†Yellow Gold Kitten Mask Charm ($78), Brass Zodiac Ring ($124).
♦KIND KARMA (Canada) – Employs at-risk and transitioning homeless youth to handcraft quality jewelry. My picks: Raw Apatite Crystal Stud Earrings ($30 / C$40),¬†Aquamarine Necklace ($33 / C$45),¬†Cactus Necklace ($39 / C$52), Clarity Necklace ($43 / C$58).
♦BY / NATALIE FRIGO (US) – Gorgeous jewelry made with recycled material and ethically-sourced gems, handcrafted by Natalie in her US studio. Lots of great pieces under $120, and they have a sale section. My picks: Birds and Clear Lucite Earrings ($70), Tiny Cat Cuff ($75),¬†Cow Skull Ring ($95),¬†Deco Beryl Ring ($105), Deco Small Agate Pendant ($110).
AFFORDABLE ETHICAL BAGS + ACCESSORIES
♦WARBY PARKER (US & Canada) – Direct-to-consumer eyeglasses and sunglasses with a social mission. My picks: Remy Eyeglasses ($95), Percey Wide Eyeglasses ($95), Nancy Sunglasses ($95), Evelina Sunglasses ($145).
♦CUYANA¬†(US) – Timeless apparel and accessories. Get their leather goods monogrammed. My picks: Silk Stripe Scarf ($45), Crossbody Pouch ($115),¬†Leather Zip Wallet ($115),¬†Mini Circle Belt Bag ($140).
AFFORDABLE ETHICAL GIFTS
♦WOOL AND THE GANG (US) – Fun knit kits and patterns for the ethical knitter. Responsibly sourced wool.
♦FRIDAY PATTERN COMPANY (US) – Contemporary sewing patterns for DIYers. Patterns from $12-20.
♦UNCOMMON GOODS (US) – search “made in USA” or country of choice for locally made gifts.
♦THE LITTLE MARKET (US) – Fair trade home decor, accessories, and gifts. A nonprofit with gifts for every occasion.
♦PARGAARD (Denmark) – Eco-friendly fashion and zero waste products.
♦GOOD GIFTS (Canada) – Online marketplace with handmade and ethical goods.
Remember that just because something is affordable doesn’t mean you need to buy it. Consider how many wears you can get out of an item (aim for at least 30) and whether it’s really your style.
For more Budget Buys posts, click¬†here.¬†
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