Affordable Sustainable Clothing for all: top brands to consider

Looking to make your wardrobe more eco-friendly without breaking the bank? Check out the top brands that offer affordable and sustainable clothing options for all body types and styles.

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Affordable Sustainable Clothing for all: top brands to consider

Table of Contents

Our Top Picks

Green Hive is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. To understand our thorough approach to rating brands and products, explore our comprehensive methodology.

Our Top Picks

Green Hive is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. To understand our thorough approach to rating brands and products, explore our comprehensive methodology.

Key takeaways

  • The ethical fashion market is witnessing steady growth.
  • People can dress in sustainable clothing on a budget.
  • Fashion brands are increasingly tilting towards sustainability as consumer awareness grows.

Introduction

In 2022, the ethical fashion market achieved a valuation of approximately $7,548.2 million, iexhibiting a remarkable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% since 2017. This growth rate means that ethical fashion is not only gaining substantial traction among consumers but also solidifying its position as a pivotal driver of positive change within the broader fashion industry. Does that mean you can wear sustainable clothes on a budget? No, it doesn’t.

Navigating the realm of sustainable fashion on a budget doesn't have to be a challenge reserved for the few. In fact, affordable and eco-friendly clothing can go hand in hand more seamlessly than you might think. This article is your compass to the world of stylish, sustainable clothing brands without the heavy price tag. We're about to unveil a thoughtfully curated collection of wallet-friendly yet planet-conscious clothing brands that prove you don't need to sacrifice your values or your savings to dress responsibly.

YALA

YALA is a women-owned and women-led small business that encapsulates the essence of comfort, quality, and social responsibility. With a resolute commitment to crafting sustainable bamboo sleepwear, clothing, and bedding, YALA makes this list of the most affordable sustainable clothing brands. Their products only envelop its customers in softness and also envelop the planet in a nurturing embrace.

Approach to sustainability

YALA's sustainability journey is built upon a foundation of bamboo, chosen for its remarkable ecological benefits. Grown organically in the Shunan Bamboo Forest of China, this fabric requires no additional irrigation and flourishes naturally. YALA's choice of raw material is a testament to the fact that they are committed to utilizing renewable resources, safeguarding the soil, and helping to sequester carbon.

The brand's production process is marked by transparency and responsible practices, ensuring ethical manufacturing, closed-loop dyeing, and a small production radius to minimize environmental impact. YALA stands out through its innovative "Sewn where Sourced" practice, where the entire lifecycle of its bamboo-based products occurs within a localized radius, reducing shipping and fuel consumption. The brand's commitment to supporting local communities and providing good jobs further enhances its sustainable footprint. By prioritizing organic bamboo and utilizing AZO-free dyes, YALA ensures not only comfort but also safety and health for consumers.

Positive aspects of sustainability

  • Environmental benefits of bamboo: YALA's strategic choice of organic bamboo fabric showcases its commitment to water preservation, carbon sequestration, and soil health. This decision significantly contributes to reducing water usage, carbon emissions, and soil degradation in comparison to conventional textile materials.
  • Localized production: YALA's "Sewn where Sourced" approach sets a precedent for responsible manufacturing by keeping the entire production process within a small radius. This practice effectively minimizes shipping distances, lowers carbon emissions, and supports local economies while ensuring high standards.
  • Safe and conscious dyeing: By utilizing AZO-free dyes and closed-loop dyeing, YALA guarantees that its products are not only aesthetically appealing but also safe for both wearers and the environment. This approach reflects the brand's commitment to reducing harmful chemicals and conserving precious water resources.
  • Longevity and timelessness: YALA's dedication to crafting timeless designs with exceptional construction stands as a testament to its sustainable ethos. By prioritizing durability and longevity, the brand encourages a shift away from disposable fashion, leading to reduced waste and a more sustainable consumption pattern.

Final remark

YALA’s choice of renewable raw materials is a breath of fresh air that shows that it is possible to align comfort and style with sustainable practices. By embracing organic bamboo and employing localized production, YALA sets a standard for environmentally conscious fashion.

Tentree

Tentree is a Canadian sustainable clothing brand that was founded in 2012 with a mission to plant 10 trees for every item of clothing sold. They are a certified B Corporation, which means that they are committed to using business as a force for good.

Approach to sustainability

Tentree uses organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Lyocell in their clothing. These materials are all better for the environment than conventional materials, such as cotton grown with pesticides and fertilizers or polyester made from fossil fuels. Since 2020, tentree has been Climate Neutral Certified. The brand distinguishes itself through tree planting initiatives, with 10 trees planted per clothing item sold, effectively offsetting carbon emissions and nurturing a greener world. Transparency takes center stage, evident in their annual sustainability reports and readily accessible factory information.

Tentree's exceptional sustainability lies in its multi-faceted approach. They combine organic cotton's pollution reduction with recycled polyester's plastic waste mitigation and Tencel's lower water and energy requirements. Their Fair Trade certification champions ethical labor practices, while their remarkable tree planting initiative significantly aids reforestation and carbon offset. Tentree's dedication to transparency in its supply chain and the inventive partnership with Worn Again Technologies further underline its commitment to holistic sustainability.

Positive aspects of sustainability practices

  • Impactful sustainability: Tentree's commitment to sustainability translates into tangible results that resonate. Their choice of materials enhances product quality while aligning with their eco-conscious values.
  • Reforestation leadership: By planting over 50 million trees and aiming for 1 billion by 2030, Tentree takes active measures to combat climate change and restore ecosystems.
  • Transparency and accountability: Transparent reporting and fair labor practices uphold Tentree's commitment to accountability and demonstrate their genuine concern for the environment and human welfare.
  • Prominent role model: Tentree's multifaceted initiatives collectively establish them as a frontrunner in sustainable fashion, setting an influential example that guides the industry toward a greener and more ethical future.

Final remark

Tentree stands out for its comprehensive sustainability strategy, combining eco-friendly materials, fair trade commitments, and impactful reforestation. This multifaceted approach cements their position as a frontrunner in ethical fashion.

Parade

Parade operates as a pioneering force in the apparel industry, driven by an actionable plan to achieve climate positivity by 2025. Their mission revolves around minimizing environmental impact through strategic sustainability practices, presenting a transformative vision for a more ecologically sound and ethical fashion industry.

Approach to sustainability

Parade's sustainability strategy is founded on a series of impactful initiatives that seamlessly integrate into its business model. By prioritizing recycled or renewable materials, their products are made from 80%-95% recycled materials with a goal of reaching 100% by 2024. They emphasize limited production quantities, only producing more when demanded, minimizing packaging waste, and ensuring biodegradability or recyclability. Parade's commitment to fair labor practices extends to their factories being WRAP, Fair Trade, or SA8000 certified.

Parade distinguishes itself through its comprehensive and proactive approach. Their "Second Life" recycling program supports not just their own products but any brand's underwear. The "Parade Product Score" quantifies each product's environmental, social, and circularity impact, providing a transparent assessment for consumers. Additionally, their diverse fabric offerings, such as "Re:Play," "Universal," and "New:Cotton," exemplify innovation, sustainability, and performance, catering to diverse preferences while minimizing their ecological footprint.

Positive aspects of sustainability practices

  • Climate-positive commitment: Parade's resolute aim to achieve climate positivity by 2025 reflects their genuine dedication to combatting climate change head-on.
  • Emissions reduction: Demonstrating tangible progress, Parade has significantly reduced CO2 emissions by 19% overall and an impressive 36% per product in 2022.
  • Emphasis on sustainable materials: Parade's emphasis on using 80%-95% recycled materials, with a goal of reaching 100% by 2024, showcases its commitment to minimizing its ecological footprint.
  • Transparent impact scoring: The innovative "Parade Product Score" quantifies each product's environmental, social, and circularity impact, offering consumers a clear understanding of their choices.
  • Ethical manufacturing: Parade's factories hold WRAP, Fair Trade, or SA8000 certification, guaranteeing fair wages and safe working conditions for their workers.

Final remark

Parade stands as a transformative force in women's fashion, driven by the commitment to climate positivity by 2025 and a well-grounded sustainability mission. Their innovative approach, from ethical manufacturing to transparent impact assessment, sets a good example for a more eco-conscious industry.

Happy Earth

Happy Earth is a socially and environmentally conscious business that operates in the apparel industry. They create men's and women's clothing and active wear. Committed to making a positive impact on the planet, Happy Earth aligns its mission with sustainable practices and community engagement.

 Approach to sustainability

Happy Earth seamlessly integrates sustainability into its business model through a multi-faceted approach. The company sources organic cotton, reducing the carbon footprint of its products. Their primary manufacturing partner holds Fair Trade Certification, ensuring the ethical treatment of workers. By purchasing "carbon offsets," Happy Earth neutralizes the carbon emissions associated with its products. Additionally, the company partners with Fair Wear and WRAP-certified manufacturers to uphold workers' rights.

Happy Earth distinguishes itself through its remarkable commitment to sustainability. Their "Tree Planting, Climate Change, and Trash Clean-Up" projects, in partnership with trusted organizations, underline their dedication. With each purchase, the company plants trees, cleans up trash and averts greenhouse gas emissions. This holistic approach addresses deforestation, pollution, and climate change. Their innovative energy-efficient stoves, methane capture, and biodigester initiatives showcase a comprehensive strategy for combatting environmental challenges.

Positive aspects of sustainability

  • Impactful initiatives: Happy Earth's projects result in significant positive environmental outcomes, from tree planting to trash collection, mitigating greenhouse gases, and preserving ecosystems.
  • Ethical manufacturing: Their Fair Trade Certified and other partnerships ensure fair wages, safe conditions, and responsible manufacturing practices.
  • Carbon neutrality: The company's practice of purchasing carbon offsets demonstrates a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and aiding climate change mitigation.
  • B Corp Certification: With a high B Corp assessment score, Happy Earth exemplifies its commitment to verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
  • Community engagement: By involving Happy Earth Ambassadors and partnering with organizations, the company fosters community involvement and awareness about environmental issues.
  • Innovative solutions: Happy Earth's innovative products, such as energy-efficient stoves and methane capture projects, showcase their willingness to tackle complex environmental problems head-on. 

Final remarks

Happy Earth shines as a beacon of sustainability within the apparel sector. Their B Corp Certification and impressive assessment score attest to their unwavering commitment and openness. By actively engaging in endeavors such as tree planting, carbon offsetting, and trash clean-up, Happy Earth leads the way in establishing a grounded model for responsible and ethical business conduct.

Pact

Pact operates on the belief that the planet, and the people on it, should always come first in fashion. 

Approach to sustainability

Pact is committed to using sustainable materials and practices in all aspects of their business. Their organic cotton is grown without the use of harmful pesticides or fertilizers, which helps to protect the environment and the health of farmers. Pact’s organic cotton products are GOTS-certified organic cotton. This commitment has helped save 360 million gallons of water. Also, their clothes are also fair trade certified, which means that the workers who make them are paid a living wage and have safe working conditions. Pact's partnership with SimpliZero allows them to measure and offset the carbon footprint of their products in a more accurate and transparent way.

Positive aspects of sustainability practices

Certifications: Pact proudly partners with Fair Trade USA, Global Organic Textile Standard, and SimpliZero, ensuring their commitment to sustainability is backed by credible certifications.

Fair trade empowerment: Through Fair Trade Certified™ factories, Pact empowers employees with safe working conditions, community support, and development funds, fostering positive impacts on both workers and communities.

Responsible packaging: Pact opts for paper packaging over plastic, reflecting their commitment to minimizing waste and environmental harm.

Community support: The Give Back Box program further showcases Pact's dedication to social and environmental responsibility by encouraging donations and community engagement.

FAQs about Pact

Where does Pact get their clothes from?

Pact manufactures most of its organic clothing in India because a large percentage of the organic cotton used in make the apparels are harvested in India. It makes more environmental and economic sense to make the clothing where the organic cotton is harvested.

Where is Pact clothing company located?

Pact is located in Boulder, Colorado, United States

Who is the CEO of Pact

Brendan Synnott is the CEO and founder of Pact.

Final remark

Pact stands out as a sustainable fashion brand due to its unwavering commitment to prioritizing both the planet and its people. The brand's core belief centers around placing environmental and human well-being at the forefront of fashion choices. This dedication is evident in their approach to sustainability.

éclipse

éclipse is on a mission to help its customers stay protected from the sun, while emphasizing sustainability in its supply chain. 

Approach to sustainability

At éclipse, sustainability is at the heart of their apparel mission. By designing emotionally and physically durable garments, they encourage mindful consumption and minimize clothing waste. Manufacturing follows suit with the use of recycled fabric and ethical practices. The brand’s products are locally sewn and its Bluesign partnership ensure chemical safety. Beyond production, éclipse offsets shipping carbon footprint by planting trees and adopts.

Positive aspects of sustainability practices

  • Reduced clothing waste: Durable designs and circular initiatives limit clothing retirement and waste.
  • Lowered environmental impact: Recycled fabric, local production, and chemical safety practices reduce environmental footprint.
  • Carbon offset and tree planting: Demonstrates commitment to climate action and environmental preservation.
  • Eco-friendly packaging: Transitioning toward compostable/recyclable packaging for reduced waste.
  • Circular model and textile recycling: Advancing a sustainable fashion ecosystem through take-back programs and fabric recycling.
  • Ethical practices: Local manufacturing and adherence to ethical standards ensure worker and community well-being.

Final remark

From designing emotionally and physically durable garments that promote mindful consumption to using recycled fabrics and maintaining ethical manufacturing standards, the company actively minimizes its environmental footprint. Notably, their commitment extends beyond production with initiatives like carbon footprint offsetting and a take-back program, embodying a comprehensive and responsible model that earns its place on the list of exemplary sustainable brands.

CHNGE

CHNGE is a progressive brand operating in the apparel industry with a profound commitment to sustainability. Their mission revolves around combining fashion with ecological responsibility to create a positive impact on the planet.

Approach to sustainability

CHNGE seamlessly integrates sustainability into its business model, aiming for carbon neutrality in production. Each shirt they manufacture is accompanied by an offset of 48.5lbs of CO2, effectively neutralizing the carbon footprint generated throughout the supply chain and the first 50 washes. Their packaging reflects their eco-conscious ethos. Crafted from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and using water-based inks, it is both brown and unbleached to honor its recycled nature.

What sets CHNGE apart is its unwavering commitment to carbon neutrality, epitomized by offsetting carbon emissions from clothing and pioneering packaging materials. By producing their clothing at a Fairtrade Factory, CHNGE guarantees ethical manufacturing practices that include no forced labor, safe working conditions, fair wages, and the right to unionize. By using 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton, CHNGE uses 62% less energy and has 70% less acidification potential than conventional cotton shirts.

Positive aspects of sustainability practices

  • Carbon-neutral production commitment: CHNGE's dedication to carbon neutrality is evident through its production approach, actively addressing environmental impact and climate change mitigation.
  • Innovative packaging: CHNGE's pioneering packaging methods, alongside their Fairtrade Factory manufacturing, establish a solid ethical base for their operations.
  • Transparency and ethical practices: Transparent practices and a strong dedication to the well-being of their workforce underscore CHNGE's commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices.

Final remark

CHNGE stands out prominently as a sustainable clothing brand due to its resolute commitment to achieving carbon neutrality. Their innovative approach of offsetting carbon emissions from both production and subsequent product use sets them apart in the industry. 

Pixie Mood

Pixie Mood offers a diverse range of women's accessories, including totes, waist bags, shoulder bags, crossbody bags, clutches, bucket bags, and backpacks. Their commitment to producing stylish and affordable products while minimizing their environmental impact sets them apart in the market.

Approach to sustainability

Pixie Mood's sustainability practices are deeply integrated into their product range. They utilize various sustainable materials such as recycled plastic bottles for linings, cork fabric sourced from responsibly harvested oak trees, and solvent-free vegan leather. The company champions recycling and reduced energy consumption through its use of recycled canvas fabric and biodegradable corn-based packaging. In their commitment to ethical manufacturing, Pixie Mood ensures fair labor practices, regular material testing, and adherence to strict standards.

Pixie Mood stands out through its comprehensive approach to sustainability. They offer a diverse range of products, from vegan leather bags to RFID-blocking accessories. Their focus on recycled and biodegradable materials, climate positivity through partnerships with TerraPass, and commitment to being transparent in their production processes contribute to their unique positioning.

Positive aspects of sustainability

  • Recycled materials: Pixie Mood's use of recycled bottles, polyester, and corn-based packaging greatly reduces its reliance on virgin materials, helping divert plastic waste.
  • Innovative cork fabric: Sourcing cork from sustainable oak trees in Portugal showcases their unique approach to materials, adding an eco-friendly touch to their bags.
  • Climate positivity: Through the partnership with TerraPass, Pixie Mood has achieved climate positivity, contributing to projects that combat greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Ethical manufacturing: Adhering to rigorous labor standards, material testing, and fair wages demonstrates their dedication to ethical practices.
  • Certifications: GRS certification of recycled materials and adherence to California Prop 65 standards ensures product quality and safety while being environmentally conscious.
  • Transparency: Pixie Mood's transparent approach to its processes and regular material testing showcase its commitment to accountability.
  • Holistic worker rights: Their adherence to strict labor standards ensures fair treatment, safe environments, and appropriate wages for their workers.
  • Biodegradable packaging: The use of corn-based biodegradable packaging showcases their commitment to minimizing plastic waste.
  • Cruelty-free: Through their vegan leather products and use of recycled polyester, Pixie Mood demonstrates their compassion for animals and the environment.

Final remarks

With their use of recycled materials, ethical practices, and transparent operations, Pixie Mood is a brand showing commitment to responsible practices. The range of thoughtfully designed products underscores their dedication to merging style and eco-consciousness, fostering a meaningful impact.

Mayamiko

Mayamiko is a socially conscious company operating in the fashion industry, with a strong commitment to ethical practices and sustainability. Their mission revolves around empowering artisans, protecting the environment, and promoting fair trade.

Approach to sustainability

Mayamiko's sustainability practices are deeply embedded in their business model. They source materials locally whenever possible, opting for certified and sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, linen, and salvaged silk. The company promotes a circular economy by introducing transparency in product tracking and partnering with a rental app. Their solar-powered workshop in Malawi, fair payment practices, and zero-waste goal highlight their dedication to reducing their environmental impact. Mayamiko's focus on locally sourced materials, botanical dyes, and salvaged fabrics further showcases its commitment to sustainability.

Mayamiko stands out for its innovative and comprehensive approach to sustainability. They have received prestigious awards and recognition for their leadership in ethical fashion. The company's dedication to a zero-waste goal, circular economy initiatives, and solar-powered operations highlight its commitment to environmental preservation. Their partnership with One Tree Planted and involvement in the Iprefer30 campaign further emphasize their sustainability efforts.

Positive aspects of sustainability

  • Zero-waste goal: Their commitment to minimal waste production and repurposing scrap materials showcases their environmental responsibility.
  • Transparency and accountability: Mayamiko's transparent approach to product tracking and its involvement with stakeholders highlight its commitment to accountability.
  • Circular economy initiatives: Their partnership with a rental app and plans for a mend and resale service demonstrate their dedication to extending the lifespan of garments.
  • Locally sourced materials: Using locally sourced and certified materials reduces carbon emissions and supports local economies.
  • Fair trade commitment: Adhering to WTFO principles and ensuring fair payment and good working conditions showcase their ethical practices.
  • Organic cotton and linen: The use of GOTS-certified organic cotton and sustainable linen demonstrates their commitment to eco-friendly materials.
  • Supporting local communities: Collaborative partnerships with women traders and artisans uplift local economies and promote sustainable practices.

Final remarks

Mayamiko exemplifies a genuine dedication to sustainability and ethical practices. Through locally sourced materials, solar-powered operations, and initiatives like zero-waste and fair trade partnerships, the brand's actions underscore its commitment to meaningful impact.

FAQs

How do you dress sustainably on a budget?

Dressing sustainably on a budget involves making thoughtful choices that prioritize both environmental impact and your finances. Seek out high-quality, timeless pieces that can be versatile and worn in different settings. Consider shopping secondhand or from thrift stores, as this not only reduces waste but also offers affordable options. Additionally, take care of your clothes to prolong their lifespan and avoid fast fashion trends that lead to excessive consumption and waste.

Is Zara actually sustainable?

No, Zara, as it is, isn’t sustainable. Zara's sustainability efforts have been met with skepticism from various environmental advocates and watchdogs. While the brand has made some strides, such as launching a sustainability campaign and introducing a small eco-friendly line, its overall practices and business model continue to contribute to issues like fast fashion, overproduction, and questionable labor conditions. These concerns have led many to question the extent of Zara's commitment to genuine sustainability, suggesting that its efforts might be more focused on greenwashing than substantive change.

Is Shein eco-friendly?

No, Shein is not eco-friendly. Operating as a fast fashion brand, its practices inherently conflict with sustainability. The brand's reliance on cheap labor and materials, coupled with the use of synthetic fabrics and water-intensive materials like cotton, contributes to environmental issues such as climate change and water scarcity. Additionally, concerns about the potential presence of toxic chemicals in their clothing and poor working conditions in their factories raise further sustainability questions.

Is H&M eco-friendly?

H&M is not considered to be a sustainable brand. They are a fast fashion brand, which means that they produce clothing at a rapid pace and at a low cost. This business model often comes at the expense of the environment and workers' rights.H&M has taken some steps to improve its sustainability practices, such as using recycled materials and reducing its water usage. However, these efforts are not enough to make them a truly sustainable brand.

How ethical is Primark?

No, Primark is not an ethical brand. Primark is a fast fashion brand that operates a business model that is inherently unsustainable. Fast fashion is characterized by the rapid production of cheap, trendy clothing. This model relies on cheap labor and materials, and it often leads to environmental damage and ethical issues. While the brand is increasingly using recycled polyester, it still can’t be considered in the league of affordable, ethical clothing brands.

Is Bershka an ethical brand?

No, Bershka is not an ethical brand. Bershka is a fast fashion brand. And like all other fast fashion brands, they operate an unsustainable model. Admittedly, they use eco-friendly materials, but these materials are few and far between and has little to no effect in the bigger scheme of things.

Is Uniqlo sustainable fashion?

Uniqlo is not sustainable fashion. Although they have some decent environmental policies, that isn’t all that is needed. The brand needs to do more to be considered in the league of sustainable fashion brands.

Conclusions

If you need an affordable ethical clothing brand, the array of options available today is both exciting and promising. The journey towards sustainable fashion has taken a significant stride as a multitude of brands have stepped up to combine affordability with ethics, proving that style and conscience can coexist harmoniously in the realm of fashion. From innovative materials and transparent supply chains to thoughtful production processes, these brands have showcased that change is not just a possibility but a reality.

Consumers are increasingly influencing sustainability among fashion brands. By supporting affordable and sustainable fashion brands, they prioritize their values and contribute to the broader shift towards a more responsible and eco-conscious fashion landscape.

References

Markets, R. A. (2023, March 3). $16.819 Billion Ethical Fashion Global Market Opportunities and Strategies to 2032 Featuring Eileen Fisher, LVMH, Levi Strauss & Co, H&M Concious, & Reformation. GlobeNewswire News Room. https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2023/03/03/2620253/28124/en/16-819-Billion-Ethical-Fashion-Global-Market-Opportunities-and-Strategies-to-2032-Featuring-Eileen-Fisher-LVMH-Levi-Strauss-Co-H-M-Concious-Reformation.html 

Survey: Consumer sentiment on sustainability in fashion. (2020, July 17). McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/survey-consumer-sentiment-on-sustainability-in-fashion

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Ibrahim Okunade

Dedicated to promoting environmental consciousness and ecological harmony. I write to help others embrace sustainable living.

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