Ethical Clothes Shops

Last updated: August 2017




5 Fashion Retailers with a Difference



We suggest ditching the high street in favour of alternative, independent clothing retailers.  All the companies from our alternative clothing shopping guide are small, independent businesses that strive to make thoughtful clothing that supports its workers and protects the planet. 

We have picked out 5 UK-based retailers that either sell organic, fair trade or recycled clothing and have built a sustainable business model that rejects the mainstream sweatshop narrative. 


1. Know the Origin


Independent British brand, Know the Origin are new on the ethical fashion scene, and have jumped to the top of our ratings. One of the reasons for this is because all its products are made from 100% organic cotton, some of which is Fairtrade certified. This cotton is from two farmer-run cooperatives in India. 

Image: Know the Originb


However, they stand out because of their commitment to transparency. On the Know the Origin website you can follow the journey of production from ‘seed to garment’ explaining each process, where it is made and even invites people to visit its factories. 




2. People Tree


People Tree* is one of the most recognised ethical clothing labels. It is committed to ensuring that 100% of its products are fair trade. People Tree provide a platform for farmers and artisans in the developing world to showcase their products. They were the first clothing company to receive the World Fair Trade Organisation Fair Trade product mark in 2013. 

Photo Credit: People Tree website

Ethical Consumer awarded them a best mark for its environmental reporting. People Tree state that most its cotton is certified organic and fair trade. They always choose natural and recycled products over the use of toxic chemicals. To reduce their carbon footprint they transport all overseas purchases by ship instead of by air. 




3. Nudie Jeans


Nudie clothing gain an Ethical Consumer company ethos mark for using 100% organic and fairtrade cotton to ensure farmers receive a minimum price for selling their crop, which aims to cover the costs of sustainable production. 


Image: Nudie Jeans


To reduce overconsumption, they also offer a free repair service with every Jeans purchase. Additionally, they also sell second-hand pairs of Jeans, and give customers 20% off on a new pair if you bring in the old pair for donation. 


4. Annie Greenabelle


Annie Greenabelle launched in 2007 with the aim of combining the use of 'organically grown, recycled and reclaimed fabrics'. 


Image: Annie Greenabelle


They receive an Ethical Consumer best rating for supply chain management for complying with the Ethical Trading Initiative. Annie Greenabelle also has a ‘Made in Britain’ range of clothing which aims to support the local community and British manufacturing.


5. Beyond Retro


Beyond Retro is a vintage clothing retailer, selling second-hand clothing, and its own label is made from entirely second-hand fabrics. They were audited by WRAP in 2014, who confirmed that their business has a minus carbon footprint. 


Image: Beyond Retro


They receive an Ethical Consumer best rating for Supply Chain management as they own and operate their own factory in India. They state that their ‘85 full-time employees are paid fair market wages for normal working hours, in a safe and comfortable facility that is maintained with care’. 



View our ethical shopping guide to alternative clothing to see the full list of companies.  



* This is an affiliate link. Ethical Consumer makes a small amount of money from your purchase. This goes to fund our research and campaigning. 




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