We recently launched our Beginner’s Guide to Sustainable Fashion, outlining everything you can Learn, Do, and Support as you begin your journey to curate a wardrobe that is better for people, the planet, and animals. Now your journey is well and truly underway—and good on you for taking the leap—what better time for us to round up all our favourite ethical and sustainable clothing brands? But before we get into the exciting and extensive list, let’s rewind a bit.
What is Good On You all about?
Since 2015, Good On You has been leading the way in the sustainable fashion space. First and foremost, we are an ethical brand ratings platform. We rate brands on the issues that matter, awarding them an easy-to-understand score from 1 ‘We Avoid’ through to 5 ‘Great’ across the three key areas of people, planet, and animals. We believe fashion brands should be responsible for and transparent about their impact. We help to answer questions like “How were the clothes you’re wearing made, and how do your favourite brands stack up on the issues that matter?”
Our ratings system is the most comprehensive in the world that addresses issues across the environment, people, and animals. We collect over 500 data points per brand across more than 100 key sustainability issues, indicators, and standards systems. As of right now, there are over 3,000 brands listed on our web Directory. Or if you’re more of a mobile browser, there’s an app for that!
So what makes a brand sustainable and ethical?
It’s all well and good to say a brand is ethical and sustainable, but what does that mean in practice? Let’s break it down.
Our ‘People’ pillar refers to all the hands that touch the garments before they get to you. From the farmers picking the cotton to the workers dyeing the fabric to the people packing your orders. An ethical brand ensures its workers are treated fairly across the entire supply chain. This includes policies and practices on child labour, forced labour, worker safety, gender equality, the right to join a union, and of course, payment of a living wage.
For the ‘Planet’, we want to ensure brands are doing their best to protect Earth with their production processes. Eco-friendly brands care about their use of resources and energy, reduce their carbon emissions and impact on our waterways, and use and dispose of chemicals safely. They incorporate a high proportion of low-impact materials like linen and recycled cotton, certified by trusted names like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
Finally, the welfare of ‘Animals’ is crucial. Non-human animals are sentient beings we share the planet with and deserve to be treated with respect and, ideally, left alone altogether! A cruelty-free brand uses no or very few animal products, like wool, leather, fur, angora, down feather, shearling, karakul, and exotic animal skin and hair. Only brands that are 100% vegan are ‘Great’ for animals!
Simply put, an ethical and sustainable brand makes sure it positively impacts people, the planet, and animals.
Finding sustainable clothing brands you’ll love has never been easier
While a couple of brands you know and have shopped for years may have a ‘Good’ or ‘Great’ score, chances are the majority of them—especially those fast fashion giants—have ratings that leave a lot to be desired. And sourcing brands worth supporting that meet both your needs and values is usually a hurdle on the road to conscious consumerism. But don’t be discouraged! We’ve done the hard work for you and researched, rated, rounded up, and written down all the best sustainable clothing brands from around the world in this guide. Simply scroll away, or search the page via location: The USA + Canada + South America, Europe, the UK, Australia + New Zealand, and the Rest of the world. We hope you meet your new favourite brand!