Sustainable Fashion

Ethical Clothing Stores – Top 10, From The Best To The Worst

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Ethical clothing stores rating, from the best to the worst. As the number of problems plaguing the fashion industry surface, the number of buyers seeking to make a change is on the rise.

Reckless pollution, unethical labour, and animal cruelty have led to the creation of a new type of buyer: ‘the conscious consumers’ that vote with their wallets.

However, creating change, especially in fashion, is not easy. For you’ll be faced with two main issues:

  1. You don’t know any ethical clothing stores, so you’re not sure where to shop.

  2. Being ethical is cool, but some products/brands will compromise on your hard-earned fashionable image.

  3. Don’t know who to trust. Brands and marketplaces mix sustainable with unsustainable, and cruelty-free with animal-based products.





Stress no more, we’re here to help. We’ve put together top 10 most searched ethical clothing stores in 2020, and dissect them for you.

Discover their ethos, offering, their good and bad parts and everything you need to know before you shift to cruelty-free and sustainable fashion.

Without further ado and in no particular order, here we go:

Wardrobe of Tomorrow – Ethical Designer Fashion
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Wardrobe of Tomorrow Ethical Clothing Store

Specific:
High-end highly curated ethical clothing store.

About:
From the official website – ‘A marketplace dedicated exclusively to cruelty-free and sustainable designer fashion’.

Gender:
Unisex, women, men.

The Good:
Indeed, this is a marketplace dedicated exclusively to cruelty-free and sustainable designer fashion.

As the name suggests, the store is dedicated exclusively to showcasing emerging fashion designers and their innovative cruelty-free and sustainable designer fashion.

I emphasise on the word ‘dedicated exclusively’ as the team rejects any brands that are not cruelty-free and sustainable yet.

Moreover, as the marketplace hosts with preponderance emerging fashion designers, it is also very vocal in its support for gender-free fashion.

For that, this is a great sustainable clothing shop if you’re looking for cruelty-free and sustainable unisex products. As a bonus point, the marketplace lets you shop and pay in your local currency.

The Bad:
The prices. Some products here have incredibly high prices. For example, I’ve found a dress on Wardrobe of Tomorrow that sells for almost 50,000 euros!

Featured Labels:
An excellent collection of leading sustainable fashion designers. You can shop here Bode, Shrimps, Stella McCartney, Osier, Balluta, Celestino Couture, and many more.

Location:
UK-based but ships globally.

Bead & Reel – Mindful Shop
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Bead & Reel - Mindful Shop

Specific:
A highly curated place for cruelty-free and sustainable staples.

About:
From the official website: “A mindful living community.”

Founded in 2014 as a ‘mindful living community’ aiming to connect brands, bloggers, and shoppers, Bead & Reel’s aim is to create a more compassionate world together.

Gender:
Women and men.




The Good:
Just like Wardrobe of Tomorrow, upon research, it becomes evident that the people behind this marketplace care.

All labels are highly curated for both, product aesthetic and their commitment to cruelty-free, sustainable fashion.

Moreover, in comparison to Wardrobe of Tomorrow which focuses on high-end designer fashion only, this marketplace includes homeware, bath and beauty and products for kids.

The Bad:
Love all the brands on the offering; I wish they had more that I can choose from.

Featured Labels:
Annaborgia, Orgotton, Rujuta Sheth, Maven Women.

Location:
USA, ships all over the world.

Ecoture – Eco-friendly Fashion Marketplace
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Ecoture eco-friendly clothing

Specific:
A marketplace with eco-friendly values at its core.

About:
From the official website: “Bringing ethical brands together in one platform for an easy, positive shopping experience.”

Gender:
Women and men.

The Good:
Despite not being marketed as a vegan marketplace, Ecoture has no products of animal origin.

Moreover, contrary to the Immaculate Vegan marketplace presented above, all brands on Ecoture are cruelty-free or vegan, so you have my total respect for that!

Another positive is the number of products and types available. It has accessories, cosmetics, shoes, wallets, far more products than most sustainable clothing stores presented here.

The Bad:
I find most products on the ‘Sale’ section, and that triggers two chains of thought.

  • 1. All sustainable and cruelty-free fashion labels are cheap. Do I want to be perceived as a cheap person by my peers? No, so I won’t shop those discounted brands.
  • 2. The name of the marketplace should change to ‘Discounted Vegan Products’ or something similar. It’ll be far more relevant for consumers seeking fashion deals, regardless if sustainable and vegan or not.

Featured Labels:
Many unknown brands. From the popular ones, I only recognise Mud Jeans and Kowtow.

Location:
Australia, ships all over the world.

Immaculate Vegan – Vegan Clothing Store
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Immaculate Vegan - Vegan Clothing Store

Specific:
A marketplace for cruelty-free and vegan products.

About:
From the official website: “IV exists to change the perception of vegan fashion from alternative to aspirational. By shopping with us, our customers are supporting our community of pioneering brands, and our collective mission for change.”

Gender:
Women and men.




The Good:
I love the marketplace, its clean design, and the products they sell. It has a wide range of products, from homeware to beauty and fashion.

With a growing number of brands and compelling choice products, this is a marketplace for conscious consumers.

If you want products that allow you to make better choices about what they purchase, wear, and use, this is the place for you.

The Bad:
The issue here is that not all labels on this marketplace are vegan or cruelty-free, but only the products the marketplace chooses to sell.

For that, I have a serious issue with their statement: “…collective mission for change”.

To me, as a conscious consumer, when I see marketplaces selling vegan lines belonging to non-vegan brands, I feel tricked or misled.

In my mind, the marketplace indirectly condones and supports animal cruelty. In this case, seeing brands that have animal blood on one hand and ‘vegan’ lines on the other on the ‘Immaculate Vegan’ marketplace, makes me think of anything but immaculate.

Featured Labels:
Blanlac, Lüks Linen, LUXTRA, LØRE Originals, BOITA

Location:
UK, ships worldwide.

Elborne – Sustainable Clothing Store
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Elborne - Sustainable Clothing Store

Specific:
A cruelty-free marketplace of effortlessly eco-chic fashion.

About:
From the official website: a lifestyle destination and shop for beautiful clothing and objects made ethically and sustainably.

Gender:
Women only

The Good:
If you’re particularly interested in sporting the new ethical look, you can shop with confidence here.

Indeed, every single garment at Elborne is just as advertised: cruelty-free and ethically made.

The marketplace insists on having zero animal leather and fur garments in its stock.

The Bad:
Now, you might say this is a fabulous place for supporters of cruelty-free fashion.

Not so fast. If you’re conscious of the impact fashion has on the planet, then this marketplace might not be for you.

Apart from featuring other marketplaces (ex: Amour Vert) some brands featured on this marketplace are not sustainable.

Featured Labels:
Kowtow, A Peace Treaty (website down), Atelier Delphine (website down).

Location:
USA-based. It ships to most countries – better check this in advance.

Gather and See – Sustainable Clothing Shop
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Gather and See - Sustainable Clothing Shop

Specific:
An ethical clothing store for ethically minded fashion lovers.

About:
From the official website: ‘Award-winning online ethical fashion retailer’. Launched in 2014 and branded as an ethical clothing store, this online marketplace has a curated selection of sustainable fashion labels.

Gender:
For women, only.




The Good:
Accessible and affordable to those wanting an upscale wardrobe with a clean conscience.

While the brands on this marketplace are not that known, the offering of zero waste, organic, ethical, and recycled products is quite alright.

Not that many products available, but the little they have available looks quite good.

The Bad:
When I examine any self-titled ethical clothing stores, the first thing I search for is leather products. We all know that there’s no sustainable fashion if it’s built on animal exploitation.

Animal farming on an industrial scale – just to be sacrificed for their skins – is one of the biggest environmental polluters of all times.

Add to that all skin tanneries and the toxic chemicals they use to make leather, and you get how damaging leather in fashion is.

Imagine my surprise when I’ve discovered Veja, a label that has made a reputation as being vegan, only to betray vegans by using leather soon after it gained global recognition.

Featured Labels:
Despite being launched in 2014, the market has a few popular sustainable fashion labels. Some not so known names you might like are Anne Gorke, Nobody Jeans, LaLesso, Feral Childe.

Location:
UK-based. Ships to most countries, make sure it ships to yours and the involved costs.

Vegan Style – Animal-Free Online Store
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Vegan Style - Animal-Free Online Store

Specific:
A budget marketplace for vegan shoes and accessories.

About:
From the official website: Born in Melbourne in 2010, Vegan Style is a marketplace for animal-friendly and environmentally responsible products.

Gender:
Unisex, women, men.

The Good:
Indeed, the marketplace stocks only animal-friendly products made from high-quality, environmentally-responsible materials such as Pinatex, apple leather, organic cotton, cork, recycled textiles, and so on.

The Bad:
In 10 years since launching, the marketplace has less than 30 labels on board.

Upon inspection, it becomes evident that this is not an apparel marketplace but a place for vegan shoes and vegan accessories only.

Moreover, despite boasting 30 brands on board, most products on the market come from three-four labels only.

And then, there are a lot of peculiarities. Clicking on ‘Women’s Outwear’ section returns a bag. The apparel section is empty.

But, the most intriguing part is the “THEM” button at the top, which encapsulates the unisex offering. Them? I’m so ‘lost in translation’ right now…

Featured Labels:
Mostly vegan budget labels such as NAE, Ahimsa, Gunas, Brave Gentleman.

Location:
Australia, ships worldwide.

Reve en Vert – Ethical Clothing Shop
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Reve en Vert - Ethical Clothing Shop

Specific:
A marketplace for seeking to make locally-made and fairtrade ‘urban-cool’ fashion.

About:
From the official page: ‘Sustainable and honest luxury’.

Gender:
For women, only.




The Good:
Indeed, the marketplace puts a lot of accent on locally, fairtrade, and slow-made fashion. Upcycled apparel, or made from organic cotton, are also sustainable values that the online market seeks to showcase.

The Bad:
Two problems with Reve en Vert.

For one, the marketplace that only caters to women. So if you’re a conscious gender-free or male consumer, sorry, you do not exist.

But the more severe issue is that the marketplace hosts lots of products made of silk, animal leather, and fur.

So seeing leather goods made from Kangaroo skin made me immediately question the branding of the marketplace as a reseller of “sustainable and honest” luxury.

Featured Labels:
Raeburn, Pamela Love, Svilu, Bamford, Hare + Hart, the Sway.

Location:
UK-based. However, it ships to most countries.

Amour Vert – Hybrid Sustainable Clothing Store
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Amour Vert - Hybrid Sustainable Clothing Store

Specific:
A hybrid ‘brand-marketplace’ for sustainable fashion.

About:
From the official website: ‘Sustainable Fashion”. However, this is a confusing one.

You can look at it as a brand or as a marketplace of other brands. As a brand, this company does a lot of good.

It seeks to eliminate excess waste and pollution by partnering directly with mills that develop sustainable, soft and durable fabrics.

But, looking at it as a marketplace, things get complicated as you’ll see below.

Gender:
Women and men.

The Good:
As a brand on its own, Amour Vert is a cruelty-free and sustainable label, with a vast range of products made from innovative, eco-friendly materials.

The Bad:
As a marketplace, Amour Vert stocks lots of brands that are using animal leather, fur, and silk.

Hard to call this marketplace sustainable for that matter.

Moreover, as a conscious consumer, I have found the ‘for home’ offering far more ethical than its fashion counterpart.

Featured Labels:
Veja, the rest were unknown to me or my colleagues.

Location:
USA, ships to most countries.

EcoLuxeFashionEthical Clothing Scam…thing?

EcoLuxeFashion

Specific:
A data customer collection quiz masked as a ‘style matching’ website.

About:
Not an ethical clothing store but a data collection quiz.

Designed to trick users into giving their personal data such as name, email address, and so on, under the premise of giving back relevant eco-conscious styles.

I bit the bullet, gave it a try and….the results were shocking to say at least.

Gender:
Not specified




The Good:
Nothing.

The Bad:
Everything.
Potentially illegal data collection as it does not specify that it is not a style matching engine (as marketed by Eluxe Magazine) but just a data collection quiz powered by Try Interact.

Featured Labels:
None. True, at the completion of the form, it suggests a list of brands that apparently are relevant to you. But, you can’t buy directly as this is not a marketplace.

Moreover, I’ve checked all brands proposed and none were cruelty-free. It made me question once again the legality, honesty, and relevancy of the entire project.

Location:
USA, there’s no shipping involved. Just data collection that you did not agree to.

Conclusion:

Right now, you should have your own list of ethical clothing stores that you can trust.

Moreover, this top 10  ethical clothing stores in 2020 should help you:

1. Avoid the typical greenwashing marketplaces and other commercial traps.
2. Find trustworthy sustainable and cruelty-free fashion labels that resonate with your look.

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