Sometimes being on a budget means you do not have the luxury of making ethical fashion choices. However, there are some great brands out there which cater to budget fashionistas with a conscience.
Budget fashion often means buying from large fast fashion retailers, which is sometimes not the most ethical of practices.
Ethical brands tend to come in at a higher price point and be less trend-led than typical shops on the high street, meaning many of us just forget about them and continue buying from the same places we usually do.
The term ‘Ethical Brand’ covers a variety of different areas - it can mean clothes made using environmentally friendly or recycled materials to a brand which employs fair trade.
I’ve made a list of some of the best ones available which produce fashionable clothes at high street prices, that way you can do a good deed and indulge in some retail therapy at the same time!
One of the most well-known ethical brands in the UK, People Tree is passionate about fair trade and environmentally sustainable fashion. They work with artisans and farmers in developing countries to improve the lives of people who make their products.
People Tree also work with popular fashion designers to produce capsule ranges. The t-shirt featured below was from a collaboration with Peter Jensen and they have also produced a range with Orla Kiely.
Annie Greenabelle makes affordable, fashionable womenswear from organic fairtrade cotton and only uses factories which comply with the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The dress featured below has great illusion side panels to give you a thinner silhouette, meaning you can have a clean conscience while dropping a dress size!
Bamboo Bay is a fairly new brand born in Brighton, for people who love all kinds of board sports. They use ethical fibres, in particular their namesake bamboo which not only feels amazing and hangs beautifully, but is also organic, biodegradable and reduces C02. My favourite item is their Tipi crop top - it will fit perfectly into my summer wardrobe.
Nancy Dee focuses on creating “day-to-night jersey” pieces using organic cotton and bamboo. They are inspired by retro styles but use bold prints and strong colour palates to bring their designs up-to-date.
Their mission is to bridge the gap between style, comfort and ethics. The Joni Pencil skirt is bang on trend and would look great with a casual t-shirt and some statement jewellery.
Made is a fair trade accessories brand that is passionate about supporting and promoting trade in Africa. Their main philosophy is ‘Trade not Aid’, and they want to encourage people in Africa to make a better life for themselves. These Inya Stacking rings made from beaten brass look much more expensive than their £18 price tag.
If you have discovered any other affordable ethical fashion brands, let me know about them in the comments below!