by Liberty Stembridge, Lifestyle Columnist
Published in Lifestyle on 3rd July, 2019
As much as we'd all like to think that our shopping and consuming habits aren't affecting anyone but ourselves, this simply isn't the case. Where you shop, whether it be food or clothing or gadgets, has a knock on effect on the environment and the people who make those goods.
Recently, it's become even more apparent how our shopping habits in the west are hurting the environment and the people producing what we buy, which has led to the growing popularity of ethical lifestyle brands and environmentally friendly products.
You are no longer limited to only buying fast fashion, there are plenty more options available.
Although this is excellent for anyone committed to lowering their impact on the planet, these products and services are still fairly new and can be a lot more expensive, making them inaccessible to the everyday consumer.
Luckily, there are some brands paving the way for affordable, sustainable and ethical clothing - If you're looking to buy ethically, but don't want to break the bank, check out these nine companies.
People Tree are a well-known sustainable fashion brand, having pioneered the fair-trade and sustainability movement in the fashion industry. They're not known for being the most affordable, but that doesn't mean you can't find some good deals, particularly when there's a sale on.
Based in the UK, People Tree puts an emphasis on creating beautiful, practical clothing that women can wear all year round without feeling guilty.
Their certified fair-trade standards and sustainable production methods using organic fabrics have made them a go-to brand for many people looking to buy ethical clothing.
If you're looking to support a new, small and female-owned business, Tala might just be the way to go. This ethical and sustainable fashion startup created by a UK entrepreneur has already found great success in producing high-quality, fashionable but sustainably produced active wears such as leggings, bras, sweatshirts and sweatpants.
For the younger more trendier crowd, looking for more than staple t-shirts and organic cotton dresses, Tala provides an option that is both on-trend and ethical so you can party in peace.
Pact is a much-loved and much more affordable sustainable fashion brand based in Boulder, Colorado. They specialise in creating super-comfy, organic and sustainable basics that can fit into anyone's wardrobe, with neutral colours and high-quality fabrics.
They use certified organic and fair-trade fabrics and are well-known for their range of comfortable but practical underwear for both men and women. With bikinis for only $12, tees for $20 and hoodies for only $45, they are one of the more affordable sustainable fashion brands.
Reformation is a brand that has come into the spotlight as the new "it-girl" clothing, popularised by instagram influencers and youtube stars.
Despite their trendiness and global scale, reformation is one of the more sustainability-friendly brands. They make a point of showing their ethical credibility on their website, as well as the ways that they are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, re-use materials and other eco-friendly initiatives. Rest in peace knowing that you can still be instagram famous and eco-friendly.
Similar to pact, threads 4 thought specialises in comfortable, everyday basics that will last long and don't hurt the planet. According to them, they source some of the most sustainable and eco-friendly fabric available and personally ensure that the factories they use pay good wages and treat their workers well.
A portion of the profits also go to in-need communities around the world, particularly refugees. Their clothing is generally affordable, especially for sustainably sourced fabrics!
For those who are both fashion-conscious and socially-conscious, Everlane provides timeless pieces will a little twist to each staple piece, turning it from a boring tee into a statement garment you'll want to wear time and time again.
Although they can be on the pricier side, Everlane still provides affordable options for those looking to buy ethically, and the quality of clothing makes the investment well worth it.
Sanchos is a UK based store that you can find in-person in Exeter, Devon or online. Rather than producing all their own products, they work with a variety of different sustainable and ethical brands to create a menagerie of beautiful, eco-friendly garments.
The price of the products varies depending on the maker, but there are some considerably more affordable options available, as well as some pricier ones. If you're looking for a variety of beautiful and long-lasting garments that won't break the bank, Sanchos is the place to go.
Thought clothing have made a unique space for themselves in the ethical fashion industry. With a wide range of beautiful and well-designed pieces, Thought has become a favourite in the UK.
Their manifesto is that every piece should having meaning, intention and lot's of thought put into it, rather than the rushed, irresponsible methods that most of the fashion industry use.
Their clothing is designed to last, rather than wear out over a few months and end up in the landfill, plus their fabrics are all organic, eco-friendly material made with sustainable production methods and giving fair wages to the makers.
Krochet Kids aims to make sustainable clothing that empowers the creators and workers who make them, with a particular focus on empowering women living in poverty. To quote from their website "We provide life-changing job opportunities to women in need.
With each purchase you make we introduce you to the woman who made your product and invite you to visit her online profile to learn more about her." The founders, three brothers, discovered a love for crochet at an early age and used it after college to create jobs for women living in impoverished areas across the world, from Guatemala to India.
They offer a range of different clothes now, from dresses to beanies, tops, pants and apparel. Their affordability is particularly impressive too, with dresses as cheap as $25 and tees for $20.