Here are some of the best sustainable and ethical brands to shop from this Christmas
One of them gives you an adopted sheep with every jumper you buy
With every new holiday this year that promotes or inspires shopping, comes a load more new stats on how the fashion industry and online shopping is destroying our planet and funding companies that mistreat their employees. Now with Christmas coming up, it’s becoming more and more necessary to know the values of the companies you’re putting your money into.
A lot of companies greenwash us and convince us that they’re sustainable and socially-conscious when they’re really not. To save any more confusion, here’s a rundown of 20 brands – including fashion, beauty, jewellery and homeware – that are already doing loads to help the planet and support their workers whist still being reasonably priced.
Some of the best sustainable and ethical brands to shop from this Christmas:
Lucy & Yak
Lucy & Yak is an independent, ethically and sustainably made brand. The style is colourful casual clothing, such as boilersuits, dungarees, jeans and accessories. All of their clothes are made from organic fabrics and all the postage material and stationary is 100 per cent recycled and biodegradable. Their products are made in a factory in North India, where the workers are paid four times the state minimum wage. The company is dedicated to upholding positive social and environmental impact.
With all this, they still offer affordable prices similar to Topshop. Jeans at around £40, boilersuits around £50 and t-shirts for £20. Their clothes are men’s, women’s and unisex.
House of Sunny
The materials used in House of Sunny clothes are recycled. Their denim is also washed using e-flow technology which lowers the amount of water used and wasted. They repeat the prints they use across jeans and shirts to limit waste material – whilst also ensuring that each piece is slightly different and unique.
They sell everything from jeans to jackets, coats and knitwear which range between £30 to £100 plus. Their style is all about bold patterns, prints and colours.
Patagonia is a well-known brand that’s been around for a while, however, many people don’t realise their company values centres around environmental issues. They have a self-imposed Earth tax of one per cent which goes towards supporting environmental non-profits – they have currently raised over $100 million. They also have a team of ‘Global Sports Activist’ who are working within the sports community to drive positive social and environmental change.
They have both adults and children ranges and their style is activewear, outdoor wear and casual clothing. Their stuff is more on the pricey side with coats and jumpers up of £100.
This brand focuses on organic cotton nightwear and loungewear. It started in 2009 and only uses Gots (Global Organic Textiles Standard)-approved cotton – this ensures no toxic chemicals are used in any part of the production cycle, and that all workers are treated and paid fairly. Noctu also supports the World Land Trust and donates money from each sale to preserve and protect endangered wildlife. They have adults, kids and a homeware range.
BAM’s founder discovered bamboo to be a great material to create a viable and environmentally sustainable business. Bamboo absorbs five times more carbon than hardwood trees. It needs half the land cotton does to produce the same amount of fibre and it doesn’t need irrigation or pesticides.
They also aim to reduce their carbon footprint to zero by 2030 – this applies to every single process from the growing of the bamboo, to the manufacturing of clothes and the way they are recycled. According to their website, they aim to address every impact they have on the planet, ensuring every person in their supply chain – all the way back to the growers – is paid and treated fairly.
Okay, Sheep Inc is super fun because when you buy their wool knitwear, you also get a sheep! This company wants to remind consumers of the journey and history of clothes, so when you purchase their products you automatically become an adoptee of a sheep. They’re also carbon negative which means when you buy their products, you’re actually helping the environment as they mitigate ten times their carbon footprint.
All their clothes are unisex and although they’re on the pricier side, it’s worth it because you literally get a sheep and you’re saving the planet.
Girlfriend Collective is a gym wear range on Brown. According to their website, they share the traceability of each of their leggings back to the recycled materials it came from. They promise ecologically friendly and ethically crafted bras and leggings which are made from 100 per cent post-consumer water bottles and diverts 25 per cent plastics from landfill.
Their stuff is more expensive than your average gym wear with leggings at around £70 and bras around £30.
We Are We Wear
We Are We Wear is a London-based swimwear and lingerie company who champions body diversity as well as sustainability. Their bold and colourful items range from XS to 3XL and are designed for daywear as well as for the pool. They also have an Eco edit range which is made in Italy from unwanted waste materials like fishing nets and plastics.
Their products are super affordable, with tops and bottoms at around £20. Their bras are around £30 and their pants are around £15, they also have loads of sexy sets and suspenders.
Project Pico produces organic underwear that is made in a fairtrade factory in India. Their pink and brown style is hand-dyed using natural colour extractions from trees, and all pieces are packaged in organic cotton drawstring bags. Their products are super simple and look so soft. They have men’s and women’s.
The well-known trainer brand is also really sustainable. They’re the first trainer brand to use fabric made entirely from plastic water bottles. They buy certified cotton directly from farmers which ensures the cotton is sourced with care for the environment and labourers fair pay. In 2020 they signed a contract to pay on average two times the market price for organic cotton.
They promise to be transparent about how their products are made, how much their workers are paid and what chemicals they use.
Sustainable beauty and cosmetic brands
The Body Shop
The Body Shop are focussed on being sustainable and ethical. They’re B Corp certified which means they’re part of the B Corps group – businesses that promote the highest social and environmental standards for people and the planet.
They put their profits towards various forms of activism, including Forever Against Animal Testing, empowering women and girls, recycling, influencing new legislation, volunteering and more.
Wild is a sustainable and natural deodorant. Their product has no parabens or aluminium in it, they also use plastic-free, compostable refills.
They have loads of coloured metal cases so you can make it your own. You can then sign up to a subscription which will send you regular refills so you never run out.
A sustainable watch brand which makes its watches to last a lifetime to save waste on materials and batteries. Their products are also cruelty-free, 100 per cent recycled packaging and ionic colouration which is more durable than typical metal colouration and creates no extra chemical waste.
Little By Little Jewellery
Little By Little Jewellery is a sustainable brand that makes its products in a Peruvian factory and aims to bring opportunity and improvement by hiring people with no prior technical experience. Their goal by 2021 is to achieve closed-loop production and find a 100 per cent traceable source of Peruvian silver.
All their packaging is 100 per cent recyclable and made in the UK. They also offer their costumers damage and breakages repair in an attempt to reduce waste.
Etsy is a website where many small businesses promote their products. By shopping on Etsy, you are supporting independent businesses who often sell handmade products, such as jewellery or clothes.
Firera is a sustainable and vegan home decor and lifestyle store offering high-quality, long-lasting and environmentally friendly products. The company began as a small family business which has now expanded. They have plastic-free packaging, their products are vegan and cruelty-free and they plant trees in Estonia where the business began.
Ecoffee Cup makes reusable coffee cups. On their website, they write that since single-use cups were invented three decades ago, it’s estimated that over three trillion of them have ended up in landfill. The average lifespan of a single-use cup is less than 10 minutes – and due to their plastic content, less than one per cent will be recycled.
Ecoffee Cup is made from a composite of natural fibres (cornstalk and bamboo), non-GMO corn starch and a plant-based resin derived from aloe and soybean extract. The natural corn stalk and bamboo fibre is upcycled from materials previously burned by farmers. These materials are plentiful and do not require any form of forest or food-compromise farming.
These water bottles are rectangular so they fit in bags and coat pockets. The company is a small family business and is associated with the Prince’s Trust. According to their website, they are carbon-neutral, they plant a tree for each bottle sold, they hand-deliver by bike where possible to save CO2 emissions, and their packaging is recycled, recyclable and biodegradable.