One of the biggest barriers to ethical consumption is the price of responsibly-made and sustainable products. We’ve covered this issue in great detail over the years, most recently our post, “Sustainable Living: Is It Just For Rich People?” ignited a great discussion on Instagram.
While we absolutely understand the many reasons for why ethical goods come with a higher price tag, and have sought to help brands find ways to reduce overall prices to make ethical products accessible to the masses, we also realise that pricing transparency just don’t matter to some. They want good design at an affordable price point. Period.
This is the basis for curating this post. It’s important to understand though that prices for ethical fashion will never be as cheap as fast fashion as the cost of doing good, unfortunately, comes at a higher price since small businesses don’t have the benefit of economies of scale, workers are usually paid fair wages, costs of organic and eco-friendly fabrics are often higher, auditing for environmental impact comes with a price tag as well as ethical certifications. To learn more about the issues around ethical pricing, read this post. We also recommend thrift shopping, second-hand shopping and trawling sites such as eBay, Craigslist and Gumtree for preloved goodies.
Now you’re on this page because you’re probably time poor, don’t like shopping much less shopping used clothing but need affordable ethical clothing, either because you’re building a capsule collection or just need some wardrobe essentials. Whether you need basic pieces such as underwear, classically-cut dresses, tanks, tees and pants these affordable ethical and sustainable brands offer stylish, comfortable and well-designed basic wear that shouldn’t break the bank.
1. PACT Apparel
PACT Apparel is an American eco-friendly label produces a wide range of organic cotton and fair trade basics for women, men and kids including underwear, tees, socks, hoodies, leggings and activewear. All garments are made using GOTS-certified organic cotton and produced in a Fair-Trade certified factory.
Price range: Men’s underwear USD $16, women’s underwear $15. Men’s organic tees start at $20 and women’s tops from $15. Kids organic basics start from $6. Women’s organic cotton leggings priced from $30. Buy in bulk packs to save more.
Shipping: Standard delivery within the USA is free for orders over $59. Currently, only international shipping location is Canada. The brand hopes to expand internationally but currently doesn’t ship worldwide. This page lists shipping details.
Shop online: wearpact.com
Boody manufactures a range of underwear, tees, socks, bras and leggings for both men and women made of certified organic bamboo. While bamboo fabric would be considered not as sustainable as say, hemp fabric, due to chemical solvents used in fibre processing, Boody is Oeko-Tex 100-certified meaning that no harmful toxic chemicals is found in its processing. The company also holds a Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certification. WRAP is an “independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education.”
Price range: Prices start at AUD $12.95 women’s underwear and $14.95 for men’s. Women’s basic camis and tops from $19.95 and men’s basic tees from $39.95. Socks priced from $8.95.
Shipping: Standard shipping $8.95 within Australia, and free shipping on orders over $60. Worldwide shipping is available. This page outlines partner sites and lists shipping details and costs specific to that region.
Shop online: boody.com.au
3. Aeon Row
Aeon Row is an American sustainable fashion brand that produces stylish wardrobe essentials for such as basic camis, tees, skirts, and dresses from revived materials such as recycled cotton, recycled poly-cotton jersey knits and recycled polyester. All garments are designed and ethically-made in Massachusetts, USA and are machine washable making care very easy, ideal for busy women.
Price range: Prices start at USD $28 for tees, $58 skirts and dresses $78.
Shipping: Standard shipping across the United States. Doesn’t ship internationally… yet. For more details, click here.
Shop online: aeonrow.com
4. Brook There
This USA-made and owned sustainable label manufactures women’s minimalist basic wear only: underwear, lingerie, slip dresses, tees, shorts, tank tops and more. Most of Brook There‘s basics are manufactured from locally-milled GOTS-certified organic cotton. Garments come in a variety of bright and classic colours. Some basic wear is made of natural fabrics such as linen and silk.
Prices: Prices start at USD $28 (AUD $36) for underwear, $38 for shorts and tank tops from USD $42.
Shipping: Free USA shipping. Ships to Canada $20. Worldwide shipping available for extra cost, this page lists shipping details.
Shop online: brookthere.com
Designed in Brisbane, Australia and made by Fanny Lam, a 25-year industry veteran Australian designer and her small team of garment makers based in Dong Guang China, The Great Beyond produces modern yet timeless women’s clothing that embraces simplicity in its designs and is made from 100% organic woven bamboo and recycled PET details. While organic bamboo isn’t the most sustainable of all fabrics, its soft silky features make it a great alternative to silk, and thus perfect for vegans. Garments are made up of a blend consisting of 95% bamboo and 5% spandex to ensure all pieces are comfortable. These garments make ideal staples for an eco-friendly wardrobe.
Price range: Prices start at AUD $45 for organic bamboo tees and dresses from $65. On a tight budget? The brand offers Afterpay.
Shipping: Free shipping on all Australian orders and free shipping to over 20 international locations. Visit the website for more info.
Shop online: the-great-beyond.com
6. Citizen Wolf
Citizen Wolf, a Sydney-based ethical label, produces custom-fit, laser-cut smart casual t-shirts and tops for both men and women. The brand is popular for its classic tees that are customised to suit each individual’s proportions. Rather than being made from one type of fabric, the brand offers its clients the choice of standard cotton, organic cotton, Australian certified organic cotton and The tops come in a variety of styles too, boat neck, V-neck, rolled and capped. Have a favourite tee that can no longer be repaired and wish to have one custom-made? Citizen Wolf can also make it for you. Because of the slow and personalised nature of production, minimal textile waste is created. Any remnants are given to Seljak Brand who turns the reclaimed fabrics (along with others collected from factory floors in an old Tasmanian mill) into eco-luxe wool blankets. The brand also produces singlets and men’s hoodies as well.
Prices: Starts at A$49 for singlets and A$59 for tees/tops for both men and women’s collections.
Shipping: Free shipping in Australia. Ships worldwide for $19 standard fee.
Where to buy: citizenwolf.com.au
Australia’s pioneering fair trade and B-Corp certified brand Etiko consistently tops rankings in Baptist World Aid’s Ethical Fashion Guide and in shopping rating apps such as Good on You. It produces a range of street style basic wear such as underwear, printed tees, socks, and hoodies for both men and women. The brand is known for its hightop ethical sneakers, reminiscent of Converse, but ethical and sustainable.
Prices: Women’s underwear starts at AUD $11.50 and tees price ranges between $25 – $45. Men’s underwear starts at $17.50 and tees price ranges between $35 – $50. Unisex hoodies $65.
Shipping: Worldwide shipping available. Check out the website for more details.
Where to buy: etiko.com.au
Thought Clothing launched in 1995 as Braintree Clothing and continues to produce a broad range of stylish and affordable basics for men and women, including tops, pants, skirts, jackets, dresses, knitwear, underwear and socks. A pioneer in the ethical fashion industry, Thought Clothing has implemented a range of sustainability practices; from using eco-friendly fabrics such as hemp, organic cotton and recycled materials and manufacturing in factories that comply with its strict supplier codes of conduct. So many styles, colours and prints to choose from that you’ll be able to build an interesting sustainable wardrobe that reflects your creativity and individuality.
Prices: Prices for women’s collection start at £15 and men’s collection at £18.
Shipping: Free UK shipping on orders £60. Worldwide shipping available for a fee,
Online shop: wearethought.com
Copenhagen-based eco-fashion brand Organic Basics responsibly produces well-designed luxe basics with a minimalist twist. Manufactured in Europe using GOTS-certified organic cotton, the brand sells basic underwear, t-shirts and socks for women and men in staple colours such as white, black and rose nude.
Price range: Women and men’s basics price range DKK 89 (USD $15) to DKK 299 (USD $46)
Shipping: Worldwide shipping available comes at extra cost. Just use the shipping calculator during checkout stage to get accurate shipping costs.
Where to buy: organicbasics.com
10. People Tree
Safia Minney, the founder of People Tree, is a well-known pioneer of the global fair trade fashion industry who established the UK-based global brand over 30 years ago. This Fair-Trade certified fashion company produces garments using sustainable fabrics such as certified organic cotton and TENCEL™ Lyocell. People Tree receives regular accolades from all corners of the community including popular bloggers and influencers. The brand produces a broad range of stylish basic essentials and collections filled with fashion-forward garments including contemporary dresses, jackets, activewear, footwear and accessories.
Price range: Prices range from USD $10-$179 with most underwear and basic wear under $80. Check out the entire People Tree Essentials range here.
Shipping: People Tree ships worldwide. Visit this page for more info.
Shop online: peopletree.co.uk
This Australian brand produces basics for men and women using GOTS-certified organic cotton and in Fair Trade certified factories. It scores an A+ in the Baptist World Aid’s most recent Ethical Fashion Guide and a ‘Great’ rating in the Good On You fashion ratings app. We also love that the women’s underwear goes up to a size 22 and that the brand’s campaigns feature diverse models; inclusivity is something that is dear to our hearts at Eco Warrior Princess. Mighty good, Mighty Good Undies.
Prices: Starting price AUD $24.50 (USD $19) for women’s underwear, $28.95 for men’s (USD $22.50). Women’s spaghetti strapped tops start at $29.95 and tank tops start at $32.50, and men’s briefs start at $28.50. You also get great discounts when you buy bulk packs of undies, tanks or tops.
Shipping: Standard delivery within Australia and New Zealand. Ships to Europe and UK at extra cost (you will need to calculate). No deliveries to USA and Canada (yet).
Online shop: mightygoodundies.com.au
We’ve featured ethical clothing brand, Dorsu before (read this post) so will keep this short and sweet: the brand produces timeless pieces which form the building blocks of a capsule wardrobe, sources leftover fabrics to produce its garments (aiming for natural fabrics and keeping its use of synthetic fabrics to a minimum), pays living wages, utilises small batch production and the clothing is designed and manufactured all under one roof in Cambodia. The brand produces basic wear for both women and men.
Price range: A$30-$80. The brand also offers Afterpay.
Shipping: Free shipping to Australia and New Zealand for orders over $100. International shipping available for a fee. To learn more, visit this page.
Shop online: dorsu.org
For classic, stylish, minimalistic basics, you can’t go past A.BCH. Designed and manufactured in Australia, this brand is certified by Ethical Clothing Australia and its garments are made from GOTS-certified and Australian Certified Organic (ACO) cotton and dyed using GOTS approved low impact dyes in Melbourne. The brand caters to both men and women. It also gets a two thumbs up for using a carbon neutral delivery service.
Price range: Women’s and men’s organic t-shirts starting price $55. The brand offers Afterpay.
Shipping: $5 standard shipping across Australia. Free shipping on orders over $200 within Australia. International shipping available. Learn more here.
Shop online: abch.world
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- 10 Online Clothing Rental Places So You Can Sustainably Indulge in Your Love of Fashion
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The curated list does not fully take into account all the ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. You can also check out online tools and apps that provide product reviews and brand ratings here. This list also includes affiliate links. Click here to read more about our policies.
Title image credit A.BCH