We get asked a gazillion questions on where to find this fashion item or that so it’s clear to us that people need help shopping more sustainably. In fact, recently on Instagram we received this message from a follower:
“Can you recommend where’s a good place to get high rise cotton women’s slacks? I’m a bit overwhelmed and not sure where to start.”
That message is what inspired this post actually. And if you’re on this page chances are you’re looking for ethically manufactured or sustainably produced workwear too otherwise why would you be here? LOL!
So whether you’re a working professional, going to a job interview or just love the streamlined, classic styles that workwear provides, we hope you find what you’re after in this curated list of ethical workwear.
Even after we published a feature about this ethical fashion label ages ago, we still get excited sharing about them. Dorsu is the brand that automatically comes to mind when we think of affordable ethical work clothing. Producing classic styles that will forever remain ‘in fashion’ and producing small batches from leftover fabrics (always aiming for natural fibres and not synthetics), we especially love the inclusive approach to the business of fashion, from paying its Cambodian staff living wages, its diverse use of models and that it caters not just to women but men too (basics only though, not men’s workwear).
The brand produces a timeless range of ethical workwear including skirts, dresses, pants and tops.
Price range: A$25-$80.
Shipping: Free shipping to Australia and New Zealand for orders over $100. Worldwide shipping available.
Shop online: dorsu.org
Numi’s “Sustainable Silk” collection of shirts and work tops features a blended material that consists of 29% silk and 69% Naia, a soft, easy-to-care for fabric made from sustainably sourced pine and eucalyptus wood produced in a closed-loop system. The Simone work shirt is our pick. The comfortable, classic button-up is responsibly cut and made in Canada. Lightweight and stylish, the shirt comes in a variety of colours including black, white, pink and even green.
Price range: On sale $262 AUD.
Shipping: NUMI ships worldwide. Visit this page for more info.
Shop online: wearnumi.com
3. People Tree
People Tree is probably the most widely recognised fair trade label in the ethical fashion industry, launching its brand over 25 years ago and consistently topping ethical fashion lists and fashion rating apps such as Good On You. The brand is also as sustainable as it is ethical, with its vast collection featuring eco-friendly fabrics such as certified organic cotton and TENCEL™ Lyocell.
Producing a design-forward range of modern dresses, work shirts, contemporary jackets and slacks featuring unique detailing and handcrafted embellishments, you’ll be sure to find the right item to add to your expanding ethical wardrobe. We especially love that these items are versatile and can go from day to night, and timeless in design so will still look trendy in years to come.
Price range: Prices start US$34 for tops, $53 for dresses and $69 for trousers.
Shipping: People Tree ships worldwide. Visit this page for more info.
Shop online: peopletree.co.uk
For effortless office chic, Kowtow is the ethical workwear label for you. This New Zealand based brand is iconic within ethical fashion circles for its fashion-forward designs, use of sustainable materials and detailing, such as 100% certified fair trade organic cotton and Italian made recycled hemp buttons and compelling photography and branding which looks like it could have leapt right out of a Vogue magazine. Whilst not the most affordable of ethical clothing brands, the pricing is reasonable for the premium quality you can expect of this sustainable label, plus the garments are skilfully made in New Zealand. To help conscious customers afford the items they love, Kowtow offers Afterpay.
Price range: Prices start at A$69 for tops, $119 for dresses and $109 for pants. Make sure to check out the ‘sale‘ section if you’re on a strict budget and prefer not to overspend.
Shipping: Free express shipping on all orders this month. Worldwide shipping available.
Shop online: kowtowclothing.com
You can’t have a sustainable wardrobe without at least one piece from Reformation, the darling of the eco-fashion industry. This ultra-feminine sustainable label offers a vast collection of dresses, skirts, jackets and tops to choose from. Whilst known for its printed dresses and sexy styles, the brand has plenty of modest pieces suitable for the conservative workplace and corporate office. Reformation uses eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, TENCEL™ and deadstock and recovered fabrics in its range and sustainably manufactures its garments in Los Angeles. Want to be the best dressed at your office? Reformation is your brand.
Price range: Prices start at US$83 for dresses, $98 for tops and $174 for jackets. Make sure to check out their sale section for end of season bargains.
Shipping: Free shipping to US. Worldwide shipping available.
Shop online: thereformation.com
This emerging Australian fashion label focuses on staple garments combined with timeless and feminine silhouettes which can be worn in and out of the workplace. The versatile pieces are ethically produced in Sydney in small batch production runs with its feature eco-friendly fabric being linen. The garments come in modern classic colours such as natural, black, forest and dusty pink. Love exclusive limited edition designs that few people own? Jillian Boustred is for you.
Prices: Prices start at $209. Afterpay available.
Shipping: Standard deliveries within Australia. Worldwide shipping available for a $20 flat fee.
Online shop: jillianboustred.com
This innovative capsule-focussed brand creates minimalist wardrobe essentials for capsule wardrobes. Each garment in the VETTA mini 5-piece capsule is designed to be mixed and matched to create up to 30 outfit combinations. The pieces are ethically manufactured in New York City and the collections feature eco-friendly fabrics such as leftover fabric remnants and TENCEL™ which is sustainably harvested wood pulp processed in a closed-loop system to minimise planetary impact. The knits are made in Los Angeles in a factory mostly powered by solar energy (70 percent). Super busy and want to keep the amount of time required to get ready to an absolute minimum? VETTA is for you. It’s like a stylish, multi-combination work uniform.
Prices: Starting price for a piece $119 or $529 for an entire VETTA capsule collection. Afterpay available.
Shipping: Worldwide shipping available.
Online shop: vettacapsule.com
8. IVY NIU
Work in a creative environment and have a penchant for original, exclusive fashion? This contemporary Australian fashion brand is for you. IVY NIU features playful, whimsical and limited edition pieces that have been uniquely illustrated and digitally composited to create one-of-a-kind garments that will make for memorable work outfits. All garments are made in Australia with fabrics featuring natural fibres such as cotton.
Prices: Prices start at A$160 for skirts, $140 for shirts and $160 for trousers. Afterpay available.
Shipping: Free standard shipping in Australia. International shipping for a fee. Learn more here.
Online shop: ivyniu.com
This iconic Australian fashion label launched in 1968 and continues to be known for its contemporary designs and stylish feminine business attire and workwear, underpinned by sharp tailoring and a feminine flair.
Cue is also an ethically-driven fashion brand, providing its garment workers with fair wages and good working conditions. Australian designed and mostly Australian made (its knitwear is made in China for example), this brand is also accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia. Cue is the largest manufacturer of women’s clothing in Australia; helping to protect the local rag trade from further demise.
The brand has yet to transition to more sustainable fabrics and many of its shirts, work suits, skirts and corporate dresses still feature synthetics such as polyester which contributes to microfibre pollution, so to avoid adding to the ocean microplastic problem, aim for garments made with natural fibres such as wool, cotton and silk. For stylish corporate wear, CUE is the go-to brand for ethical and non-ethical fashionistas alike.
Prices: Prices start from $79 for knitwear, $72.50 for shirts, $178 dresses and $142 for jackets (sales prices). Afterpay available.
Shipping: Free standard shipping for all Australian orders over $100. International shipping to the following countries only: New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.
Online shop: cue.cc
10. Thought Clothing
A pioneer in the conscious fashion space, Thought Clothing launched in 1995 as Braintree Clothing and continues to produce a broad range of stylish and affordable ethical clothing for men and women. Its vast workwear collections include tops, pants, skirts, shirts jackets, dresses and knitwear. Given the brand’s long tenure in responsible fashion, it has implemented sustainability practices such as the use of eco-friendly fabrics such as hemp, bamboo, organic cotton and recycled fabrics, and its supplier factories comply with strict codes of conduct. For work clothing featuring unique prints that you can’t find elsewhere, this affordable eco luxe brand is for you. The brand also caters to men too, producing shirts, blazers, jackets, trousers and knitwear.
Prices: Prices for women’s and men’s collection start at £29. Check out their sale page for budget-friendly eco-friendly workwear.
Shipping: Free UK shipping on orders £60. Worldwide shipping available for a fee,
Online shop: wearethought.com
11. Viktoria & Woods
This Australian brand produces classic tailored luxury clothing with a design twist. Manufactured in Australia and holding a certification with Ethical Clothing Australia, you’ll find a range of avant-garde designs including corset shirts and wrap skirts (both pictured below), classic pants and asymmetrical dresses. Viktoria & Woods collections feature a wide range of fabrics including those made of eco-friendly and natural fibres such as linen, bamboo and cotton. If you want an ethical wardrobe for work that reflects your minimalistic tendencies, choose Viktoria & Woods.
Prices: Prices start at $110 for tops, $170 for skirts, $200 for pants and $220 for dresses. Afterpay is available.
Shipping: Worldwide shipping available. Visit this page for more info.
Online shop: viktoriaandwoods.com.au
12. Mara Hoffman
Mara Hoffman is a high-end sustainable luxury fashion label based in NYC that produces a vast collection of high-quality pieces, from work clothing through to bridal and swimwear. While many of its collections are produced in the United States, some of its range is ethically manufactured overseas in places like India and China. Its factories comply with strict labour standards to ensure it meets the social and environmental missions of this eco-luxe brand. Mara Hoffman garments are made with eco-friendly fabrics such as hemp, GOTS-certified organic cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell linen and recycled materials. The brand aims to be inclusive too, producing garments up to a woman’s size 20 and featuring a diverse range of models from various racial backgrounds.
Price range: Prices start at A$290.
Shipping: International shipping available. Visit the website for more info.
Shop online: marahoffman.com
13. Oroceo Castro
This Australian brand was founded in 2015 and its workwear features striking detailing and feminine silhouettes making the garments polished yet ladylike, think pencil skirts, tailored shirts with ruffled sleeves and tapered waists on garments. Oroceo Castro collections are limited edition, with very few pieces produced of each style. You can rest assured that you won’t be wearing the same thing anyone else is wearing, at work and beyond. All items are designed and manufactured, some with natural fibres such as cotton fabrics.
Price range: Prices start at A$200 for shirts and $350 for dresses. Oroceo Castro offers Afterpay too.
Shipping: Free shipping on all Australian orders. Worldwide shipping available. Visit the website for more info.
Shop online: oroceocastro.com
14. The Great Beyond
For relaxed and casual workwear, there’s Brisbane-based brand The Great Beyond. The Australian label produces women’s clothing featuring comfortably silhouettes and made with 100% organic woven bamboo and recycled PET details. Ideal for the office workplace, these items are super versatile and can transition from work to play easily, looking stylish regardless of your surroundings. Most styles come in staple colours such as black, white, grey, navy and olive green.
Price range: Prices start at A$45 for tees and $65 for dresses. The brand offers Afterpay if you need it.
Shipping: Free shipping on all Australian orders. Worldwide shipping available. Visit the website for more info.
Shop online: the-great-beyond.com
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All prices are correct at time of publishing. This 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 Viktoria & Woods.