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5 Ethical Fashion Brands That Are Chic Yet Wallet-Friendly

Fun fact: The fashion industry has been proven to be the second-largest polluter of the planet. With the current climate emergency that we are facing, shopping at high street fashion stores does not seem like the most ethical thing to do, especially when textile waste is at an all-time high. 

As such, sustainable and ethical brands are becoming more prevalent. Yet, they have also been associated with high price tags. What is one to do? Fret not, fashionistas! Even when one can only afford to be boujee on a budget, ethical and chic fashion is within your reach. Besides not burning a hole in your pocket, the following five fashion brands live up to an ethical ethos of using recyclable materials and ensuring sustainable production. All this while still providing us with stylish garments and accessories!

JW Pei

Every girl needs a trusty bag to complete her outfit or add a splash of colour to her look.

JW Pei designs clean and simple bags that are super trendy and best of all, affordable and ethical. They stand by their sustainable philosophy by producing bags using vegan leather and recyclable plastic bottles. Whether you’re looking for a sturdy cross-body or a chic baguette shoulder bag, JW Pei offers a range of minimalistic pieces that elevate your get-up to a classy and sophisticated one.

UBU Swimwear

This swimwear brand offers timeless bikinis and one-pieces that will never go out of style.

UBU’s swimsuits are made from recyclable materials that are also eco-friendly. Most of their pieces are reversible and have two styles in one which means you are definitely getting a bang for your buck! On top of saving the planet, you’ll also be giving back to the community, as a cut of their sales are donated to meaningful organisations that help with breast cancer research as well as cleaning up our oceans.

Source Collections

If you like to stock your wardrobe with basics such as plain tees and tanks, you may want to keep this Singapore-based fashion label on your radar.

Source Collections only uses renewable materials to produce their garments and keeps their packaging plastic-free. They also ensure responsible production in their factories with appropriate wages and a safe working environment. Besides their basics, they also produce breathable undergarments for a comfortable wear.


Responding to textile waste’s large impact on the environment, this ingenious Singapore-based brand helps to reduce waste by bringing shopaholics together in choosing up-cycling as an alternative to shopping for new clothes.

Refash eases shopaholics into embracing second-hand clothing. The clothes on their racks are trendy and still in great condition. The community is able to both buy and sell their unwanted clothes. This promotes up-cycling and cuts down on excess apparel production.

Just a tip: If you’ve had your eye on a dress that you’ve found on your favourite online store, Refash may have that same piece for half the price. The perfect site for a student on a budget!


Founded by our very own NTU students, Aesthethically is NTU’s very first thrift store!

Established on the philosophy of encouraging a circular economy and reducing waste, Aesthethically also gives back to society by donating all their funds to charity. Look out for updates on their socials about their upcoming thrifting events. Take part by decluttering your wardrobe and donating any unwanted clothes. For fashionistas who prefer to feel and try on outfits, this pop-up thrift store in NTU is the perfect stop for an affordable and ethical shopping experience.

Members of the fashion industry are slowly steering towards greater sustainability, and with the rise of ethical fashion labels, shopping guilt-free and affordably has become easier and more accessible! You don’t have to sacrifice your love for shopping to save the planet. Instead, choose your brands wisely and support those who practise ethical production.

Shona Menon

Nanyang Tech '22

English undergraduate, Social Media Director at HC Nanyang Tech and freelance copywriter. Find me at @shonamenon on Instagram.
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