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Ethical and Fair Trade Clothing Companies Worth Investing In

It is hard to reconcile one’s love for fashion and social justice on a college student budget but wearing ethical is not just a thing for the rich or fashionably-inept. The idea is to fight the fast-fashion cycle that produces goods at the cost of the health and well-being of workers in the Global South, and still manage to stay in tune with the shifts in the fashion world. The first way to do that is to make one’s own clothing. However, it is understood that not all of us have the skills, time or resources to do that, but learning simple skills like hand-sewing and cutting are worthwhile. These will help you transform old clothing items into something a little more contemporary that you will want to wear. Another way to do that is to thrift; specifically, from stores that are run on donations and support some sort of social-service model like the Salvation Army stores. Most of the clothes consumers in the western world donate to their local second-hand clothing stores ends up in developing countries, either destroying their local clothing businesses or in huge landfills creating unimaginable environmental damage. The idea of thrifting and reusing is to curb the flow of clothes into these stores and consequently into the landfills in developing countries. Another complementary notion to that of reusing is that of reducing and that means to invest in clothing items that will last longer – in terms of style and quality. Here are some companies that can facilitate those ambitions:


Based in: UK

Ethical Policy: Artisan made clothing, Ethical Trade Initiative Certified

Instagram: @mayamikodesigned

Work with: Disadvantaged artisans in Malawi

Style: Afro-centric prints, elegant contemporary cuts in pants and tops

People Tree 

Based in: UK

Ethical Policy: Artisan made clothing, fair and ethical trade and frequent check-ins with participating Bangladeshi factories

Instagram: @peopletreeuk

Work with: Otherwise badly-paid Bangladeshi artisans

Style: Contemporary prints, jumpsuits, knits

Thought Clothing 

Based in: UK

Ethical Policy: In-house designers and craftspeople, Bio-degradable fibers

Instagram: @thoughtclothing

Work with: Disadvantaged cotton growers in South Asia

Style: Hand-painted florals, sundresses, East-Asian influences


Based in: Los Angeles, USA

Ethical Policy: Made in the U.S., fair wages, sustainable fabrics

Instagram: @reformation

Work with: Marginalized South American immigrants in the California area

Style: Very well rounded, bold, modern, denim, chic street-wear, contemporary formal party wear

Dazey LA 

Based in: Los Angeles, USA

Ethical Policy: Made in the U.S., fair wage environment, all-female team

Instagram: @Dazey_la

Work with: Creative Women, female business owners

Style: Heavily influenced by the 70s, Graphic-tees, colorful

Cover Picture by Sift Guide

Khizra Awan is a Siena College Class of 2021 alumna. During her time at Siena, she studied Political Science.
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