The Best Sources for Ethical Clothing for Every Budget
This is an excerpt from my new e-course on How to Build a Lifetime Wardrobe. Interested? Purchase the e-course here. I’ve spent a tonne of time getting to know companies that provide sustainable and ethical clothing. This is a list of my current favourites, categorized by the amount of money you’ll be investing. You can always check Flopsy Life for updated versions of this list – I’ll be updating it regularly as I try more brands! I also run a little consignment shop on the blog with high quality pieces in natural fabrics or from ethical brands – be sure to check it out!
$0 - $50
A beautifully curated second hand shop that sells on Etsy. This is my go-to for unique yet simple essential pieces like silk tshirts, beautiful sweaters and great outerwear.
Local Thrift Stores
Depending on where you live, thrift stores like Value Village or Salvation Army have everything you could possibly imagine for extremely low prices. The only catch is that you never know what you will find, and you must be willing to hunt and dig through some duds to find a gem.
Local Consignment Stores
Consignment shops are where people go to sell things that they don’t want to just donate. Most shops have rules on what they will take, meaning pieces need to be good quality and in season. You can find some great pieces for good prices, and is a great place to look for higher end lines without buying in to mainstream fashion.
$50 - $150
This is one of my absolute favourite companies! Every single piece is handmade from linen that is locally made in their town. They have good prices and remarkable customer service. They will custom make any piece to whatever measurements you need, regardless of your size! Their designs are classic and minimalist, meaning they will fit perfectly with other pieces in your wardrobe and never be out of style. Most of my wardrobe is from this line. This is also what I’m wearing in most of these photos.
This Calgary based shop, now on Garmentory, focuses on handmade or ethically and sustainably produced clothing by North American companies. You can find many of the brands on this list in the shop. I actually help out here, and am very proud of the selection we have and the range of sizes we carry – many pieces will fit up to a size 14 or 16. With a minimalist bohemian aesthetic, natural fabrics and great companies, this shop is one of my absolute favourites out there.
An online second hand shop out of Vancouver, this is where you can find high quality, beautifully curated vintage. They always have a great selection of oversized sweaters and fisherman knits, and have a distinctly bohemian/Californian vibe. You can often find sales if you follow them on Instagram.
The most essential basics – Tessa Hughes only makes a handful of items, but they are the building blocks for every wardrobe. Her raglans can be worn as dresses or tunics, dressed up or down, and worn for days in a row without ever looking frumpy. Her entire line is produced in Vancouver, and a portion of her proceeds are donated to helping women. They carry up to a 3XL in tops, and her bottoms would work for up to 14).
This Canadian brand produces simple, elegant pieces to wear whether you are lounging or going out. The entire is ethically made and is beautiful in its simplicity. Her sizes also reflect real bodies – a L fits what many brands would label XL or XXL. This is also my go-to company for underwear; they have no waistband, so are comfortable no matter how bloated you are (perfect for PMS)!
Woven cotton pieces that are ridiculously soft, generously oversized, and beautifully simple. Made out of cotton, these pieces are breathable and great for layering year-round. Most pieces will work for sizes up to 16.
My second favourite company. Each piece is handmade in Nashville, TN out of natural fabrics. Her clothing sizes reflect real women’s bodies, and her style is simplistically beautiful. They also carry up to size 16 (although with the cuts and styles of their clothing, I would say many pieces can work up to size 18).
These are the knits my dreams are made of. Hand knit out of the warmest, softest alpaca wool, the shapes of these cardigans are unique perfection. They also work for any body type or size – it’s like it’s magical.
With a Japanese aesthetic and natural fabrics, Black Crane makes beautiful, exquisite clothing that works for many different body types. Because of the shapes and fabrics they use, their pieces stand out while still fitting in with the rest of your wardrobe. For most of their line, size large works for up to size 14 or 16.
This Canadian company carries essential knit pieces like kimono sweaters, shawls and scarves that can be used as blankets. They work with women in Peru who have a history of dealing with domestic violence to help create new opportunities for them, and they sustainably source their materials. These sweaters are also free size, meaning they work for everyone regardless of what size you wear!
I'll defs be updating this as I discover new brands. Keep an eye out for an accessories list, coming soon!