Ethical fashion

7 high street fashion brands you never knew were sustainable

Remember: It IS possible to be ethical when shopping...
7 high street fashion brands you never knew were sustainable
April 1, 2017   |    NINA RENNIE

Fast fashion is a problem for the environment, with off-the-peg clothing so inexpensive it can be disregarded, with little thought, within weeks. However, the days of this throwaway culture are hopefully numbered.

In the UK, it’s estimated more than a million tonnes of textiles are added to landfills each year and, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish. As a result, a growing number of brands and stores are finally moving towards a less-damaging fashion industry. It’s only a start but encourage them by checking your labels and choosing products that incorporate recycled fibres and fabrics.

Here are 7 sustainable fashion brands to head to on the high street…

WEEKDAY (see above)

Swedish brand Weekday, masters of affordable but mindful fashion, have launched their first ever sustainable swimwear collection. Made from waste materials, the pieces are slick, simple and sporty — with ribbing details, thick straps and high necks in a colour pop palette. With prices from £8-30, you can guilt-free get yourself a few pieces.

Sustainable Fashion Brands


Cheap Monday is ‘closing the loop’ by turning unwanted clothing and other recycled textiles into edgy, limited-edition garments. The Swedish brand Cheap Monday has launched The C/O which is a 500-piece collection including ‘wardrobe essentials’ such as this bomber jacket (£120, pictured top).

H&MConscious Collection

The Conscious range features items such as this Lyocell cargo jacket (available in khaki green or dark denim blue at £29.99). From 2013 the company ran an in-store campaign to collect unwanted clothing, which contributed to H&M’s Close the Loop collection.

ZARA: Join Life Sustainable Collection

Recycled fibres form part of Zara’s Join Life collection which is made using more sustainable raw materials such as organic cotton and Tencel, the brand name for a plant-based sustainable textile fibre. Zara’s parent company, Inditex, is the world’s leading manufacturer of garments made from it.


The German sports giant has been working with Parley for the Oceans, developing technologies to replace the use of ‘new’ plastic with Parley yarn fibres, made from plastic debris from coastal areas in the Maldives. These Ultra Boost Uncaged Parley Shoes (£139.95) are limited edition but Adidas intends to make many more next year.


Muji’s signature minimalism means the Japanese anti-branding brand is endeavouring to be as resourceful as possible, without shouting about it. Muji has launched a Reclaimed Wool Collection and a project which takes customer cast-offs and over-dyes them for resale.


The company once famous for its progressive ad campaigns has embraced ethical fashion, creating a sweater made using recycled cashmere and merino wool fibre. The capsule range designed by Stella Jean, meanwhile, includes pieces made in collaboration with a community of Haitian and Ethiopian craftsmen.

Read more: Climate change facts — 5 things you can do to start saving the planet today

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