Alternatives to Babaa Sweaters (That are Still Sustainable)

Alternatives to Babaa Sweaters

Babaa has popularized the old school, classic knit sweater more than any other brand in the slow fashion niche. But their products, though beautiful, are quite an investment.

I have not personally tried a Babaa sweater, so I can’t verify if the quality warrants the amount of influencer buzz surrounding this sweater brand. But I do know that the vast majority of good reviews on social media seem to be from people who have received one of Babaa’s nearly $300 sweaters for free in exchange for a feature.

I’m an “influencer,” too, so I get it. I don’t doubt that Babaa makes a good product – not to mention a very sustainable one. But it can be really easy to let the enthusiasm of receiving such a luxury item for free bleed into an enthusiastic review that doesn’t account for the high investment.

Babaa also does this bizarre thing of offering all of their items in one-size-fits-all, which, in my experience, means one-size-fits-nobody-well.

I had initially thought this was because items were hand knit, and having a set size made the process easier for their knitters. But it turns out that the sweaters are machine-knit, so all I can do is shrug.

In any case, this post came about as a response to Babaa’s immense popularity and my desire to find some more affordable alternatives.

There are other ethical and transparent brands that make similar sweaters in 100% cotton and sustainable wool. There are also a bazillion lovely vintage wool sweaters available for sale online.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission on purchases at no additional charge to you.

9 Alternatives to Babaa Sweaters

1 | ABLE

Always a round-up favorite, ABLE recently released a few varieties of chunky-knit sweaters made with 100% organic, GOTS-certified cotton in an ethical factory.

XXS-3X, Under $160

Try the Cristina Boyfriend Cardigan (pictured) and the Ruth Cable Knit Cardigan.

Shop all sweaters

2 | Quince

Quince uses Grade-A cashmere and a Manufacturer to Consumer business model to reduce waste from overstock in their supply chain. Learn more in my full review.

Sizes XS-XL, Under $150

Try the Boyfriend Cardigan (pictured).

Shop all sweaters

3 | Tradlands

Ethically produced in 100% cotton, the Shelter cardigan is about $50 less expensive than Babaa, but comes in multiple sizes.

XXS-5X, $227

Shop the Shelter Cardigan. The Fisherman Sweater is beautiful, too.

Shop all sweaters

alternatives to babaa sweaters

4 | Backbeat Co.

Made in an ethical factory with organic cotton.

XS-XXL, $158

Shop the Organic Cotton Tie Cardigan (pictured).

Shop all sweaters and sweatshirts

alternatives to babaa sweaters

5 | Reformation

A curated collection of cozy sweaters made with recycled cashmere.

XS-3X, ~$150

Shop the Luisa Cropped Sweater (pictured)

Shop all sweaters

6 | Amour Vert

Made ethically with fully traceable, humane merino wool.

XS-XL, $150+

Shop the Penelope Sweater (pictured)

Shop all sweaters

7 | People Tree

Classic knits made with 100% organic, fair trade certified cotton.

UK 8-16, ~$130

Shop the Rowena Cardigan (pictured)

Shop all sweaters

alternatives to babaa sweaters

8 | Toad & Co.

Using certified non-mulesed and OEKO-TEX certified wool, Toad and Co. is committed using 100% responsible wool by 2024. The brand is dedicated to using biodegradable fibers and responsible sourcing for all products.

XS-XL, $75-180

Shop the Wilde Quarter Zip (pictured).

Shop all sweaters

Toad and Co sustainable wool - Babaa alternative

9 | Vintage

Don’t forget to look for vintage wool cardigans and sweaters on Etsy and Ebay. They’re numerous, and often available at a very good price. Once you see a style you like, try narrowing your search by brand name or key terms.

I often search for “Irish wool” if I’m looking for a thick, sturdy style.

Shop Etsy

Looking for more sweater options? Guide to Sustainable Sweaters

sustainable less expensive alternatives to babaa sweaters

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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  1. I love babaa and have been a client for many many years. I bought a sweater just before the sales because I am ok with paying more for the quality. It was a dark blue and I started wearing it around the house to see how it would fit me. It started peeling right off and I returned it on the 22 of December. I didn’t receive even an email telling me they received the item. It had been one month and I decided to write to them. They told me that they thought that the sweater was worn and they were thinking about what to do. I told them to hurry because not knowing for one month what would happen to my money was not the best. I had to write to them 3 times until they decided to send me back the item!!! I MEAN OK, YOU DDIDN’T ACCEPT THE RETURN, BUT CAN YOU LET ME KNOW IN ONE MONTH SOMETHING???? They answered only because I wrote them!!! It’s the second time it happens. A year ago they didn’t want to refund me because there was a stain on the sweater. The stain was the reason why I decided to return it the first place and I had email-ed them about the issue. WORST CUSTOMER EXPERICE EVER. I MUST HAVE SPENT THOUSANDS EUROS ON THEIR ITEM, BUT THIS IS THE LAST TIME.

  2. I’m under 5 ft. The clothes looks good on me. I love the oversized look because I’m from Asia. If you’re petite, you can purchase the size 8 from kids section because that’s their equivalent of XXS. I’ve never heard or known any “influencers” being sponsored by Babaa although I’ve seen a lot of people tagging them and asking for sponsorship. I hate that a lot of “sustainable” brands are now sold out to influencers who are just fuelling overconsumption.

    1. Babaa was giving a lot of free clothing to influencers for awhile, but I don’t know if they ever paid. I agree that the look is nice if you’re within a certain size range.

  3. It’s great to have alternatives, it’s bad it doesn’t go more diverse than size 20 UK

    1. Tradlands carries up to 5x in US sizing, Reformation has a plus range, and ABLE is improving their size range this season. I put together a post on more size inclusive ethical fashion here:

      But there are still significant gaps in style options in size inclusive size ranges for sure.

  4. Thanks for posting this! I was on the @selltradeslowfashion Instagram page, perusing their rejected brands and saw that Babaa was one of them due to their “stubborn” resistance to size-inclusivity, and wondered what that meant. I now see that they have a “one size” standard fit which, as you say, doesn’t fit a lot of people.

    1. That’s interesting that they’re not sold with them since they have historically been such a darling of the luxury sustainable fashion set!

  5. Thanks for this! I’ve been eyeing Babas sweaters recently.snd looking for more affordable and still sustainable brands. I had not heard of some of these brands.

    1. They are really beautiful sweaters! I’m glad that other companies make similar styles.

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