Is Anthropologie ethical?
When I was in college, I had a Ph.D. student teacher who looked like she’d walked straight out of an Anthropologie catalog. I was intrigued by her maturity, and her sophisticated yet quirky sense of style. I wondered if I would be able to approximate her look by the time I was in my late 20s.
Well, here I am at 32 and, most days at least, I don’t look like a walking Anthropologie catalog. I’m not mad about it, because I’ve learned that, while Anthropologie’s chic and eccentric garments may make you look, paradoxically, both carefree and put-together, the production process for the bulk of their brands is anything but carefree.
A lot of Anthro’s sourcing is a mystery, and they’re not required to note the country of origin on their online or catalog product listings. But as a member of the Urban Outfitters-Free People conglomerate, it’s safe to say that ethical sourcing is not a priority.
What’s more, they have been known to knock off independent and ethical designers, including, most recently, Orenda Tribe, a small, indigenous-owned company.
That’s not to say that they don’t carry sustainable and ethical brands, you just have to know what you’re looking for. Even better: support brands that source ethically from the start.
Below, I’ve listed ethical alternatives to Anthropologie that approximate the aesthetic without the ethical concerns.
Contains affiliate links.
9 Ethical Alternatives to Anthropologie
1 | Made Trade
With a very similar aesthetic and range of products – from clothing to accessories to home goods – Made Trade offers fair trade, ethical, and artisan-made goods that combine Anthropologie’s elegance and eccentricity.
2 | Sezane
XS-2XL. A French brand known for its colorful and sophisticated collections, Sezane’s garments are produced with labor ethics, sustainability, and nontoxic processes in mind.
3 | Orenda Tribe
Most items free size. Owned by a person of the Navajo descent, Orenda Tribe makes beautiful, artisanal clothing and accessories with initiatives that support indigenous communities.
4 | Eva Franco
Sizes 0-12, some items offer plus sizes. Made in USA, feminine clothing with a twist.
5 | Passion Lilie
Sizes XS-XL. Fair trade, woman owned featuring classic silhouettes and block printed cotton.
6 | Symbology
Sizes XS-3X. Fair trade, woman owned with a focus on feminine, hand printed dresses, caftans, and separates.
7 | Ash & Rose
Sizes XS-XL (depending on brand). A multi-brand boutique featuring fair trade, eco-friendly, and made in USA clothing with an artisanal, feminine point of view.
8 | Mata Traders
XS-2X. Feminine and vintage inspired with custom block prints and quirky hand-embroidered details.
9 | Fortress of Inca
Ethically made, with leather sourced from the small scale Peruvian meat industry.
For other brands with similar aesthetics, check out Ethical Alternatives to Madewell