Plus Size Sustainable Brands
Over the past several years, body positive and body neutral activists have rightly pointed out that ethical and sustainable fashion cannot be rightly called these things without better accessibility. Plus size sustainable brands are better able to live into the values of ethics in the fashion industry. Because they account for the fact that everyone deserves well-fitting clothes.
(Influencers like Aja Barber and Marielle Elizabeth have done amazing work on this topic. See Marielle Elizabeth’s shopping guides at the end of this post.)
The size inclusive and plus size brands in this post show that making ethical and sustainable fashion for more bodies is not only possible, but fashionable.
And by paying attention to fit across a fuller range of sizes, they acknowledge that no body is normative, or should be held up as such.
Of course, as with all sustainable options, they often cost a little more than conventional brands. That’s why I have included big box brands that offer some sustainability credentials, as well as a secondhand option.
Things aren’t perfect when it comes to accessibility, but they are getting better.
A few notes on terminology:
- Size Inclusive: I am using this term to indicate the the brand carries the same styles in straight and plus sizes. I am aware that none of the brands listed here are truly inclusive in the sense of their styles being suitable or sized for all bodies. This is an ongoing issue, especially in sustainable fashion.
- Plus Size: There are alternatives to the term plus size, but it is the most universally understood designation, and still widely used in brand sizing. I use this term because it is known, not because it is better.
- Ethical and Sustainable: In an industry that still does not care to accommodate all sizes, we should unapologetically shop from stores that carry what fits us. I denote things as ethical and/or sustainable in this post according to their standardized uses: Ethical meaning good labor practices and Sustainable meaning attention to ecological impacts. These terms apply to products, not the people who buy them.
- Within brand descriptions, I use the brand’s terminology.
When selecting brands, I looked for a balance of sustainability initiatives, natural fibers, ethical production, and size range. This post contains affiliate links.
Note: As a straight-sized person, I share this resource in acknowledgement of my limitations. I welcome feedback and suggestions.
Size Inclusive Sustainable Fashion Brands
Sustainable and Ethical Practices
With a goal to offer high quality, versatile, and always comfortable clothing, Universal Standard is a size inclusive and slow fashion brand. They also offer a “fit liberty” guarantee on some of their denim, which means you can exchange them for a different size within one year of purchase.
Universal Standard has created their own size chart. Denim runs from around a 00-40
5 | Tradlands
Tradlands offers impeccably crafted, sustainable goods produced in an audited factory. They recently added plus size options to their collection, and will continue to expand their range of styles and sizes in coming seasons. Read more about their ethics in this post.
6 | Tonle
Tonle produces their collection of edgy, inclusive, and collaborative designs in Cambodia. Artisans are fairly paid. Tonle is also committed to zero waste practices, so many of their designs incorporate scraps from others designs. They use factory remnant fabric for their collection.
13 | Eileen Fisher
One of the original sustainable brands, Eileen Fisher offers classic clothing in natural materials. Eileen Fisher recently expanded their plus size options and did away with the plus size section on their site. Now you can shop your size from one listing.
Based in Austin, Texas, Miranda Bennet Studio focuses on ethical, sustainable, small batch production. They specialize in nontoxic plant dyes, which they use to dye their collection. They also produce the collection in-house.
Many items one size 0-20, Others use a custom size chart
Better at Big Box Stores
19 | Thredup
A massive secondhand retailer, Thredup offers women’s, men’s, and kids’ clothing and accessories. Get $10 off your first purchase with my link.
Check out Marielle Elizabeth’s 4X+ Ethical Brand List and her Size 18+ List (which is super comprehensive)
Also see My Green Closet’s roundup of plus size slow fashion brands