15 Sustainable (ish) Workwear Brands

Where to Find Sustainable Workwear

Ah, workwear. For some reason, America has decided that the key to looking “professional” is shrouding ourselves in polyester blends and calling it a day.

Obviously, workwear was historically – and high end items still are – made with cotton, silk, and fine wool. But when I sat down to try to find some decent clothing for my “business casual” internship, there was hardly a natural fiber in sight. I was also trying to build a wardrobe on a very small budget, which made the task feel insurmountable.

This post is intended to provide options for workwear that bridge the gap between sustainability and affordability. While I am in agreement with most sustainable bloggers that truly sustainable goods must be biodegradable and small batch, I have also adopted a personal ethic that what I do in the world and what I buy in the world can balance each other out in terms of ethics. While I may not be able to buy a custom pair of pants right now, I can use what I can afford to do good work in the world.

With that in mind, the following options are natural-fiber based, made with high quality fabrics and finishings (that will hold up over time), and priced at under $150 a piece.

I understand that this will not be affordable for everyone. Indeed, it is not strictly affordable for me. This guide is meant to do the heavy lifting of finding the brands so that you can add to your wardrobe when necessary. I suggest shopping secondhand as often as possible, and don’t feel bad about supplementing with the occasional non-ethical item when you need it.

This post contains affiliate links

Brands That Offer Sustainable Workwear

sustainable workwear brands

1. People Tree

Fair trade, organic cotton and linen separates with classic lines and wearable colorways. Sizes UK 8-16.

SHOP PEOPLE TREE

2. Amour Vert

Soft, sustainable fibers and classic, feminine lines inspired by vintage clothing. Sizes XS-XL.

SHOP AMOUR VERT

3. Everlane

Everlane has drawn ire (my ire, in fact), but the fact remains that they offer a nice range of business casual attire, with an increasing amount of items made with recycled or organic fibers, and traceable (if not totally transparent) factories. Sizes XS-XL.

SHOP EVERLANE

sustainable work clothing size inclusive

4. Eileen Fisher

A classic for a reason, Eileen Fisher has been making organic, ethical clothes for working women for decades. Sizes XS-3X.

SHOP EILEEN FISHER

5. Universal Standard

With an emphasis on size accessibility, Universal Standard has a social mission and nice selection of work basics, though not all items are made with sustainable fibers. Sizes 00-40.

SHOP UNIVERSAL STANDARD

sustainable workwear

6. Tradlands

With a focus on high quality, natural fiber button-up blouses, sweaters, and more, Tradlands offers traditional menswear tailoring with a modern, feminine twist. Sizes XXS-3XL.

SHOP TRADLANDS

7. Kotn

Streamlined and refined cotton basics made with Egyptian cotton with responsible sourcing and production.

SHOP KOTN

8. Symbology Clothing

Specializing in hand block-printed fabrics in soft, feminine shapes. Sizes XS-3X.

SHOP SYMBOLOGY

9. Brass Clothing

Brass makes classic, easy-to-wear work clothes intended to work toward slow fashion’s goal of “fewer, better things.” Sizes XXS-3X.

SHOP BRASS

10. Maven Women

Dedicated to women’s rights, restorative justice, and fair trade principles. Makes business-appropriate attire. Sizes XS-XL.

SHOP MAVEN WOMEN

11. Grammar NYC

Home of fashion-forward, crisp white shirts designed sustainably and ethically. Sizes 0-14.

SHOP GRAMMAR NYC

sustainable workwear

12. Ode to Sunday

Minimalist and modern, work appropriate tops, pants, and dresses in linen and other natural fibers. Sizes XS-XL.

SHOP ODE TO SUNDAY

sustainable workwear

13. MATTER Prints

MATTER carries business-appropriate items like blazers, skirts, and jumpsuits in not-so-traditional prints. Woven cotton is soft and more flexible than traditional workwear. Flexible sizing.

SHOP MATTER PRINTS


Footwear

14. Nisolo

Minimalist, ethical leather shoes and accessories in classic, business-appropriate cuts.

SHOP NISOLO

For more shoe suggestions, see my post here: Sustainable + Comfortable Shoes For Service Workers

Jewelry

15. Sela Designs

Add some simple, lightweight jewelry to your outfit. Sela Designs’ donates all proceeds to charity.

SHOP SELA DESIGNS

sustainable and ethical workwear brands
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Looking for more? Shop 100+ sustainable and ethical brands with my Sustainable Brand Directory.
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4 thoughts on “15 Sustainable (ish) Workwear Brands

  1. I find the Vetta capsule really appealing–I haven’t ordered from them personally (using what I have is the ultimate minimalist platform for now. Sometimes, it’s enough to just “shop” my closet and RETHINK what I own and how it can be paired in a more professional way. Good luck!

    1. I can’t believe I forgot about them! Yes, I really like their silhouettes and capsules. I started the job Monday and am realizing that I do have some things – like work appropriate dresses – I can make use out of, but I’m still struggling when it comes to appropriate shoes and pants. The good news is that once I have a critical mass of items, I can wear them for future internships and jobs.

      1. Congrats– although what a strange time to begin a job. I didn’t have much comfort luck with Nisolo-though they are beautiful shoes. But I’m on my feet all day with little break so I needed mega comfort… I have a lot of thrifted pants, but it’s much easier to try them on. I thifted 2 pairs of anthropologie accordian pleated palazzo pants, which are awesome. I also have the work pant from everlane.

        1. it is a very strange time, especially to be working in a hospital setting. I’m in a “spiritual health” or chaplaincy position, which feels particularly important when so many are facing fear of death in an acute and collective way.

          I would have thrifted all my clothes, for sure, but shopping online for secondhand is really difficult. I’m also realizing I’ll be needing something more substantial than Nisolo for the amount of standing I’ll be doing. Do you have any suggestions?

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