Last Updated on April 18, 2023
Love Zara’s designs but want a sustainable alternative?
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been looking for smaller alternatives to the high street giant in a bid to become a little more eco-friendly.
READ MORE: Is Zara Ethical and Sustainable?
I absolutely love Zara, but it gets pretty tiresome owning pretty much the exact same wardrobe as all my friends. Not only that, but when it comes to sustainability, the brand has a long way to go.
They might be working to improve their sustainability and ethics, but we all know that fast fashion can’t ever be good for the planet. Zara is not quite as damaging on our planet as Shein, but still.
The fashion industry produces an unbelievable 100 billion items of clothing every single year.
Much of the clothing produced by fast fashion is made from polyster, as it’s cheap and easy to wash. However a shirt made from the fabric produces over double the carbon dioxide than the same item made from cotton, and 70 million barrels of oil are used to make polyester fibres in our clothes every year.
So what can we do? Making small changes is a good start, such as finding alternatives to your favourite fast fashion stores.
There’s an abundance of slow fashion brands popping up, and while they may cost you a little more than Zara, you can rest assured you’re getting good quality, durable and timeless pieces that will last you forever.
Looking for inspiration? Here are 10 sustainable fashion brands you’ll love just as much as Zara.
Wear Next may receive a small commission if you click a link from one of our articles onto a retail website and make a purchase.
Start by supporting local businesses, such as Omnes. The brand has made a name for itself in the sustainable fashion industry for its über-stylish yet eco-friendly designs, designed right here in the UK.
They only work with fabric producers that have been approved by top environmental groups, so you can rest assured that you’re getting good quality pieces that don’t harm the planet.
Nova Tie Back Dress in Coral, £85, Omnes – buy now
Cinnamon Relaxed Trousers in Navy, £59, Omnes – buy now
Ambretta Top in Pink with Orange Trim, £39, Omnes – buy now
Molby the Label
Karina Molby’s made-to-order dresses have been worn by the likes of Holly Willoughby, Louise Thompson and Vicky Pattison, while influencers can’t get enough of them.
If you love colourful prints and feminine dresses, you’re going to love her designs too.
Alice Dress in Ivory Lace, £245, Molby the Label – buy now
Stevie Dress in Embroidered Floral Tulle, £195, Molby the Label – buy now
Delilah Dress in Tangerine Wave, £145, Molby the Label – buy now
House of Sunny
With celebrity fans including Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, House of Sunny is perhaps one of the most coveted sustainable fashion brands on the planet.
It all started with the now famous Hockney dress, which Kendall pretty much singlehandedly made famous.
There’s certainly no beige here. HoS don’t shy away from colour and patterns, so maximalists will love their pieces.
Sliced Lemons Skirt, £67, House of Sunny – buy now
Waterloo Peggy Vol.3, £98, House of Sunny – buy now
The Aqua, £110, House of Sunny – buy now
Lucy & Yak
Brighton-based brand Lucy & Yak specialise in dungarees and boilersuits in a bold array of patterns, but their range has expanded in recent years and there’s very little they don’t do now.
Their size range has expanded too and now their pieces are available up to size 32.
Josy Vest Top in Alora, £23, Lucy & Yak – buy now
Riley Jumpsuit in Mid Wash Blue, £64, Lucy & Yak – buy now
Alexa Trousers in Black, £39, Lucy & Yak – buy now
Prefer to keep it simple? Try Asket.
Rather than constantly creating more, they have a permanent collection of basics. Think tees, sweaters and jeans.
If your item gets damaged, they’ll repair it. If you’re done with it, they’ll buy it back.
The Standard Jeans in Stone Wash, £125, Asket – buy now
The T-Shirt in White, £35, Asket – buy now
The Wool Cardigan in Brown Melange, £155, Asket – buy now
They might be the new kid on the block, but you’re about to see a lot more of Damson Madder.
Every item is made using organic cotton, recycled and re-purposed fabrics, and everything is ethically sourced.
While eco-friendly garments used to mean beige and bamboo, Damson Madder are doing things differently. Their bold retro prints have won them legions of fans already – me included.
Pia Midi Dress In Pink & Green Floral, £85, Damson Madder – buy now
Zadie Shirred Tie Shoulder Top X Hollie Mercedes, £45, Damson Madder – buy now
Quilted Tote Bag With Wiggle Edge In Leopard Print, now £50, Damson Madder – buy now
Reformation needs no introduction, but we’ll try.
What started as a vintage brand has become one of the most popular sustainable fashion brands in the world.
Now they create feminine and versatile pieces using low-impact materials, rescued deadstock fabrics, and repurposed vintage clothing.
Lilou Knit Dress in Citrus or Ochre, £200, Reformation – buy now
Lexi High Rise Wide Leg Jeans in Ivory, £178, Reformation – buy now
Rayna Closed Toe Clog, £335, Reformation – buy now
Loungewear just got a very stylish update.
If Pangaia’s tracksuits, tees and outerwear in colour pop hues weren’t enough to convince you to invest, perhaps their commitment to sustainability will.
Organic Cotton Tailored Trousers in Pistachio, £150, Pangaia – buy now
365 Sweatshirt – Pastel Tones in Sakura Pink, £115, Pangaia – buy now
Recycled Cotton Stripe Boxy T-Shirt in Navy Bluem £65, Pangaia – buy now
Yes, Stella McCartney will set you back more than Zara – but you know you’re getting good quality, long-lasting and considered clothing.
The designer doesn’t use fur, feathers, leather or animal skin – a commitment she made right from the brand’s launch in 2001.
Frayme Ryder Medium Flap Shoulder Bag, £1,095, Stella McCartney – buy now
S-Wave Tape Crop Top, £225, Stella McCartney – buy now
Skyla Chain Platform Sandals, £805, Stella McCartney – buy now
Crochet is a huge hit this season, but it’s also a very impressive skill to have. Crocheting an item, whether it’s a dress or a blanket, takes a lot longer than you think, but it’s eco-friendly as there’s very little waste leftover in the process.
The UK-based brand Chro-che has won legions of fans for its colourful and retro designs, including none other than Dua Lipa.
Reet Petite Dress, £205, Cro-che – buy now
Baby Love Dress in Green, £252, Cro-che – buy now
Winged Butterfly Top in Blue, £65.50 – buy now