It’s time to take the “either/or” out of inclusivity and sustainability. Consumers are demanding fashion brands to tick more than one box, telling them it’s not enough to preach about transparent supply chains and ethical sourcing if blind spots still remain when it comes to exclusive marketing, racist brand culture and non-diverse sizing and fit.
While there’s still so much progress to be made in the fashion industry, some brands have stepped up and championed both inclusivity and sustainability, and we’re here to highlight some of the best for every size, every occasion.
Best for workwear & wardrobe essentials: Eileen Fischer
Clean supply chain, ethical and made from sustainable fibres? Eileen Fischer checks all three boxes, plus one more – a dedicated collection for larger sizes up to 3X, proportioned to fit all women perfectly. These Fair Trade organic certified pieces are great for your wardrobe staples, coming in varied muted naturally-dyed colours, tones and easy-to-match cuts. What’s more? The brand offers a renewable program to allow customers to return their old clothing, which gets repaired and refurbished as new garments sold for a discount.
Best for variety: Made Trade
If you’re looking for an entire library of ethical and sustainable plus-sized clothing to browse through in one accessible place, then Made Trade is for you. The curated online store boasts a wide collection of brands that are all environmentally-conscious and value-led, with each product page also showing the materials used, whether the product is plant-based or suitable for vegans, and the measures the brand takes to avoid human rights violations. The range in their plus size apparel section is impressive, running up to 6XL for everything from your everyday casual wear to date-night looks.
Best for lingerie and underwear: Hara
We’ve got you covered for lingerie and underwear too, with Hara topping our list for offering the dreamiest underwear sets made sustainably from bamboo. The Australian-made label ranges from trendy bandeaus and bralettes to sexy low-cut bras, high waist undies and even leotards and loungewear – all coming in earthy tones and sizes running up to 5X.
Best for boho dresses: Mata Traders
Everyone loves a good boho dress, but finding a chic, non-tacky, eco-friendly and inclusive boho dress can be a challenge. Mata Traders has come to the rescue, offering a plus size collection of sleek and retro-modern boho dresses in a number of different patterns, bright colours, lengths and cuts – maxi, short and everything in between. In addition to running a wide variety of sizes up to 2X, the brand even offers a motherhood-friendly line of extra-stretchy garments, all made from ethically-sourced cotton and hand-made by female artisans in Indian and Nepalese rural co-ops that ensures fair pay and flexible work-from-home opportunities.
Best for activewear: Girlfriend Collective
Girlfriend Collective is the go-to for plus-size activewear, outerwear and athleisure pieces, with its line-up of recycled leggings and workout gear offered in sizes up to 6X. Committed to supply chain transparency, the American brand has made public its entire production process, from production in Taiwan, where recovered plastic bottles are turned into their new yarns, to the workers who sew together the material to make their minimalist leggings, sweats, windbreakers and sports bras.
Best for swimsuits & statement pieces: Mara Hoffman
Looking to stand out in a crowd or at the beach? Check out Mara Hoffman, whose collection is made from natural, organic and recycled materials like hemp, Tencel and cotton (even the tags and labels are made from 80% recycled paper printed with soy-based inks) and boasts an extended-size line up to 3X. Expect to be wowed by the brand’s stand-out ready-to-wear pieces and gorgeous swimsuits, two-pieces and beach dresses.
Best for denim: Warp + Weft
What’s a wardrobe without a good pair of jeans? Powered by their brand ethos of “inclusivity, sustainability, affordability”, Warp + Weft wins as one of the best sustainable plus-size denim makers out there. The range is incredible to ensure that every woman gets the perfect fit with more than 75 different sizes, body types and cuts – sizes run from 00 to 24. All their stretchy jeans and denim jackets are made ethically and sustainably from materials like lyocell and cotton sourced from the Better Cotton Initiative, sewn together at the UNDP social equality-compliant factories in Pakistan.
Best for jackets & outerwear: Hours
New York-based upcycled plus-size brand Hours is great for outerwear pieces, from sleek-cut jackets to relaxed cardigans and on-trend “cardi-dresses”. All their pieces come in at least three to four shades, from deep reds and purples to dark blue, mustard yellow and earthy brown, and sizes range 14 to 28. Minimalist in design, these garments are meant to stay as wardrobe staples that last from one season to the next, and are sustainably made from upcycled fabrics in their WRAP-certified local mills in China and packaged in 100% recycled and recyclable paper (totally plastic-free!).
Lead image courtesy of Girlfriend Collective.