7 Great Ethical and Sustainable Brands on ASOS
ASOS is a staple in many UK closets. From bang-on trend tops to ‘hello holiday!’ swimsuits, the site has everything you need to style yourself silly. But are there ethical and sustainable brands on ASOS, too?
The answer is YES! There are several sustainable and ethical brands that you can support while shopping on ASOS.
So whether you’ve received a gift card you want to use a bit more sustainably, you’re slowing embarking on your ethical fashion journey, or you’re just curious, this post will take you through the questions you might have about ASOS’s ethics and introduce 7 great ethical and sustainable brands sold on the site.
Is ASOS sustainable?
It’s a mixed bag with ASOS on sustainability, as any site that sells so many items is going to struggle to stay green. With over 21,000 dresses alone available, it’s hard to see how ASOS can be sustainable. Fast fashion has a crippling impact on the environment, and ASOS unfortunately fuels this trend.
Still, the company has taken steps towards sustainability. The company’s ‘Fashion with Integrity‘ 2030 Strategy sets out goals for sustainability under two main pillars: people and planet. In this strategy, you’ll find how ASOS has signed up to a number of initiatives over the years, including the British Retail Consortium’s Climate Action Roadmap, Textiles2030, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and more.
But while there are steps being taken by ASOS to improve its sustainability, there’s definitely still room for improvement. And we can all help by buying less and loving our clothes more.
What is ASOS Marketplace?
On ASOS Marketplace you’ll find amazing vintage options to fill your closet sustainably. Just make sure to choose the vintage tab at the top to ensure your item is preloved, or look into the ethics and sustainability of the independent brands you’re exploring!
And remember, reduce, reuse, recycle is a hierarchy. So if you’re buying new-to-you items, it’s best to invest (reduce) in vintage (reuse). ASOS Marketplace offers you this option in a simple, affordable way.
Is ASOS a fast fashion brand?
In many ways, yes, ASOS is a fast fashion brand. It stocks many (many!) items that are often made quickly and cheaply. I’ve outlined the sustainability steps and challenges that ASOS has above. So overall, ASOS has taken some steps forward but with a lot of room for improvement.
Want to know more? Check out my post Why is fast fashion bad? to learn more about the challenges behind fast fashion!
What about the brands that ASOS stocks?
A lot of the time, however, you’ll find that the fab fashion you find on ASOS doesn’t come from the brand itself. Many of the brands that ASOS stocks are fast fashion brands, including familiar names like Topshop and Misguided.
There are hidden gems, however, amongst the brands. Here are my favourite ethical and sustainable brands on ASOS.
Top tip: it’s important to encourage (and hold to account!) those companies that are trying to improve their practices. ASOS is on the journey of sustainability – consider writing to the company to welcome these steps and encourage them to keep improving.
Ethical and sustainable brands at ASOS
As ASOS is to everyday fashion, so is People Tree to sustainable clothing. It’s a staple, one you’ll find in most ethical fashionista’s closets. The company is the first in the world to receive the World Fair Trade Organisation label and gained Soil Association certification in 2006. Its Fair Trade products – of which there are many! – are certified Fair Trade across the whole supply chain. It’s an impressive feat that demonstrates People Tree’s true commitment to sustainable and ethical style.
And style is certainly the name of the game. From stunning tops to trendy midi skirts, you’ll find everything you need with People Tree. It’s a company with real staying power – in more ways than one. That’s why it’s a top pick for ethical and sustainable brands on ASOS.
The ASOS Made in Kenya collection works with SOKO Kenya to deliver stunning and consciously created pieces. SOKO is a ‘people first company’, with a commitment to supporting workers and communities alike. The company also has a commitment to reducing its environmental footprint through sustainable practices such as rain water collection and solar panels.
What you’ll find in the ASOS Made in Kenya collection are fun and fierce patterns and cuts that will brighten any wardrobe. If you’re looking to add a ‘wow’ factor in the best way possible, then this is definitely a brand to check out.
Knowledge Cotton Apparel wants to be ‘one of the game changers’, embedding sustainable practices into mens’ fashion. The company uses recycled polyester and organic cotton to save water – and in turn the planet. In addition, suppliers are certified by SA8000, BSCI, and Fairtrade. And the company boasts a low return rate, meaning you’ll love your product and you won’t be adding unnecessary emissions through return postage.
Casual cool in muted colours is what you’ll find at Knowledge Cotton Apparel. T-shirts, chinos, and overshirts come in a range of complementary colours, so you’ll always be able to create a stylish outfit. It’s a great sustainable brand on ASOS for menswear.
Update: Knowledge Cotton Apparel is out of stock right now on ASOS, so I’ve linked to the main site. Let’s hope it comes back soon!
Top tip: the labels men’s and women’s are just that – labels. Don’t be afraid to buy what you like and feel good in, no matter how it’s been categorised.
In addition to this one-for-one model, the shoes themselves are created with people and planet in mind. You’ll find five core commitments on Toms’ website, including using 100% organic cotton by 2025, as well as a complete list of factories. The company’s supplier code of conduct calls for a living wage, safe and healthy workplaces, and freedom of association. It’s a winner all around!
While Toms is know for its classics slip on pumps that go anywhere and do anything, you’ll find tonnes of styles that suit everyone and keep your toes warm, cool, and cozy. So check out Toms if you’re in the market for stylish, sustainable, footwear!
Stella McCartney is a pioneer in high-end sustainable fashion. Lucky for us, it’s also one of the sustainable brands on ASOS. The brand calls itself an agent of change, exploring innovation in materials and methods to reduce its environmental impact. The company has also been a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative since 2012 and uses organic cotton, vegetarian leather, and re-engineered cashmere to keep animals and the planet happy and healthy.
The Stella McCartney brand has a wealth of (pricy!) products that fit the ethical and sustainable bill, but at ASOS you’ll just find lingerie. I say ‘just’, but it’s sexy and luxurious. Treat yourself and treat the planet, too.
Surprised to see adidas on the list? I was too! For such a well-known name, adidas takes a lot of extra steps to be a more ethical and sustainable brand. The company recently announced that in 2021 60% of all products will use sustainable materials. Since 2018, 100% of cotton used by adidas is classed as ‘more sustainable’ and 99% of products are free of PFCs. The company also has a Fair Compensation Strategy and produces an annual global supplier list, demonstrating a commitment to transparency.
Trainers, leggings, and general sportswear are what you’ll get with adidas. You can feel sexy, sporty, and that little bit more sustainable while you work out (or lounge about at home – no judgement here).
If you’re buying new-to-you items, it’s best to invest (reduce) in vintage (reuse).
I LOVE the opening lines of Just Female’s responsibility page: ‘Sustainability is much more than climate action…sustainability is the ethical and caring approach we have to our full supply chain.’ 75% of the company’s Autumn 2021 collection was made as part of their Sustainable Choice range, which uses environmentally-friendly materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester. They’re also a partner of the Plant et Træ (Plant a Tree) initiative and detail their efforts to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals on their website.
Just Female offers flirty, on-trend fashion that is sexy and sustainable. Flattering silhouettes are made from beautiful fabrics that give you a sophisticated look. They’re perfect everyday staples for your sustainable closet.
Update: Just Female is out of stock right now on ASOS, so I’ve linked to the main site. Let’s hope it comes back soon!
Looking for more sustainable items? Check out my post 7 Best Ethical & Sustainable Fuzzy Socks for Women!
If you’re looking for trendy pieces to update your wardrobe, then ASOS is probably on your list. But are you sacrificing sustainability for style? Not always.
I’ve shared with you some of my favourite sustainable brands on ASOS, which I hope will help you on the road to a greener closet. So now it’s just about deciding what you need, if you really need it (remember to reduce your use!), and then get shopping from these more sustainable brands.
Your wallet, your community, and your planet will all thank you!