There's a common misconception that ethical fashion costs a fortune. A recent Cosmopolitan UK Instagram poll asked followers about their shopping habits and found that two thirds of respondents (1,696 votes) don’t buy from sustainable fashion brands. Of those who don’t, 80 percent (1,448) said it was because sustainable brands were too expensive.

The base costs of sustainable fashion is inherently more expensive due to sourcing costly eco-friendly materials, paying people a fair wage for sewing garments and respecting the planet. However, there are ethical and sustainable brands that have competitive prices, and affordable options.

Here are our top 10 affordable ethical brands >

1 > Idioma

As a family run business, Idioma, enhances foregin language learning and cultural awareness through visually appealing design. Each of their designs are based on a word or phrase in a foreign language, sharing a message of acceptance for people, nature and culture from around the globe. Using Organic and recycled materials, Idioma put the workers and the planet first.

2 > Hara

Allie Cameron, Hara’s founder had the inspiration for her brand while travelling India. Hara was officially started November 2016, and it is now one of the top brands creating Bras, Underwear and Loungewear that are soft and beautiful and have sustainable and ethical practices at the core.

3 > Flamingo’s life

Flamingo’s life is the perfect brand if you are looking for vegan shoes. They produce in Spain and use materials developed by themselves such as corn, bamboo, organic cotton and natural rubber. In addition, every sneakers collection has a social project associated with it.

4 > Birdsong

Birdsong create clothing for women who dress in protest. Wearing their wardrobe staples is a protest in itself– against the fast nature of the fashion industry and against the obsessive pursuit of trends. Birdsong designs clothes for remarkable women, but they are also made by them. They work with expert women makers who face barriers to employment, from artists and printmakers to seamstresses and painters, and pay them London living wages to bring their designs to life.

5 > People Tree

People tree is certainly a pioneer in sustainable Fair Trade Fashion since award-winning social entrepreneur Safia Minney founded the company in 1991. Every product is made to highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish. They have a very wide choice of items and you can find both essential clothing and beautiful prints and patterns options.

6 > Girlfriend Collective

If you are a sporty person and you are passionate about fashion sustainability you will love this brand. Girlfriend Collective creates activewear from recycled materials. One of their strength is also certainly inclusion as they are proudly selling from size XXS to 6XL.

7 > Thought

With sustainability as a core value, Thought recognises their responsibilities towards the environment, eco systems and local communities. They take every step possible to show great care to the people involved in making their clothing. Building lasting relationships with the people they work with is crucial.

8 > Wawwa

Wawwa only uses factories that use sustainable energy to manufacture our products and lessen our environmental impact. They use 100% recycled materials to make their clothes and they have an incredible range of basic organic T-shirt, Loungewear, Sweatshirt, Hoodies and more.

9 > ISTO.

ISTO. Is a Portugal based sustainable brand that does not rely on seasonal collection and produce everyday clothes that fit everyday needs. They have both menswear and womenswear and they have beautiful pieces you can easily fit in your daily wardrobe.

10 > Organic Basics

Organic Basics puts sustainability at the centre of everything that they do. Only working with renewable, recycled, low-impact or organic materials, they only choose fabrics that care for our environment. They only work with trusted, certified factory partners, that are free of child labor and forced labor, and have a safe working space, pay a living wage, and additional benefits.

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    Manuel Rinaldi

    Writer’s Bio: Manuel has a Master’s Degree in International Development from SOAS, University of London and is a Research Volunteer at Fashion Roundtable.

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