Last updated: 9-2-2019
I’ll never forget the moment I realized that the ethical fashion movement is anything but plus size-friendly. A friend of mine had read one of my blog posts and was talking to me about how she thought fair trade was a really good idea. “But, what about plus size people like me?” she asked. “Is there stuff for us out there?”
I felt shame rising in my throat as I realized this was not something I had ever considered. My privilege and lack of awareness, however unintentional, was suddenly exposed. I frantically flipped back through every ethical fashion brand I could think of in my mind, realizing with disappointment that I had never seen any of them advertise plus size clothing. There were a grand total of ZERO brands that I knew of at the time that I could recommend to my friend.
Part of the problem was that there aren’t a ton of plus size ethical fashion options, and part of the problem was that I just hadn’t stumbled across any yet. If you’re a person who is plus sized and interested in transitioning to an ethical wardrobe, this post is for you! I have rounded up 26 stores and brands that sell ethically made plus size clothing–all gathered together in one convenient, alphabetized list!I spent hours combing through the Internet and reviewing each brand’s website to confirm that they are manufacturing in an ethical manner. I reviewed many brands that did not make it onto this list, including brands that were recommended by other people as being “ethical” brands. However, if a brand was not transparent enough to publicly post their manufacturing practices on their website, they did not make this list. These are truly brands you can trust, because they have publicly shared what they are doing to manufacture their clothing ethically!
Ethically made in Philadelphia, this colorful brand used to be exclusively for plus-size women. They then decided to offer options for women of all sizes so as not to further perpetuate a culture of size exclusivity (insert all the heart eye emojis here!). They go up to a size 28.
Alternative Apparel specializes in affordable basics and offers sizes up to a 4X for women and a 3X for men. They are committed to fair labor practices: The majority of their factories are WRAP-certified, and all of their factories adhere to Fair Labor Association guidelines. They also demonstrate a concern for the environment through their use of organic and recycled materials, low-impact dyes, and eco-friendly packaging.
This fair trade Canadian company uses natural fibers and bamboo to make “bohemian chic” clothing in sizes up to 4X. They are offer a little bit of everything: underwear, dresses, tops…even coverups!
This denim company goes up to a US size 22, and the jeans are ethically made in Los Angeles. They source their denim from European factories that are focused on reducing waste and using environmentally friendly dyes and materials.
Look no further for ethically made, plus size bras, undies, swimsuits, and dance wear/leotards (as well as other basics)! Decent Exposures offers bras up to a size 60J and clothing up to a size 4X. Their products are made in the USA from recycled materials and organic cotton with a focus on reducing waste.
Ethically made in Canada, Dianne Kennedy offers stylish business wear exclusively for curvy women. Their signature fabric is made from 100% organic bamboo.
This brand has a major focus on fair trade, supply chain transparency, sustainability, organic cotton, and natural dyes. They also have an extensive plus size line that features tops, pants, dresses, outerwear, jumpsuits, etc.!
Made in the USA with natural fibers, this clothing line promotes a minimal wardrobe and conscious consumption. And, the clothing goes up to a size 4XL.
One of my favorite ethical fashion boutiques, The Flourish Market, recently started stocking plus size tops and dresses. There are work-appropriate and casual options. (Use this link to score 15% off your first purchase!)
If you love a bohemian vibe, Gaia Conceptions is for you! Their pieces are handmade in the USA using organic fabrics and natural plant dyes. Their sizing goes up to 3X.
I’ve written before about my love for Girlfriend Collective leggings! My appreciation for them has only grown since I discovered that they carry leggings, shorts, tops, and bodysuits up to a size 3X!
HDH clothing is made in the USA, and they have a plus-size line available. The company reduces waste by making most of their pieces after they’ve been ordered.
Exclusively for curvy women, this fashion-forward, modern clothing company makes some of their clothing in Australia and some clothing overseas under fair trade agreements.
This line of dresses is offered in sizes 12-36 and is made in the USA under fair labor conditions. In addition to their regular line of dresses, they also offer a made-to-order option that allows you to customize a dress from various color/silhouette/neckline options. So awesome!
Y’all, my ultimate dream is to be able to walk into a department store that exclusively carries ethically made fashion. It would be so nice to have that many ethically made options all in once place. But until then, it IS possible to find ethical fashion brands at large department stores…you just have to know what you’re looking for! Karen Kane has a plus size line that is available in popular department stores like Belk and Dillard’s. The majority of the clothing is made in the USA, and the company is very transparent about their fair labor standards.
This brand carries menswear-inspired clothing that fits a female-shaped body. Their clothing goes up to a size 20 and is made in the USA using sustainable fabrics. The company also gives to LGBTQ-related causes.
This Australian brand sells clothing that is ethically produced in Thailand. Their plus size line features both casual and work-appropriate pieces.
This carefully curated online boutique features clothing that is fair trade, ethically made, made in the USA, or made using sustainable business practices. The site has a plus size section that makes it easy to locate plus size options.
This on-trend brand goes up to a size 2X. All of lur’s clothing and accessories are ethically made using 100% recycled materials. They also donate a generous portion of their proceeds to an economic development program for women in Guatemala.
This nonprofit promotes economic development in India by employing artisans under a fair trade certified model. Their Indian-inspired clothing goes up to size 4X.
This brand exclusively produces plus size pieces (including bras and underwear!!) up to a size 8X and is committed to fair labor practices. They also demonstrate a commitment to lowering their carbon footprint and utilize natural fibers in 90% of their clothing along with less toxic dyes.
This activewear brand makes clothing up to a size 3X for women and 2X for men. The plus size options are admittedly fewer than the smaller size options, but it’s a start!
This website is a part of a larger umbrella organization called GreaterGood. GreaterGood has several online stores that follow a “give back” model, meaning a portion of each purchase is donated to a cause related to the site’s theme. Proceeds from The Rainforest Site fund preservation of endangered rainforest habitat. GreaterGood seems to be committed to ethical and sustainable production, and the plus size section of The Rainforest Site is robust!
Reformation offers ethically made, trendy clothing in sizes up to 22. They are incredibly transparent about each and every measure they take to make sure their clothing is being produced ethically and sustainably, even acknowledging areas for future growth (very remarkable!).
SmartGlamour sells affordable, fashionable clothing, swimsuits, and formalwear up to a size 15X. This line is handmade in NYC from start to finish–including the making of the fabrics (that is a rarity, y’all!).
These pajamas and robes are made in India by women who are at risk of being trafficked into the sex trade. They call their pajama pants “Punjammies”–how cute and clever is that?? They offer sizes up to 2X.
Target is now offering fair trade denim in certain styles, including plus sizes!
Friends, I hope this guide is helpful for you. If you know of any other ethically made plus size fashion brands that did not make it onto this list, please leave a comment on this post or contact me privately. I am happy to continue updating this post as I learn about new brands!