Sustainable Fashion

5 Fantastic Sustainable Alternatives to Zara for a Better Wardrobe

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Over the past few decades, Zara has become a go-to for many fashion lovers. However, as the brand operates on a fast fashion business concept, its environmental and social impact is one of the main reasons why people are now turning away from the brand, looking for more sustainable alternatives to fast fashion brands.

As the demand for ethical fashion rises, so does the number of alternatives to Zara which do not cost the Earth.

Before we get into our list of sustainable alternatives to Zara, let’s quickly talk about why make the switch in the first place.

How is its fast fashion impacting on people, the planet and animals?

Is Zara Sustainable?

As a fast fashion company, Zara can never be sustainable – that’s because its very purpose is to encourage us to overconsume clothing and buy garments we don’t need. Aside from the obvious issues associated with this, there are several other specific to Zara such as textile waste, social impact, worker's rights, and more.

is Zara sustainable fashion

Does Zara use sustainable packaging?

While the brand does use recycled packaging, there is no mention or proof of minimizing textile waste – which is much more abundant in the fashion industry than packaging.

Is Zara trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Like many other fast fashion companies, Zara has also set a target for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. However, there is no evidence that the company is actually on track to meet it.

Is Zara clothing made under fair trade conditions?

Zara is doing little to tackle unfair worker pay through its supply chains, causing workers to be paid less than the minimum living wage.

Does Zara use fur or Angora?

While the brand avoids using fur or angora, it still widely uses leather, wool, down and exotic animal hair – without specifying where these materials come from and how they are sourced.

While when it comes to social impact, the brand may be doing better than other fast fashion labels, it’s still no match to ethical fashion companies. Half of Zara’s final stage production is undertaken in Spain, a country with much higher labour standards than the ones where fast fashion clothing is usually produced. However, the country still has medium risk for worker abuse. They also seem to be more transparent, albeit not enough about their operations.

So, where can we shop if we are looking to make better choices? Here are our top 5 choices for sustainable alternatives to Zara.


KowTow | New Zealand, ships worldwide

5 sustainable alternatives to Zara

This label from New Zealand offers minimalist collections ideal for those who enjoy more simplistic pieces. In their production cycle, they’re applying circular design to reduce the amount of waste they’re producing to a minimum.

All of their clothes are made at SA8000®-certified organisations in India, to ensure that all environmental and ethical standards are upheld.

Materials: organic, renewable and biodegradable fibres – mainly organic cotton

Cost: $$

SHOPKOWTOW

Image: by KowTow


MUD Jeans | The Netherlands, ships worldwide

If you’re used to visiting Zara to shop for denim, the best sustainable and ethical fashion alternative out there are MUD Jeans. Although the garments run a little more expensive, when you consider the cost per wear, they actually cost much less than fast fashion jeans, as you can wear them for decades.

The brand puts circular economy into practice, producing their garments regionally and making them last. If you like to switch up your look often, they also offer the option to lease a pair of jeans, so that they can keep being reused!

Materials: GOTS certified organic cotton, recycled cotton

Cost: $$

SHOPMUD JEANS

Image: by MudJeans


Tonle | United States, ships worldwide

Tonle tackles one of the biggest issues of fast fashion – waste – in a brilliant way. They use salvaged end-of-roll fabrics, using even the last scraps to manufacture accessories such as hankies. What we also appreciate about this brand is that they include exactly how much water, energy and other resources have been saved in the manufacturing of the garment.

Their large collection includes both minimalist pieces and colourful garments – similar to Zara.

Materials: deadstock fabric

Cost: $

SHOPTONLE

Image: by Tonle


Oh Seven Days | Turkey, ships worldwide

Sustainable alternatives to Zara

Oh Seven Days may be the closest in aesthetic to Zara on this list. Their line features plain and colourful blouses of inventive yet professional cuts, midi skirts, wide-legged trouser. However, these garments will last you much longer than any piece from Zara would!

While the general aesthetic is the same, Oh Seven Days adds a much more timeless touch to its garments. What does this mean for the buyer? You’ll still want to wear them years from now!

Materials: deadstock fabric and fabric waste

Cost: $$

SHOP: OH SEVEN DAYS

Image: by Oh Seven Days


Tamga Designs | Canada, ships worldwide

Do the more colourful designs from Zara usually catch your eye? Look no further than Tamga Designs for an ethical fashion alternative! Their collection is full of colourful blouses and dresses you’ll want to keep wearing for years.

The brand uses the most sustainable fabrics, dyes and packaging for their garments.

Materials: Tencel, Lenzing Ecovero, Lenzing Modal

Cost: $ – $$

SHOPTAMGA DESIGNS

Image: by Tamga Designs


Have any favorite sustainable brands to add to the list? How about a favorite second hand website or boutique that you adore? Drop them below!

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Sustainable alternatives to Zara

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  1. Scout says:

    Thank you for the education and list of sustainable fashion alternatives!

  2. Jeannie says:

    the alternatives are all great and I like minimalist designs, Ive been curating my closet and dont follow fast fashion anymore.

  3. KBC says:

    Question: when you recommended these brands for sustainability did you also factor in where they were made, by whom they were made and if those workers were paid well? That’s been my goal in trying to buy less of fast fashion this year. I will have to check out the places you suggested. I find that I’ve been thrifting my clothes a lot more!

    • Hi there! the answer is: 10000% yes. We created Sustainably Kind to ONLY share brands that are ethical and sustainable. This means – the companies must treat the workers with respect and fair pay, have safe working conditions, and more. Transparency is also key – we only approve brands that have full transparency in supply and production chain. Thank you for asking the question!

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