*Updated December 8, 2021
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Sustainable alternatives to Zara are here and ready to shine!
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 we should make the switch in the first place.
How is fast fashion impacting the people, planet and animals?
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 factors specific to Zara – such as textile waste, social impact, worker’s rights, and more
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.
Zara is doing little to tackle unfair worker pay through its supply chains, causing workers to be paid less than the minimum living wage.
While the brand avoids using fur or angora, it still widely uses leather, 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.
So, where can we shop if we are looking to make better choices? Here are our top 5 choices for sustainable alternatives to Zara.
5 Amazing Sustainable Alternatives to Zara
1. LA Relaxed
At the top of our list is none other than the gorgeous LA Relaxed, based in Los Angeles, California. This company only uses sustainable, vegan, and cruelty-free fabrics to create their beautiful line of must-have basics. LA Relaxed produces in small batches, thus minimising waste! Ethically produced in the USA under fair trade conditions. A great sustainable alternative to fast fashion!
Price: $32.00 – $118.00
Ethics: Safe and fair labor standards, Natural and sustainable materials, Sustainable packaging
Location: Los Angeles, California
Size Range: XS – XL
2. Ash & Rose
Ash & Rose is a one stop shop haven of sustainable and ethical goods. This is a marketplace filled with some of our top favourite sustainable brands – so you can filter and find exactly what you are looking for in no time!
Price: Varies widely
Ethics: Sustainable and ethical shops, sustainable packaging
Size Range: XXS – 2XL
When someone tells you that sustainable fashion is boring – just send them to Symbology. This sustainable brand is bursting with color and the most gorgeous pieces for you “susty” closet. All of Symbology’s products are handcrafted by women artisans who use traditional art techniques! A fantastic sustainable alternative to Zara!
Price: Prices vary but typically around $100
Ethics: Natural and sustainable materials, fair trade & working conditions & livable wages, sustainable packaging
Size Range: XS – 3X
4. Tonlé Design
Tonlé is a SKL community favorite and one of the most inclusive brands on this list. All of the Tonlé designs are created from a combination of deadstock, cut-waste, and textiles that, although high quality, were not seen as fit to be used in industrial production. Many of their designs are available in limited quantities because of this – which only adds to the beauty of this brand!
Price: $50 – $100
Ethics: Sustainable materials, zero waste business model, sustainable packaging, fair trade working conditions
Location: Created in Cambodia, sold in the U.S.A.
Size Range: XS – 3XL
Mata Traders has a ton of colourful options, but we loved these muted pieces for “Zara-ish” look. You can find a huge variety of sustainable and ethical pieces on the Mata Traders website – all made with natural and sustainable materials! Designed in my hometown of Chicago and handcrafted by fair trade women’s cooperatives and artisan groups in India and Nepal.
Price: $50 – $150+
Ethics: Sustainably and ethically made, fair trade working conditions, sustainable packaging
Location: Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
Size Range: XS – 2XL
Did you enjoy this list of sustainable alternatives to Zara?
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!