In recent years, our global fashion industry has made notable progress when it comes to sustainability, from circular business models to more planet-friendly fabrics. While this is great news, the same can’t be said for size inclusivity.
Today, only a limited number of sustainable brands cater to plus sized figures. This means there’s fewer options out there for women who don’t fall within standardised clothing sizes, creating a barrier for those that actually want to shop eco-consciously. It’s no wonder that many have to fall back on fast fashion! Online retailers like ASOS and Boohoo not only offer bigger size ranges, but also a wider variety of flattering styles.
While making clothes for larger sizes requires sophisticated testing and grading—something that a lot of small, sustainable brands need better internal resources to do—there are already ethical brands that are catering to women over a size UK16! Continue reading for a list of our favourites, catering from a UK18 to a UK32.
Each of Vagary’s whimsical, bohemian designs is designed with different body shapes in mind. They produce their collections with a family-run manufacturer in Indonesia, using sustainably-sourced fabrics like Tencel and linen. Following a slow fashion ethos, they only produce in small batches. You’ll have to ‘camp out’ online for some of their drops, but it’s worth it! They create up to UK24.
Amethyst La Luna Robe, $159.95 AUD
Lilac Circle Skirt, $159.95 AUD
Dawn Marrakesh Off Shoulder Mini Dress, $159.95 AUD
Reformation’s designs are made from low-impact materials, deadstock fabrics, and repurposed vintage clothes. They run their own factory in Los Angeles, where they ensure a safe working environment for their team and workers throughout their supply chain. Their mission is to bring sustainable fashion to everyone, and they offer pieces up to size UK20!
3. Big Bud Press
Big Bud Press is known for their bright and fun everyday pieces, and pride themselves on their ethical and local manufacturing practices. They internally audit each and every one of their manufacturing partners, visiting them almost daily pre-Covid. The brand also sources almost all of their fabric domestically, reducing what they call ‘clothing kilometres’ (the measure of the distance accumulated by transporting fabrics, textiles, and garments!) Their pieces go up to 7XL.
Swap Meet Stripe Tee in Berry Bunch, $40 USD
Cavalry Pants in Burnt Orange, $90 USD
Overalls in Airbrush Stars, $155 USD
Based in Cambodia, Dorsu creates affordable capsule wardrobe essentials made from soft, remnant cotton jersey fabric up to a UK18-20. They champion transparency and strive for a fairer fashion industry. Their designs focus on ease of wear, quality and intelligent use of resources, instead of keeping up with trends. Looking for sustainable brands in Singapore? ZERRIN is Dorsu’s exclusive stockist.
Rolled Sleeve Crew in Black, $50 AUD
Boat Neck Long Sleeve Top in Sage, $55 AUD
Wide Leg Jumpsuit in Charcoal, $100 AUD
5. Seasalt Cornwall
UK brand Seasalt Cornwall is dedicated to doing better by the planet. They continuously grow their sustainability team and work with environmental partners to develop and meet performance targets. Their designs are made to last, made from carefully sourced, quality fabrics. Impressively, they were the first fashion company to achieve Soil Association GOTS certification, back in 2005! Their items fit up to UK size 28.
6. Christy Dawn
Christy Dawn is committed to practices that honour Mother Earth and sources deadstock (discarded excess fabric) fabric to make their dresses. Not only do they offset carbon emissions caused by shipping, they also offer the option to make their shipping carbon-positive! They’re currently working on a Farm-to-Closet initiative, working closely with farmers in India to nourish depleted plots of land, cultivating their own cotton with regenerative techniques. Their extended sizing collection serves up to size 3XL.
Poplinen aims to create a community for all women searching for sustainable, high quality styles that don’t break the bank. Their timeless styles celebrate all shapes and sizes! The brand uses eco-friendly fabrics like Tencel, organic cotton, modal, and organic linen. They also work with small factories that pay their workers living wages and provide benefits. The label currently offers up to size UK 28.
8. Lora Gene
UK-based brand Lora Gene designs classic everyday styles that embody clean lines, beautiful structures and simplicity. The brand works with a transparent supply chain, where they pay their garment workers in Bulgaria between 10% to 30% above the regular wage. The fabrics they use include natural fibres, such as silk, cotton, and linen. They also use innovative man-made fibres, like Tencel. The brand uses a variety of fit models to ensure inclusivity, but they also offer a custom sizing service. They stock up to UK28, but they also offer custom sizing.
The Midi Slip Silk Dress, $119 GBP
The Addison in Navy, $115 GBP
ace&jig creates designs from their own yarn-dye, woven fabric, working closely with artisans in India who specialise in the use of ancient wooden hand looms. This year, the brand has committed to making things more thoughtfully and sustainably while remaining true to their vision. They will be using existing resources and leftover textiles from previous collections. Their sizes go up to 4XL.
Birdsong is a UK-based brand founded based on the founders’ experiences working with marginalised women. The label sources ethical and sustainable fabrics like bamboo, Tencel, organic cotton, and hand-woven, fair trade Khadi. Their bold and beautiful styles fit up to a UK30.
Floral Print Midi Skirt, $155 GBP
Pink Reclaimed Bodice Dress, $195 GBP
11. Variety Hour
Variety Hour is a Melbourne-based design studio. Founded by a textile designer, the brand specialises in the craft of print design. Their vibrant designs are produced in small batches by local workers paid living wages. They recently increased their size range to include up to UK20, but they’re working towards expanding it even more!
12. Mara Hoffman
Mara Hoffman is a sustainable ready-to-wear fashion and swimwear label which prioritises sourcing natural, organic, and recycled fibres. Where possible, they manufacture locally. This is to leave a smaller carbon footprint, and also to foster close relations with their partners, who they are able to visit regularly and support. What’s more, the brand works with a wide variety of charities to help achieve their sustainability goals. Offering extended sizes, their designs go up to UK24.
Sotela champions body positivity, positive impact, humanity and the environment. They specialise in size-inclusive wardrobe staples, including loungewear, that is timeless and made to last. They ensure this by hand-making every piece from start to finish in their studio in California. The brand also uses eco-friendly fabrics that have minimal environmental impact such as tencel, modal, and linen. While they use their own measurement guide, their sizes go up to an equivalent of UK32.
14. Fame and Partners
Fame and Partners offers made-to-order clothing, ranging from everyday wear to even wedding dresses! This allows the brand to design every piece to fit you, without the need for excess stock and overproduction. This also means that virtually everything is customisable, from fit and measurements, to even the dresses themselves.
15. The Emperor’s Old Clothes
UK-based brand The Emperor’s Old Clothes designs unique pieces from limited amounts of vintage and deadstock fabrics. Each of their garments is created on site by a small team in their Brighton studio. Their workers are paid a living wage and they also provide free sewing traineeships in the community. They currently create up to UK32, as well as customisation services.
Orange Dungaree Culottes in Tango, $89 GBP
Gingham Tea Dress in Picket Fence, $135 GBP
16. Eileen Fisher
Eileen Fisher is a sustainable apparel label focusing on encouraging circularity in fashion through their ‘nothing goes to waste’ philosophy. They design simple, timeless clothes made to last using regenerative and renewable methods. The brand sources natural fibres from farms that make the land more resilient and increase biodiversity, helping regenerate their ecosystems. Their plus size collection that caters up to UK26.
Fine Jersey Crew Neck Top, $237.80
Fine Jersey Flare Skirt, $272.20
Flex Tencel Ponte Lantern Pant, $341.20