Fashion News

10 best sustainable fashion & ethical clothing brands in New Zealand 

Sustainability never goes out of style.
Models wearing ethical clothing by NZ brand Kowtow

Are you on the hunt for clothing that looks good, is kind to the environment, and champions fair workers’ rights?

Whether you desire an affordable dress, a fresh pair of white sneakers, or perhaps a pre-loved designer handbag, we’ve got you covered.

Dive into our guide to popular sustainable, ethical, eco-friendly, and Fairtrade clothing brands. The best part? You can shop them all in New Zealand.

Where to buy sustainable fashion & ethical clothing in NZ 

01

1. Kowtow 

Best for: Those passionate about reducing their carbon footprint without sacrificing style.

Kowtow is a sustainable leader in the New Zealand fashion scene. It prides itself on crafting apparel made from 100% Fairtrade organic cotton.

Kowtow offers everything from comfortable basics and knitwear to shirts, tailored jackets and coats, and even menswear. A bonus for the environmentally conscious shopper is Kowtow’s commitment to long-wearing clothing, evidenced by their free repair promise on all garments.

What sets Kowtow apart from other fashion brands is its dedication to plastic-free production, even using materials like agoya shells and corozo nuts for its buttons. Moreover, its denim pieces are made with recyclable metal hardware, which can be returned to Kowtow for recycling at the end of the garment’s life.

02

Everlane

Best for: Style-savvy shoppers seeking classic yet contemporary work attire

American clothing retailer Everlane collaborates with responsible factories and uses eco-friendly materials to craft clothes built to last.

It offers an impressive collection for women and men, including work-ready shirts and trousers, timeless denim, and comfortable and durable knitwear.

Everlane is the perfect blend of fashion-forward design and ethical practices, making it a favourite among conscious consumers looking for wardrobe staples that endure beyond seasons.

03

The Iconic Considered

Best for: Fashionistas on the lookout for fresh and exciting labels

Popular online marketplace The Iconic features various sustainable fashion brands that prioritise ethics without compromising on style. 

Among its standout offerings, you’ll find Australian womenswear label Ginger & Smart and leaders in outdoor clothing Patagonia

For denim lovers, Nobody Denim is an Australian-made brand that champions energy-efficient manufacturing to reduce its environmental impact. 

The Iconic also features Australian activewear brands like DK Active and Nimble Activewear, ensuring your fitness regime is eco-conscious and stylish, too. 

04

Allbirds 

Best for: People searching for comfortable footwear

Founded by Kiwis and with headquarters in San Francisco, Allbirds is at the forefront of sustainable innovation. A prime example of Kiwi ingenuity, it not only boasts a B Corp certification but is also on a mission to slash its carbon footprint to nearly zero by 2030.

Allbirds offers an array of footwear, activewear, and loungewear crafted from materials like soft merino wool and eucalyptus tree fibre. Whether you’re seeking casual attire or running and hiking shoes, Allbirds has something for everyone.

Our favourite part about Allbirds? Its footwear soles are crafted from a moisture-wicking blend of merino wool and foam, providing the ultimate cushioning sensation. After frequent wear, simply purchase replacement insoles so your shoes feel brand all over again.

05

Farfetch Designer Pre-owned

Best for: Bargain hunters searching for a luxury steal 

Not only is buying pre-loved an eco-friendly choice, but it means you can invest in designer pieces at more accessible prices, coupled with the prospect of an excellent resale value in the future.

Luxury online retailer Farfetch sells a dedicated range of secondhand treasures, from timeless Burberry trench coats to elegant Christian Dior handbags.

Whether you desire clothes, shoes or jewellery, there’s something special for every fashionista.

06

Lovehoney Mindful

Best for: People desiring guilt-free lingerie 

Yes, you read this correctly. Sex toy company Love Honey has created Mindful, a sustainable lingerie line that proves eco-friendly can also be irresistibly sexy.

The Mindful collection features everything from bras and knickers to bodysuits and bustiers, all crafted from recycled fabrics and regenerated materials. Notably, it also caters to a wide range of sizes (6-28)

Embrace your desires while indulging in lingerie that’s good for the planet.

07

Boody

Best for: Those who prioritise comfortable underwear over everything else 

For those who believe comfort is non-negotiable, Boody is simply the best. The B Corp-certified brand crafts its ultra-soft, seam-free underwear from organically grown bamboo viscose, which offers breathability, natural absorbency, and all-day freshness.

Producing other essentials like bralettes, period underwear, socks and activewear, Boody is the ultimate everyday brand for comfort and sustainability.

Available at:

08

St. Agni

Best for: Tastemakers with a penchant for modern minimalism

Australian label St. Agni is a destination for the modern minimalist. St. Agni is committed to fair working rights and environmentally friendly materials. Its beautifully designed womenswear includes tailored pieces, knitwear, basics, and occasion dresses.

Known for its buttery-soft, responsibly sourced leather handbags, St. Agni is the perfect choice for those looking to build a capsule wardrobe or invest in designer sustainable fashion that doesn’t compromise on style.

Available at:

09

The RealReal

Best for: Thrifty shoppers seeking designer and vintage

The RealReal offers an exquisite selection of secondhand and vintage finds from high street and designer labels around the globe.

It stocks everything from Australian brands Aje and Zimmermann to internationally renowned labels like Ganni and Isabel Marant.

A testament to the adage that one person’s trash is another’s treasure, embark on your next fashion treasure hunt with The RealReal.

10

Afends

Best for: People looking for affordable, on-trend clothes 

Meet Afends, the Byon Bay-born surf and skate brand making waves with its commitment to sustainability.

Crafting trendy apparel from recycled materials and natural fibres like hemp, you’ll love its selection of casual dresses, hemp denim jeans and swimwear.

Afends ensures you stay cool, collected and kind to the planet all year round.

Available at:


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