How to Make Your Workwear More Eco-Friendly –

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We just had a detailed post on how to avoid fast fashion for workwear, but we thought we’d take a look at it from another angle: how to make your workwear more eco-friendly.

In the past, we’ve also talked about eco-friendly, zero-waste cleaning products, green cleaning products that actually work, and brands that offer safe beauty products. We also discussed where to recycle, donate, and sell your work clothes.

How to Make Your Workwear More Eco-Friendly

1. Look for eco-friendly work clothes brands (see our list below). Eco-friendly workwear brands might try to use recycled materials in their clothes (often recycled polyester), or they might use natural (often organic) fibers like silk or cotton. Some companies strive to make use of other brands’ leftovers or deadstock (like Nadaam). Still others may focus on fair trade practices, or make their clothes in North America to have better oversight over production.

2. Buy pre-owned workwear from brands’ resale programs, such as J.Crew Always, M.M.LaFleur Second Act, and Eileen Fisher Renew (lots more in our post on resale programs!).

3. Shop consignment shops and thrift stores. Check out Yelp and your city’s subreddit for recommendations, as well as the directory at (If there are great thrift stores you love in your area, we’d love to hear about them in the comments!)

4. Choose non-synthetic and organic fabrics when possible. Note that vegan materials aren’t always eco-friendly, as this British Vogue story explains. (A few examples mentioned in the article are wool and silk alternatives like polyester, acrylic, and acetate.)

5. Pick up online orders in person if possible. Of course, this option is better for the environment when you don’t have to drive very far! During the holidays, some stores even offer discounts on in-store or curbside pickups, such as Ulta.

6. Buy workwear from Etsy sellers, especially if you can find local shops. Yes, searching on Etsy can be overwhelming, so make sure to use filters, e.g., handmade, vintage, free shipping, shop location, and Star Seller status. In the past, we’ve recommended Etsy sellers for dramatic blazers and workwear in general, and did an open thread about readers’ favorite shops.

7. When you order from Amazon, pick the slower shipping speed. I do this a lot because I like to put the $1 digital credits toward Kindle books. The University of Washington lists several other ways to cut your carbon footprint for Amazon deliveries.

8. Go to arts & craft fairs to shop for jewelry from local artisans, as well as museum/gallery stores, which typically feature upscale pieces from local artists. Sales of handmade items are especially plentiful at the holidays! And year-round, check Instagram, Facebook,, and to find local events. (Something to be aware of: I just discovered at a recent craft fair that some vendors who took Venmo and other money transfer apps DON’T take credit cards.)

{related: 7 of the best shops on Etsy for workwear}

Readers, what are your favorite ways to make your workwear more eco-friendly? Do you regularly do any of the above?

Eco-Friendly Workwear Brands

As of 2024: If you’re hunting for eco-friendly clothes to wear to work, check out major brands like Boden, Eileen Fisher, Hobbs, LK Bennett, Karen Kane, Ministry of Supply, Reformation, Ted Baker, Theory, and Treasure & Bond (by Nordstrom). Sustainable luxury brands include Acne Studios, Chloé, Gucci, Loeffler Randall, Mara Hoffman, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood. Nordstrom has a big section devoted to sustainable style!

Also try smaller eco-friendly workwear brands like these:

  • ABLE (aims to empower women)
  • Aday (machine washable! pockets!)
  • Altar (made in USA; shares tons of info on company practices)
  • Amour Vert (recycled polyester, washable silk, regenerated wool)
  • Christydawn (includes Regenerative Cotton Collection)
  • Cleobella (also makes handbags & swimwear)
  • Cuyana (100% from sustainable fabrics)
  • Everlane (organic cotton, cashmere, 100% recycled polyester, etc.)
  • Emerson Fry (made in USA)
  • Fair Indigo (organic cotton)
  • Grammar (organic cotton; NYC factory)
  • Grana (Supima cotton, silk, Tencel, cashmere)
  • Hours (upcycled fabric; plastic-free packaging)
  • Kirrin Finch (menswear-inspired; extended sizes)
  • Malaika New York (regenerated nylon, organic cotton, etc.)
  • Minimalist (made in USA; biodegradable, recyclable)
  • Naadam (deadstock cashmere — other companies’ leftover materials)
  • pact (organic cotton; zero net carbon; fair trade)
  • Passion Lilie (natural fibers, nontoxic dyes; fair trade)
  • Pure Collection (cashmere certified by Sustainable Fibre Alliance)
  • Quince (cashmere, washable silk, organic cotton)
  • The R Collective (reuses and recycles pre-consumer materials)
  • Santicler (machine-washable merino wool, eco-cashmere)
  • Sotela (clothing made to order, some customizations)
  • tentree (99% sustainable fibers; climate neutral)
  • Thought (organic cotton, bamboo, wool, etc.; collections 96% vegan)
  • Wallis Evera (made in Canada; hemp, organic cotton, silk, Lyocell)
  • Wildfang (menswear-inspired; extended sizes, including tall)

Where to Find Eco-Friendly Suits for Women

Wondering where to find eco-friendly suits for women? As of 2024, check out Theory, Ministry of Supply, LK Bennett, and Aday — and for more gender-neutral suiting, try Kirrin Finch and Wildfang, both of which offer extended sizes. NET-A-PORTER has some pricey options like Stella McCartney in their NET SUSTAIN section.

Where to Find Eco-Friendly Clothes in Plus Sizes

Eco-friendly plus-size workwear can be even harder to find! As of 2024, these are the ones we know about — you might also want to check our roundup of made-to-measure clothing.

Stock photo via Pexels / cottonbro studios.