9 Affordably Chic and Sustainable Alternatives to Zara

Although fast fashion companies are starting to push green initiatives and tapping into the conscious consumer market, many of their campaigns show no proof of progress toward said sustainability targets. Zara is one of these fast fashion retailers. With over 2,000 stores worldwide and over 21 million dollars in annual revenue, the global impact of Zara is significant. Zara has made steps toward being more eco-conscious, such as implementing a clothing recycling program or working toward lower greenhouse gas emission targets, but the evidence in actual results from these campaigns is hard to verify. The majority of their production processes are done in Spain with loose labor laws, meaning workers may not be paid a living wage. There is definitely a long way to go in terms of holding the fashion industry to a higher standard. While fast fashion giants like Zara catch up to speed with the rest of the sustainable fashion industry, ourCommonplace does all the research for you with vetted brands that uphold high standards in sustainability and ethical production. From fashion and jewelry to home goods, we’ve listed a few of our favorite affordably chic and sustainable alternatives to Zara below!

FASHION

Alana Athletica

ourCommonplace Values: Ethical, Sustainable, Toxic Free

An ethical activewear brand that empowers its workers and actively uplifts local communities.

Alana Athletica is an ethical activewear brand that empowers its woman-powered workforce with fair wages and humane environments and partners with humanitarian organizations to educate, employ, and empower women with private tutoring, job skills training, employment opportunities and self-defense training. Every garment sold supports women across these socioeconomic causes, helping them to survive and empowering them to thrive. Garments are made ethically in Sri Lanka in small production houses with a 100% women production workforce that receives food, fair wages, and a human environment.

Shop all Alana Athletica

Featured products: The Kickstarter Extra Hi-Rise Legging, The Traverse Bra, The Modern Renew Legging

Beatrice Bayliss

ourCommonplace Values: Ethical, Sustainable, Toxic Free, Cruelty Free, Woman Owned

Chic affordable slow fashion and a sustainable alternative to Zara, made ethically in the UK with organic materials.

From recycled packaging to their ethical, local UK production processes, Beatrice Bayliss is a sustainable alternative that puts emphasis on transparency and care for the environment in all of their fashion pieces. To further minimize their carbon footprint, they’ve also partnered with Ecologi, which plants a tree for every purchase made. Fairly priced, buying chic, sustainable clothing doesn’t have to be out of budget.

Shop all Beatrice Bayliss

Featured products: Wrap Skirt, Willow Top, Ribbed Lounge Shorts

Oceanchild

ourCommonplace Values: Ethical, Sustainable, Toxic Free, Cruelty Free, Woman Owned

Minimalist-inspired sustainable swimwear made from recycled plastic and old fishermen's nets, a perfect sustainable alternative for your closet. 

A climate positive company, Oceanchild offset more carbon than they produce by supporting global climate projects. Designers work closely with production centers in Portugal to ensure each piece is made ethically and under good working conditions. Oceanchild is redefining how we think about our body and the environment with their confidence-boosting swimwear. 

Shop all Oceanchild

Featured products: Moana Bottom – Cloud, Malia Wrap Skirt, Lanei Bra Top – Black

Knickey

ourCommonplace Values: Ethical, Sustainable, Toxic Free, Woman Owned

Raising the intimate-wear standard with organic fabrics free from toxins.

GOTS, Oeko-Tex, and Fair-Trade Certified, Knickey is female-founded and creates sustainable intimate apparel for the womxn who seek comfort, durability, and certified sustainability. Their organic production produces only a quarter of emissions from conventional cotton processes, helping the environment as well as giving their employees toxin-free working conditions. Not to mention, Knickey has its own recycling initiative to keep underwear out of landfills.

Shop all Knickey

Featured products: Mid-Rise Hipster, Starter Set in Butterscotch, High-Rise Brief

Paneros Clothing

ourCommonplace Values: Ethical, Sustainable, Woman Owned

Chic and sustainable, small-batch styles that embrace the wearer’s individuality.

Small-batch production, use of recycled and deadstock materials, and eco-friendly fibers, Paneros clothing creates timeless fashion pieces that can be worn year after year. They are committed to inclusive sustainability that emphasizes responsible manufacturing and minimizing environmental impact. Paneros’s ethical production standards make it so each piece can be traced back to the workers who created it.

Shop all Paneros Clothing

Featured products: Clarence Maxi Dress, Liv Crop Top, Olivia Mini Dress

Accessory

Anne Dorcay

ourCommonplace Values: Sustainable, Cruelty Free, BIPOC Owned, Woman Owned

Colorful, fashion-forward handbags dedicated to quality construction without the animal cruelty.

Handmade in Europe by a family workshop, each bag is carefully crafted without the use of animal products. Materials used are durable and resistant to everyday wear, extending its longevity and minimizing the environmental impacts of constant new purchases.

Shop all Anne Dorcay

Featured products: Le Sidje, L’Aristocrat, Le Sidje

Jewelry 

Deluna

ourCommonplace Values: Ethical, Sustainable, Toxic Free, Cruelty Free, BIPOC Owned, Woman Owned

Elegant eco-friendly jewelry that is sourced ethically and produced responsibly.

Deluna's slogan "Wear the Universe" speaks of their purpose: to make jewelry more than just a fashion piece, and rather a symbolic statement of oneself. Their team is also mostly women and an ethnic minority, and they all receive fair wage, benefits, and a safe working environment. Each piece is handmade with recycled materials in studio and in partner factories, ensuring quality throughout the production process.

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Featured products: Heirloom Paperclip Toggle Necklace, Universe Opal Moon Necklace and Guidance Opal Star Necklace, Essentials Snake Necklace

Maris Pearl Co

ourCommonplace Values: Ethical, Sustainable, Toxic Free, Woman Owned

Lustrous sustainable jewelry made from natural pearls, handcrafted responsibly in Hawaii.

Using natural pearl jewelry to raise awareness for ocean conservation, Maris Pearl Co. celebrates the beauty of the sea with each handmade piece. They donate a percentage of their profits to organizations dedicated to the conservation and stewardship of the world’s ocean. Maris Pearl Co. is a GIA-certified ocean conscious studio that works exclusively with naturally shaped pearls, making each earring, necklace, and bracelet unique.

Shop all Maris Pearl Co

Featured products: The Ursa Major Pendant, The Daphne Bracelet, The Sailor Earring

Home

Sunday Morning

ourCommonplace Values: Ethical, Sustainable, Cruelty Free, Woman Owned

Sustainable loungewear and eco-friendly bedding at honest prices, without compromising social responsibility standards.

Founded on the idea that consumers shouldn’t have to choose between high quality, great design, fair pricing, and ethical production, Sunday Morning is an affordably chic and sustainable alternative that is transparent in its sustainable production processes resulting in quality pieces for every home and body. All factories they work with have a close relationship with Sunday Best, and the materials used are durable to promote the product's longevity and ensure you can enjoy it for years to come.

Shop all Sunday Morning

Featured products: Marcel Linen Collection Set – Dove, Agnes Linen Top, Marcel Linen Pillowcases (Pair) – Storm/ Storm Stripe

With more independent brands on the rise, it's easier than ever to purchase more consciously as consumers. We hope you enjoyed this article on our take for sustainable alternatives to Zara. Leave your comment below if you have any suggestions on other Zara alternatives! 

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zara_(retailer)

https://goodonyou.eco/how-ethical-is-zara/#:~:text=Environmental%20Impact,program%20called%20Closing%20the%20loop.&text=This%20business%20model%20is%20inherently%20harmful%20to%20the%20environment.

https://www.zara.com/us/en/z-commitment-mkt1390.html?v1=1243180

 

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