These Designer Brands Are Actually Cruelty-Free

Many of us will probably never get over our fashion obsession: You can find us adding "Sex and the City"-inspired vintage sandal heels to our online shopping carts on Saturday mornings, admiring this pastel-colored Amazon bag seen on Emily Ratajkowski, or browsing all the printed mini dresses no matter the season. If there's a trend, we're there: Y2K-style crystal barrettes, wide-leg jeans, backless everything, cottagecore frocks, candy-hued sneakers ... we want in on all of it. But with so many of us becoming more conscious of working conditions, the environment, and overall sustainability, feeding into our style obsession can feel like an impossible task.

As per The Good Trade, us consumers are becoming "increasingly conscious about our purchases," avoiding fast-fashion buys that contribute to cheap labor around the world, and that harm the environment, too. Wanting to make "a positive difference for the people involved in the making of our clothes" and put our money where our mouth is used to be difficult, mostly involving shopping vintage or making the clothes ourselves.

While that sounds well and good, don't dust off your sewing machine just yet. As of late, there are tons of new cruelty-free brands coming into play that actually make our trendy habits sustainable. Up-and-coming and adorable, these brands range from raw, bohemian styles to edgier cuts that will make your heart race, and have all made it their goal to make the planet a better place. Here are all our favorite ethical brands to shop right now.

These brands protect workers and the environment

First up, we have a forever-classic brand that's synonymous with the word "denim": Levi's are ethically produced and feature "sustainable practices and materials" (via The Good Trade). Founded in San Francisco in 1853 during the gold rush, Levi's were actually first made to bring durable pants to miners (via Britannica). Since then, their appreciation for workers has never faltered: Their Levi Strauss Foundation looks to "advance the human rights and well-being of underserved people," leading the march for worker well-being and HIV/AIDS. Plus, their clothing is all about craftsmanship, and will last you a lifetime: Check out these perfect 501® jeans.

Our royal obsession might be equal to our love for fashion, and that includes everything Meghan Markle wears. That's where cool-girl brand Cuyana comes in, sported by the duchess on everything from grocery runs to official affairs — she loves the Classic Structured Tote (and we do, too!). As per The Good Trade, Cuyana supports artisans, and has a Lean Closet initiative where you can donate clothes in exchange for site credit. According to the company website, they believe in owning "fewer, better" pieces, have promised to reach 100% sustainability by 2022, and strive to "create products responsibly" so nothing ends up in landfills. 

Another ethical brand we want to wear every day is Christy Dawn, which only works with deadstock or surplus fabrics, and has a Farm-to-Closet initiative that replenishes depleted land in India. An incredible company, we're eyeing this gorgeous Brooklyn Dress.

High-quality materials and give-back programs

Talking about cool-girl brands, Reformation is the perfect halfway point between trendy and ethical. Their clothing is for the "sustainable fashionista" and is made in the USA, is carbon and water-neutral, provides "safe and fair" labor conditions, and uses eco-friendly and regenerative fabrics (via The Good Trade). This brand strives to get you all the compliments at summer weddings or Sunday brunch, but won't harm the planet or contribute to injustice in the process. Plus, the designs are always classic, making them wear-forever pieces you'll love. Think flower-printed dresses, great-quality denim, and smocked warm-weather pieces like this sweet Junebug Top. You'll wear these finds constantly, and feel good about it, too.

If you love French fashion, why not try Sézane? The clothing, shoes, and accessories make the heart flutter, with intricate details like delicate gold buttons, perfect lace collars, and incredible summer pieces like this Marty Shirt. As per The Good Trade, this brand isn't just cute: It features fair labor standards, uses 75% sustainable materials, is powered by renewable energy, and strives to become zero waste. Plus, Sézane's DEMAIN charity brings children equal opportunities through education, and the brand also offers a recycling program.

When in doubt, go for cozy, ethical fashion like Jenni Kayne. Made right in California, it is ethically made, uses recycled or natural materials, and gives back to Baby2Baby and the NRDC. These Suede Mules are made of sustainable leather in small batches in Italy, and will last you forever.

Organic materials and eco-friendly initiatives

While we love our ethical-yet-chic dresses, we want our activewear to be just as sustainable. That's where Patagonia comes in, which prizes comfort, craftsmanship, and ecological practices. As per The Good Trade, this brand was "one of the earliest defenders of environmental ethics," switching to recycled and organic fabrics early on. Their Worn Wear initiative lets you trade your used clothing for site credit, and they base their production in U.S. factories. Their Action Works program promotes grassroots volunteering, and pieces like their Fleetwith Romper are cute and high-quality.

Another eco-friendly brand you'll adore is Boden, which uses "responsible sourcing, fair trade, and ethical practices" (via The Good Trade), including styles for women, men, and children. It is committed to being fair-trade, and ensures its factories are "high quality, safe places... [that] adhere to high ethical standards." Plus, 95% of their clothes is polyester-free, 60% of their cotton is sustainable, and they've donated millions of dollars to charity (via Boden USA). Try their wear-everywhere pieces like this super-flattering Square Neck Smocked Dress.

If you want ethical, cozy pieces for work-from-home days and wine nights, try MATE the Label. It only uses natural materials, uses environmentally sound packaging, and is 100% made in Los Angeles. One percent of all their sales is directly donated to a charity of your choice, and is all about shopping "clean." We really love these Organic Thermal Shorts and the matching Thermal Crop Top, which are made from 100% organic cotton.