Help End Child Labour: 23 Brands Committed to Child Labour Free Clothing

Children no working in child labour

Help End Child Labour: 23 Brands Committed to Child Labour Free Clothing

Child labour is, sadly and unknown to many, endemic in the fashion industry. Complex, interwoven supply chains make traceability a major challenge. We take a look at the issues involved and list 23 of our favourite child labour free clothing brands.

Table of Contents

Child Labour – A Persistent Problem

Child labour is one issue we looked at in our article Why Is Sustainable And Ethical Fashion Important? It also came up as the issue people were most interested to know more about in our survey Perspectives on Sustainable Fashion. Unfortunately, it remains a huge global problem.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that there are 160 million children involved in child labour as of their 2021 press release. Almost half of them (72.5 million) are involved in hazardous work.

The ILO defines child labour as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development”. It’s most likely to occur in the lower tiers of supply chains, in activities like raw material extraction and agriculture. 

This is partly what makes traceability so challenging and an issue that fashion brands against child labour have to address. 

Child Labour in the Fashion Industry

Child labour in the fashion industry, young girl
Photo by Nuno Alberto on Unsplash

A Race to the Bottom

The ‘fast fashion’ model has a detrimental effect on working conditions. It pushes companies to find ever-cheaper sources of labour so naturally child labour in fast fashion is a worrying concern.

Child labour is found at all stages of the supply chain in the fashion and textile industry. From cotton harvesting and yarn spinning mills to the cut-make-trim stage in garment factories. Fuelled by the low prices of the fast fashion industry, children join the labour force to satisfy the demand for cheap, low-skilled labour along global supply chains.

Poverty as a Driving Force

Child labour is more often found in situations where adult workers earn so little that they can’t meet their family’s basic needs. It’s yet another reason why the payment of living and fair wages is so important. 

Other factors contribute such as lack of access to education and poor enforcement of labour and education laws. See our article for more about brands that pay a living wage.

Complex Supply Chains

Fashion supply chains are often convoluted, relying on numerous suppliers, sub-suppliers and manufacturers. It’s generally easier for ethical clothing brands to monitor their “first-tier suppliers” (the factories that produce the finished garments).

Although this isn’t always the case, work can be subcontracted to other factories without brands even knowing about it. Further down the supply chain, in textile mills and cotton fields, child labour presents an even bigger challenge.

Key Steps in Eradicating Child Labour in the Fashion Industry

Happy children free from child labour
Photo by Loren Joseph on Unsplash

There are a number of steps that fashion brands committed to producing clothing free of child labour can take to help stamp out the practice for good. 

Full Transparency and Traceability

First and foremost, fashion brands against child labour need to trace their whole supply chain. Not just the garment factories where the end product is made, but the entire chain, right back to material production.

There has been some improvement in recent years. According to the Ethical Fashion Report 2021 the percentage of companies actively working to trace their raw material suppliers has increased from 48% in 2019 to 69% in 2021. This is a great step forward. 

Ensuring High Labour Standards

The eradication of child labour is closely linked to the promotion of other labour standards in the workplace. Important labour standards include the right to collective bargaining and the elimination of forced or compulsory labour. Payment of a living wage and health and safety at work is also crucial.

Collaborative Efforts and Stakeholder Engagement 

Due to the complexity of the issues involved, a collaborative approach is needed to eradicate child labour. Ethical clothing brands can work with trade unions, NGOs, governments and researchers.

Sometimes organisations come together to form multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs). The Ethical Trading Initiative and the Fair Wear Foundation are examples of MSIs in the garment industry.

How To Make Sure You’re Buying Child Labour Free Clothing

matthew-hamilton-girl in child labour free clothing
Photo by Matthew Hamilton on Unsplash

As conscious consumers, how can we make sure that we are buying from fashion brands that don’t use child labour? Well, we can hold companies accountable by checking for the following:

1. A Strong Supply Chain Policy

Often called a Code of Conduct, this should cover all of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms principles. This includes the elimination of modern slavery and compulsory labour alongside the abolition of child labour.

2. Auditing and Reporting Systems

Ethical clothing companies should have a transparent audit plan that applies to its whole supply chain and the results of audits should be publicly reported. 

3. Accreditation Schemes / Certifications

Third-party monitoring and verification provide reassurance that a company is doing what it says it’s doing as well as holding suppliers to high standards.

The major membership and accreditation schemes to look for when conducting your due diligence include:

  • B Corp Certification
  • Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) 
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)
  • Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)
  • Fairtrade Label Organisation (FLO)
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
  • The SA8000 Standard 
  • Sedex
  • WRAP Certification

Either on their own or in combination, these schemes help show you that a brand really cares about its workers and that it is against child labour.

23 Child Labour Free Clothing Brands

If you’re still in any doubt about how to identify child labour free clothing and need some help, don’t worry! We’ve rounded up some of our favourite ethical and sustainable brands that don’t use sweatshop labour. From ethical jeans to sustainable swimwear, you’ll find plenty of great brands for your socially conscious wardrobe.

Our website is reader supported. We sometimes earn a small affiliate commission for purchases made through links in our posts, at no extra cost to you. Read more about our policy.

1. BaM Clothing

Based: UK      Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Turkey, China, UK, Portugal 
Range: Men’s and women’s basics
Sustainability creds: Climate Positive, sustainable materials, recycled and recyclable materials, carbon offsetting 

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Utilising bamboo fibres to make its clothing styles, BAM creates designs that are classic and comfortable. The label has a focus on activewear styles and the natural properties of bamboo make it great for those with sensitive skin. 

BAM works with SMETA and BSCI certified suppliers and publishes information regarding its factories to give consumers greater transparency. BAM is also a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and has engaged in tree planting programs. For an exclusive 15% off, use code GOODMAKERTALES15

2. Happy Earth Apparel

Based: USA        Ships to: Worldwide
Made in:  China, Turkey, Portugal, UK
Range: Women’s casual wear
Sustainable creds: Certified B-Corporation, Carbon Neutral, give back programs, 1% for the Planet member, uses organic cotton fibres, Fair Trade

Mixing chic styles with nature inspired designs, Happy Earth Apparel creates clothing to make fashionistas and the planet happy. The label has casual styles that are effortlessly on trend. Clothes are contemporary while still having a classic charm and incorporate high quality materials. 

Happy Earth Apparel has achieved commendable B Corp certification, showing commitment to both sustainable practices and social responsibility, including concepts such as stances against child labour. The label supports worthwhile causes through its involvement with 1% for the Planet and supports tree planting and rubbish cleanup projects. 

3. Brothers We Stand

Based: UK  Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Bangladesh and Worldwide
Range: Men’s Clothing

Brothers We Stand brings together a fantastic collection of ethical and stylish men’s clothing brands.

They’ve developed a 6 point standard which they use when selecting brands. This includes a commitment to only work with brands that can ensure no child labour is being used. They also require brands to provide them with a full breakdown of their supply chains.

Their own line of organic T-shirts is ethically made in Bangladesh. Their factories have been independently audited by both the Fair Wear Foundation and GOTS.

Brothers We Stand is a perfect choice if you’re looking for honest and ethically produced clothing for men. 

4. Plant Faced Clothing

Based: UK      Ships to: Worldwide
Range: Men’s and women’s streetwear styles
Sustainability creds: Organic and recycled materials, ethically made, eco-friendly packaging, involved in tree planting programs, GOTS certified, PeTA approved vegan

This ethical clothing brand prides itself on being ‘the streetwear company without the sweatshops’. Plant Faced is making conscious clothing that is undeniably trendy with its range of contemporary streetwear styles. The label has everything from slogan tees to graphic hoodies that prove it’s cool to be kind. 

Plant Faced has a strong stance when it comes to ethical production. The label sources from suppliers with certifications including WRAP and Fair Wear. It has a commitment to ensure no forced labour or child labour in the supply chain.  

Check out our interview with them for more!

5. Honest Basics

Based: Germany      Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: India and Bangladesh 
Price: £12 – £37
Range: Men’s and women’s basics

Sustainability creds: Ethical supply chains, climate-neutral shipping option, GOTS-certified materials, vegan products, low waste packaging 

Honest Basics is the one stop destination to find quality, comfortable and sustainable basics. The European label is on a mission to make sustainable basics accessible to everyone. The label offers everyday essentials for a more affordable price than many in the market.

Honest Basics is transparent when it comes to its supply chain. The organisation works with GOTS certified factories and visits facilities before signing with them, which gives some indication of a commitments against practices including child labour. The company also uses low waste packaging, showing a commitment to sustainability across its operation. 

6. Ecoer Fashion

Based: United States       Ships to: Worldwide
Made in:  China
Range: Women’s and men’s casual clothing, swimwear, activewear and accessories 
Sustainable creds: 1% for the Planet, GRS, use of sustainable materials, low impact dyes

Incorporating recycled and organic materials, ecoer is creating fashionable clothing for conscious consumers. The brand has a wide range of products, including everything from casual wear to activewear, swimwear, underwear and even sunglasses. Designs are chic and stylish with a relaxed charm.

Ecoer works with factories that have certifications including SEDEX and BSCI. The label uses sustainable and recycled materials in its designs and shows a considerable level of fashion supply chain transparency. 

7. Girlfriend Collective

Based: US  Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Taiwan, Vietnam
Range: Women’s activewear, accessories and underwear

Girlfriend Collective is one of our favourite ethical clothing brands. It offers inclusive, sustainable, and affordable activewear. Its factory is certified by Social Accountability International – SA8000. This guarantees safe working conditions, no forced or child labour and the right to unionise. They ensure all workers are paid a fair wage, provide a free lunch and free health checkups alongside health insurance.

Alongside these social credentials, Girlfriend Collective has some great environmental credentials too. They use a high percentage of recycled plastics and their clothing is designed to be recycled. Great work!

8. Komodo

Based: UK     Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: India, Kathmandu, Bali, China  
Range: Men’s and women’s casual wear 
Sustainable creds,: Global Organic Textile Standard, Fairtrade, Organic materials, recycled materials, renewable energy use

With a range of casually stylish clothing, Komodo makes ethical styles that are versatile in their design. In operation since the eighties, the label cleverly utilises classic colours and quality material to make clothes that are always in style.

Komodo uses a good range of sustainable materials. The label has created longstanding relationships with its suppliers and supports social and environmental initiatives through its membership of 1% for the Planet. 

9. Kuyichi

Based: Netherlands   Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Turkey, Pakistan, Portugal & China
Range: Women’s and Men’s jeans and other clothing 

Kuyichi has been making sustainable denim and wardrobe essentials since 2001.

Their Code of Conduct prohibits the use of child labour. It applies to all parts of the company’s production chain, its suppliers and their subcontractors. Their full chain is GOTS certified and most suppliers are certified under other standards too, such as SA8000. The results of these audits are published in their Social Report 2020.

Kuyichi is also a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. For more info on the environmental impact of denim, have a read of our article Is Denim Sustainable?

10. NAE

Based: Portugal   Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Portugal 
Range: Men’s and women’s casual wear 
Sustainable creds: Oeko-Tex Standard materials, use of natural and recycled materials, PeTA Cruelty-Free, Global Recycled Standard

With a name that stands for No Animal Exploitation, NAE creates Ethical footwear with people, animals, and the planet in mind. The label utilises innovative sustainable materials to make its stylish footwear designs.

Established in 2008, NAE shoes are manufactured in Portugal. The label takes care to ensure no styles are made with animal products and focuses on quality materials and timeless designs. 

11. Tentree

Based: Canada   Ships to: Worldwide
Made in:  China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Philippines, India, Hong Kong
Range: Men’s and women’s casual wear 
Sustainable creds: B-Corp certified, use of organic materials, tree planting programs, climate neutral certified 

Named for the ten trees that every purchase funds, Tentree creates casual styles with an ethical outlook. The brand has a variety of men’s and women’s designs in earthy hues. From trendy tees with mountain prints to hoodies sporting tree designs, many Tentree styles are inspired from nature.

Tentree is reimagining the modern fashion scene and showing that a clothing brand can work to create a positive impact. As well as its environmental initiatives, and commitments to concepts such as child labour free supply chains,  the brand is transparent about its suppliers. 

12. MUD Jeans

Based: Netherlands    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Tunisia
Range: Men and women’s jeans, denim skirts, jackets and shirts

MUD Jeans is a sustainable denim brand that only uses GOTS certified organic cotton or recycled materials. Their code of conduct covers all of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms principles and is reinforced by third-party audits.

One of their suppliers – Yousstex International – has gone an extra mile for young people. They set up a free school in their factory for employees aged 16-20 years. Young employees are given the opportunity to work 16-hour weeks and spend the rest of their time taking accredited classes.

MUD jeans is one of the highest-ranking brands in the Remake directory with a score of 55.

13. Ninety Percent

Based: London   Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Bangladesh
Range: Women’s clothing

Ninety Percent are a London-based sustainable womenswear label that shares 90% of their profits.

Their supply chain policy requires suppliers to eliminate all child labour and defines the age of a child as “15 or under the age for completion of compulsory education, whichever is higher.” Their garments are made in two industry-leading factories in Bangladesh that put the well-being of employees first.

Ninety Percent is another great option in the fight against child labour. 

14. tHE nORTH fACE

Based: USA.   Ships to: Worldwide
Made in:  China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Philippines, India, Hong Kong
Range: Men’s and women’s adventure wear 
Sustainable creds: Bluesign Certified across some of the supply chain, use of sustainable and recycled materials

A well-known name in the adventure wear market, The North Face has a wide range of products for men, women and children. Whether you are climbing a mountain or just heading to a local cafe, there is a sustainable product in The North Face collection perfect for every adventure. 

While there are still some areas that The North Face can improve to create a more ethical supply chain, it has taken positive steps. Some of the supply chain has Bluesign certification and the brand has policies against forced and child labour.

15. Organic Basics

Based: Denmark  Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Portugal, Austria, Scotland, Italy, Turkey
Range: Women and men’s clothing

Organic Basics offers a great range of ethically made underwear, activewear and everyday essentials.

Detailed information about their suppliers is clearly accessible on their website including their certifications and auditing bodies. They only work with trusted, certified suppliers who can ensure that the workplace is free of child labour and forced labour. They pay a living wage, offer free lunches and free childcare.

Organic Basics are also a certified B Corp. Alongside their GOTS certification, this makes them an excellent choice for your ethical essentials. 

16. Boody

Based: Australia/UK         Ships to: Worldwide
Made in:  China, Turkey, Portugal, UK
Range: Men’s and women’s casual wear and basics
Sustainable creds: Sustainable materials, supports charitable initiatives, organic materials, Fair Trade suppliers, cruelty free production, B Corp certified 

Championing bamboo fabrics, Boody makes quality clothing that is gentle to skin and gentle on the planet. The label embraces monochromatic palettes and earthy hues to create casual clothing and basics wear that never goes out of fashion. 

Boody has a range of policies in place to ensure sustainability and ethical production. The brand prohibits toxic chemicals in manufacturing and it’s commitment to work with Fair Trade practices shows a strong willingness to embrace ethical ideals, including the prohibition of child labour. 

17. Pact

Based: US  Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: India
Range: Women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, organic bedding and towels

Pact offers super soft organic basics that have been ethically made. They use GOTS certified cotton and all of their clothing is sweatshop free and child labour free.

In addition to their GOTS partnership, the factories they work with are Fair Trade Certified™. This ensures safe working conditions, helps empower local communities and protects the environment.

Pact is the perfect choice if you’re looking for ethical and stylish athleisure wear. 

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount for Good Maker Tales readers with code GOODMAKERTALES15.

See our post for more sustainable brand discounts.

18. People Tree

Based: UK  Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Nepal, Kenya, India, Bangladesh
Range: Women’s, men’s and children’s clothing

No list of fashion brands that don’t use child labour would be complete without fairtrade fashion pioneer People Tree. They’ve been producing fairtrade, ethical clothing since 1991.

People Tree is a Guaranteed Status member of The World Fair Trade Organisation, a global community of like-minded Fair Trade Enterprises. The WFTO certification verifies People Tree’s commitment to Fair Trade through peer reviews and trusted independent audits. This includes ensuring that there is no forced or child labour, no discrimination and freedom of association. In addition to WFTO, some of its supply chain is Fairtrade Foundation certified or has SA8000.

19. Rapanui

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: India and UK
Range: Men and women’s clothing

Pioneering circular fashion brand Rapanui makes products from natural materials and uses renewable energy throughout its supply chain. Everything they make is designed to be sent back when it has worn out.

As part of their GOTS certification, their supply chain is audited to ensure safe, positive and fair working conditions. Their supply chain is also SA8000 certified. And just in case that’s not enough, their T-shirts are printed to order in the UK which ensures there’s no waste from overstocked designs and sizes. Good work Rapanui! 

20. Colieco

Based: Portugal   Ships to: Worldwide
Made in:  Europe
Range: Men’s and women’s adventure wear 
Sustainable creds: Sustainably sourced fabrics, plastic free packaging, carbon offsetting, made to order production supporting a slow fashion approach

From flirty lingerie styles to bold swimwear designs, Colieco has a great collection of swimwear and lingerie to suit any personal style. The label embraces bright colours and bold patterns, many of the items are made to order in Portugal. 

Colieco uses a variety of sustainable materials in its designs, including Tencel, recycled polyester, and bamboo silk. The label takes care in choosing its suppliers and has aims to work only with SA 8000 certified factories. 

21. Stripe & Stare

Based: UK       Ships to: Worldwide
Made in:  China, Portugal, UK
Range: Women’s undergarments and loungewear
Sustainable creds: Sustainable packaging, tree planting programs, works with charitable organisations, B Corp certified 

The place to find sustainable essentials, Stripe & Stare has loungewear, sleepwear, and underwear designed with comfort in mind. The ethical label uses soft and sustainable fabrics, including Tencel Modal, and has brightly coloured alongside more skin tone based pieces to suit any personal taste.

Stripe & Stare has achieved the commendable B Corp certification and it plants a tree for every order. All workers across the supply chain are paid a living wage or above. 

22. Thought

Based: UK  Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: China, India, and Turkey
Range: Women’s and men’s clothing, footwear and accessories

Wrapping up our list of fashion brands against child labour is Thought. Thought makes beautifully simple, timeless clothing from natural and sustainable fibres including hemp, bamboo and organic cotton.

It has a Code of Conduct that covers all of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms principles and it visits its factories regularly. It is also a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative.

23. H&M

Based: Sweden  Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Worldwide
Range: Women’s, men’s and children’s clothing

H&M is one of the most transparent clothing giants. It scores an impressive 61-70% on the Fashion Transparency Index, (one of the top seven scores).

It publishes detailed information about its supplier policies, audit, and remediation processes. You can read their Sustainability Performance Report 2020 online. They were awarded a respectable 39 points by Remake, the second-highest scoring big company in their brand directory. Plus they received a Grade A in the 2021 Ethical Fashion Report. Keep it up H&M!

An Ethical Future

With the number of ethical clothing brands on the rise, it’s becoming easier to source child labour free clothing. 

The ILO’s goal is to eliminate all child labour by 2025. Can it be done? There’s certainly still a lot of work to do. Due to the complex issues involved, child labour requires a collaborative approach. Each actor in the fashion industry – including suppliers, garment workers, fashion brands, governments and consumers – has a role to play. 

As conscious fashion lovers, we can help by continuing to hold brands accountable. We can insist on real transparency and being able to view the results of independent 3rd party audits. We can raise awareness about the complex supply chain issues involved. And of course, we can continue to spread the word about all of the fantastic socially conscious brands we love to support. 

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