17 UK ethical knitwear brands for keeping warm this winter

17 UK ethical knitwear brands for keeping warm this winter

Girl with blue ethical knitwear jumper on beach UK

As part of an on-trend autumn outfit or on those cold winter mornings, there’s nothing better than snuggly knitwear. When it comes to ethical knitwear, UK conscious consumers are in for a treat. There are some fantastic brands bringing all the best styles to the market this autumn and winter.

Knitwear is a controversial issue in the fashion industry, with animal welfare concerns leading the debate on whether or not we should be buying wool. 

When searching for sustainable knitwear in the UK, there are brands that source from certified wool suppliers using ethical practices. These include providing adequate pain relief for sheep and avoiding unnecessary painful surgeries.

To learn more about the ethics of wool check out our is wool cruelty free article.

If you are looking for animal-free clothing, there are also vegan options for knitwear. Brands are using everything from bamboo to organic cotton to create ethical knitwear styles. Second-hand and recycled wool is also a good option, helping to reduce landfill and encouraging a mindset of conscious consumption.

A reduced consumption mindset is always the best sustainable policy. However, supporting sustainable and ethical clothing brands can help to reshape fashion toward a kinder and more sustainable future. So for those that are in need of some new winter knits we’ve rounded up our favourite such brands.

Girls in ethical woollen jumpers on beach UK
Photo by Dominic Sansotta on Unsplash

Ethical knitwear brands for UK buyers

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.

Knitwear can be a pricey purchase, however, it doesn’t have to be. To suit every budget, you will find both affordable knitwear gems and some more expensive luxury knitwear styles in our handy guide.

Affordable sustainable UK knitwear

Knitwear doesn’t have to cost the Earth and doesn’t have to make too big of a dent in your wallet.

1.

Beyond Retro

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide (stores in UK and Sweden)
Range: Women’s and men’s second-hand clothing, shoes and accessories
Price: £16- £60
Sustainability creds: Preloved styles

The home of quality pre-loved styles, Beyond Retro has something for everyone, hosting the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and even a range of quirky Christmas jumpers. Due to the second-hand nature of Beyond Retro, jumpers are made from a variety of natural and synthetic materials.

In a fashion industry struggling with overconsumption, platforms such as Beyond Retro offer a valuable place for consumers to access quality pre-loved items and help to reduce their carbon footprint.

2.

Nobody’s Child

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Bangladesh, China
Range: Women’s clothing and accessories
Price: £35- £65
Sustainability creds: Recycled materials, Responsible Wool Standard, works with charitable initiatives, BCI cotton, organic cotton

Nobody’s Child’s range of knitwear embraces classic design principles with a contemporary twist, making them elegant pieces fitting into the modern fashion scene. While the overall sustainability of the brand could benefit from fewer or less frequent product runs, Nobody’s Child does use sustainable materials, including recycled and organic fabrics.

The label has a range of sustainable credentials and is refreshingly honest and transparent regarding its emission levels and environmental impact.

3.

Albaray

Based: UK Ships to: UK
Made in: China, Vietnam, Greece, India
Range: Women’s clothing and footwear
Price: £29- £95
Sustainability creds: Recycled materials, responsibly sourced cotton, certified supply partners

Albaray is a largely affordable option in the sustainable UK knitwear market. Every item in the brand’s knitwear range incorporates between 42% and 79% sustainable fibres. Albaray could further improve by minimising its use of virgin synthetics. However, it does also use sustainable fabrics, including recycled yarn and responsibly sourced cotton, to improve its overall environmental impact.

Girl in yellow ethical jumper UK
Photo by Nadin Mario on Unsplash

4.

Organic Basics

Based: Denmark Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Portugal, Austria, Scotland, Italy, Turkey
Range: Women’s and men’s clothing and basics wear
Price: £18- £125
Sustainability creds: 1% for the Planet, Certified B Corporation, recycled materials

With socks, sweaters, beanies and scarves, Organic Basics’ knitwear range has everything you need for cold winter months. The range even features recycled wool products. Organic Basics’ use of recycled materials helps to reduce water and energy consumption and saves materials from populating landfills.

Organic Basics is one of our favourite sustainable fashion brands, it is B Corp certified and supports sustainable initiatives.

5.

OMNES

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: China
Range: Women’s styles
Price: £45- £70
Sustainability creds: Global Recycled Standard, use of BCI cotton, labels made from recycled plastic bottles, renewable energy used in supply chain

Omnes offers knitwear styles with a youthful feel, embracing trendy designs and stylish colours. While its range isn’t extensive, it does include dresses, sweaters and cardigans, as well as styles that use BCI-certified cotton.

There are also pieces made from wool, making these styles a good choice for avoiding microplastics. However, while Omnes states that it sources ethical wool, further information on where this wool comes from or certifications to ensure ethical practices would be great.

6.

Aligne

Based: UK Ships to: UK, Europe
Made in: China, USA
Range: Women’s clothing and footwear
Price: £60- £79
Sustainability creds: Climate Neutral, donates textile scraps, Bluesign certified dyeing facilities

Aligne makes ethical UK knitwear in styles ranging from turtlenecks to cashmere culottes, all designed with a timeless style to last beyond the current fashion season. Aligne uses eco-friendly materials, with at least 50% of materials in every style being sustainable.

While the brand does embrace a slow fashion approach, it could do more by providing further information on sustainable practices, incorporating higher proportions of eco-friendly materials, and gaining more certifications.

Pile of ethical knitwear
Photo by Johnstons of Elgin on Unsplash

7.

BAM

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: UK, Portugal, Turkey, China
Range: Women’s and men’s clothing and accessories
Price: £69- £89
Sustainability creds: Sustainable and plastic-free packaging, climate positive, Responsible Wool Standard

The bamboo champions, knitwear from BAM is warm, soft and versatile enough to be worn on an epic camping trip or to pop to the local café. The brand’s range of jumpers and hoodies incorporate materials including Merino wool and, of course, bamboo.

The label takes an active and transparent approach to sustainability. BAM also works with Sharewear and has goals to become completely impact positive.

For more information on BAM and some of their great initiatives, have a look at our interview with them.

8.

Thought

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide (UK stockists)
Range: Women’s and men’s clothing and accessories (women’s knitwear)
Price: £40- £170
Sustainability creds: Use of natural materials, partnered with Traid, organic cotton

Using materials such as organic cotton and lambswool, the Thought knitwear range is casual and stylish, making its products great versatile pieces. The label works with Traid to facilitate recycling, promoting a more circular fashion system.

Thought has both animal welfare and environmental policies, and we’d love some more information about how these policies are enforced.

9.

People Tree

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Bangladesh, Turkey, Italy, India, Portugal, Nepal
Range: Women’s clothing and accessories
Price: £65- £119
Sustainability creds: Organic materials, Fair Trade, Soil Association Organic, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), pays fair wages and local living wages

Started in the 90s, People Tree has always been a leader in the sustainable fashion industry. The brand’s knitwear range is understated and contemporary while still being cosy enough for frosty winter mornings.

With a ‘Great’ rating on Good On You, People Tree uses sustainable materials and ethical supply chains. The brand has a range of organic cotton knitwear choices and its wool products are sourced from non-mulesing farms.

Girl in jumper by sea
Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

10.

Baukjen

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Turkey, Portugal, Bulgaria, Romania
Range: Women’s clothing and clothing rental service
Price: £19- £199
Sustainability creds: Plastic free packaging, certified B Corporation, sustainable materials, recycled materials, rental options, vegan styles

Offering classic and brightly coloured knitwear to rent or buy new or second-hand, Baukjen gives shoppers a great way to access ethical knitwear in the UK.

The brand’s range of styles includes vegan options for those wanting to stay away from animal products. While the brand does also use wool in some of its knitwear, it states that it’s sourced from mulesing-free suppliers.

The brand’s rental option also provides a fresh take on sustainable fashion, potentially prolonging the life of a garment by making it available to multiple wearers. What’s more, the Code of Conduct that they sign with all their factories ensures workers’ rights and well-being.

11.

Pact

Based: USA Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: India
Range: Women’s, men’s and children’s clothing
Price: £70- £125
Sustainability creds: Fair Trade USA certified facilities, GOTS certified manufacturing, carbon offset shipping, give back scheme, use of organic cotton

Championing organic cotton, Pact is the self-proclaimed home of ‘Earth’s favourite clothing’. The brand’s range of sustainable sweaters and hoodies feature high proportions of organic cotton and a simple and modern yet classic style.

Pact could further improve by sharing more information on any programs or targets it has to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. However, it does offer a good sustainable option for knitwear shoppers.

12.

Finisterre

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: UK, Portugal, Turkey
Range: Women’s and men’s clothing and accessories
Price: £75- £175
Sustainability creds: B-Corp certified, sources from ethical farms, take-back scheme, sustainable and biodegradable packaging

Embracing a casual vibe, ethical fashion brand Finisterre’s knitwear range is made for lazy days and cosy evenings. With men’s and women’s styles on offer in earthy tones, Finisterre has everything from stylish jumpers and cardigans to practical joggers.

Made from materials including organic cotton and Merino wool, the brand sources from non-mulesed sheep on ethical farms and champions natural fibres and materials.

Girl in woollen jumper
Photo by Joanna Nix-Walkup on Unsplash

The higher end…

If you are looking to splash some cash on some UK sustainable knitwear, these are the brands for you.

13.

Sheep Inc.

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Portugal
Range: Women’s and men’s clothing and accessories
Price: £50- £220
Sustainability creds: Supplies from ZQ certified farms, no mulesing policy, carbon negative, 5% Impact Program

As the name may suggest, Sheep Inc is one of the woollen specialists in the UK ethical knitwear market. Sheep Inc.’s extensive range of knitwear is made from premium wool from New Zealand farms. Its pieces are designed to be elevated casual wear that can become everyday favourites

Sheep Inc. puts a priority on animal welfare and only sources from ZQ certified sheep farms. The brand is also carbon negative and supports biodiversity programs.

14.

Pangaia

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Range: Women’s, men’s and kids’ clothing and accessories
Price: £40- £300
Sustainability creds: Net zero goals, recycled materials, emissions offsetting, Global Recycled Standard, give back initiatives

With everything from socks and gloves to hoodies, sweaters and even track pants available, Pangaia‘s range of knitwear exudes a simplified feel. Embracing block colours and shades, these styles utilise a range of materials, including recycled fabrics.

Pangaia takes an innovative approach to sustainability and aims to be net zero across its operation by 2025.

15.

London Cashmere Company

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Mongolia
Range: Men’s and women’s cashmere clothing
Price: £119- £199
Sustainability creds: Traced supply chain, ethical factories, natural materials

As the name may suggest, London Cashmere Company specialises in cashmere clothing with a timeless appeal. London Cashmere Company has transparent supply chains and sources from a knitting facility that strives to provide fair and ethical working conditions to all employees.

It would be good if the company provided more information on its specific environmental sustainability practices. In saying this though, London Cashmere Company has created a product made in facilities that value and respect workers.

16.

Reformation

Based: USA Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: China, USA
Range: Women’s clothing and footwear
Price: £70- £350
Sustainability creds: Climate Neutral, donates textile scraps, Bluesign certified dyeing facilities

With a mission ‘to bring sustainable fashion to everyone’, Reformation is an ethical clothing brand that makes everything from dresses to halter tops to cardigans in knitwear styles. The brand takes a modern approach to design with versatile clothes that are made to be both comfortable and sustainable.

Reformation reduces its waste by only producing limited quantities of products before they know people want to buy them. It’s also Climate Neutral with ambitions to become Climate Positive.

17.

Wolf & Badger

Based: UK Ships to: UK, Canada, Australia, USA, European Union (Stores in UK & USA)
Range: Women’s and men’s clothing, accessories, gifts and homewares
Price: £25- £1500
Sustainability creds: B-Corp certified, sources from ethical brands, Best Ethical Retailer in the Marie Claire Sustainability Awards.

A supporter of slow fashion and independent design, Wolf & Badger hosts knitwear from a range of ethical labels. The brand’s collection includes everything from chic sweaters to classic cardigans and quirky dresses.

Designed to make finding ethical brands a simpler process, Wolf & Badger provides a one-stop shop for sustainable clothing built on strong eco-friendly and ethical foundations.

Sustainable knitwear for UK winters

Knitwear is a favourite of the winter and autumn seasons. Concerns have justifiably been raised about the wool industry, and reduced consumption is always the most sustainable approach. However, these brands are proving it’s possible to make stylish, sustainable and ethical UK knitwear.

Whether you are searching for recycled wool styles or vegan creations, these knitwear styles will keep you warm this winter.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

close
SIGN UP TO OUR MAILING LIST FOR MONTLY UPDATES

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published.