21 of the UK’s best sustainable high street brands in 2022

21 of the UK’s best sustainable high street brands in 2022

Shopping bag for sustainable UK high street stores

The high street is not the first place that springs to mind when thinking about shopping sustainably.

But while the majority of mainstream brands don’t have the best reputation when it comes to environmental and ethical responsibility, the global push for sustainable fashion is driving more and more brands to improve their policies.

What makes a high street brand sustainable?

In this day and age, with greenwashing rife, the word “sustainable” can be an empty promise made by many brands.

That’s why conscious shoppers have to develop a keen eye for what true corporate environmental and social responsibility looks like.

Eco-friendly high street brands will often have third-party certifications attesting to their sustainable sourcing practices and the use of recycled materials, as well as recycling and free repair schemes. They will also promote transparency across all stages of production, and set science-led targets to reduce carbon emissions and textile waste.

Sustainable brands should also implement ethical practices when it comes to their workers’ rights, from prohibiting child labour across all suppliers to providing a true living wage in their supply chain. Not to mention that they should have well thought out animal welfare policies.

Ethical companies will be transparent about their labour standards, auditing their overseas suppliers and showing their commitment through third-party certifications like Fairtrade and Fair Wear.

For more on certifications to look out for, see our guide in Why Is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Important: What Everyone Should Know, and for tips on how to avoid greenwashing, see our article here.

So, what are the UK sustainable high street brands you should be on the lookout for?

The 21 best sustainable brands on the UK high street

Finding sustainable and ethical clothing on the UK high street is no easy feat.

But whether you’re aiming to only shop from 100% sustainable fashion brands or simply looking for a better option that won’t break the bank, we’ve got you covered with our list of the top 20 UK high street sustainable brands.

To help back up our analysis, we’ve consulted with the Good On You and Remake brand directories and give you their conclusions too (where available). Good On You have five ratings from “We Avoid” to “Great”. The Remake directory, which was updated early 2022, gives a score up to 150. No brand scores over 80 but Remake classes anyone with over a 40 as a Rockstar.

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1. MUD Jeans

UK sustainable high street brand MUD Jeans

MUD Jeans is a high street pioneer advocating for better denim.

The company primarily uses recycled cotton and implements closed-loop practices through an ambitious take-back scheme.

A pair of MUD Jeans saves over 6,000 litres of water compared to conventional denim, while emitting 74% less carbon during production. They are also carbon neutral and carry out third-party audits of their suppliers to ensure ethical labour standards.

MUD Jeans earn the coveted “Great” rating from Good On You and a “Rockstar” 55 from Remake so you can be very confident in placing your money with this high street brand!

You can shop the Dutch denim brand in selected shops across the UK.

2. Veja

Veja UK sustainable high street trainers brand

French trainers brand Veja is a great sustainable alternative to major brands like Nike and Converse, offering a colourful collection of trainers made with eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, recycled PET bottles, and recycled polyester.

They ensure the payment of a living wage in most of their supply chain and are rated “Good” by Good On You. Remake see them as a Rockstar and give them an outstanding 52.

You can shop Veja in Office and Selfridges.

3. Finisterre

UK sustainable high street brand Finisterre

Finisterre has been committed to transparency since 2003, offering knitwear, bottoms, and outerwear pieces made of organic, sustainable materials. The brand is B-corp certified, uses GOTS-certified cotton for the majority of pieces, and has abolished all single-use plastics from its packaging.

Good On You rate Finisterre as “Good” which is the second to top rating they award. With evidence of payment of a living wage, they may make it up to Great.

Finisterre has shops all around the UK, including in London, Bristol, Bath, and Exeter.

4. Beaumont Organic

Beaumont Organic sustainable high street brand in UK

Luxury designer Beaumont Organic uses GOTS-certified cotton and other sustainable materials like Lyocell, linen, and recycled yarns.

The brand makes sure to keep transport emissions low by carrying out all manufacturing locally and also offers a Repair scheme to expand products’ lifespan.

They trace most of their supply chain and pay a living wage in some of it, but the proportion is not given.

They are rated “Good” by Good On You.

You can find Beaumont Organic in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

5. Patagonia

sustainable high street clothing from Patagonia UK

Patagonia is another outerwear-focused brand using recycled materials such as recycled polyester in the vast majority of its collection. The brand has been investing in regenerative agriculture and aiming to become carbon neutral by as soon as 2025.

Some of its supply chain is also certified by FLA and Fair Trade, ensuring that living wages are paid through most stages of production.

They pay a living wage in the final stages of their supply chain, and like Finisterre, Good On You rate Patagonia as “Good”. Remake give them 27.

You can find Patagonia pieces in sports and gear shops all over the UK, as well as in the flagship store in Manchester.

6. Boyish Jeans 

Boyish Jeans UK sustainable high street brand

Eco-conscious denim pioneer Boyish Jeans is one of the most sustainable clothing brands around.

The American brand works closely with the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) program, uses recycled fibres for the majority of its range (such as recycled cotton) as well as eco-friendly materials like Tencel. Boyish Jeans’ products are also dyed with non-toxic natural dyes to reduce water pollution.

Good On You rate Boyish as “Great” which is the best rating they give out, and very hard to earn. And Remake score them with 40 points and class them as a Rockstar so you can be truly sure of their sustainability creds!

You can shop Boyish at Selfridges, Stanwells, and selected shops throughout the UK.

7. Reformation

sustainable high street clothing from Reformation UK

Reformation is one of the leading ethical fashion brands in the U.S., offering plenty of fashionable pieces made from sustainable fabrics like Tencel as well as recycled materials, minimising waste by reusing cutoffs.

Some of its products are also Bluesign certified, and the brand provides full transparency on its carbon footprint by breaking down the impact of each piece.

The company is certified carbon neutral and traces the vast majority of its supply chain, promoting living wages and good working conditions among its suppliers.

Good On You rate them as “Good”, and Remake give them a Rockstar 47, another great sustainable brand.

You can shop Reformation at Selfridges.

8. Nudie Jeans

UK sustainable high street brand Nudie Jeans

Swedish sustainable denim brand Nudie Jeans uses eco-friendly materials for 98% of products, including Tencel and either GOTS-certified, Fairtrade, or recycled cotton.

The company reuses textile scraps to create new denim, and it also implements water-saving technology to reduce the impact of fabric dyeing.

Auditing most of its supply chain for working conditions, Nudie is also a member of Fair Wear. They pay a living wage in some of the supply chain and have a project to improve this.

Here’s another brand rated “Great” by Good On You and “Rockstar” 41 by Remake, so you can trust that Nudie Jeans are a truly sustainable UK high street brand.

You can shop Nudie Jeans in Selfridges.

9. Raeburn

Raeburn sustainable high street brand in UK

Raeburn makes responsible fashion its signature look, offering stylish tops, dresses, jackets, and bottoms made of 100% organic cotton, GOTS and OEKO-TEX certified.

The brand also uses recycled polyester and yarn made from recycled plastic bottles, offering free lifetime repairs.

Raeburn trace most of its supply chain but it is unclear whether a living wage is paid. They are rated “Good” by Good On You.

You can shop Raeburn in Selfridges.

10. Levi’s

sustainable high street brand Levi’s UK

When it comes to UK high street sustainable brands, Levi’s is definitely one of the most accessible, as you can find shops all around the UK.

The iconic denim brand not only uses recycled materials but is also reducing water waste through a patented Water<Less® technology, reusing over 9 billion litres of water since 2021.

The brand continues to launch new sustainable initiatives to rehab denim’s bad environmental rap, and has successfully eliminated toxic chemical discharge from most of its supply chain. You can read more about their participation in the Ellen McArthur’s Jeans Redesign project on our article about sustainable denim here.

Good On You rate Levi’s as “It’s a Start” and Remake 20 as they still have a way to go with their labour standards, but they’re definitely beginning their sustainability journey.

11. Burberry

sustainable high street clothing Burberry UK

Burberry sets itself apart from other luxury fashion brands by supporting sustainable cotton sourcing.

The iconic British brand is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, and is on track to become operationally carbon neutral by 2022.

Burberry is also a board member of the ZDHC Foundation, strictly prohibiting the use of hazardous chemicals across manufacturers and suppliers.

These sustainable practices alone won’t solve the luxury fashion industry’s environmental downfalls, but it’s definitely a start!

Good On You rates them as “It’s a Start” too, while Remake give them a not bad 38.

12. Converse

Converse sustainable high street brand UK

Almost every closet comes with an iconic pair of chucks.

Converse has been working towards making its practices more sustainable by using more recycled materials and setting ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The brand’s Renew collection is the most eco-friendly yet, featuring a sole made with partly recycled rubber scraps and 100% recycled canvas.

You can also recycle your old pair of chucks by bringing them to a Nike shop, Converse’s owners.

Converse still has a way to go to ensure the payment of a living wage to its workers so Good On You rates them as “It’s a Start”.

13. H&M

sustainable high street brand H&M UK

Swedish fashion giant H&M might not be the first company that comes to mind when you think of UK high street sustainable brands. They are ultimately a fast fashion brand that promotes consumption. However, the brand is taking major steps towards sustainability and outshines its fast-fashion competitors in this regard.

The brand has started to use recycled plastic bottles to create recycled polyester and implement more closed-loop practices, reusing scraps from the textile industry.

In 2020, H&M also ranked among the top 5 in Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index.

H&M are taking a lot of steps in the right direction, and of the large fast fashion brands are doing the most, but they are still considered a fast fashion brand promoting a throwaway culture so they are rated as “It’s a Start” by Good On You. Remake gives them 39.

14. Adidas

Adidas UK sustainable high street brand

Adidas is another popular brand of trainers that has recently started to embrace eco-friendly practices.

The German company is using more and more recycled and eco-friendly materials, as well as using non-toxic dyes to reduce the product’s impact on water waste and pollution.

The brand’s Made To Be Remade collection features trainers and shirts that are easy to break down and recycle once you send them back!

Like Converse, adidas still has a way to go to ensure the payment of a living wage to its workers so are rated “It’s a Start” by Good On You. Remake give them a score of 25.

15. M&S

sustainable high street clothing from Marks & Spencer UK

You can find a local Marks & Spencer anywhere in the UK, and you can shop easy knowing that they have started to implement more eco-conscious policies throughout the supply chain.

M&S uses exclusively responsibly-sourced cotton, adhering to Better Cotton Initiative standards for the majority of their products.

The brand’s denim is also made by implementing water-saving practices, and synthetic indigo dye is slowly being phased out.

Like the brands before them, Good On You recognises the steps M&S are taking to be more environmentally sustainable, however they still fall down on their lack of payment of a living wage in their supply chain, so they are rated as “It’s a Start”. Remake gives them 31.

16. Seasalt

Seasalt UK sustainable high street brand

M&S is also the main stockist for Seasalt, a colourful fashion retailer inspired by the beauty of Cornwall.

Seasalt uses eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, bamboo fabric, linen, and recycled PET bottles to create part of its collection, using renewable energy for all direct operations.

The brand uses recyclable packaging and offers a take-back scheme to recycle all items.

Seasalt is doing a lot of things right, but like others, still has a way to go. Good On You rate them as “It’s a Start”.

17. COS

COS sustainable high street clothing in UK

COS is another high street brand that has started to incorporate more eco-friendly practices. They are part of the H&M group.

A whopping 92% of the brand’s materials are sourced sustainably, from organic cotton to recycled cashmere. COS also uses Tencel and organic hemp, and the company is embracing circular fashion through the Repurpose project, aimed to reuse textile scraps to create brand-new items.

They are rated as “It’s a Start” by Good On You and a fairly decent score of 39 by Remake.

18. Nike

sustainable high street brand Nike UK

Nike is not always the first choice when thinking about sustainable UK high street brands, but it has come a long way.

The popular sportswear company has started to implement water-saving policies and is on track to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its production by 2025.

Nike has also started to use at least 50% recycled materials (like polyester and nylon) for apparel and 20% for trainers, and the brand’s Move to Zero initiative is implementing more closed-loop recycling practices.

The company also uses either organic cotton, BCI cotton, or recycled cotton for all products.

They are starting to implement a living wage in their supply chain and received a good score in the Fashion Transparency Index but need to improve their animal welfare policies. They too are rated “It’s a Start” by Good On You and get 25 from Remake.

19. G-Star RAW

G-Star RAW

Dutch denim company G-Star RAW is using more recycled cotton and BCI cotton for its jeans, so much so that only 1% of products are made with conventional cotton.

G-Star is also using Tencel, recycled elastane, hemp, and eco-friendly viscose, as well as pollution-reducing practices as part of its commitment to ZDHC.

Also let down by their labour rating, G-Star are rated as “It’s a Start” by Good On You.

20. Uniqlo

sustainable high street clothing from Uniqlo UK

Uniqlo is the king of practical basics, and it has started to include more sustainable and recycled materials as part of its collection.

The brand uses recycled PET bottles to create more sustainable polyester and employs BlueCycle technology to reduce the amount of water used for the jeans finishing process, by up to a whopping 99%.

They need to improve their worker welfare and payment and so are rated “It’s a Start” by Good On You and given 24 by Remake.

21. Nobody’s child

Nobody’s Child sustainable high street brand in UK

Not traditionally thought of as a high street brand but super ethical Nobody’s Child is now available in selected John Lewis stores and Selfridges later in 2022.

The brand strives to be as conscious as possible in every aspect; from paying a living wage and ensuring good working conditions in its supply chain, to the use of sustainable materials such as organic cotton and Lenzing viscose.

From pretty floral dresses to denim to athleisure, coming in at affordable prices and with a plus-size and children’s range too, you are bound to find something you love!

Supporting sustainable UK high street brands

In 2022, you can definitely find ethical clothing on the UK high street, even if it might require a bit of research.

While not all companies have fully embraced environmental and social responsibility, the more we start supporting every improvement, the more sustainable fashion will become mainstream.

We can’t wait to see the new and improved UK high street thrive!

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