Switching out your shopping habits for sustainable alternatives sounds simple. But millions struggle to find sustainable, ethical clothing that fits both style and budget. With so many options, and information overload, how do you choose the right brand?
Companies around the world clutter Instagram feeds claiming to be ethical and sustainable. It’s hard to learn about trustworthy brands, let alone remember them when it comes time to make a purchase.
Ethical Clothing founders Ben Heinkel and Jack Hesketh had the same problem, so they built a clever solution. Meet the new ethical and sustainable clothing search engine Ethical Clothing, a platform built for sustainable shopping.
Ethical Clothing focuses on ethical brands, helping eco-conscious shoppers quickly search and filter for sustainable clothing.
Dig deeper → 5 min
Who started Ethical Clothing, and why?
Ben and Jack met in 2015 when Ben ran an eCommerce-related startup in Barcelona, Spain.
While working together, the duo quickly discovered their shared love for the environment.
At the startup, they also gained years of experience working with eCommerce brands. They learned how to market a brand authentically and still reach that critical mass of customers.
“As tech-savvy people, keen to live in the greenest way possible, we realized it was surprisingly difficult to find genuine ethical and sustainable clothing. This is especially true when you have something specific in mind,” Ben says.
“However, it turns out that there are hundreds of ethical brands. A whole army of them, often smaller in scale, are doing all they can to produce clothing in a way that minimizes harm to our planet. We don’t find them so easily because they can easily get lost in the ocean of other brands and products online.”
Ethical Clothing is a search engine that indexes the world’s ethically produced fashion. It allows consumers to filter their searches to match their style, price sensitivity, and what they consider to be ethical.
Ethical Clothing’s traction so far
A minimum viable product launched in the European market towards the end ofyear one. Since then, the site quickly received thousands of users every month. The search engine serves as a jump-off point to discover ethical clothing from around the continent.
Ethical Clothing list tens of thousands of ethical fashion products accessible on its search engine. Products range from well-known brands to small family-run businesses committed to ethical and sustainable production.
According to Heinkel, “knowing we can provide a link between these brands and consumers is what this project is all about. Ultimately, we want to help move shoppers toward a more sustainable fashion.”
The team launched their search engine in the US & Canada at the start of 2021. They already have products for more than one hundred sustainable brands available on the platform.
“Our launch in the US and Canada came from a huge demand in those markets. There is a significant body of conscious consumers actively seeking out ethical brands. There is also an ever-increasing number of brands that fit these criteria.”
Slow fashion and shopping less
There are plenty of brands and consumers who share a vision of a more sustainable future for the fashion industry. Ethical Clothing should serve as an inclusive space for this movement to grow.
The team is always on the lookout for new brands, encouraging recommendations from the wider community. If you’re browsing and can’t see one of your favorite ethical brands in the mix, let them know!
On top of ethical purchasing, the Ethical Clothing team is a strong advocate of slow fashion. The team is keen to ensure that consumers receive honest and open information on critical issues relating to sustainability and ethics.
Ethical Clothing even has a Fashion Footprint calculator tool to calculate the impact of your shopping habits.
According to the Ethical Clothing team, their primary goal is to facilitate the “right type of decision making” rather than focusing on maximizing sales. They want shoppers to think more carefully before making each purchase.
Making ethical clothing more accessible
More recently, the Ethical Clothing team started tackling the affordability of sustainable clothing. From their research, it became clear that many consumers perceive sustainable clothing to be out of their reach in terms of cost.
While it does cost more for brands to get things made fairly and sustainably, which is a cost passed to the consumer, there are more affordable options than people would think.
“Again, the goal here is to connect customers with these options. That’s why we’ve built a system that brings together the best ethical offers in one place – so the price doesn’t need to be quite the barrier it might appear to be at first.”
Besides the price filter in their search engine, where one can set a price that respects their budget, they have also launched a price drop alert service that sends out an e-mail as soon as a sale is detected, helping the more price-conscious consumers get on the sustainability ladder.
Ultimately, the Ethical Clothing team hopes that their search engine will make life easier for conscious consumers to find low-impact clothes. The platform will also help smaller brands grow as shoppers continue searching for the most transparent, ethical, and sustainable names in fashion.