Ask these 5 questions to find out if a brand is ethical

Looking for the guide to buying ethical? Here’s what to ask brands about.


Check out our post on what labels mean what when it comes to ethical fashion HERE . It’s no easy task to gain such accreditations, so brands will plug these achievements on their platforms. So, if you have to look really hard, chances are they don’t have them.

What kind of materials they use

Does the company responsibly source it’s cotton, does it use recycled materials and is it supporting companies who are paving the way for eco friendly textiles? If they are, they’re not going to hide that information. Except to see fabric composition on each items tag or in the description online. Vague and uninformative? Uh-oh, it’s a no.

Are they actually transparent 

We’ve read a tonne of brand mission statements about how they carry out regular factory checks, they recycle fabric, audited regularly etc. The thing is, unless they can provide cold hard facts and figures proving diligence and improvement, well it’s anyones guess what moves they’re actually making.

Look through the fancy wording

So you’re checking out a brand and so far, you’re convinced. Let’s break this down even further. You’re looking a a swish sustainability plan, facts and figures provided. Let us play devil’s advocate. Sieve through the nitty gritty and fancy terminology and look to physical proof of progress. If they’re flogging new wares every few days, well that isn’t very sustainable now is it? You’re looking for plain and simple language.

Do they get back to your questions

If you’re unconvinced by a brand, ask some questions. Can they reply without a tinge of worry or without copying and pasting parts of a mission statement? It’s a simple way of weeding out the pack. Time is a ticking for a informative reply!

Sweater weather – Layering luxe

Temperatures are dropping but the style stakes don’t have to. These sweaters are organic, ethical and awesome.


Get your stripe on

Organic cotton, boxy and beautiful for €51, Here


Grey day

Light enough to layer, toasty enough to keep out the chill, €72, Here


Totally toasty

Well, this is like wearing a duvet, bliss. €68.50, Here.

Do the dot

Ethical, organic and gorgeous. €150, Here.

Keep it simple

Available in navy and green, totally ethical and organic. €65, Here.

Say it like it is – Slogan tops Stiall is loving

They’re all under €50, made from organic cotton and ethically sourced.

We’ve got four slogan tops we think you’re going to love just as much as us.


It’s alllll good, Bien Top, €45, Click Here to Purchase


Take a stand, Sister. Click here to purchase






Cease that day with some attitude, Click here to purchase


The perfect attire for a Monday, Click here to purchase

8 Ethical Handbag Brands For Every Style

Whether you’re fond of a clutch, cross-body, holdall or backpack, we’ve tracked down some of the best in brands when it comes to your bag.


Stella McCartney, €865


A familiar name to many, McCartney is reframing the meaning of sustainability on a mainstream level.
Quality and considered design is part of the brands identity, while being cautious about the fabric 
impact and the conditions for garment workers.

Issara, €340


Created by artisans who have decades of experience in leather production, Issara was created to help 
communities and make quality leather goods. They use full grain leather and their bags "are crafted 
from a combination of luxurious twill, polished hardware and smooth Japanese zippers."

Slate + Salt, €109


Using eco leather and hand woven cotton this bag, amongst many others, make Slate + Salt an eco 
fashion consumers dream. They work closely with Fair Trade Organisations to ensure that the quality of 
their products matches the quality of the lives of the people making them.


Nisolo, €135

The Nisolo collection comprises of some of the most elegant and staple styles we found. They use 
contemporary design and ethical practices to make wearable styles in a range of colours. In this 
particular style they use Vachetta. "Natural vachetta leather is vegetable tanned leather with a 
natural or unfinished surface that develops a patina over time."


Matt & Nat, €145

Matt & Nat is a vegan brand that prides itself on only using 100% recycled plastic for their bag 
linings. In sourcing for their products they also often use cork and rubber, to lessen their impact on 
the environment. Their factories also operate by the SA8000 standard.


Uashama, €135

Made in Italy, these bags support a cottage industry amongst people in Lucca. They are made by "using 
a cultivated fibre and does not contribute to deforestation. Paper that washes like fabric holding it’s
form so it can be used over and over again promoting sustainability perfect for catering and 


Raven + Lily, €84


Raven + Lily bags are dyed using responsibly sourced natural vegetable dyes. The products are made in 
Addis Ababa, "Located in the capital of Ethiopia, our artisans in Addis Ababa cut, sew, stamp and 
package, our one-of-a-kind leather goods."



Holding shot: Matt & Nat, 2017

Best foot forward – sustainable footwear brands we love

If you’re in search of fancy footwear and want to make the most sustainable choice, we’ve rounded up some of favourite brands.

Nina Z


Handcrafted, minimal and wearable. Nina Z was a brand born in a high rise apartment in New York from a Swedish woman who found a lack of great clogs. It all started in New York back in 2008 – Nina Ziefvert was a pioneer in ethical sourcing for shoes and clogs and the brand has now been picked up by stores all over the word.




Certified with Ethical Clothing Austrailia, R.M. Williams has been in business for for almost a century. Originally made for Australians in the outback, these boots are made to last. So much so, that the business model is based on the items being repaired or replaced. These boots are built with longevity at the core and quality and design at the forefront.



Proud Mary


Through exploring traditional craftsmanship around the world and understanding the unique process and techniques of artisans, Proud Mary have created a brand that not only creates great footwear, but gives an economic boost to regions through job creation. They’ve bridged a gap between fair-trade footwear and great design.





With the aim to be as eco-friendly and as possible Marais have launched a range that represents style and function. Made in Los Angeles, they’re proud of being both responsible in their production and committed to ethical fashion practices. These luscious red sandals are vegan, adding to the number of vegan options they have with each season.



Fortress of Inca


Each pair of these shoes are handmade in Peru by fairly paid artisans. The brand focus on quality materials, design details and comfort for the wearer. “We feel that the people who make our shoes are just as important as the people who buy them. We also feel that our customers deserve the highest quality shoe, made in the best conditions and with the best materials available. Every step of the process is important to us.”




Brother Vellies


The brand have created and are proud to sustain the jobs of their workers in Africa. They even have a section on their site inviting customers to see the workers working conditions. The inspiration for the brand lies in Aurora James wanting to bring traditional African footwear to the mainstream retail landscape. The brand works with artisans in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Morocco, creating “boots, shoes and sandals in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts.”


Brother Vellies, €444



You need to know about Kowtow

From seed to garment, we’ve found a dreamy brand that ensures you are buying fair trade clothing that is ethically and sustainable made. 

Kowtow is a brand hailing from New Zealand. Founded in 2007 by sustainability enthusiast  Gosia Piatek, Kowtow is now the brand on the lips of all ethical fashion fans. 

So, why is Kowtow so special? To set the tone, when the brand couldn’t find ethically sourced zips, they designed without zips. They’re dedicated, and here’s the proof.

  • Kowtow only uses 100% fair trade certified cotton, as certified by the Fair trade Labelling Organisations International (FLOI)
  • They only use 100% organic certified cotton, as certified by SKAL International
  • Factory sponsors projects such as Girls Education, Cow Shed and Cow Donation programs in the farmers’ villages. 
  • All fabric is dyed using Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) approved dyes which are free of hazardous elements such as nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals.
  • Employees receive a living wage, and the factory pays for their social security and pension funds.
  • Employees receive House Rent, which is 5% of their basic wages. 
  • Employees receive free transport services to the factory.
  • Employees receive paid holiday leave, sick pay, medical insurance, subsidies lunches and overtime pay.
  • Employees’ children all receive free schooling.
  • Employees work in a well lit, well ventilated and spacious working environment.
  • Benefit from work place unions.
  • Their fair trade producers benefit from advance payment and long-term relationships with buyers.
  • Also, the fair trade producer groups are democratically run and respect the rights of farmers and farm workers.
  • Fair trade production standards encourage sustainable agriculture and protection of the environment
(Facts and figures relevant and featured on on August 16th 2017)

So, it’s pretty impressive and added to this is the style, quality and cut are never compromised.  Kowtow have found a special place in our hearts here at Stiall – it’s like the love child of an ethical Cos meets Copenhagen cool. 

Check out some of our favourite looks below.


Blazer, €155

Dress, €174

Overalls, €185

Dress, €155

Jumper, €148


Reformation – Occasionwear that cares

Even in all our efforts to be sustainable, sometimes we need something new for that special occasion. Enter Reformation.

The brand has been on the eco fashion radar since 2009 and the majority of it’s products are designed and manufactured in LA. Reformation are dedicated to always using the most sustainable and ethical practice for production, but never compromise on style. Check it out…


Amalfi dress, €186


The brand pride themselves on using the most eco friendly practices in production while always striving to minimize their water, waste and energy footprints. They’ve even developed a method calculating the exact environmental impact named RefScale.

RefScale looks at the water, carbon dioxide and waste of each individual item – sharing the comparison of industry standards and the savings made with an item from Reformation. This tool allows the customer to make a more informed decision, knowing the exact impact of their purchase while being safe in the knowledge that it is made as ethically as possible. See the finer details on this here


Thistle dress, €331


While Reformation provide healthcare and benefits for all employees they don’t shy away from admitting they are on a journey to making the workplace better, step by step  – “Most of our hourly workers are paid more than minimum wage, and over half are paid above the LA living wage threshold. We are working towards 100% living wages across the board.”


Rambla dress, €237


The company is B Corp certified, which you may have seen from our previous post means that the company are committed to making some great changes both socially and environmentally.


Positano dress, €212


So, we’re in love. A company that doesn’t claim to have it all figured out, are constantly aiming to improve and are providing some slick occasion wear along the way.

Check out their full collection here

Bras ‘n’ Briefs – sustainable smalls

Start small they say, so what better way to begin the journey of being a more ethical and sustainable consumer than with your underwear?


Naja use a lot of recycled materials in their products and incorporate digital printing to lessen their fashion footprint. It’s their social policies that really stand out though – Naja employs single mothers and women heads of households. They’re paid above market average, given health benefits and their children are funded for schooling.


Soft, simple and of great quality, Nude Underwear is the basic collection you’ve been searching for. All products are made and designed in Valencia Spain through a monitored family garment factory.


This Australian brand is celebrated for being the first underwear brand to achieve accreditation with Ethical Clothing Australia. Their style is simple and sophisticated with a nod to luxury.

Mighty Good Undies 

The brand ethos is that everyone should have good quality underwear from the most ethical and sustainable supply chain. The Australian brand is achieving just that – making simple styles while being committed to carbon offsets. The brand is growing and we’re excited to see what’s next.

Luva Huva

The brand focuses small runs of product and sourcing fabrics carefully. It’s petite team of 5 creates each item in the UK or in neighbouring countries. It’s soft and sweet with some gorgeous design details.

Tips for lingerie shopping online


Lingerie shopping can be tough at the best of times, here’s our tips for how to get the perfect piece when shopping online.


  • Take heed of sizing instructions. Depending on fabric and manufacture each size will be different, read each sizing guide.
  • Start with the basics – Rebuild your underwear drawer with basics first, these are the pieces you’ll get the most use of.
  • Read their story – We’ve been there, we thought we were buying better and were fooled by marketing. Get down to the hard facts with brands.
  • Take care – when you get your new lingerie invest in a washing bag or hand wash only. Take care of your lingerie and it will last a lot longer, promise.
  • Lace does not belong in the washing machine. Hand wash, we repeat hand wash!
  • Finally, love your new pieces knowing you’re making a better choice socially and environmentally!



13 pairs of ethical jeans to shop now

1800 gallons of water is required to make just one pair of jeans. Aside from the cotton required, dyes used and after care being an environmental issue, fast fashion has meant many of us have bought jeans that are only lasting us a few months. No more we say! We’ve found 13 pairs of deadly denims that stand the test of time and take environmental and social responsibility too.


Mud Jeans

Mud jeans are of a circular mindset and use only sustainable fabrics in their production. Although you can buy the jeans outright, They also offer a leasing system. You pay an instalment every month and after 12 months are entitled to a new pair. Your old jeans will be recycled and if you happen to need repairs at any time, that’s free of charge.

Mud Jeans, €98

Mud Jeans, €98

Monkee Genes

Monkee Genes create jeans that are based on the care of the garment workers and the environment. They resist a disposable attitude to denim and use high quality fabrics and procedures to ensure your denim lasts and lasts.

Monkee Genes, €108

Monkee Genes, €102


Kuyichi believe in taking full responsibility for their products – both environmentally and socially. They are committed to consistently improving conditions for garment workers and sourcing only organic or recycled materials for their range.

Kuyichi, €120

Kuyichi, €99.95

G Star Raw

The stand out feature for G Star Raw is that they publish a list of the names and locations of all the garment factories they use. The brand use organic cotton, recycled materials and innovative materials like Tencel to lessen their environmental impact.

G Star Raw, €90.96

G Star Raw, €70.97

AG Jeans

AG Jeans work in a vertically integrated system – meaning they have full control over their environmental and social impact. They’ve decreased their Ozone impact by 50% in recent years and have committed to making moves towards more environmentally conscious standards.

AG Jeans, €186

AG Jeans, €155


DL1961 is a favourite here at STIALL. They use Eco-friendly fibres, make continuous efforts to lessen their environmental impact and never compromise on style. The New York based brand produces domestically to monitor their supply chain vigilantly.

Dl1961, €155

DL1961, €172

DL1961, €172

If you like Zara, you’ll love Everlane

If you’ve been known to pop into Zara for the basics, we’ve found the best alternatives. 

Everlane, a San Francisco based brand offers an edited version of sartorial basics that won’t cost you your rent. 

The products are created in factories used by luxury designers, but at a fraction of the price. So how do they do it? They cut out the middle man, sell online and are fair in their mark-ups. 

The brand have a hands on approach to finding the best factories and believe in absolute transparency while aiming to encourage people to buy less because of the high quality product.

Here’s STIALL’s favourite five available on Everlane now.

Cotton long sleeve crew, €22

Cotton box cut t-shirt, €14

Long slip dress, €77

Soft cotton square crew, €77

Cotton cross back dress, €86

City anorak, €77