If you are looking for some ethical & organic maternity clothes in which to nurture your little one(s) into the world, I’ve curated this list to help you find some of the best sustainable maternity clothing options out there. Ethical maternity clothing used to be hard to find but that's not the case anymore. We've come a long way baby!
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Why consider Ethical & Organic Maternity Clothes?
Most maternity clothes are made with cheap synthetic materials (polyester, rayon, etc.) that don't last very long. We also don't wear them for more than a few months, so most of them end up going into the garbage and adding to our never-ending pile of textile waste.
A lot of clothing is also made using a ton of harmful chemicals, like dyes, flame-retardants, and stain guards. We certainly do not want any of this crap near our bump or our babies!
Ethical and organic maternity clothes make it easier to reduce your and your little ones' exposure to any toxic chemicals. They also reduce our ecological footprint and help us to support ethical labor and manufacturing practices just by purchasing (and voting for) ethically produced garments.
How to shop for Ethical Organic Maternity Clothes?
Before we get into it, I’d like to tell you a little bit about what to consider when choosing ethical maternity clothes (or any sustainable clothing brands for that matter).
When it comes to maternity clothes specifically, an important factor is that, for many people, maternity clothes are only used for a set period of time, after which they are often no longer needed. For that reason, buying new may not be necessary.
Instead, you can scour your closet for items that might still work throughout your pregnancy (like leggings or dresses), ask friends and family who might still have maternity clothes they would lend or pass down, and of course shop secondhand. For the latter, you can safely browse these 20 online thrift stores in the comfort of your own home, and if you need some help, my best thrift shopping tips are always here to guide you. Since maternity clothing is only used for a short period, you can also approach it like you are curating your own second-hand capsule wardrobe.
When it comes to ethical and sustainable shopping in general though, we consider these 3 elements:
1. What are the Materials and fabrics used
Starting with fabrics and materials, look for garments made of natural and organic materials. Where textiles are concerned, the most sustainable and environmentally friendly fabrics are usually organic hemp, cotton, or linen. Be sure to look out for the following certifications when shopping for items made of these materials:
- Certified Animal Welfare Approved
- Certified Humane® Label
- Certified Organic Wool
- Climate Beneficial by Fibershed
- EU Ecolabel
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
- Global Recycle Standard (GRS)
- Oeko-Tex 100
- Organic Content Standard (OCS)
- Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)
- Soil Association Organic Standards
- USDA-Certified Organic
- ZQ Merino Standard
You can also choose from semi-synthetic fabrics or fabrics made of recycled materials like TENCEL™Modal, TENCEL™ Lyocell, or recycled polyester. The following certifications should help make the best choices when purchasing items made of these materials:
- Fair Trade
- Forest Stewardship Council
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
- Global Recycle Standard (GRS)
- Oeko-Tex 100, Organic Content Standard (OCS)
- Recycled Claim Standard
- SCS Recycled Content Certification
Garments can also be made with details like natural buttons made from coconuts and zippers made from recycled metal, so be sure to look out for those types of things as well.
2. How are the materials sourced?
Sourcing is a key part of the ethics and sustainability behind the clothes we wear. To that effect, look out for brands that source textiles from certified manufacturers that pay workers fairly and ensure safe and healthy working environments.
3. What's the company's corporate responsibility?
Corporate sustainability basically shows you how committed companies are to sustainability. So here we consider: what else they are doing beyond using sustainable fabrics and ensuring ethical manufacturing? Are they promoting environmental sustainability throughout their company? Offsetting their carbon footprint? Shipping items entirely plastic-free? Is the brand a certified B corporation?
Top picks for Ethical Organic Maternity Clothes
Whatever you do, just make the best choice for you while considering these factors where possible. It’s okay if you cannot make a perfect choice; an informed one that's fit your needs is arguably best. Now without further ado, let’s get into some ethical non-toxic maternity clothes for you and your little one(s).
Based in Miami, Florida, Petit From Poa comes to you from a small group of entrepreneurs focused on designing and producing meaningful, high-quality, sustainable products that are made in the U.S.A. They provide ethical maternity and nursing clothes, including their genius Petit Kit: a 4-piece maternity kit featuring a dress, skirt, pants, and a top. This kit is perfect for gifting or complimenting your existing wardrobe.
Petit from Poa's fabrics and Materials
Their garments are made of a premium Modal blend, an ultra-soft, velvety smooth fabric that feels amazing against your body because we know how comfort is the main factor during pregnancy!
Petit from Poa's rich black items is dyed-through Eco Color technology which is a lot less resource-intensive than the conventional dying process.
Petit from Poa's Ethical sourcing
They use only Lenzing’s TENCEL™ Modal, the preferred sustainable choice when it comes to modal because of the more ethical closed-loop production process used to create this fiber. TENCEL™ fibers are mainly manufactured from beech wood and are certified as biodegradable and compostable. It has also received the USDA BioPreferred designation.
Petit from Poa's Corporate responsibility
The company strives to make all its processes as minimally damaging to the environment as possible, using only one GOTS-Certified Organic Cotton Label per item in order to minimize waste and energy use. They clearly go the extra mile by shipping all their products plastic-free, in 100% biodegradable packages.
Girlfriend Collective started with the primary goal of being as transparent and as eco-friendly as possible. It is from there that they’ve created their selection of sustainable clothing, including the key pieces they’ve designed for expecting mamas. Their maternity clothes include an ultra-lightweight Seamless Maternity Legging made of recycled fishing nets (a.k.a. recycled nylon), as well as bike shorts and 2 nursing bra options.
Girlfriend's fabrics & materials
Girlfriend Collective’s maternity garments are made from recycled fishing nets and other waste that would otherwise wind up in the oceans or landfills.
To dye their fabrics, Girlfriend Collective uses eco-friendly dyes. Wastewater from the dyeing process is cleaned and cooled before being re-released. They also donate a byproduct of their dyeing process called dye mud to a local pavement facility to be recycled into sidewalks and roads.
Girlfriend's Ethical sourcing
Their fabric factory (located in Vietnam) is SA8000 certified, which is a certification by Social Accountability International designed to protect workers worldwide through standardized working conditions and wage guidelines.
Cutting and sewing are also done at an SA8000 certified factory in Vietnam where they ensure there are fair wages, safe working conditions, the right to unionize, and no child labor. They also provide food, guided exercise breaks, and health checks every 6 months for all employees, as well as health insurance.
Both their recycled fabrics and environmentally friendly dyes are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified.
Girlfriend's Corporate responsibility
Girlfriend Collective uses recycled materials to make a number of their garments, which reduces landfill waste and pollution as well as the use of raw materials such as crude oil.
Furthermore, all of their packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable. They also express support for the Black Lives Matter movement, providing a list of organizations to donate to and support, as well as a list of brands to buy from in these efforts.
Boob is a Swedish sustainable maternity and nursing brand created by Mia Seipel. Inspired one day after watching her sister breastfeed, Mia understood then that like all superheroes, mom’s deserved the right gear. Starting with their patented nursing collection, they now offer garments for all stages of motherhood, all made with care.
Boob's fabrics & materials
Boob's entire collection is made using sustainable materials that are traceable through every step of the manufacturing process. Fabric options include organic cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell, TENCEL™ Modal (EU Ecolabel certified), organic wool (GOTS certified), recycled polyamide (GRS certified), recycled elastane (GRS certified), and leftover material from their (and others) production.
Boob's Ethical sourcing
Boob tracks every step of their manufacturing process, from fiber to final garment. They work with manufacturers across Europe and Asia that are either family-owned, have been visited by their production team, and/or hold the following certifications: Bluesign, GOTS, ICS (International Certification Service), OCS and OCS Blend, STANDARD 100 by Oeko-Tex®, ISO 9001 (International Organization for Standardization), ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 (International Occupational Health Safety Management Standard), and SA8000.
They also regularly test suppliers to ensure compliance with EU legislation on chemical substances (REACH).
Boob's Corporate responsibility
In terms of corporate responsibility, Boob is a GOTS certified company, offers transparency with a list of all their manufacturers, and provides Climate Compensated Shipping.
They also design garments with sustainability and durability in mind, from conceptualization to the final product. Customers in Sweden can also benefit from the option to rent some of BOOB's most popular offerings through a platform called Hyber, answering to the very transitional nature of pregnancy.
PACT is a US-based company that offers a variety of basics made with certified organic cotton. Based in Colorado, they hope to become Earth’s Favorite Clothing Company in part by offering a line of certified organic cotton maternity apparel. With 2 dress options, several tops, and leggings they may be just what you are looking for. (and if you need a comfy pair of ethical PJ's, they've got those too)
Pact's fabrics & materials
Pact uses organic cotton certified by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Some of their items do include elastane so be sure to have a look at the Materials & Care section of the item’s description if this is a concern.
Pact's Ethical sourcing
PACT partners with Fair Trade International to ensure safe working conditions, environmental protection, sustainable livelihoods, and additional financial support to empower the communities they employ.
Pact's Corporate responsibility
PACT offers the option to offset the carbon emissions associated with your shipment and they use 100% post-consumer recycled paperboard and cardboard boxes to ship your items. Where they do use plastics in shipments, they are biodegradable.
The company has also started a clothing donation program in partnership with Give Back Box, where gently used garments (of any brand) can be donated using a prepaid label, and ideally, an old cardboard box.
5. Warp + Weft
If you had ruled jeans out of the equation during your pregnancy, you may want to reconsider. Warp + Weft is a family-owned ethical denim company creating high-quality denim that’s affordable and eco-friendly. Their maternity collection includes several denim options, and they also have eco-friendly maternity plus size clothes for more casual or dressy occasions, with your comfort in mind.
Warp + Weft's fabrics & materials
Using responsibly sourced cotton, they also skip the environmentally harmful bleaching process, opting instead for Dry Ozone technology which helps them be compliant with International Social and Environmental & Quality Standards.
Warp + Weft's Ethical sourcing
Committed to ethical labor practices for all, Warp + Weft oversees its entire manufacturing operations. Their high-quality denim is created at their own eco-friendly mill, and all of the cotton, Lycra, and TENCEL used in their products are sourced in the United States. They only use the highest quality European dyes like the Liquid Indigo dye by DyStar Germany (which is GOTS and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified).
Warp + Weft's Corporate responsibility
Where one pair of traditional jeans requires 1,500 gallons of water, Warp + Weft jeans require less than 10 gallons. 98% of the water used in their operations is treated and recycled. Not only that, but their factory also uses other technologies like solar panels, an in-house power plant, and a heat recovery system to improve efficiency and reduce their environmental footprint.
Created by the London-based fashion company House of Baukjen, Isabella Oliver is a maternity clothing brand with an impressive sustainability record. As such, they offer a wide selection of garments designed with sustainability and expectant mothers in mind. They’ve even created an ethical and sustainable maternity capsule collection that includes some incredible dresses, and other essentials.
Isabella Oliver's fabrics & materials
As of the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, the brand has been using EcoVero instead of conventional viscose and organic cotton instead of conventional cotton. With that, most of the fabrics used in their garments are made from natural, biodegradable fibers. You can learn more about all of their offerings by visiting their fabrics page.
Isabella Oliver's Ethical sourcing
All of their factories (which must abide by their Factory Code of Conduct) are located in Europe or Asia. Many of them are family-run operations, and their team regularly visits all of them.
As for fair wages, Isabella Oliver is a living wage employer, an accreditation reflecting the company’s commitment to paying living wages throughout their supply chain.
Isabella Oliver's Corporate responsibility
As of Q1 2021, the company has become completely Carbon Negative by assessing, reducing, remediating, and offsetting its carbon emissions.
A Certified B Corporation, member of the United Nations Fashion Charter for Climate Action, and of the Science-Based Target Network, you can learn all about their efforts in their Impact Report, developed using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework.
A British company, Frugi was created by two parents who wanted better options for their little one. Along with a wide array of items for babies, toddlers, and kids, they also offer a selection of organic cotton maternity wear including dresses, bottoms, tops, and even swimwear made of recycled plastic bottles.
Frugi's fabrics & materials
Most of Frugi’s garments are made of organic cotton that is both certified by the Global Organic Textile Association and the Soil Association.
A few of their garments are made of Lenzing TENCEL™ Modal, polyamide, or recycled polyester (Repreve). If elastane is a concern, look out for that in the product description.
Frugi's Ethical sourcing
Fruigi’s factories are located in India, Turkey, Portugal, and China. In striving to be ethical, honest, and transparent in everything they do, Frugi regularly visits their suppliers who must abide by their Code of Conduct.
Frugi's Corporate responsibility
Over the last 16 years, Frugi has committed 1% of its turnover to supporting a number of charities, donating over $1 million US dollars.
Alday is a Canadian company that prides itself on offering well-made, quality sustainable maternity essentials. They believe that neither style, comfort, nor quality should be compromised, especially when it comes to maternity. Their offerings include the Everyday Legging made of ultra-soft and naturally breathable premium bamboo.
Alday's fabrics & materials
Alday uses a premium Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified bamboo and lycra blend and an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified Micro modal and lycra blend (sourced in Canada).
Alday's Ethical sourcing
All of their garments are designed and produced in Toronto, Canada. Their family-run fabric mill and their manufacturers (a team of all women) are both located only 30km from the Alday offices. This way, Alday ensures that both of their partners produce and operate at a high standard.
Alday's Corporate responsibility
Alday is committed to the slow fashion movement and ensures that all of its products are made entirely in Canada using sustainable, quality textiles.
9. Prana Vida
A Canadian company, Prana Vida was created by a mommy who couldn’t find ethical clothing she loved and could really trust. So, she started making clothes of her own. Prada Vida now offers maternity and postpartum/nursing-friendly clothing designed to evolve with your body. Their selection includes joggers, tanks, and reversible bras.
Prana Vida's fabrics & materials
Some of Prana Vida’s garments are made of a blend of TENCEL™ Lyocell from eucalyptus, organic cotton, and a small amount of spandex. Others are made of Unifi’s Repreve recycled polyester and spandex.
Prana Vida's Ethical sourcing
All of their items are ethically made in small batches in Vancouver and Winnipeg, Canada. And all of their fabrics are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified.
Prana Vida's Corporate responsibility
All Prana Vida garments are shipped in compostable packaging.
A final word on sustainable Maternity clothes!
Sustainable Maternity clothes offer the opportunity to reduce your ecological footprint all while wrapping yourself and your little one(s) in the comfort you may have come to know of conventional options, without the toxic chemicals. What’s more, you can still find pieces for many occasions without having to sacrifice style.
And if you are looking for a gift for the new mama, make sure to take a peek at the brand directory, there are tons of really great ideas.
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