To celebrate this issue’s glorious GREEN theme and all our badass non-binary beauties, we’ve put together a list of our favourite gender-inclusive, sustainable brands for you to check out.
(We also grabbed a CEO for a chat mid-way through, too.)
Read on for some fab eco-friendly inspiration, then go forth and rock your unique aesthetic while confident your purchase is protecting people and the planet.
Femme Forte is a small, sustainable brand based in London. It’s queer to its core: 10% of all sales are put towards creating a LGBTQ+ centre in London – one of the only major cities without a dedicated queer hub.
A haven of cute caps, tees, and totes, every Femme Forte item is cruelty -free and gender neutral. The brand uses vegan inks to dye its clothing – you won’t catch a sniff of toxic chemicals here.
What we love about Femme Forte is their beginner’s attitude. They’re new, they’re learning, and they’re not afraid to ask for feedback.
Their site welcomes communication and asks for suggestions on anything you want to see more of – they genuinely want to hear from you.
Any brand aiming to be truly representative of the queer community is a yes from us.
Founded in vibrant East London, Riley Studio was always destined for style. Gender-neutral shorts, shirts and sweats boast clean lines and non-committal colours, and their boxy fit, recycled cotton tees are as queer as they are cool.
Certified with an Eco-Age Brandmark – an award that recognises sustainable excellence in business – this brand is all about conscious clothing.
We caught up with Riley Studio’s CEO Olivia Dowie for a chat.
U: We love your collections and your promise to ‘always be ageless, diverse and gender-neutral.’ We’re curious – why did you choose to opt out of traditional gender binaries when designing your clothes and what does gender inclusivity mean to the brand?
Olivia: When launching the brand we wanted to create something that was for Human Kind. We believe in individuality, which is why we design without gender in mind.
Style knows no boundaries, and neither should we.
We’ve also used the Sustainable Development Goals as the foundation to the business, and looking particularly at Goal 5 (Gender Equality). We want to encourage equality across all ages, genders and races.
U: Riley Studio’s doing incredible, eco-friendly work and your impact is racking up some unbelievable numbers:
- 5,434 plastic bottles recycled from landfills and oceans worldwide
- 3,257 litres of oil saved by using recycled materials
- 2,215,088 litres of water saved by using recycled materials
What are your sustainability goals going forward?
Olivia: Our long term goals are to develop a supply chain that has zero waste across all areas of the business – from the materials we use, our designs, our packaging and our suppliers.
We’re on a mission towards radical transparency and since launching the business we’ve sought to learn as much as we can about our partners. We celebrate the hands who make our clothes and continue to advocate a fair working environment for all.
It’s a never-ending journey and we share our learnings with the community as we go! We want to become a B Corp so we’re working towards that, focusing on things such as becoming a carbon negative business.
They price fairly and never run sales – to Riley Studio, discounting prices disrespects their creators, and we back it.
The brand ships worldwide and offers a lifetime guarantee on all clothing – they’re that sure their designs will last.
If items do come to the end of their lifespan, this forward-thinking studio still wants them back for up-cycling or recycling schemes. They’ll do anything to save stuff from landfill. Sign us up.
Gender Free World
This Hove-based brand takes sizing seriously. Their sizing pages are super clear and detailed, giving you tons of guidance on how to choose the correct fit.
Shirts come in 4 different body shapes, catering for wider hips and bigger bums, large busts, smaller waists, and everything in between.
Their eco-friendly ethos is clear: everything’s made in the UK with fair labour wages and ethical working conditions. They’ve also set up a Facebook group so customers can buy and sell their pre-loved shirts. Gender Free World is creating a circular fashion community and encouraging zero waste. And we love it.
So there you have it, huns – Unicorn’s roundup of the best sustainable AND gender-inclusive brands.
Now there’s literally no excuse for being eco-friendly and queer as heck.
And we’re SO here for it.
Written by Emily Kemp