Best Sustainable Plus-Size Clothing Brands for Women

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Arabella Ruiz
By 
Arabella Ruiz is a senior researcher at The Roundup, specializing in data and statistics. She lives in San Antonio, Texas and has been interested in the environment from an early age. Arabella loves to campaign for environmental causes and fundraise for charities that aim to preserve wildlife habitat, protect endangered species or help people with climate change problems.
Arabella Ruiz
Updated: July 2, 2024

Finding stylish plus-size clothing (size 14 and above) is easier than it used to be. In 2024 many large brands are now size-inclusive. But most of them aren't sustainable. 

So where can you find plus-size fashion that's stylish, comfortable, and kind to the planet?

Navigating the maze of greenwashing, toxic fabrics, and fast-fashion manufacturing can be confusing. I found this out first-hand while trying to buy larger-sized activewear for the gym and clothing for work.

I decided to do something about it. I used my eco-testing experience and love of inclusive fashion to test the best sustainable plus-size clothing brands.

In this guide, I'll share my top picks for the stylish and ethical plus-size wardrobe you deserve...

My 5 Favorite Size-Inclusive Clothing Brands of 2024 

Quick Picks

Range: Underwear, Bras, Swim, Pride, Apparel
Certifications: OEKO-TEX, B Corp
Standout Materials: Organic Cotton, TENCEL™ Modal, Recycled Polyester
Size Range: Up to 6X
Quality: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 
Value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Why It's My #1 Pick: TomboyX Boy Shorts are made from a lovely, breathable cotton blend fabric and are incredibly comfortable to wear all day.

I especially love the comfort during long journeys. The stay-put waistband and no-chafe seams prevent discomfort and irritation better than any other brand I tested.

Personal Experience: TomboyX Boy Shorts have been my intimates of choice for a few years now. I've worn them during long flights and busy days of sightseeing or work. They always provide exceptional comfort.

What has also impressed me is the durability. After several months of regular use and washing, they look as good as new. The colors remain vibrant, and the fabric hasn't lost its shape (unlike some of the lesser brands I tested).

About the Brand: TomboyX is a Certified B Corp. It uses Oeko-Tex-certified fabrics that are free of harmful chemicals. These materials include organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Modal.

All TomboyX manufacturing partners meet high standards of social responsibility. They ensure fair wages and maintain safe working conditions.

Pros & Cons

Breathable, soft fabric that prevents overheating
Durable construction that withstands frequent washing
Fun, unique prints that add style to comfort
Ethical and sustainable production practices
Size inclusive from 3XS to 6XL
Limited availability of certain prints in all sizes
The waistband may feel snug for some users initially

Verified Customer Reviews

  • Restock!
    Love these sassy pants! No wonder they sold out instantly.

    Cheffie
    ★★★★★

  • Pretty & Solid Bra!
    Pretty & Comfy Bra. I wear it for my work outs and it holds the girls in ;)

    Mama
    ★★★★★

  • Only Legging you need
    Great leggings for workout. Excellent flexibility. True to size.

    John N
    ★★★★★

Range: Dresses
Certifications: None
Standout Materials: Deadstock, Organic Cotton, Regenerative Cotton, Organic Dyes
Size Range: Up to 3X
Quality: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 
Value: ⭐⭐⭐

Why It's the Best for Work / Ladies: Christy Dawn has the most extensive range of clothing I would wear to work. During testing, I was especially impressed with the Emma Dress. It's one of the cutest yet practical dresses I've ever worn. 

Personal Experience: The vintage-inspired design of the dresses stood out during testing. The neckline and tiering add a touch of elegance, making it suitable for professional settings AND post-work drinks! 

The practical side pockets are a thoughtful feature I love. They enabled me to carry small essentials without needing an extra bag.

About the Brand: Christy Dawn embraces regenerative practices to heal and nurture the planet. This commitment is evident in relationships with farmers in India and dressmakers in Los Angeles.

Pros & Cons

Versatile design suitable for various occasions
High-quality, breathable fabric
Thoughtful features like side pockets
Eco-friendly production
Elegant ethical fashion (timeless designs)
No official certifications, but still a sustainable fashion brand
High price point
Range: Dresses, Tanks, Tees, Sweatshirts, Sweatpants, Shorts
Certifications: Organic Cotton Standard, Global Recycled Standard, Global Organic Textile Standard, OEKO-TEX
Standout Materials: Organic Cotton, Recycled Cotton
Size Range: Up to 5X
Quality: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why It's the Best for Young Adults / Juniors / Casual: My youngest sister tested The Cropped Sweatshirt and loved it. The relaxed fit and drop shoulders gave it a trendy look that some older focused brands struggled to achieve.

Personal Experience: The blend of organic and recycled cotton used by The Standard Stitch gives its range of t-shirts and sweatshirts a super soft feel

My sister commented that The Cropped Sweatshirt is not only stylish but also durable. The high-quality construction has lasted through frequent wear and washings.

About the Brand: The Standard Stitch prioritizes using organic and recycled materials. It makes sure that every step of the manufacturing process minimizes environmental impact.

I also love that The Standard Stitch uses low-impact and non-toxic dyes.

Pros & Cons

Super soft comfortable fabric
Durable and long-lasting
Made from sustainable materials
Ethically made
Vibrant, non-toxic colors
4X and 5X often out of stock in the more popular colors
Range: Pants, Sweatshirts & Hoodies, Jackets, Tops, Shorts, Blankets
Certifications: Bluesign-Certified
Standout Materials: Recycled Nylon, S-Cafe Polyester (made from Recycled Coffee Grounds Plastic Bottles), Organic Cotton
Size Range: Up to 2X
Quality: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why It's the Best for Winter: I love Winter hiking, and Coaltree has always been my go-to brand for waterproofs and warm layers. The Puffy Kachula Adventure Blanket I tested was exceptionally warm and versatile. It's my new favorite in my winter wardrobe.

Personal Experience: I was unsure about recommending a blanket at first. However, its multifunctional design impressed me during testing.

I used it as a poncho while sitting around the campfire. Later, I converted it into a sleeping bag for extra warmth while sleeping under the stars.

I loved the zipper pockets. They were perfect for keeping my phone and flashlight secure and accessible. 

About the Brand: Coalatree is an innovative brand focused on eco-friendly gear and apparel. Its products are aimed at adventurers and city dwellers.

I also LOVE that the brand uses surplus fabric to create blankets for the homeless in Salt Lake City! 👏

Pros & Cons

Highly versatile products with multiple functions
Excellent thermal insulation for cold weather
Durable and water-resistant
Clothing ranges only go up to 2X
Range: Leggings, Sports Bras, Apparel, Bottoms, Tops, Dresses, Sweatsuits, Underwear, Socks, Bags & Accessories
Certifications: SA8000, OEKO-TEX
Standout Materials: Recycled Plastic Bottles, Eco-Friendly Dyes
Size Range: Up to 6X
Quality: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Value: ⭐⭐⭐

Why It's the Best Activewear: Girlfriend Collective outperforms and has outlasted all the other size-inclusive activewear I've tried. I find the lightweight construction perfect for intense workouts and casual lounging.

Personal Experience: I love that the fabric used to make Girlfriend Collective leggings (90% recycled plastic bottles and 10% spandex) is so sweat-wicking and quick-drying. They always keep me cool and dry during my workouts.

I also very much appreciate the sheer-proof material. It offers full coverage and gives me confidence in any activity (including yoga!).

The buttery soft texture and brushed matte finish give these leggings a luxurious feel. For me, they are an absolute pleasure to wear.

About the Brand: Girlfriend Collective creates stylish, eco-friendly clothing using ethical manufacturing practices.

The Girlfriend Collective sewing partner in Vietnam is SA8000 certified. This gives the workers fair wages, safe working conditions, and the right to unionize.

Pros & Cons

Incredibly lightweight and comfortable
Made from recycled materials
Quick-drying and sweat-wicking
Sheer-proof for full coverage
UPF 50+ protection for outdoor activities
Some styles can initially feel a bit tight

How I Tested

As a lover of slow fashion brands, I focused on the following to ensure the plus-size brands I recommended met the highest standards.

Materials and Sustainable Practices

  • Materials: I scrutinized each piece to ensure it was made from eco-friendly materials.
  • Business Ethics: I examined supply chains, labor practices, and green initiatives.
  • Certifications: I prioritized brands certified by respected third-party organizations. Certifications such as GOTS, OEKO-TEX, and B Corp indicate a brand's commitment to sustainability.

Design

  • Inclusivity (Size & Style): I looked for brands that provide plus sizes without compromising style or quality. Plus-size should never mean frumpy or unstylish.

Performance and Value

  • Price / Value: Affordable sustainable clothing should be accessible to all. I evaluated whether the brand's average price matched its quality and sustainability credentials.
  • Reviews: Customer feedback was invaluable in supporting my findings. I dug into reviews to gauge real-world performance and satisfaction.
  • Warranty: I looked for brands that offer comprehensive warranties and hassle-free return policies.
  • Shipping: Shipping practices also affect sustainability. I prefer brands with minimal, eco-friendly packaging and carbon-neutral shipping options.

What Is Sustainable Plus-Size Clothing and Why Does It Matter?

Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion is a significant cause of environmental damage. It rapidly produces large quantities of low-cost clothing, leading to considerable waste and pollution.

Clothing and footwear production is responsible for more than 8% of the global climate impact. That's more than all international airline flights and maritime shipping trips combined.

What's the Significance of Inclusivity in Sustainable Fashion?

Inclusivity in fashion means offering clothing options for all body types, including plus sizes.

Historically, plus-size consumers have had limited choices and styles in the fashion industry.

This issue is even more pronounced in sustainable fashion, which often focuses on smaller sizes.

What Are the Challenges for Plus-Size Sustainable Clothing Brands?

Producing plus-size clothing requires more fabric and materials, which increases production costs. This is especially significant for sustainable materials, which are often more expensive.

Ensuring a perfect fit for diverse body shapes and sizes is a significant challenge. Plus-size clothing requires thoughtful design and pattern-making to cater to different body types.​

What Are the Benefits of Sustainable Clothing for Plus-Size Consumers?

Sustainable clothing offers numerous benefits for plus-size consumers. These include improved comfort, fit, and quality.

Ethical brands also often prioritize high-quality materials and construction techniques.

How to Build a Sustainable Plus-Size Wardrobe

Focus on Versatile, High-Quality Pieces

  • Create a Cohesive Wardrobe: A cohesive wardrobe doesn't need to be extensive. Focus on pieces that complement each other and can be mixed and matched. This approach maximizes outfit possibilities and reduces the number of items you need.
  • Neutral Colors and Classic Cuts: These are easier to mix and match.
  • Layering: Use layering to create different looks with the same pieces. For example, you can pair a simple dress with a cardigan for a different vibe.
  • Second-Hand and Vintage Pieces: Thrift stores, online marketplaces, and consignment shops are great places to find unique plus-size items.

Care and Maintenance

  • Proper Washing Techniques: Wash clothes in cold water to prevent fabric damage and color fading. Use a gentle, eco-friendly detergent.
  • Air Drying: Air dry your clothes whenever possible instead of using a dryer. This reduces energy use and is gentler on fabrics.
  • Wash Less Frequently: Not all clothes need to be washed after every wear. Jeans and sweaters, for example, can be worn multiple times before washing.

The Final Word

Brands like TomboyX and Girlfriend Collective are the current leaders in sustainable plus-size fashion, because they use organic or recycled materials and ethical manufacturing practices.

Inclusivity in sizing is crucial. Historically, plus-size consumers had limited options. Brands like Christy Dawn and The Standard Stitch are changing that. With sizes up to 6XL, these brands offer stylish and comfortable clothing for all body types.

Buying from any of the ethical clothing brands in this guide will help you build a stylish and sustainable wardrobe.

Arabella Ruiz
Arabella Ruiz
Arabella Ruiz is a senior researcher at The Roundup, specializing in data and statistics. She lives in San Antonio, Texas and has been interested in the environment from an early age. Arabella loves to campaign for environmental causes and fundraise for charities that aim to preserve wildlife habitat, protect endangered species or help people with climate change problems.

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