When it comes to shopping, there are a few retailers that many women default to automatically. From Zara to Mango and H&M, these high-street retailers are incredibly popular. Though, while it might seem like a natural reflex to mindlessly scroll through Zara's new-in section every time you're in need of some retail therapy, these days there are so many other affordable options around.
And better still, over the last few years, we've seen an increase in independent labels that maintain a more afforfable price point *and* keep sustainability at the forefront. From Omnes to Nobody's Child and Aligne, these brands are putting a spotlight on eco-friendly materials and conscious design without compromising on style or putting a huge dent in your wallet.
Plus, shopping from smaller, more independent labels means there is far less risk of ending up with the same items as everybody else. (And let's be honest, if it's gone viral on Tiktok then that's definitely a risk...unnecessary Zara hauls we're looking at you.)
If you're looking to add to your wardrobe and support a sustainably-minded brand in the process, keep scrolling for 5 affordable Zara alternatives I love.
Shop the best affordable and sustainable Zara alternatives
As a brand, Omnes believes that fashion shouldn't cost the earth, which is why it has always kept sustainable production and mindful material choice at the heart of its design process. Omnes creates many of its products from recycled or deadstock materials, and even takes into account the recyclability of a product for considered disposal at the end of its lifecycle.
The brand offers timeless staples (like knit dresses and tailored trousers) but also has more trend-led pieces like co-ord sets and slinky slip dresses. I personally own the brand's Riviera Midi dress in two different colours and just quietly, I love it. It's the perfect wedding guest dress, and can also be dressed down for more casual occasions by adding a blazer or jumper over the top.
Based in London, Nobody's Child prides itself on creating responsible clothing with low-impact materials, at an affordable price point. Knowing that 80% of a product's environmental footprint starts with fabric choice, Nobody's Child opts for responsible fabrics including Ecovero viscose and organic cotton.
While Nobody's Child is known for its printed midi dresses, the label now offers so much more than that. Their selection of knitwear, outerwear and denim is constantly growing.
Calling all sustainably-minded minimalists, Aligne is a brand you need to know. From recycled polyester to organic cotton and EcoVero, Aligne focuses on creating at least 50% of its collections from eco-materials. In addition to this, Aligne works with responsible factories across Europe for the majority of its production.
From tailored separates to elevated denim, Aligne's aesthetic is classic with a contemporary edge. The brand definitely specialises in creating key wardrobe foundations, in quality materials that you can wear on repeat for years to come. Did you know that you can also shop it at Liberty?
Founded by three former Warehouse executives, the women behind Albaray know exactly what kind of product will appeal to its customers. Created with sustainability in mind, all of Albaray's clothing is made from responsibly sourced fabrics, including recycled polyester, deadstock fabric and organic denim (which uses significantly less water than traditional denim).
Albaray creates timeless wardrobe staples, that could seamlessly be paired together to create the ultimate capsule wardrobe, as well as statement dresses and chic outerwear.
If your style falls on the more statement end of the spectrum, then Damson Madder is definitely a brand you should have on your radar. The brand is known for its fun, printed designs, which have a decidedly retro feel. From a sustainability perspective, Damson Madder prides itself on creating fashion for a better future. The brand uses organic, recycled and repurposed materials in its collections, creating quality garments without compromising on style. Their pieces will definitely make a statement.
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Zoe Anastasiou is a Fashion Editor with over eight years of experience working across digital publications in New York, London and Australia. She has contributed to publications including Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE Australia, and was the Fashion and Social Media Editor at Who What Wear UK before joining Marie Claire.
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