59 Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Quotes (INSPIRING change!)

Motivation is a crucial factor when it comes to being more eco-friendly. Those inspiring sustainable and ethical fashion quotes will help you to be mindful of sustainability in this industry while choosing what to wear.

The fashion industry is ranked among the major environmental pollutants on the planet. Unfortunately, this is the sad truth that is often overlooked. Our today’s fashion tends to contribute to environmental pollution.  

Keeping in mind that we are responsible for the wellness of the future generation, we have to take a step toward this situation. Given that we are running out of both time and resources, it’s our responsibility to try as much as we can to change the general mindset. 

Here’s a quick selection of 9 out of 59 inspiring ethical and eco friendly fashion quotes, and don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel!

What is sustainable and ethical fashion?  

Sustainable and ethical fashion is one of the many examples of sustainability which aims at the production of fashion items in line with the UN sustainable development goals. The approach is meant to benefit both the fashion industry and the community without impacting the environment

As it turns out, fashion is beyond just a midi skirt and A-line skirt. And with all the marketing strategies to persuade consumers, it is quite challenging to find ethical and sustainable fashion. 

While our way towards sustainability, in general, is not easy, is now important to identify what qualifies to be sustainable and ethical fashion, as well as brands exercising environmental responsibility.

POWERFUL sustainable and ethical fashion quotes 

We have the ability to create awareness, inspire and encourage others through powerful words. Here are the best 59 brilliant quotes about sustainable fashion to help us make a move:

1. “Clothes are not going to change the world, the women who wear them will”

Sustainable & Ethical Fashion quotes - Anne Klein

These were Anne Klein‘s words and she encourages us to focus on embracing fashion or style rather than being defined by it. 

2. “As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy

We can make remarkable changes in our life by making mindful choices. You have greater abilities than you may think. But let it not be a hidden talent. You can act now given that you have leverage. The decision to stop buying from the careless brands and buy from safe brands is how you decide the kind of future you’d wish to live in.     

3. “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last”

Sustainable & Ethical Fashion quotes - Vivienne Westwood

These were Vivienne Westwood‘s words and she addressed the need to change our spending hobby to practice morality in the fashion business. This philosophy plays a massive role in sustainable fashion and the slow fashion movement.  Since we cannot dispose of clothes, it’s important to buy premium and durable items. Choose your favorite style, the dress of your choice, and take good care of it.

Let’s also look at some slow fashion quotes down below!

4. “Clothes could have more meaning and longevity if we think about owning the latest or cheapest thing and develop more of a relationship with the thing we wear”

What if all of us got the lost sewing skill and joined tailors around us? There is no doubt that we could have designed our own fashions. If you lack that skill, consider where the garment is made, the story behind it, and the designer’s inspiration. 

5. “Fashion can be a universal player in protecting the planet”

This is a quote by Simone Cipriani, the founder of the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Center, which is a joint agency of the UN and WTO.

Fashion plays an important role in people’s lives because it portrays their values and identity. While you dress your clothes to portray your identity, some people are doing so to show how much they can spend on fashion.

6. “Fast fashion is not free. Someone somewhere is paying”

Sustainable & Ethical Fashion quotes - Lucy Siegle

These were Lucy Siege‘s words. She’s a journalist who shows concern towards the fast fashion pace. Additionally, she has been much concerned about how unsustainable the fashion cycle is. She published the book “Fashion to die for,” which is insightful. It’s always important to think about the cheap deals you’ll find in the mall. If you are not paying the costs, someone else is paying on your behalf. The person paying for it is the garment worker living on the other side of the world, and likely working under unsafe conditions. 

7. “Cheap fashion is really far from that. It may be cheap in terms of the financial cost, but very expensive when it comes to the environment and the cost of human life”

Two fashion areas tend to cause massive contamination. Mass production as the first area of the fashion industry depletes and destroys natural resources with chemicals such as pesticides and dyes. The life cycle of the product is the second area where unused or unsold item fashion item is bunt or disposed of. So, as cheap as they may appear, fashion products are not cheap, and we’re all paying for them. 

8. “Realize the political power of your money and spend it with the brands you know are treating their workers and the environment in the best possible way”

According to Lily Cole, we are all-powerful and super important. And since our responsibilities are a great source of power, we need to shop wisely. You can identify the fashion that is beneficial to both the planet, workers, and the society 

9. “There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness”

This is Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, the first figure in the world to address how items were produced more than they were delivered. 

10. “When you wear vintage, you never have to worry about showing up in the same dress as someone else”

That’s the reality. And we have various vintage pieces that are completely art pieces. They can serve as major attractions in the museums. 

We tend to be lured by the fashion industry through marketing to continue purchasing new garments to cope with the recent trends. Keep in mind that all these wishes are caused by propaganda. It makes you think that you can only fulfill your needs by buying them. It makes you feel like you’re outdated and lures you to purchase more garments.

12. “Consumer demand can revolutionize the way fashion works as an industry. If everyone started to question the way we consume, we would see a radically different fashion paradigm”

What is produced in the fashion industry may sometimes depend on our tests and preference.

13. “Care for your clothes like the good friends they are”

As a responsible being, it is important to take good care of your clothes to make them last longer. 

14. “The fast-fashion business model is finite because the natural resources it uses will get scarcer and scarcer. If you want your company to be successful fifteen years from now, you have to address these issues today, even if your profits are a lot less as a result”

Nature itself is unpredictable. The production of various fashion items increases with demands, making raw materials scarce! Therefore, to grow your company or business in the coming years, you’ll have to address these issues early enough.

15. “What if we started by slowing down and not consuming so much stuff, just because it’s there and cheap and available. It’s amazing how that process makes sense financially, it makes sense ethically, and it makes sense environmentally”

If many of us could have started by consuming fewer items rather than consuming more due to their availability and favorable prices, we could have saved the environment.

16. “Ethical fashion is the recognition that there are human beings behind the clothes that we wear”

Sustainable and ethical fashion quotes - Elizabeth Joy

This quote from Elizabeth Joy emphasizes how ethical fashion means recognizing the value of the many people that are working behind the clothes we wear.

17. “Act as if you are doing makes a difference. It does”

If you have the ability to do it, just do it. Taking action will always make a difference.

18. “Good design is sustainable design”

Good design ends the recurring purchases of garments.

19. “Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth”

Fashion industries should be more mindful and adapt to more sustainable production, minimizing the environmental impact. 

20. “Cheap consumer products are sold to us as some grand achievement of globalization, but they’ve come at the price of middle job”

Some of these fashion products are available due to globalization achievement. 

21. “As a designer, I like to work with fabrics that do not bleed. That’s why I avoid all animal skins”

Sustainable and ethical fashion quotes - Stella McCartney

This is Stella McCartney‘s quote. She’s a fashion designer who prefers working with plant-based fabrics rather than animal-based fabrics.

22. “Quality is an investment in future”

Purchasing quality fashion items is a great future investment. In the end, we are doing it for the sake of the future generation.

23. “Demand quality not just in the products you buy, but in the life of the person who made it”

Through our expenses, we tend to create an impression about the kind of world we want to live in. therefore, we need to be concerned about that announcement and ensure it matches our personality and what we need. 

24. “Waste isn’t waste until we waste it”

We are living in a world full of garbage. However, this garbage is not considered garbage since it can be recycled or reused in other ways.   

25. “No one wants to wear clothes that were made from someone’s blood”

These were Amber Valletta’s words and she intended to address the impacts of the fashion industry on people. 

26. “Buy what you need, love what you have”

Following the 6 Rs of sustainability, to be more eco-friendly also in fashion, we should buy only what is essential for us (rethink). Then we should be taking good care of what we already own and use it for as long as possible. This is important for the environment and our future.

27. “Ethical should be the new normal”

We all need to embrace ethics to sustain our surroundings.

28. “Your t-shirt should cost more than your coffee”

As a matter of fact, the value of the global fashion industry is approximately $1.2 trillion annually. Nearly 85% of workers in the fashion industry usually do not earn the minimum wage. Rather, they earn something between $0.2 to $0.6 per piece.   

29. “Why? Just because there is no planet B”

Clothes could have been more meaningful and long-lasting if we could think less of having them. 

30. “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live”

Our expenses on fashion determine the kind of world we want to live in.

31. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better”

We always have the opportunity to make life better by doing better than we’ve ever done in the previous days. 

32. “Wear clothes that matter”

Considering the impact of mass production, we need only need the essential clothes rather than purchasing more clothes that we may end up disposing of while still unused. 

33. “Fast fashion is like fast food. After the sugar rush, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth”

Sustainable and ethical fashion quotes - Livia Firth

Powerful words from Livia Firth, co-founder of Eco-Age! Fast fashion may appear nice when we fast purchase them. However, with time, it may depreciate, losing its newness, and would just leave you with a bad taste.

34. “Call it eco-fashion if you like, I think it’s just common sense”

According to Livia Firth, choosing an eco-fashion should not be a challenge simply because it’s what you need to do for yourself and the environment.       

35. “Sustainability is about the long run”

Meeting our current needs should not diminish the opportunities for future generations, for this reason, as explained in the theory about the three pillars of sustainability, it is important to find the right balance between people, profit, and the planet.

36. “The greatest threat to our planet is believing that someone else will save it”

Believing that someone else will save our planet is a major threat to the environment. Therefore we are responsible for the wellness of our planet. No one will save it.

37. “Ethic + Aesthetic = sustainable fashion. Sustainable fashion + online = Goshopia = Go + shop + utopia”

We should always consider the values such as sustainability and ethics while purchasing fashion items. 

38. “We carry the story of the people who made our clothes”

Fashion determines the kind of story you feel to carry around: happiness, safety, sadness, or other. 

39. “You are what you wear”

What we wear sometimes defines our personality.

40. “The difference between fashion and style is quality”

Quality is the defining difference between fashion and style. 

41. “Sustainable fashion is not a trend but the future”

Sustainable and ethical fashion quotes - Antonia Bohlke

According to Antonia Böhlke, sustainable fashion will be with us for a very long time. It’s not a short-lived trend. We need to do better for the environment and we should do it now for a brighter future.   

42. “Green is the new black” and “Ethical is the new black”

 These two quotes on sustainable fashion are nearly the same. An eco-friendly lifestyle reduces harmful emissions.

43. “We have two choices – do nothing or do something”

We should choose to take action and preserve the environment, rather than stay calm while everything is crumbling. 

44. “I’m for style. Fashion change too quickly”

This is a popular quote from Coco Channel, implying that fashion is a mere trend that changes quickly. 

45. “No more fashion victims”

Sustainable fashion will end fashion slavery and there shall be no fashion victims. 

46. “It is better to have fewer things of quality than too much expendable junk”

Have a few things that are worth your cash – it’s better than having too much expendable items. 

47. “If we want to move towards a low-polluting, sustainable society, we need to get consumers to think about their purchases”

To live in a pollutant-free environment, consumers must think about their purchases. This prevents endless purchasing of garments, which in turn lowers the production.

48. “I am grateful to realize that my desires do not entitle me to add to another’s suffering”

These words were from Zoe Weil, co-founder of the Institute for Human Education. According to Zoe, it’s not a must for us to kill animals to manufacture leather-based items. He also mentions that garment workers should not be exploited we should not encourage deforestation simply because we need raw materials to produce plant-based items. 

49. “Think of yourself as a curator rather than a consumer” 

The main function of clothing is not hoarding but cherishing.   

50. “It isn’t enough just looking for the quality in the products we buy, we must ensure that there is quality in the lives of the people who make them”

Through the fashion revolution, we can achieve this quality by ensuring transparency.

51. “Care for clothes, like the good friends they are”

The clothes we already have are the most sustainable. The more it lasts the more it becomes sustainable. And to achieve this durability, we must mend and care for them. Apart from making clothes durable, mending also makes ethical fashion cost-efficient. 

52. “Ethical and sustainable fashion is not a product. It’s a practice everyone is invited to practice. There’s no obligation to buy. And you can get started right now. Today”

Sustainable and ethical fashion quotes - Elizabeth Cline

We tend to have the mentality that ethical fashion is for the wealthy. However, Elizabeth L. Cline rubbishes such beliefs. According to Elizabeth, ethical fashion is for those who wear clothes, and those who promise to care for them.  

53. “It really unsettles me that something being ‘ethically made’ is a bonus or optional extra. Should it not be the bare minimum that those who make the items that sustain and /or shape us as humans are respected and safe?”

Our fashion ethic should never be an afterthought. We need to prioritize the well-being of those behind fashion.   

54. “When an industry doesn’t care about how people are treated, no consideration of sustainability is possible. You can’t just care about the environment and forget about the fair and ethical treatment of people”

According to Simone Cipriani, people’s exploitation and unequal treatment will never be sustainable. Therefore, we need the idea behind sustainable fashion for collective liberation for all of us.   

You have to decide your fashion – don’t allow big brands to take over the field of trendy items. You have your taste and aesthetics. 

56. “If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired/rebuilt, refurbish, refinished, resold/ recycled, or composed/ then it should be restricted, redesigned/removed from production” 

The fashion industry should use production materials that can be recycled or reused in other ways. 

57. “Gorgeous fashion should both feel good and do good”

Sustainable and ethical fashion quotes - Label Saule

Inspiring words from Label Saulė. Apart from making you feel good, a sustainable fashion should do good and should be safe for our environment. 

58. “If you pay a little more, we can live a little better”

Pay more for quality fashion items that will sustain you for long rather than cheap and flimsy fashion items that you’ll dispose of over time.  If we are concerned about sustainable fashion, we need to listen to what the manufacturers of our clothes say. 

59. “We don’t have to pollute, exploit, and over-consume to loo stylish”

We can still make ourselves stylish without polluting our environment and exploiting others. 

Avoid Fast fashion to be more eco-friendly

Fast fashion is a cheap and low-quality fashion that imitates the trends embraced by luxury brands during a recurrent fashion show. By using affordable synthetic materials, fast fashion brands can quickly produce new items.   

Environmental impact of fast fashion

Fast fashion has several environmental impacts, including:


The pollution generated by the fashion industry is one of the major environmental issues for the planet. It may not be easy to rank it decisively due to the lack of transparency in the supply chain and the interaction of the fashion industry with other polluting industries. 

Here’s how we can reduce the environmental impact of our fashion industry.


Around 110 million workers in the fashion industry use enough water each year to quench their thirsts. It can take up to 20,000 litrers of water to produce a tshirt and a single pair of jeans! Realistically, it takes one person 14 years to drink such a high volume of water!

On the other hand, consumers often release nearly 500,000 tons of plastic microfibre into the sea every year while washing their garments. That’s equivalent to 30 billion plastic bottles. 

Textile wastes 

Around 60% of all produced clothing is thrown in the bin within a year. The average Canadian throws away about 37 kg of textile waste every year.    


Around 43 million tonnes of chemicals are used in growing, washing, softening, and dying textiles each year. Although not all these chemicals are hazardous, they pollute fresh water and may cause serious infections. 

Climate change 

The fashion industry emits an equivalent amount of carbon as 372 million cars. This is due to the high production of fashion items and the use of fuel-derived textiles like polyester, which forms 60% of our garments.   


The number of animals used for the production of garments is usually difficult to track in statistics. According to the statistics by Common Objective, hundreds of millions of animals are killed to produce silkworms, fur, and feathers. And that’s one more reason why we should rely on eco-friendly options.   


According to the World Bank, the fashion industry employs about 120 million workers indirectly. Around 80% of these employees are women. Most of these women rarely make a living wage. Some are exploited and even forced to cope with unsecured working conditions. And as it turns out, the fashion industry is the second most labor-intensive industry on the planet. 


I hope that this collection of amazing sustainable and ethical fashion quotes inspired you to make conscious choices when it comes to fashion!

If you need even more motivation about adopting a sustainable lifestyle, you may want to look for some sustainability quotes as well.

While this post is all about sustainable and ethical fashion, it’s not about boycotting the fashion industry or forgetting everything about the dangers of fast fashion.

Fashion items can still be produced with minimum impact on the ecosystem and, as one of our inspiring sustainable fashion quotes stated, it’s important to be environmentally mindful about our choices!

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