6 of the Best Sustainable Fashion Stores in Nottingham

Words: Emilie Mendham
Illustrations: Smugcomputer Illustration
Sunday 20 March 2022
reading time: min, words

With fast fashion brands now jumping on the environmental bandwagon, how can we really tell which clothes are actually sustainable? Emilie Mendham explores…


Notts has made big strides towards sustainability and the fashion scene is no exemption. Fast fashion once dominated Notts high streets but after the downfall of many big chains, we’re looking more sustainable than ever. Our last surviving chain stores are doing what they can to keep up with the latest trends, but the downside of that? Greenwashing is all over Notts.

The phrase ‘greenwashing’ was coined back in 1986 but its relevance is on the rise, with fast fashion stores like Primark - known for its unethical labour practices and unsustainable processes - busy releasing “conscious” collections. They promise consumers new ranges with recycled materials that actually damage the earth just as much thanks to microplastics. And there is the more sinister form of greenwashing, with lots of green and neutral colour palettes - the likes of which we’ve seen on billboards across the city. They can also sway customers with phrases such as “organic”, “natural” and “eco”, and legally not have to provide any more evidence. 

So, how can we avoid being greenwashed? The answer is simple: shop local and campaign for better. 

When shopping, look at the materials in your clothes closely and search for certification when possible. Most clothes will be proud to display their certificates and they will also be fully traceable. There are always handy green flags to show which items are sustainable, from OEKOTex Made in Green labels tucked away inside clothing or a website page showing your garments’ history. It’s never a bad idea to message a business and ask them for transparency on their sustainable practices, and they should be happy to tell you!

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to being greenwashed, though. New legislation came into effect after lots of campaigning known as the ‘Green Claims Code’ in September 2021. This protects us from big corporations lying about their products or claiming ignorance to the full life cycle. 

So, how can we avoid being greenwashed? The answer is simple: shop local and campaign for better

Our favourite way to shop eco for fashion in Nottingham is to shop second-hand or find stores that re-work their clothes for the modern day. Here are our favourites:

White Rose
Luckily, it’s never hard to shop sustainably and ethically in Nottingham thanks to the seven White Rose shops scattered all around the city centre and beyond. With a mixture of high end brands and high street names there is something for everyone. 

Cost: £
Style type: Modern 


Relic x Hooked
It’s no secret that Hockley is full of must-have second-hand buys, but Relic x Hooked stepped into the Intu to take over the fast fashion dominated space, and they’ve done great. Hosting premium second-hand vintage stock, they managed to open another store in Birmingham because of their success.

Cost: £££
Style type: Premium vintage & streetwear


Sue Ryder Vintage
Known for their beautiful window displays that change as often as the seasons, their stock is conveniently colour-coded, meaning you can sort through it at record speeds.

Cost: £
Style Type: Vintage


Wild Clothing
Wild Clothing is Nottingham’s longest-running independent clothing store. With an eclectic mix of vintage fashion finds, you’re always going to discover something to wear on their rails. 

Cost: ££
Style Type: Vintage


Soul and Flare
Heading over to Sneinton Avenues, home of LeftLion, we have our neighbour Soul and Flare. With a passion for reducing waste at every opportunity, founder Gay Bennet uses her sewing skills to create beautiful upcycled vintage clothing. A full cycle type shop, Gay also offers repairs and alterations services. 

“Mixing eras from the 50s-90s, each item is lovingly revived or re-styled with the vision that it will last another 50 years.”

Cost: £££
Style Type: Vintage


If jewellery is your thing, Adornment will have the ethical version. Seen popping up at shows all over, you can sometimes see her stall at Sneinton Market on a Saturday. Selling reworked vintage jewellery, she transforms them into modern pieces fit for everyday wear. 

Cost: ££
Style Type: Vintage


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