ABLE is a sustainable clothing brand working with communities all over the world to stop the cycle of poverty by producing ethical fashion and paying a living wage to women.

The retailer of women's clothing and accessories was founded in 2010 and headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The label makes updated classics and brand new styles designed to be the one you keep coming back to.

ABLE believes in progress over perfection and aims to be transparent as well as accountable to end poverty in the fashion industry. It publishes on its website the lowest worker wages of its manufacturing partners.

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Sustainability Rating: 6/10

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Category: Clothing, bags, accessories, shoes, jewelry

For: Women

Type: Basics, dresses, denim, loungewear, sneakers, boots, sandals, heels, flats

Style: Casual, classic

Quality: Medium

Price: $$

Sizes: XS-XL, 2-14 (US), 4-16 (UK), 32-48 (EU), 6-18 (AU)

Fabrics: Cotton, linen, lyocell, modal, acetate, viscose, polyester, nylon, spandex, rubber, leather, wool, silk

100% Organic: No

100% Vegan: No

Ethical & Fair: Yes

Recycling: Yes

Producing country: Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico, India, United States

Certifications: GOTS, FSC

Sustainability Practices

"ABLE is an ethical fashion brand that employs and empowers women as a solution to end poverty. [...] That’s why we have so much to say about workers' rights, protections, and wages. As we seek to do good for people, we’ve recognized that we can’t fully realize our goals until we recognize our impact on the environment."

ABLE is known for creating transformative opportunities for women. The ethical fashion brand employs and empowers women as a solution to end poverty.

ABLE recycles mailer bags and repurposes shipping boxes. It also urges suppliers to incorporate recycled packaging during shipping, including recycled plastic and paper.

ABLE uses a high proportion of sustainable materials such as certified organic cotton and linen, as well as recycled materials such as regenerated nylon and recycled polyester.

The ethical fashion label also sources regenerated cellulosic fibers such as modal, acetate, viscose, and Tencel lyocell.

Tencel Lyocell is a semi-synthetic man-made cellulosic fiber and an environmentally friendly material made from renewable resources, wood pulp extracted from wood produced in FSC certified sustainable forests.

However, ABLE uses a small amount of petroleum-based synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and spandex made from crude oil.

ABLE manufactures sustainable denim in Mexico. The facility recycles 100% of the water used during production and is in the process of getting WRAP certified.

The fashion brand operates jewelry manufacturing in the United States to ensure ethical and sustainable standards, high-quality working conditions, and fair wages.

ABLE uses a reporting system called ACCOUNTABLE that provides unprecedented transparency into the social impact of employment and manufacturing practices, particularly the impact on women.

It sends independent auditors to assess its suppliers and report on business practices, social and labor standards, living wages, potential risk areas, as well as draft a corrective action plan.

ABLE doesn't use any exotic animal skin, or hair, fur, angora. But it uses leather, wool, and silk to manufacture some of its clothing.

These animal-derived materials are cruel and unethical. They also harm the environment by producing greenhouse gases and wastes. More sustainable alternatives exist.

Sustainability Goals

In 2021, ABLE will swap poly bags for cloth dust bags for shipping.

The brand publishes its wages in Nashville and Ethiopia to protect workers by giving consumers a clear choice. It plans to report on all its manufacturing partners in 2020.

However, ABLE doesn't show any measurement of its water usage, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste across its supply chain. It doesn't have any clear sustainability goals, science-based targets, or timeline to improve in the future.

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What We're Up Against

Fast fashion groups overproducing cheap clothes in the poorest countries.
Garment factories with sweatshop-like conditions underpaying workers.
Media conglomerates promoting unethical, unsustainable fashion products.
Bad actors encouraging clothing overconsumption through oblivious behavior.
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