Australian’s fashion manufacturing industry is making a comeback. While the industry had its hay-day before the country entered into free trade agreements in the 1980s, the demand for ethically produced fashion and locally made garments has seen the reintroduction of brands big and small producing their garments onshore. Denim is a part of that – and despite being a laborious garment to produce, Australian brands are meeting demand and making top quality, affordable, ethical jeans onshore.

1. Nobody Denim

Nobody Denim

Nobody Denim is a legacy fashion brand in Australia and has been manufacturing onshore since 2010. While Nobody Denim has long been associated with ethical production, the brand has taken its commitment to sustainability further, making environmental responsibility core to its operations and setting serious goals to reduce its emissions. In 2019, the brand stated it had already reduced its water use by half since 2017, and the brand is making efforts to reduce energy use and waste produced. Nobody Denim says it aims to pay living wages throughout its entire supply chain by 2025.

2. Denimsmith


Denimsmith launched in 2015 as a “collaborative vision of veteran Australian designers and makers who are committed to the ethical production of high quality denim clothing.” With over two decades of denim expertise enriching every piece, Denimsmith says it takes locally-made to a whole new level and is proudly accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. Each Denimsmith item comes directly from their Melbourne makers’ skilled hands and hearts. The brand boasts a classic collection of jeans, jackets, shorts, skirts and other apparel for men and women  made from quality materials.

3. Embody Women

Embody Denim models

Embody jeans are ethically made in Melbourne with a focus on inclusivity in shape and size. To reduce the brand’s environmental impact and avoid unethical processes, each Embody Denim garment is washed in an industrial family-run laundry and dye house in Sydney that complies with Australian rules and regulations when disposing of chemicals. The best part? The Embody jeans are available in an inclusive size range from 8-22.

4. Bassike

Staples and basics brand Bassike also produces some pretty sweet and sustainable denim products. On its website the brand says that sustainability for them means treating people and the planet with respect, lightening their environmental impact and constantly evaluating how they do that. Longevity is also a core consideration for Bassike, as it should be for all brands which is something that influences everything from the design stage in their business. They aim to produce all their collections with intention, integrity and longevity in mind. As a bonus, over 90% of Bassike’s products are ethically made in Australia which ensures a high level of supply chain transparency while supporting and helping to preserve the fashion industry in this country.

5. Tri Colour Federation

Tri Colour Federation denim

Melbourne-based label Tri Colour Federation produces a range of high quality denim products with a focus on bespoke and timeless design. The brand partners with a denim manufacturer based in Turkey that works to create denim with minimal environmental impact. To do so, the denim blends are made from a range of certified organic cotton, recycled PET and elastane, and the factory actively manages and reduces its use of water, chemical and energy to reduce environmental impact. The Tri Colour Federation pieces are all made in Australia.

6. Manning Cartell

Made in Sydney since 2012, Manning Cartell celebrates femininity, strength and beauty with sharp silhouettes. The three sisters behind the label source luxurious fabrics from ethical producers to create the majority of collections on Australian soil. The denim collection includes jeans, skirts and shorts with statement design features. To reduce the environmental impact of the denim productions, the brand uses organic cotton and recycled cotton in the pieces.

7. Viktoria and Woods

Launched in 2004, the original goal of this Australian label was to create effortless modern wardrobe staples. Of course, denim fall into that category. A Viktoria and Woods essential, versatile denim is the ultimate all-occasion styling tool. The brand’s denim is custom washed and made from a premium cotton drill.

8. The Ark Clothing Co

For more than 25 years, The Ark Clothing Co. has been designed and made in Melbourne by a community of like-minded people who believe design should always be imbued with integrity. Proudly Australian owned with an incredibly passionate and talented team of over 70 staff, The Ark has 8 stores and makes small runs of its beautiful basics designs locally and ethically in Australia, certified by Ethical Clothing Australia. The brand’s denim range includes jeans and jackets in classic colourways and cuts.