Brands making ethical and sustainable women’s clothing in Australia are no longer few and far between. Our home grown designers are committing to making their clothes onshore, they’re reducing waste through made to order models, and they’re making serious commitments to creating sustainable collections. For conscious consumers, there are brands popping up to suit every style, it’s just a matter of finding them. Not to worry, you’ve come to the right place! These are simply my favourite brands for ethically made women’s clothing in Australia. I hope you love them.
Melbourne-based A.BCH has taken on the colossal challenge of making clothing in a closed-loop fashion. Therefore, transparency is a major focus of the label, which breaks down the ‘product story’ of each garment on its website, detailing everything from the place of production to the thread contents and the end of life instructions. A.BCH garments are all ethically made in Australia. They’re a selection of comfortable and cosy pieces in neutral colours to complement any wardrobe.
Britt’s List readers can get $25 towards their first order from A.BCH with code BRITT25 at checkout.
If you’ve walked down the main shopping strip in Fitzroy, Melbourne in the past couple of years, it’s likely you’ve spied the minimalist luxury fashion that goes by the name of Arndsorf. The Melbourne-based brand is confidently committed to transparency in its supply chain, breaking down the cost of its garments for shoppers to see. Arnsdorf’s commitment to sustainability starts with onshore, ethical production of the garments, and goes right through to communicating the production process to its customers. These luxury garments are pieces you’ll treasure for decades.
Art meets fashion in a very real way at Variety Hour. The Melbourne-based artist and designer behind the brand Cassie Byrnes creates stunning prints and transfers them onto delicious wearables (think: cotton voile, 100% silk, and linen) that make for some very special pieces in the wardrobe. The prints are an abstract set of florals and scenes inspired by the country’s landscapes and flora. It’s all ethically made in Melbourne.
If statement prints on flattering cuts is your thing, Obus is your brand. The Melbourne institution has been tailoring quality garments out of its Victorian workshop for over 18 years. Obus makes at least 80% of its clothing onshore and is committed to producing small runs of high-quality, well-made clothing. Each season brings a fresh collection of bright and bold prints. The brand’s printed pieces are a great addition to any work or weekend wardrobe.
Kowtow was born in 2007 with the desire to create an ethical label that would be the example for a fashion forward, global thinking business. And that it is. The New Zealand label is leading the way for sustainable fashion, with a now internationally recognised label producing beautiful staple items that are 100% suitable for the office. Good on You app rates Kowtow five stars stating that its environmental, labour and animal rating are all ‘great’.
This Melbourne-based brand goes above and beyond with its ethical production, manufacturing everything here in Australia with environmentally friendly fabrics, and making efforts to reduce waste in the process. Kuwaii carries a range of classic staple pieces all year round, which make for both professional and alternative workwear. Kuwaii goes into detail about its manufacturing, fabrics, environmental impact and more on its website. The brand also plants a tree for every order shipped.
Sydney-based brand Ginger and Smart combines captivating design with quality sustainable materials and first-rate manufacturers. The brand says its sustainable purpose “is to create beautifully considered timeless pieces, designed to be worn many times and with a low impact on the global environment.” As such, sustainability and ethical practices have been embedded in the Ginger & Smart brand from its inception in 2002. They only work with brands that uphold their high standards of ethical practice, which include paying a living wage to garment workers – the single most important thing a brand can do to empower their workers.
This Adelaide label has made a name for itself quickly with its unique designs and ethical values. The wearable luxury brand is ethically made in Adelaide and opts for natural fibres and low or no waste designs. It’s as simple as that! Read more about Autark here.
Kristin Magrit is a sustainable clothing label for women who “live consciously and choose carefully.” The brand opts for beautiful, natural fibres for its garments which are handcrafted in small batches in Western Australia – all within 12km of where they’re designed! To reduce the environmental impact of their garments further all elements are chosen based on their ability to break down or be recycled at the end of their life.
These Melbourne-based designers work with artisans in India and China to make their clothing line, handbags and accessories. From the FairTrade block printing of the brand’s fabrics in India to the handmade assembly of their bags in China, they keep a close relationship with their suppliers and ensure safe working conditions for the people making their goods. The bags come in a range of coloured leathers and feature bright and bold fabrics, while the clothing collections feature unique prints released seasonally.