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.

Variety Hour

Variety Hour

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.

Obus Clothing

obus Clothing Summer Prints 2023

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

Kowtow

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’.

Kuwaii

Kuwaii

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, and it’s onshore manufacturing is accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. The brand plants a tree for every order shipped.

Ginger and Smart

Ginger and Smart Spring 2021

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. 

Autark

Autark

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

Kristin Magrit

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. 

NancyBird

Nancybird Desert Floral

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.

Feeling inspired? There’s plennnnnty more to discover covering off all categories – check out underwear, activewear, denim and more.

Outland Denim

Outland Denim

After seeing the film Taken, and witnessing human trafficking first hand, Outland Denim founder James Bartle decided to start a fashion company to help rescue women from human trafficking. Specifically, he wanted the company to make jobs for people at risk and most importantly, give them the ability to support themselves. Outland Denim produces its garments in Cambodia where workers are paid a living wage – almost unheard of in the fashion industry – and taught skills not only to do their job but to thrive in society. Bartle says they plan to pay living wages throughout their entire supply chain and are committed to reduce energy, water and waste throughout production.

Daughters of India

DAughters of India

Born out of Byron Bay, Daughters of India is a slow fashion label that supports and celebrates artisans and showcases the traditional form of Indian hand block print making. The brand works with Fair trade manufacturers in India to produce its small batch garments which include a range of feminine print-focus pieces printed on natural fibres. Shop for quality made, relaxed tops and dresses. 

Little Tienda

Little Tienda

Australian label Little Tienda is home to whimsical, romantic dresses in soft hues and bright tones. The oversized dresses in natural fibres are perfect for lounging around, taking on the world or having a picnic at Hanging Rock. Each piece is handmade in India in small batches using traditional techniques.

Tasi Travels

Tasi Travels tencel jumpsuit

Designed in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Tasi Travels pieces are light and breathable, with the vast majority being made from the sustainable plant derived fibre TENCEL. The brand creates timeless feminine styles in limited amounts with the goal to remain relevant for years to come. Tasi Travels operates under a slow fashion model, choosing to producing small quantities with a process that leaves minimal impact. The brand’s pieces are ethically made in Australia within 30km of their design HQ in Queensland.

Wolf and Mishka

Wolf & Mishka

Melbourne-based slow fashion label Wolf and Mishka has been making its collections in Australia since 2014. With a focus on colour and quality, the brand is known for its unique, hand illustrated prints which are featured across a range of clothing and accessories.  In an effort to reduce the brand’s impact, Wolf & Mishka also produces a collection made with 100% recycled textiles using left over fabric from past ranges. 

Photo by @ryanwheatley

KITX

Luxury womenswear label KITX has environmental sustainability at its core, with designer Kit Willow championing the cause from the top. After seeing the environmental effects of carbon emissions and the warming temperatures to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Willow decided her label KITX would make an effort to reduce unnecessary waste throughout the supply chain. To do so, she works with sustainable fibres – the traditional kind and the up-and-coming kind – to create her line of unique resort and evening wear.

ELK

ELK women's wear 2024 range

Melbourne-based conscious fashion label ELK was one of the first on the sustainable fashion scene. Since its launch in 2004, the brand has been steadfast in its commitment to mindful production and transparency in its supply chain.  ELK now produces an annual transparency report which details the brand’s international supply chain, suppliers and the efforts it’s making towards more sustainable operations. ELK’s range is a classic and colourful line up of women’s clothing, footwear, handbags and other accessories. 

Marle 

For elevated basics for your wardrobe, look no further than the New Zealand-based label Marle. Marle is a responsible womenswear brand exploring timeless and versatile wardrobing. Centred around the fundamentals of form and function, Marle brings an effortless ease to everyday dressing and a commitment to natural fabrics and fibres. Shop for a comprehensive range of womenswear including knitwear and denim. 

Penny Sage  

Penny Sage women's dress

Penny Sage is a proudly New Zealand owned-and-made women’s fashion label. Designer Kate Megaw works with talented local makers to produce the brand’s range of quality womenswear which favours classic styles over trends in timeless, quality fabrics. Shop for beautiful, quality made slow fashion that’s always in fashion.