The Top Brands For Ethically and Sustainably Made Hiking Clothes in Australia

There’s nothing like spending time in nature to make you think about your environmental footprint and impact on the planet. A lot of activewear and hiking gear is made of oil-based fabrics such as polyester and nylon developed in a highly polluting processes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As hiking and outdoor brands look for ways to make their products more sustainable, they’re turning to recycled synthetic fibres and natural fibres such as merino to create quality clothing and accessories for your adventures. A lot of them are also looking for ways to give back, move towards carbon neutral and negative production, and empower people along the way. Here’s some of my favourite Australian and New Zealand-based brands for ethically and sustainably made hiking wear.

Team Timbuktu

Woman wears zipped up black jacket rain with white spots

Team Timbuktu is turning old water bottle waste into activewear and rain jackets – saving plastics from oceans and landfill, and using less energy and water in the process (compared to virgin synthetic fabrics). Team Timbuktu’s activewear and heavy duty rain jackets are made in Taiwan, Indonesia and China by suppliers that the brand says they know personally and are accredited by third parties to ensure they comply with local laws and have a safe working environment. The brand avoids excess plastics by opting for packaging made from corn starch and use home compostable garment and mailing bags. The waterproof rain jackets come in three styles and have handy features such as wrist clasps and draw strings around the hood and waist for ultimate protection.

Shop for: Arguably the most important hiking staple – a heavy duty rain jacket

Woolerina

Woolerina

Australian owned and made Woolerina has all of your hiking staples sorted. The brand’s merino comes from non-mulesed sheep, that grow their fleeces in the best living conditions. The range includes long and short sleeve tees, tights, socks and much needed accessories such as neck warmers, arm warmers and beanies. Woolerina’s range covers for men, women, kids and babies too. Woolerina’s manufacturing is certified by Ethical Clothing Australia.

Shop for: General staples and thermals

Wilderness Wear

Wilderness Wear designs and manufactures premium outdoor clothing at internationally recognised standards, supporting a discerning, worldwide community dedicated to outdoor activities and adventures. The brand is 100% Australian owned and made, opting for natural fibres such as locally sourced merino for its outdoor clothing (tops, bottoms, jumpers, socks and accessories). Shop by activity to see the full range of hiking wear.

Shop for: General staples and thermals

Merino Country

The designers behind Merino Country are former sheep farmers, so it’s no surprise that their go-to fabric is high quality Australian merino wool. The brand makes wardrobe staples including t-shirts, tights and sports bras. When it comes to your hiking wear – they’ve got your thermals and hiking socks sorted plus neck and leg warmers. Merino Country’s garments are ethically made in their factory in Queensland.

Shop for: General staples and thermals

DK Active

D plus K menswear

Brisbane’s dk active makes high-quality, high-performance workout clothing for all activities. With a focus on sustainability, brand director Danielle Kay says she wanted to create a label that promoted inner wellbeing, self love and body positivity, without compromising on ethical manufacturing. For this reason, dk active sources sustainable textiles like its Luxury Italian Lycra (made from a blend of new and recycled materials) that have minimal impact on the environment. The activewear range includes men’s and women’s pants, tops, shorts, tanks, crops, and more. It’s all ethically manufactured in Brisbane, Australia.

Shop for: High performance workout wear

Allbirds

Allbirds Shoes

‘The world’s most comfortable shoes’ are made in New Zealand, so it’s only fitting that they’re made from the finest Merino wool and natural fibres. The Allbirds’ founders say they have created an entirely new category of shoes inspired by natural materials, simplicity in design and extreme comfort. The brand is B-Corp certified, and uses 90% post-consumer recycled cardboard that for its packaging. The brand’s runners are made from sustainable wood pulp sourced from FSC® Certified eucalyptus trees. With literal trees on your feet, you’ll feel right at home on your hike.

Shop for: Great walking shoes and runners

Boody

Sydney-based sustainable basics brand Boody makes a range of bamboo staples and socks for your hiking get up. Boody’s bamboo is grown sustainably with no pesticides, no insecticides, and no fertilisers, and without any artificial irrigation. Bamboo has anti bacterial and anti odour qualities, perfect for multi day wear on your hiking adventures. You’ll feel especially grateful for Boody’s premium yarn’s thermo-regulating properties, giving you loads of padding without the usual overheating.

Shop for: Hiking socks, underwear and other staples

Kusaga Athletic

Kusaga Group Pic

Kusaga Athletic has developed a fabric that uses less than 1% of the water than it takes to make your average cotton T-shirt. The brand’s “world’s greenest T-shirt” is made from its signature EcoLite fabric technology and features high breathability, outstanding moisture transfer and zero odour retention (I can personally vouch for this) – making it the ultimate multi-day hiking tee. Kusaga  is certified vegan by PETA and is also a part of B Corporation, a group of companies focused on using the power of business as a force for social, environmental and economic good.

Shop for: The world’s greenest t-shirt 

About Author

Brittanie Dreghorn

Brittanie Dreghorn is the founder and editor of Britt's List, and an advocate for sustainable and Australian fashion.

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