From classic and fitted suiting with tailored pleats and pockets, to bright, fun and flared with wild prints, there’s a perfect pair of ethically made work pants out there for every woman. Chances are this is a wardrobe staple that you reach for a few times a week, making it essential to invest in a quality pair to match your work style. Yes, your work pants need to work hard. Women who get their hands dirty will love the ultra tough Melbourne-label SÜK, while those surviving this work-from-home era need relaxed fits and elastic waistbands. Whether you require corporate suiting or prefer chic casual styles, below we have listed some great ethical and sustainable Australian and New Zealand labels that produce work-appropriate pants and trousers.
No other Australian brand is more synonymous with workwear than Cue. The power suit powerhouse has been around since 1968 and still produces most of its range on Australian soil. At any given time it’s possible to buy black pants in a variety of cuts and styles with different edgy features, plus a handful of fun printed or block colour work-appropriate pants. All of Cue’s Australian-made clothing is accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia, but do check the tags as it does produce some items offshore.
Cue’s more relaxed sister-brand Veronika Maine holds the same Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation for its Australian-made clothing. It’s range of pants uses similar quality fabrics but with looser cuts and more earthy or brighter tones than Cue.
Adelaide-based label Autark takes a slow fashion philosophy, producing a single transeasonal collection per year. All pieces are created using 100% natural fabrics, prioritising use of deadstock fabrics when possible. The current collection features two styles of high-waisted pants in black, cream and terracotta.
If you want a timeless shape with added comfort, look to Kuwaii’s staple range of work pants. Self-described as “the most comfortable pants you’ll ever wear”, the classic range promises a four-way stretch and cult-like status. The Melbourne-based label goes the extra mile using sustainable fabrics and reducing waste where possible. Every piece of clothing is made in Melbourne and designed to transcend seasons, remaining a classic piece in your wardrobe for years.
If you prefer classic suiting and modern cuts take a look at Arnsdorf’s range of pants. Transparency is key to this modern womenswear label and every garment is listed with a breakdown of costs taken to produce it: labour, design, materials, retailing, operations and logistics. Arnsdorf releases trans-seasonal collections to compliment its permanent collection, with each piece designed, cut and sewn in its atelier in Collingwood, Melbourne.
Looking for pants that work as hard as you do? Melbourne-based label SÜK creates super durable clothing that combines flattering styles and function for the female form. Pants wise choose from a slim or relaxed fit pair in a range of colours from neutrals to worksite orange. Every garment is made in Pakistan from 100% fairtrade pre-washed 310 gsm cotton drill and is built to last and accrue character with age.
The Melbourne-based label are experts at easy to wear, laid back tailoring that will take you from the office to Sunday brunch. Obus clothing keeps its collections equal parts classic and fresh with pants cut in basic neutral shades plus bright block colours or energising new prints and patterns. Our eyes are on these super bold and fun lion print pants.
Want work appropriate pants that feel like a tracksuit but look like tailored trousers? Dorsu’s stretchy, elastic waist Slouch Pants are the answer. The ethical clothing brand keeps its focus on wardrobe essentials and everyday basics made with soft, cotton jersey. Dorsu designs and produces all garments in Cambodia using surplus fabric.
Britt’s List readers can get 10% off Dorsu via Stride Store. Use code BRITTSLIST10 at checkout.
Whether you want a classic fitted pair of navy work pants, or bright orange, wide-leg, elastic waist culottes, New Zealand label Kowtow has the sustainable threads. Established in 2007, the kiwi brand is now recognised globally for its forward-thinking sustainable range of fashion.
Using natural fabrics like organic cotton and sueded silk in neutral tones and softer colours, Primness has been manufacturing its relaxed styles in Melbourne since 2013. The vibe is Australian laidback luxury and these pants will take you from the office to the weekend.
Made in Sydney and accredited by ECA 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. Strong plaid suiting and slim black pants sit alongside more fashion forward styles made of leather or bright colours and prints.
This Australian label creates small collection runs in Sydney using primarily natural fibres including linen, silk and wool. The vibe is very cool girl with on-trend wrap styles, puffy sleeves, and drop waists. For work appropriate pants our heart is set on the linen Olivia trousers. They’re like a sophisticated culotte with a matching built-in belt, finished with a tortoiseshell buckle.
Launched in 2004, the original goal of this Australian label was to create effortless modern wardrobe staples. Of course, great pants fall into that category. Building a reputation on its signature merino wool pieces, this is the store to find great wool suiting alongside relaxed, tailored cuts in linen, bamboo, leather and more. Like Cue, Viktoria and Woods has ECA accreditation but not all garments are made in Australia, so double check the tags.