It’s not very often that I’m happily surprised when I go looking for information about a brand’s ethos. Ideally, I’m looking for detailed information about a brand’s manufacturing, the fabrics they use and why, who makes their clothes, and specifically whether or not they pay a living wage – the single most powerful thing a fashion brand can do to empower workers. 

Well, I can say I was happily surprised when I went looking for this information from Ginger & Smart. 

The luxury Australian fashion label was founded in 2002 by Sydney-based sisters Alexandra and Genevieve Smart. 

With Alexandra’s creative business background as an editor and publisher for high-quality lifestyle magazines, combined with Genevieve’s years spent at the design helm of some of Australia’s most successful fashion businesses, their united industry knowledge covers every possibility for a successful and exciting fashion venture.

The brand says it combines captivating design with the finest quality sustainable materials and first-rate manufacturers. 

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.

The brand says it has a moral obligation to the people who make its garments. They only work with brands that uphold their high standards of ethical practice, which include paying a living wage to garment workers. 

A living wage, as defined by the Global Living Wage Coalition, is “the remuneration received for a standard workweek by a worker in a particular place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events.“

A minimum wage, as set by individual national governments, is usually around one third of the living wage, and often it’s not enough to live on. 

Ginger and Smart Spring 2021

The brand believes that sustainability is in quality over quantity, and the seasonal designs and quality of the garments reflect this ethos. 

Ginger & Smart work with environmentally friendly fabrics such as certified organic cotton, FSC approved viscose, linen and hemp. 

Where possible, the brand says it sources fabrics that are recyclable and biodegradable, and minimises the use of harmful chemicals, excessive water and energy usage and waste in the production of its garments. 

While I can appreciate Ginger & Smart may not be in everyone’s budget range, the classic pieces are definitely worth the investment. You can also snap up secondhand Ginger & Smart on Facebook Marketplace and the like. Find more places to shop online for secondhand fashion here. 

Shop Ginger & Smart here.