Perth may be one of the most isolated cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean it can’t compete in the sustainable fashion scene. As the home of the largest Eco Fashion Week, and new sustainable fashion courses at Curtin University and Edith Cowen University, Perth is fostering an emerging generation of young designers. With the amazing weather and growing foodie scene, why not see what this great city has to offer? This is your guide to finding the best boutiques and brands for sustainable and ethical fashion across the city.
The Anjelms Project
Collab. Stall 33, Fremantle Markets
The Anjelms Project is a collaborative fashion label established in 2008. They work to empower communities in Bali, Nepal and India by celebrating traditional skills and cultures. They are part of the Western Australian Fair Trade Collective and work with locally sourced fibres, natural plant dyes and block printing. Each garment is signed by the maker and designed for comfort and longevity. They’ve also organised a tour of Rajasthan for their customers – taking them to meet the makers, participate in traditional handcraft workshops, and see where and how the garments are made. How’s that for transparency?
Collab. Stall 33, Fremantle Markets
Located in the same stall as The Anjelms Project, RŪPAHAUS is a Perth-based label founded by Stephanie Chandra. Stephanie grew up between Australia, Indonesia and Germany, and this label brings her story together, as well as the stories of the artisans making the clothes. The garments are sustainably and ethically handmade in rural Indonesia, using handwoven organic textiles and natural dyes. The designs are beautiful and simple, with muted colours and attention to small details. They make some unisex jackets and kimonos alongside their men’s shirts and women’s clothing. The brand also collaborates with artists to produce ceramics and textile décor.
38 Pearse Street, North Fremantle
One of the few brands still proudly designing, manufacturing and retailing entirely in-house, Empire Rose is the brainchild of designer and owner Kathryn Cizeika. Established in 1998, this label doesn’t shy away from a few sparkles, with their signature head-to-toe sequin dresses frequently selling out. The small scale business model keeps waste to a minimum and provides opportunities for training and mentoring in the workshop. Cizeika is helping to ensure the future of homegrown Western Australian fashion.
South Beach Boardies
203 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Want to clean up the beaches and support local small business at the same time? Then South Beach Boardies are for you. Their boardies are made from locally sourced recycled PET plastic bottles and manufactured ethically in China and Indonesia. All their tees are printed locally and ethically made in India from 100 per cent recycled fabrics. They design for men, women and kids and put 5 per cent of profits towards ocean conservation.
242 William Street
This fun little boutique is owned by sisters Claire and Isabelle. They stock a range of ethical and fair trade clothing labels, as well as homewares, stationary and local books and magazines. Ruck Rover is inspired by the sisters’ love of colour and pattern, as well as vintage style and modern prints. Their collections are sourced from around the world and they like to showcase independent designers.
377 Oxford Street
Family-owned boutique Ilka is all about Perth-based labels (including their own self-titled, locally made label). Ilka promotes local brands with a focus on fair trade production, sustainability and community. From clothing to homewares and beauty products, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. They also offer in-house alterations so you can make your purchase your own and ensure a perfect fit (or bring in your existing clothes for a freshen up or repair).
Winthrop Hall (University of Western Australia), 35 Stirling Highway
With more than 180 stalls, the Perth Upmarket supports small local businesses. From clothing and jewellery to ceramics and food products, the market has something for everyone. The focus is on locally designed and made products with the market running four times a year. In addition to the quarterly markets, they’ve also started running art markets and wedding markets for a specialised shopping experience.
Wellington Street, Perth
Hosting markets and pop-up shops, Yagan Square is an ever-changing space for finding local designers and makers. In July 2020 it hosted a pop-up shop for Deadly Denim – an indigenous owned upcycled denim label. The square holds twilight markets in summer and Saturday markets in association with Perth Makers Markets. There’s usually great live music and food trucks to indulge in too.
622 Hay Street
David Jones is no newcomer on Australia’s fashion scene, but they’ve got a great selection of Australian ethical and sustainable labels. On their website you can find their Mindfully Made curated collection which focusses on Australian-made designs, eradicating animal cruelty, working with recycled fibres and ethical production. You can find brands such as Bec + Bridge, Bassike, Nobody Denim, Viktoria & Woods, KITX, Bianca Spender, Neuw Denim, Outland Denim and Country Road.