Wanting to shop ethically and sustainably is one thing, but finding places to put that desire into action is another (especially in Australia). You could of course go directly to the brands you know and love, but sometimes you want to browse as you would in a physical store (and have the opportunity to discover new brands). Thankfully, these online retailers are making it easy for you to shop sustainable brands from the comfort of your own home.
Bonus: They’ve also taken the hassle out of international shipping so you can browse freely knowing they’re all available for Aussie shoppers.
“Fashion made differently, made well” is the promise of online ethical fashion retailer Ecomono. The Melbourne-based boutique turned online store curates a bunch of local labels with ethical and sustainable values such as Ahimsa Collective (vegan accessories), Justice Denim, Outland Denim, Team Timbuktu and many more. You can shop by values such as eco friendly, empowerment, fair (human rights), handmade, locally made, minimal waste, sustainable, transparent production, up-cycled or vegan.
Well Made Clothes was one of the first retailers in the country curating sustainable fashion brands online. The store is still committed to keeping ethical and sustainable production front and centre and bring a lot of great offshore brands into the Australian market (ie. Veja!) Well Made Clothes says that its values (and the brand’s it stocks) are handcrafted, transparent, sustainable, local, fair, minimal waste, and gender equal. Look out for Arnsdorf, Obus Clothing, Kowtow, Kuwaii, Veja, Lois Hazel, Nobody Denim, and many more.
Ecoture curates an ethically made minimalist wardrobe for men and women. Brands include the lovely Tasi Travels, Swedish Stockings, Kowtow, Etiko and MUD Jeans. Ecoture values include cruelty-free, ethically made, handmade, natural, organic, sustainable, upcycled and recycled, and vegan. With brands catering for men’s and women’s fashion, there’s something for everyone on Ecoture.
Thread Harvest stocks sustainable brands for men, women, teens and kids too. As usual, you can shop by values such as brands that pay a living wage (yes!), empower women, eco friendly, fair trade, employing the marginalised, and charity supporting. Thread Harvest keeps a tight collection of minimalist and basic wares for your wardrobe. the store also stocks skincare and homewares.
The people behind this platform have pulled together a bunch of brands they-love. These include Alas the Label (sustainable sleepwear), Vege Threads, Tasi Travels and Team Timbuktu to name a few. Values to shop by include community minded, handmade, local, organic, recycled, transparent and sustainable. There’s a small collection for men on there too.
Online retailer Velvety first and foremost stocks vegan fashion and beauty items of men and women. But its fashion collection extends to fairly made. Valvety says “We only stock clothing that is organic, natural, upcycled or comes from zero waste fabrics. Most of our labels are Peta Approved Vegan, Fair Trade certified and Organic Certified by GOTS.”
This online retailer is an advocate of Australian and New Zealand ethical fashion labels. They choose their brands by sticking to their ten values: Australian and New Zealand made, Australian and New Zealand designed, sustainable and zero waste, ethical, eco friendly fabrics, certified, vegan, transparent, social enterprise, and recycled and circular. They say: “As a business, we encourage and inspire the community to shop local, consume consciously, and engage personally with ethical Australian fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.” Shop for brands such as Frske, Shapes in the Sand, Gaál, Empire of Bees, and more.
Online fashion hub The Iconic jumped on the sustainability train recently, dedicating a whole section of the site to sustainable and ethically made brands. The brand says its Considered edit consists of products made using a material or process that is better for humans, animals or the environment, or made by a brand that is positively contributing to the community around us. The Iconic makes it easy to shop your values by splitting the brands up into sections correlating with those values.
It think it’s great that this is happening on a high-traffic mainstream fashion website but I personally struggle with the idea of selecting some values and excluding others. For example, I would suggest that that ‘Fair Production’ is an absolute non-negotiable. I understand that sustainability is a journey for all fashion labels but I do think the minimum requirement is that the people who are making the clothes are doing so in a safe workplace and being paid enough to live on. Side note: The Iconic is one of Australia’s online boutiques stocking ethical UK label People Tree.