Fashion for fashion’s sake is good, but fashion for a cause is something we can really get behind. More and more labels are popping up with a social cause behind them – from ethical production that empowers women, to T-shirts made with verrrry little impact on the environment. These are some our favourite Aussie with a cause at their core.
Part epic fashion label and part social enterprise is this Newtown brand with bold prints and an even bolder cause. The Social Outfit provides employment and training in the fashion industry to people from refugee and new migrant communities. Accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia and the Good On You app, the organisation teaches ethical clothing production skills while creating epic and fun threads that fund the cause. Find out more about The Social Outfit’s mission here.
Nik Robinson and his young sons-turned-co-founders Harry and Archie were on a mission to ‘untrash our planet’, which led them to founding sustainable sunglasses company Good Citizens. After months of researching other uses for PET, the plastic that is used to made bottles, eyewear won. 752 days and over 2,500 failed attempts later, the team successfully turned a bottle into sunglasses and have never looked back. The classic styles stand the test of time and interchangeable designs allow you to mix and match parts to suit your mood.
Fresh out of Katherine, Northern Territory, and showcasing glorious Aboriginal artwork is the bold and bright attire by Magpie Goose. More than a label, the brand and social enterprise is dedicated to creating economic opportunities for Aboriginal people living in remote Australia and creating a means for non-Indigenous people to connect with Aboriginal art, culture and stories through fashion. Get connected here.
Founded in Sydney, YEVU Clothing is making an epic impact for women in Ghana, where its clothes are designed and made. It’s a beautiful social enterprise fashion label with a focus on empowering women in the community through dignity, income that is sustainable and fair, and skills that can contribute to long term financial independence. The brand is also focused on transparency to ensure that all parts of the supply chain operate sustainably.
Makers of future fabrics, Kusaga Athletic has managed to create a textile that uses less than 1% of the water that it takes to produce your average cotton T-shirt. On top of that, their shirts are super light, breathable and odourless (a massive plus when you’re working out) and they’re also really affordable. I have one of Kusaga’s ‘world’s greenest tees’ so I can vouch for comfort, fit, and the no smell factor. Huge fan.
The Social Studio’s mission is to help young women from migrant and refugee backgrounds to design their own futures. It provides fashion and industry-based solutions to target the main obstacles that these women face upon arriving into our community including unemployment, isolation and difficulties accessing education and training. Its model is made up of three not-for-profit social enterprises: an RMIT-accredited school, an ethical production studio and a retail store. When you shop or produce locally with The Social Studio you are helping to build futures in more ways than one. The wins keep coming with its Ethical Clothing Australia certification and use of only reclaimed and up-cycled materials gathered from the local industry.
After seeing the film Taken with Liam Neeson and witnessing human trafficking first hand, the founder of Outland Denim decided to start a fashion company to help rescue women from human trafficking. More than that, he wanted the company to make jobs for people at risk and most importantly, give them the ability to support themselves. Outland Denim produces its garments in Cambodia where workers are paid a living wage and taught skills not only to do their job but to thrive in society. Bartle says they plan to pay living wages throughout their entire supply chain and are committed to reduce energy, water and waste throughout production.
Justice Denim is committed to doing good with its brand as well. From its onshore production to its distribution of profits, the brand ensures ethical production and refuses to be a part of human exploitation. As such, every pair of Justice Denim jeans funds four life-changing weeks of education for a young and innocent child who has been rescued from the sexual slavery and illegal labour trade. Justice Denim delivers this through its partnership with Project Futures and Destiny Rescue. The brand’s range of vegan-friendly jeans are hand-cut, designed and distressed in the streets of Melbourne, by some of Australia’s last great denim craftsmen.