16 Australian Ethical Clothing Brands That Will Make You Forget Fast Fashion
Call me bias, but Australia is home to some of the best fashion brands in the world, especially from designers who are prioritising people and the planet with their designs.
Gone are the days when ethical fashion meant linen shift dresses and basics in various shades of beige, now we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to gorgeous Australian made fashion.
And while there’s no such thing as a 100% ethical and sustainable fashion, these brands are doing some great work with transparent supply chains, using eco-friendly fabrics, and making lower impact styles.
Image via Lois hazel
Melbourne slow fashion favourite Lois Hazel is leading the charge when it comes to ethically made, timeless fashion. Each collection is created using deadstock and traceable fabrics. Manufacturing locally, every piece made is either in-house or by a network of local seamstresses, with a 100% traceable supply chain.
Z. The Label
This Gold Coast made ethical fashion label is all about timeless, functional, and easy to wear styles. All Z. pieces are made from natural fibres sourced from around Australia giving remnant fabrics new life. And new mums rejoice because every single piece in the collection is breastfeeding friendly!
The Social Outfit
The Social Outfit is a fashion label with a difference. They’re an independently-accredited, ethical trading social enterprise providing employment and training in the fashion industry to people from refugee and new migrant communities. The results are beautifully designed clothes and over 300 people participating in their sewing school, digital print projects, creative programs, and fashion events. Print lovers, this ones for you.
With an aesthetic of effortless romantic dressing, this dreamy label is a must-have if you’re looking for a timeless addition to your wardrobe. They use natural fabrics, have small runs to minimise waste, focusing on quality peices made to last. In addition to their in-house label, UNIK by us, Unik Space also stock a small range of like-minded fashion and jewellery brands.
For easy, breezy pieces you can take from the beach to the bar, this Byron Bay vintage-inspired brand is one you’ll reach for time and time again. They also do cute styles for the little ones and teens. Auguste is all about transparency working on their sharing their supply chain, using eco-friendly fabrics, and, reducing their footprint, and sharing their journey as they go.
When launching Fabrik, designer Sarah Hardie had a set of priorities that she was determined to adhere to. Ethical, sustainable, and slow. Clothing designed with intention and made to last. This Brisbane label creates elevated basics, pretty sundresses, cotton shirts, and everyday staples, using all natural fabrics. These are the pieces you’ll keep reaching for year after year.
Ngali is is a celebration of Country, culture and creativity. This fashion and homewares brand partners with Indigenous Australian artists to create beautiful and unique prints, connecting the wearer to places they may never see. Ngali translates to ‘we’ or ‘us’ in a number of Aboriginal languages, “through our brand, we’re creating the ‘us’ we’d like to see: a harmonious, sustainable, and equitable union of people with the plant.
Australian made, Melbourne fashion label Kuwaii is the antithesis of fast fashion. With a philosophy of smaller, slower and more simple, they produce minimal runs and made to order, with a strong focus on designing clothes you will wear forever. Kuwaii’s simple silhouettes are incredibly flattering on all body types and they offer sizing up to an Australian 16.
This Melbourne based slow fashion designer creates trans-seasonal pieces in small, limited runs using sustainable deadstock fabrics. Think luxe fabrics, flowing sleeves, and gorgeous prints. These are the pieces that people will stop you to ask, where did you get that from? Each peice is made in Melbourne either in her studio, or through an Ethical Clothing Australia accredited factory.
This Byron Bay label has garnered a global cult following of bohemian dreamers and high-fashion style mavens alike. While best known for their colourful, intricately detailed collections, they are quickly becoming well known as industry leaders in ethical and sustainably made fashion.
Designed for adventurers, Tasi Travels create stylish but durable fashion staples appropriate for hot climates and conservative cultures. Each piece is handmade to order on the Sunshine Coast, using quick dry and wrinkle resistant, sustainable Tencel. A core part of the Tasi ethos is that of minimalism; less but better.
Full disclosure, Australian brand (based in Melbourne) Country Road is not an ethical and sustainable clothing brand – but they are making strides (Good On You rates them Good). They have outlined practices for ethical trade, sustainable farming and sourcing of raw materials, energy efficiency, scarce water resources, reducing waste and social development priorities.
Maara is an award-winning luxury resort wear brand merging Indigenous Australian culture with modern design. Founder Julie is a Yuwaalaraay woman and Maara is her way of endorsing and elevating the talents of Indigenous artists, weavers and textile designers.
Australian Cue is a classic fashion label that has around since 1968. They’ve grown with times and offer modern, fashion-forward pieces in luxe fabrics, but still manage to produce clothes that are timeless and very wearable. Accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia, Cue is also the largest local manufacturer of fashion in Australia. Double win!
Theo The Label
Theo is a small Melbourne fashion label making those quality basics and wardrobe staples you’ll wear forever. They use all-natural fabrics and Theo’s pieces are made in a small family factory in Bali which founder Esther visits regularly.
Australian label KITX is a pioneer in design-led, ethical and sustainably made fashion. The designer behind the brand Kit Willow says “I strongly believe in a better world, through the simple mantra of making women look and feel beautiful, without harming our planet so everyone can win.”