07.09.18

Our Favourite Ethical & Sustainable Fashion Brands From Melbourne Fashion Week

Kira Simpson

Last week I traveled south to attend the week-long annual gathering of Australia’s most stylish people.

An event otherwise known as Melbourne Fashion Week (MFW) 2018.

I feel as though I should have taken MFW a little more seriously and break out all the ethical fashion looks for the gram.

Image Kamilla Musland via Fashion Journal

ethical fashion week

Unfortunately, this particular fashion week happened to fall at the tail end of winter. A season I do not get along with at all. 

Combine that with a previously manic week where I started a new project; I was not prepared or motivated to put outfits together. There would be no ‘fashun’ this trip.

I managed to muster up one look for the first night (here) then reverted to comfy jeans, a knit and slides for the remainder of the week. I may have messaged Sam of eco.mono with a picture of me wearing my trusty ugg slippers asking ‘can I wear these?’ to an event. She said no.

Ah well. There’s always next time!

Despite my lack of interest in dressing for the occasion this year, I had a great time hanging out with some of my favourite boss babes who come from all corners of the ethical fashion industry and the clothes shown on the runways (that I went to) did not disappoint.

I saw more ethnic diversity on the runways than in previous years.

disability in fashion

Image via ABC

This year’s show lineup also included ‘Access to Fashion‘ a show dedicated to featuring a cast of models living with various disabilities put together by writer and disability advocate Carly Findlay.

Overall though, the majority of the models are still quite young and impossibly tall and slim, but we can’t expect an overnight miracle can we?

The highlight of the week for me was seeing a definite trend towards putting ethics and sustainability at the forefront of every new collection.

Designers are opting to manufacture locally, despite higher costs and many are using recycled and upcycled materials, creating clothing which is both stylish and wearable. No signs of the ‘hippy’ vibe which continues to plague the conscious fashion industry.

Keep scrolling for the good stuff.

ethical fashion

Lois Hazel

Beautifully made, classic summer styles you can wear for years and definitely worth the investment. Lois manufactures locally in Melbourne and even more impressive; she used deadstock fabric (aka old, unused fabric) for this entire collection.

ethical fashion

Image by Kamilla Musland via Fashion Journal

ethical fashion

Image by Kamilla Musland via Fashion Journal

Kuwaii

My favourite of the week. Hello, prints and colour! Kuwaii is very much opposed to the ‘churn’ model of fast fashion so they produce very small runs which are made to order. They have a strong focus on designing forever and creating beautiful pieces which will stand the test of time.

ethical fashion

Image via CUE

Cue

A classic favourite since 1968 and accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. Cue is Australia’s largest local clothing manufacturer. Their latest collection features some fun prints and a lot of jumpsuits!

ethical fashion
ethical fashion

Elk 

Elk makes everything from clothing and jewelry to bags and shoes; there’s something for everyone. Their manufacturing is a mix of Australian and overseas with most of their supply chain traceable. I saw the founder Marnie speak at the “where do my clothes come from” event and I was impressed by her commitment to ethical sourcing and transparency. They don’t claim to be perfect or have all the answers, but they are incredibly open happy to answer any questions customers have.

ethical fashion

Image via Lucas Dawson

Viktoria & Woods

These guys are another brand who manufacture locally and are accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. They release several collections a year but create very well-made clothes. So borderline fast fashion but very much worth the investment if you see something you like.

ethical fashion week

Image by Kamilla Musland via Fashion Journal

ethical fashion

Image by Kamilla Musland via Fashion Journal

Dress up

High-quality fabrics and mostly natural fibers such as linen and cotton. They create timeless pieces designed to last and manufactured locally in Melbourne.

ethical fashion
ethical fashion

Arnsdorf

Beautifully structured pieces with a motto of ‘We believe in the transformative power of clothing“.  They create trans-seasonal collections in limited runs manufactured in a factory in Collingwood, Victoria.

Images by Lucas Dawson

Who were your favourites? Leave a comment below.

Kira Simpson

Founder + Director of The Green Hub, an urban green living advocate and coffee obsessive. She believes there is no one size fits all green lifestyle and we can all live more sustainably in a way that fits in with each of our unique lifestyles.