19.02.19

7 Ethical Australian Brands For Basics From Head to Toe

the ethical fashion brands that make great wardrobe staples

Olivia Burton

As consumers, basic clothing has been misconstrued to mean cheap and disposable thanks to the world of fast fashion.

Ethical basics, however, should be an essential foundation of everyone’s wardrobe, long lasting and comfortable.

With Australian ethical fashion becoming smarter with each day, there’s a wide range of ethical and sustainable brands offering affordable basics without negative impacts on humans or the planet.

Fast fashion brands may have stolen the word basic, but ethical and sustainable fashion brands are to take it back. Here are my tops picks for ethical basics.

Image via Vege Threads

ethical basics brands
ethical basics brands

Vege Threads

This locally-made brand is the mecca of everyday stylish basics, from recycled swimwear to organic cotton leggings.

The main factory is based in Melbourne, with an independent space in South Australia for swimwear, all of which are certified by Ethical Clothing Australia.

Vege Threads also ensures the use of organic and eco-friendly materials and dyes in all garments, which are only produced in small batches.

‘It’s so important to us to keep creating work in Australia, not only to help re-build the manufacturing industry but to create jobs for skilled workers.’

meghan markle outland denim

Outland Denim

This ethical denim brand recently hit headlines thanks to the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, being papped in them on her recent trip to Australia (sales have since skyrocketed).

The CEO James Bartle initially started the brand in 2011 as ‘The Denim Project’, a project enabling women that had been victims of sex-trafficking to learn how to sew in Cambodia and Thailand.

The brand is now an Australian denim staple, still ethically made in Cambodia using the finest and environmentally-friendly materials.

The 2018 Ethical Fashion Report also awarded Outland Denim an A+ score (the highest you can get).

These jeans are far from basic, they offer style alongside offering employment and training opportunities to vulnerable women.

ethical basics brands

Citizen Wolf

For Citizen Wolf, smart tailoring is the primary focus and sustainability comes with it.

This casual apparel brand founded by Zoltan Csaki & Eric Phu, produces ethical t-shirts to last for both men and women.

The wide range of t-shirts is custom made in Sydney, cut with lasers to minimise waste and tailored using a Magic-Fit algorithm. Everyone needs a well fitting t-shirt to wear every day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_p_-C1etA0

 Mighty Good Undies

Mighty Good Undies is simple; basics made under ethical production and with organic Fairtrade cotton.

With many ‘ethical brands’ claiming to be fully ethical, Mighty Good Undies is fully transparent of supply chains (read more here).

All factories are certified under the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO), the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) and the sa 8000 social accountability standard. The premium underwear for men and women is both affordable and comfortable, made for all shapes and sizes.

If you’re looking for well made and comfortable underwear, socks or tank tops – Mighty Good Undies is the one.

ethical basics brands

The M|N|ML

A well fitting casual dress is a wardrobe staple, especially in Australia.

The M|N|ML makes everyday t-shirts and dresses from an ethical production line, ensuring that the garments don’t cause any harm to humans or the planet.

The brand uses only sustainably sourced materials which are GOTS-certified and most of the garments are made locally in Sydney in an Ethical Clothing Australia accredited factory.

ethical basics brands

Kusaga Athletic

Kusaga Athletic, founded by Graham Ross and Matt Ashcroft, is a pioneer in sustainable apparel and business, targeting active people that care about the environment.

The materials used in the Greenest Tee, which can be worn for yoga or at home, are natural and super comfortable.

The Ecolite Fabric Technology ensures that the t-shirts have zero odour retention, compostable, sustainable and have high breathability. The tee also uses only 1% of the water needed for a cotton tee!

The business is PETA vegan approved and B-Corp certified.

Base Range

Looking for basics with a bit more zing? Try Base Range.

This premium basics brand produces high-quality textiles from natural and recycled materials, they

‘believe that a commitment to clean production will minimize environmental impact and benefit both the producer and the user.’

Garments are made in Portugal and available in a range of unusual and stylish cuts and colours.

Note – This brand is actually not Australian, it is however sold in Australia and is perfect for ethical basics!

Olivia Burton

Olivia is an eco-writer, producer, science graduate & ocean enthusiast. After moving from London to Sydney, she found her love for the outdoors and recycled textiles, which led her to start writing about science and sustainable fashion. Olivia is really passionate about brands using fashion for good and innovation in the industry. She now splits her time between several not-for-profit organisations in communication roles. Olivia is also a Centre for Sustainability Leadership alumni and sits on the Fashion Revolution committee for Australia & New Zealand.