3 Aussie Fashion Brands Taking Steps Towards Sustainability

Kira Simpson

Finding ethically made fashion becomes easier every day with so many incredible new ethical fashion brands and designers popping up.

While I really enjoy discovering new brands I still have some favourites from my former life that I have often wished would do more. I regularly check in with brands I love to see what progress they have made.

During Fashion Revolution Week, when I received a response on Instagram from Spell  talking about their commitment to ethical production, I actually did a little happy dance in my chair!

I believe we should support small, Australian fashion businesses who are making a genuine effort to ethically certify their factories and trace their supply chains. Each of these three brands have made some great strides this year which gives me a lot of hope that more fashion brands can do the same.

Image source: Spell and The Gypsy

sustainable fashion
arnhem sustainable


Arnhem create beautiful modern bohemian style clothing in vintage inspired flora and tribal prints. They are very much aware of the monumental task of tracing their supply chain which lay ahead, so they have employed a dedicated Sustainability Officer to help them become sustainable across all areas of the business.

Arnhem are open in admitting that changes in the supply chain and production of their clothing will take 2-3 years to implement but wanted to take more immediate action in the interim. In 2017 they started working with 1% For The Planet, which helps connect businesses with environmental organisations where 1% of annual sales are donated to nonprofit organisations dedicated to protecting the environment. They currently donate to Greenfleet, Rainforest Rescue and Take 3 For The Sea.

What they say

“We are in the process of reviewing all aspects of the business – from sourcing sustainable fabrics and manufacturing processes to developing compostable garment and courier bags and ensuring all paper packaging is made from a sustainable FSC certified source.

We are also working to ensure all our suppliers have ethical practices; we are carrying out factory audits with our existing supply base while this is a standard requirement for any new suppliers. “

Spell and the gypsy

Spell is one of my favourite brands in the world. I own several of their dresses and can attest to the quality of their designs. They are quickly becoming a leader in showing how small Australian businesses can create beautiful, timeless fashion in a way that is ethical and profitable.

They have an incredible People and Planet page where they list the seven garment factories they work with around the world. You click on a pin on the map and it tells you about what is made in that factory, who works there, the story behind the factory and most importantly, their third party audit certifications. From June this year all online orders will be sent in organic, unbleached, reusable calico bags.

What they say

“Today, we’re proud that all elements of Spell are still a reflection of myself and Isabella and the values we hold. It is our vision to create beautiful garments that inspire change towards truly sustainable fashion that is good for people, communities and the planet for generations to come.

A year ago we started mapping our supply chain and today we’re proud to say that every one of our garment factories has been ethically audited by an internationally recognised body. The further we embark on our journey, the more committed we are to understanding the impacts throughout our business and wider supply chain. It is our responsibility to address these impacts in order to walk a little lighter on the earth. We believe in sustainability and look forward to sharing our journey with you.”

auguste ethical

Auguste The Label

Auguste have the best collection of wrap dresses in pretty prints, flattering for every body type. I recently invested in a polka dot maxi after spending the past years hunting for one, and I love it.

Their clothes are currently made in two factories. A WRAP Certified factory in Guangzhou, China and small, family run factory in Bali, Indonesia, who founder Ebony has worked with for the last ten years. They are also part of the 1% For The Planet program and donate to the Australian Marine Conservation Society and Orangutan Land Trust.

What they say

“Auguste pieces are designed by myself and my team in Byron Bay, and produced in Bali, China and (soon to be) Los Angeles. It is a core value of our company that we always endeavour to adhere to high level of ethical standards in our factories.

The She Lives Free Community is the part of Auguste that is about more than just the clothes – it’s about coming together to create positive change, and a place where Auguste can be transparent on our journey to improving our environmental and ethical processes.

We know we’re not perfect – but we believe in honesty, in recognising room for improvement and in actively taking those steps towards creating a more sustainable business – and very importantly raising as much awareness as we can in the process.”

Kira Simpson

Kira Simpson is an environmentalist and sustainability expert. She started The Green Hub as a blog in 2015, which has since grown to become one of Australia’s largest education sites dedicated to helping people live a more sustainable lifestyle.