Clothing Made From Natural Fibres That Actually Look Good

Olivia Burton

Synthetic fibres have been infiltrating the clothing industry for the last 60 years, bringing more chemicals, cheaper items and faster fashion.

With the on-going news of microfibers from synthetic clothing polluting the ocean, it’s time to cut-down on synthetic clothing and bring back natural fibres.

There are three main groups of clothing fabrics: synthetics, natural and regenerated.

Synthetic fibres are made from chemicals; natural fibres originate from plants and animals, and regenerated fibres are sourced from cellulose through a chemical process.

Synthetic fibres have bought an edge to the fashion industry, allowing people to purchase clothing faster and cheaply. It has however come at a cost to the planet.

natural fiber clothing

Natural fibre clothing is by no means perfect, but for those sick of wearing clothing made from petroleum the below selects are made from 100% natural fibres.


“I grew up in the age of polyester. When I got to touch real silk, cotton and velvet, the feel of non-synthetic fabrics blew me away. I know it’s important how clothing looks, but it’s equally important how it feels on your skin.” – Colleen Atwood, American Costume Designer

ethical silk clothing

Bec + Bridge 100% silk top & pant

(Outfit can be purchased separately, top – Conga Beat Tie Top $140, trousers – Conga Beat Pant $350)

If there’s ever a designer brand which brings well-made and beautiful pieces to the market, it’s Australian brand Bec + Bridge.

This two-piece set is designed and made in Australia from 100% pure sand-washed silk charmeuse. Silk charmeuse is the ‘fancy silk’ due to it being lightweight, soft and delicate.

Silk is a natural material that is also antibacterial and flame resistant. It was founded in Asia, from silkworm cocoons.

The manufacturing process can be environmentally friendly if the process is minimal and natural dye is used.


“It’s not just for the stoner set. Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein are among the designers incorporating hemp textiles into their fashions. It’s a versatile material said to be easy on the environment.” – ‘Hemp, from hippie to hip’, Los Angeles Times 2010

hemp clothing

Afends Lenni Hemp Dress

(Lenni Hemp Dress is currently on sale online for $69.97 now!)

This mini dress from Byron Bay based brand Afends is organic, made from Hemp, Organic Cotton & Silk.

Plus it’s currently on sale! Afends currently has a full range of clothing for men and women from Hemp.

Hemp is a wonder material, made from the fibre of a cannabis leaf. It grows quickly and durable so survives without chemicals.

Hemp clothing is long lasting, breathable and good for chemical sensitivities.

‘HEMP was the first crop sewn over 12,000 years ago, making more fibre, food and medicine than any other plant. An acre of HEMP can produce 300kg of protein, 1000L of oil and 30,000kg of fibre. No tree or plant species on the earth has the commercial, economic and environmental potential of HEMP.’


“I have worked with wool all my life as a designer. There’s so much more to it than knitwear – it’s an amazingly versatile material and can be used in so many different ways from chic to rustic.” – Donatella Versace, Fashion Designer

natural fiber clothing

NIA Merino Wool Tank Dress

(90-Degrees Reversible 3D-Knit Tank Dress is available online in multiple colours for $150.00)

NIA is an eco-friendly knitwear brand, made in Brooklyn in New York. The pieces from tops to dresses are well priced and made to last.

This piece is made from Merino Wool, which is natural and biodegradable. It’s also super stretchy and able to be worn two-ways for work or a night-out.

Merino wool is perfect for summer and winter due to it’s breathability and moisture maintaining properties.

It’s also super-soft, anti-static and lightweight. Unlike synthetic fibres, it’s antibacterial.



“The very look of Linen inspires me to create fashion statements all around the world” – Rohit Bal, Fashion Designer

ethical clothing brands

Well Made Clothes Linen Oasis Trousers (by Jillian Boustred)

(Oasis Trousers available Well Made Clothes for $219.00)

It’s hard to find decent fitting black trousers in a nice fabric, but Jillian Boustred may be the answer.

These wide-leg, textured 100% linen trousers are made in Australia and will feel great in summer.

Linen is a natural fibre, made from the stalk of a flax plant. It’s durable, soft and incredibly gets softer as it’s used.

It’s also breathable, absorbent and requires a low amount of water and chemicals when growing.

natural linen shirt

Metta – Rae Linen Shirt

(Metta Rae Shirt Linen can be purchased on Scarlet Jones for $260.00)

Slow fashion brand Metta is a go-to brand for investment pieces to last a lifetime.

The brand is based in Melbourne, focused on easy to wear clothing made from natural fibre fabrics.

This beautiful 100% European linen white shirt is a boxy cut with a ‘little Peter Pan collar, which creates a sweet Japanese style’.

If you want a comfortable shirt to live in, made ethically and environmentally friendly – this is it. It’s also machine washable, phew.

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.