6 Sustainable Fashion Brands Worth Buying
WORDS: LINDA MCCORMICK
Fast fashion – clothes produced at low cost to mimic the latest fashion trends – is unwittingly spurning an explosive trend in sustainable apparel. Here we share 6 Australian fashion brands that put planet before profit.
To meet demand for fast fashion, clothing producers churn out collections of questionable quality and, sometimes, ethics. The textiles used in the fast fashion industry are usually derived from man-made/synthetic material, which can be produced quickly and at a reduced cost, but lack the biodegradability of natural fibres.
According to sustainability consultant Jane Milburn of Textile Beat, two-thirds of the clothes and textiles sold are made of synthetic fibres. These fibres are a derivative of petroleum and shed thousands of micro plastic particles into the environment.
Australians buy around 27kgs of clothing every year, and, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics dump about 23kgs of the textiles bought into landfill. When discarded the fibres may never break down, leaving a devastating long-term impact on the environment.
Thankfully, there are a growing number of fashion labels producing clothes that are made with the planet in mind, designing clothes that will last in our wardrobes for much longer than a few seasons. Let me introduce you.
With the catchy tag line “life is like a cup of tea, it’s all in how you make it”, this artisan clothiers is run by three sisters from Newcastle, NSW. Rowena, Juliana and Angela have a collaborative approach to their designs, inspired by memories, stories and landscapes, which they incorporate into their creations using printed and natural fabrics and beautiful stitchwork. The result of their handiwork is a long-lasting and high-quality product. Website: High Tea with Mrs Woo
Etiko products are fast giving certain big name brands a run for their money, proving that the demand for sustainable and ethically made products is well and truly on the rise. Created by Nick Savaidis in 2005, this family owned and operated business was born from the desire to be able to wear and own goods that were made without exploiting workers or using child labour. Nick, no matter how much he researched, could not be confident that many of the brands he looked at were 100 percent ethical. So he made his own. Etiko consistently rates A+ for ethical production in Australian Fashion Reports and is growing year on year… without anyone being ripped off. Website: Etiko
Using only pure cotton fabric, Bestowed is “a healthy fashion choice, both for you and the environment.” Based in Brisbane, this chic sustainable and vegan-friendly label source all their certified organic cotton knit fabrics within Australia, which are produced to the highest world standards. To ensure their environmental impact is kept to a minimum, their patternmakers, cutters and sewers all work within a 30km radius of the Bestowed studio. And the bonus about Bestowed clothing? Everything can be washed and worn without and iron in sight. Website: Bestowed
4. Pure Pod
Pure Pod’s journey began in 2007, when ethical designer Kellie Donovan and photographer Sean Watson collaborated in creating a fashion brand that holds people, passion and the planet at its core. The result is one of Australia’s longest running ethical fashion brands. Made with premium sustainable fabrics including bamboo, hemp and soya bean textiles in the mix, Pure Pod’s contemporary designs and bold prints keep conscious shoppers coming back for more every year. With the aim of being as transparent and as possible, along with each collection comes explanation of how the clothes were made and who made them. Website: Pure Pod
5. Vege Threads
Vege Threads is a small independent fashion brand who started out wanting to create clothes that were made locally and made simple. One hundred percent of their products are made in Australia, their emphasis being to keep the production on home soil. They only use organic and eco-friendly materials and keep dye to a minimum in their collections. With accreditation from Ethical Clothing Australia, Veggie Threads definitely keeps it all under the Aussie sun. Their multi-seasonal basics represent their brand to the core – beautiful, simple and sustainable. Website: Vege Threads
6. Madonna Bain
Madonna Bain’s beautiful collection of intimates for women are all carefully handmade by skilled artisans using only the highest quality eco-friendly textiles. From the beginning of the design process to the end of manufacturing, incredible thought has been invested in the conception, design and production of Bain’s brand. Working with a small team of artisans based in Bali, who Madonna says offer exemplary craftsmanship and quality, the team recreate her designs to the standard and details she and her customers demand. Website: Madonna Bain
Are you tempted to ditch fast fashion for a more sustainable brand? Let us know of brands you love.
Image credits | Lead image source:
Image: CC license for reuse
Other images: courtesy of Etiko and Pure Pod – Facebook pages
Linda McCormick is a freelance journalist and travel writer living in Melbourne. Originally from Northern Ireland, Linda’s obsession with travel started at a young age when she set off in search of a warmer place to call home. While travelling she became more aware of the negative impacts of globetrotting and the importance of sustainable and responsible travel. She now travels with a different attitude and shares her passion for the natural world and eco travel in her writing. Linda’s work is published in a number of leading magazines, papers and websites, and on her own travel blog: www.EcoTravellerGuide.com
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