Sustainable fashion tips: 7 ethical and independent clothing brands in Australia

Looking to buy some well made clothes from local businesses? Check out our list of seven emerging ethical and independent clothing, shoes and accessories brands in Australia below!

 

A.BCH 

A.BCH loves creating beautiful simple pieces and tells the world all about it. They provide full disclosure as to how each of their pieces came to be — where every thread, every fibre, every button comes from. When you click on a product, you can see exactly what’s in it, what it’s made of and where it comes from. 

Our favourite bit is the end of life section where A.BCH offers to buy back its products, which, depending on its condition, will be repaired or resold (as second hand) or transformed into brand new yarns through their recycling program. 

If returning is unlikely, they also give customers information on how to dispose of their products. A t-shirt that we looked at, for example, was 99.5% compostable. So after a long life of use, repair and re-use, you only need to remove the A.BCH tag before cutting the rest into strips, safe for anaerobic composting at home or commercially.

 

Ulo Australia

Ulo is where you need to shop from if you want simple silhouettes and uber fun, culturally rich prints that will bring joy to your lives. Their collections are designed and made in-house in Melbourne for your ease and comfort. They don’t follow seasons or trends, so you’ll never have to worry about the accidental wardrobe twinsies!

Another bonus point: Ulo purposefully started with a made-to-order model to avoid overproduce <3


Kuwaii 

Kuwaii was founded in 2008 to produce inimitable alternatives to trend-driven, mass-produced fashion. Their products are made in their design studio in Melbourne, Australia. Their footwear is made by one of the very last surviving footwear factories in Australia, with the team of amazing craftspeople taking up to a day to make a single pair of Kuwaii shoes. 

We love how everything Kuwaii does is slower, more deliberate and more thoughtful.They consider how the customers will use an article and how long a piece of clothing will last her. Not only that, Kuwaii’s Garment Recycling Program is committed to accepting any Kuwaii piece, so you know the clothes you’ve worn (if you cannot sell second hand clothes on SwapUp, of course) will be handled responsibly by the original producer.


The Social Outfit

The Social Outfit is a unique one — the label works with women from the refugee and new migrant communities to kick-start their Australian careers and thrive through employment. The profits earned from their Newtown ethical manufacturing workroom and retail store go towards supporting the training and employment programs in retail, manufacturing and design. 

We love the colourful prints and playful cuts — even better, they use remnant fabrics donated by fashion industry partners to save fabric from going to landfills!


Carlie Ballard

Carlie Ballard creates timeless, hand-woven luxury and bespoke pieces, designed to be worn across seasons, borders, and boundaries. Their products are hand-loomed with organic cotton and dyed with Oeko Tek certified dyes by sustainably employed artisans in Hyderabad, India - weaving the spirit of the artists into each piece. 

We love Carlie Ballard for their effortless designs, careful tailoring and their commitment to go back to the ancient art form of weaving!


High Tea with Mrs Woo

High Tea with Mrs Woo is a small-run clothing label based in Newcastle, NSW. The owners, sisters Rowena, Juliana & Angela Foong have been collaborating in the past 10 years to create eloquent clothing and accessories with natural fibre fabrics.

Our favourite is the Slow Wearing Well community, an initiative that the sisters started to inform and inspire their customers, friends, family and greater community on ways to have a healthy, workable approach to their wardrobes and lives. They use this program to host LIVE Wardrobe Edit sessions, walking city trails, events and gatherings to share skills, stories and knowledge so that they can promote and converse about clothing and fashion sustainability.


Clothing the Gaps

Clothing The Gaps is an Aboriginal owned and led social enterprise that produces merchandise with a meaning. The label is a play on the words "Closing the Gap", which is an Australian Government health initiative to help close the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal people and non-Indigenous Australians. 

We love how the merch encourages people to wear their values, that is elevating, educating, advocating and motivating people for positive social change, on their tee. It is an opportunity for Mob and non-indigenous people to embrace Aboriginal Australia's true history, support Aboriginal people and unite together.