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Australian Ethical & Sustainable Clothing/Accessories Brands

Let me ask you. Are you the type of person who loves fashion? Who will buy something new each week, not terribly expensive, then wear it once and not wear it again?

That’s what the experts call “fast fashion”- inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. And, while fast fashion may be affordable, it is also the largest polluter in the world according to an article by Business Insider.

No I’m not here to preach to you and I think we should all be responsible for our choices. Being ethical today is no longer an option. It’s a must. With it comes a whole new world of words and terms, for example, ethical fashion, sustainable fashion, fairtrade etc.

Today I’ll explain each of these phrases and I’ve put together a range of sustainable and ethical fashion brands in Australia, both for clothing and accessories. This means for you that you can look good with a clear conscience without breaking the bank….

Ethical Fashion
Ethical Fashion is designing and manufacturing clothes in a way that cares for people and the community while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Sustainable Fashion
Sustainable fashion focuses on the environmental concerns of the garment industry. Sustainably produced fashion is made from environmentally-friendly textiles like sustainably grown fiber crops or recycled materials.  It also seeks to minimize waste throughout the supply chain.

Fairtrade Fashion
Fairtrade is clothing that’s been produced based on ethical trade standards. The workers who produce the clothes are paid a fair price for goods and services, have safe working conditions & are paid a living wage.

Here are the list of Ethical & Sustainable Australian Fashion/Accessories brands

ELK
Promoting: Fairtrade, Ethical
A family owned & operated business, founded in 2004 by Marnie Goding & Adam Koniaras. They are based in Melbourne, are a slow fashion brand selling clothing, shoes & jewellery. They have stores in Eastland, Little Collins St, Albert Park & Preston.

dressLysbro Dress by Elk $185

tote bagReika Tote by Elk $220

Organic Crew
Promoting: Sustainability
A family owned & operated business, they are based in Melbourne, are a slow fashion brand selling clothing, shoes & jewellery. They have stores in Eastland, Little Collins St, Albert Park & Preston.

pantsCrew Pants pale blue by Organic Crew $139

stripe topFrenchy Long Sleeve Red, Navy & White OC by Organic Crew $129

Sans Beast
Promoting: Vegan
A Melbourne based brand, the founder Cathryn Wills worked in fashion retail for nearly 30 years, with over a decade of that spent living and breathing the world of leather handbags. It was after she studied more about the fashion industry’s views on animal welfare and  some time taken to consider next steps, the brand was launched in 2018.

bagCherry Red Alligator Reader Satchel by Sans Beast $199

Ahimsa Collective
Promoting: Vegan
Founded in mid 2017, Ahimsa Collective was started by two passionate and determined friends, proving that Sustainability and Luxury-goods can co-exist. They both have a history of 10+ years in Fashion Retail, Sales and Marketing. Ahimsa Collective range of handbags & clutches are made in Sydney using materials such as Pinatex (a natural leather alternative made from  pineapple leaves), washable paper & deadstock (materials like off-cuts from high-end fashion houses, or wrong orders of colour, type or length) for their totes.

half moon mini bagHalfmoon Mini – Granite Pinatex by Ahimsa Collective $189

Felicity Cooney
Promoting: Sustainable & Ethical
Felicity Cooney is an Australian designer. She launched her fashion label in 2015,
She studied fashion at Central St-Martins in London and the Parsons New School in New York where she was influenced by her lecturers to embrace the idea of Zero Waste fashion design. Felicity is well known for her use of sustainable fabrics such as roo leather, as well as creatively incorporating remnant fabrics into her designs.

sandalsCleo Sandal in Khaki by Felicity Cooney $59 (sale)

Nelson Made
Promoting: Sustainable & Vegan
Jamie Nelson started out hand-making footwear for Melbourne shoemaker Preston Zly, where she learnt “the craft of bespoke making in a small studio” before earning a masters in fashion footwear from Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion. When she returned to Australia she worked as a footwear and bag designer for Country Road and Gorman. Jamie Nelson launched her label Nelson Made in 2017, she makes small batches of her shoes in Melbourne using recycled, repurposed and vintage fabrics as well as sourcing materials with the lowest possible environmental and human impact.

sandalsJuliette Sandal Lavender by Nelson Made $229.00

So here is the list of Australian brands that are Sustainable, Ethical, Vegan, Fairtrade or all four. Comment if you know of any more Australian brands

In the meantime you can follow Argon Blue Fashion on Facebook or Pinterest.