The last few decades in fashion have been dominated by the fast fashion movement. Cheap clothes available in mass production, often made of cheaper materials that deteriorate faster and end up adding to land waste.
With the rise of eco-friendly shoppers and designers, the fashion industry is going through a huge shift away from fast fashion that has dominated the last few decades, choosing to focus on ethical clothing models and brands to shop. Australian fashion designers are at the forefront of this shift, even better, it’s smaller businesses that are leading the charge! So what is Ethical Fashion and why are so many designers making the shift? Well, ethical fashion is all about reducing the negative impact that fast fashion has on the environment, people and animals. Making sure that the materials being used won’t harm the planet, makers aren’t being abused by low wages, bad working conditions and that they are given the basic human rights that all people deserve, as well as many other factors.
So here is a list of 6 of the top Australian Ethical fashion brands to shop in 2021:
Striving to be a pioneer in the industry by being design-led, sustainable and ethical, Kitx Founder, Kit Willow, has focused on building her brand to be at the forefront of sustainable fashion. Kitx has built its brand on 3 pillars of sustainable sourcing; Natural, Upcycling and Artisan.
Sourcing materials that are both ethically and eco-friendly, KitX ensures that their garments aren’t manufactured in a way that will not harm the health of workers, water or land quality and biodiversity.
2. St Agni
Living by their “Less is more” philosophy, St Agni was founded in Byron Bay in 2014 by Lara & Matt Fells as a luxury brand with humble beginnings that aims to avoid excess of any kind in all aspects of the business.
Committed to the slow fashion movement, St Agni cherishes the handmade process and designs their clothing and footwear to last for years to come.
Jeans production is a major contributor to the negative impact that fashion can have on the environment. Outland Denim has sought to distance itself from the harmful impacts of denim in each stage of its business, from production to shipping to power usage!
Outland Denim uses organic cotton sourced from an ethically conscious Mill in Turkey, they use a naturally indigo dye derived from plants and their packaging comes from Print Together, a company focused on preserving the world’s virgin rainforests!
4. Hyde & Stone
Seeing the effects that Fast Fashion has had on the environment, Hyde and Stone Founder and Designer, Jemyma Kavanagh, set out to start her own ethical label, taking pride in her handmade garments made from raw luxury materials.
Each Hyde & Stone garment is carefully created to stay in your wardrobe for years to come. Created in limited runs, Hyde & Stone is championing the Ethical and Slow fashion movement through on demand production, resulting in less waste and negative environmental impact.
Independently owned ethical fashion label, Elenora the Label, was founded out of frustration at the lack of commercially available, sustainable summer pants. Elenora The Label handmakes each item in the town of Ubud, Bali, with each of the craftspeople being paid above the local living wage in above-average conditions!
Each garment is made from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Organic Content Standard (OCS) certified fabrics, and every garment produced features their favourite eco-friendly fibre, Hemp.
Founded in 2004, Viktoria & Woods has focused on sustainable fabrics that have become an intrinsic part of their brand. Using certified organic cottons, merino wool and bamboo blends, they ensure that their textiles are of the highest quality and planet friendly.
Being Ethically Accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA), Viktoria & Woods ensures that any designs, made within Australia or outside of Australia, are done so by partners that provide fair working wages and conditions.