It can be incredibly addictive to try to stay on top of the latest fashion trends. You feel so cute in seasonal fashion, only to neglect or even discard pieces that are no longer in vogue. And then the cycle starts all over again when you buy the next piece for your wardrobe. These cycles, however, come at a cost, and it’s not just monetary. In Australia, some 6 metric tons of clothes are thrown away every 10 minutes.
Sustainable clothing is the key to alleviating the environmental cost of fashion. Sustainability in fashion is itself a trend, as research shows that Australians are increasingly preferring products that are sold in eco-friendly packaging and are sourced with eco-friendly materials and processes.
How Are Sustainable Clothing Manufacturers Better?
Sustainable clothing manufacturers attempt to reduce the environmental impact of clothing as much as possible. Whether that means doing away with chemicals that harm the environment or reducing the use of materials that consume a lot of water, sustainable clothing brands put the environment first.
Let’s move on to some of the best sustainable clothing brands in Australia, their promises, what they sell, and where to get them online. These brands aren’t just big creators that have joined the sustainability trend; they’re companies that have made sustainability an integral part of their identity.
Items sold: Clothing, bags, footwear, accessories
Sustainability promise: Community initiatives, transparency reports and regular audits on supply chain for sustainability and ethical practices, animal welfare
ELK makes it a point to regularly check on their suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that no harm is being done to people or animals and that their materials are all organic.
Items sold: Tops, dresses, skirts, leggings
Sustainability promise: Organic (Global Organic Textile Standard certified) and recycled materials, environmentally-friendly dyes, sustainable packaging, studio uses sustainable practices
Bon believes in creating quality essentials that’ll last a long time. They’re not just talking about staying relevant in the current fashion trends, but in creating pieces that are built to last. All of this is accomplished using sustainable practices that help ensure that we’ll still have a world to live in when the fashion trends of the 2070s drop.
Items sold: Clothes, accessories
Sustainability promises: Organic cotton, factories powered by renewable energy, recycling programmes, biodegradable garment bags, social responsibility
It takes 2,700 litres of water to make a cotton shirt. Bassike knows this, and one of the central pillars of its broad sustainability initiative has been to reduce water use in the production of its organic cotton garments. Since its founding in 2006, Bassike has upheld its commitment to sustainability, making it a reliable choice if you want to be assured that you’re buying only from sustainable clothing companies.
Items sold: Clothes, accessories, swimwear, bridal attire
Sustainability promises: Sustainable materials throughout the entire supply chain, recycled materials, cellulose fibres, sustainable packaging
Spell & the Gypsy Collective have been working on their sustainability initiatives for nearly half a decade. Today, 40% of their garments are made with sustainable fibres, all of their cotton is Global Organic Textile Standard certified, and they constantly recycle and reuse their materials. They also use virgin materials and cellulose fibres.
Items sold: Clothes, accessories
Sustainability promises: All locally made
The Ark Clothing Co. has been in business since 1990, and since then, they’ve supported the local Australian clothing industry, with every part of their operations being based locally. They’re even accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia and are a member of the Council of Textile & Fashion.
3. Vege Threads
Items sold: Men's and women’s clothing, swimwear, yoga wear, accessories
Sustainability promises: Organic (Global Organic Textile Standard certified) fabrics and dyes, all locally made, Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation across the supply chain.
From the basic clothing lines you need to swimwear and yoga, Vege Threads can fulfil almost all your clothing needs with ethical and affordable options. They also ensure that they only produce sustainable clothing in Australia, supporting the local industry.
Items sold: Denim jeans, jackets for men and women
Sustainability promises: Low water and energy consumption in manufacturing, ethical raw materials, provides jobs for vulnerable victims
Just like the cotton shirts we mentioned, denim is a notorious water consumer – 1,800 gallons, or almost 7,000 litres of water are consumed when making a single pair of jeans. Outland Denim aims to source its materials from more sustainable places, and also employs over a hundred people with ‘varying backgrounds of vulnerability.’
Items sold: Clothing, shoes, accessories
Sustainability promises: Certified organic materials, recycled fibres, environmentally-friendly manufacturing, ethical working conditions
Everything about KitX is designed for sustainability. Its entire supply chain, from the materials themselves to the factories that produce clothing, has been certified for sustainability, and they maintain a policy of transparency regarding their operations. KitX also ensures that workers are treated well, and only work with contractors who are committed to the same standard of decency that they are.
Sustainability For The Future
Sustainable clothing companies have made the promise of ethical, organic, and environmentally-friendly clothing as a core part of their vision. They’re leaders in ensuring that every piece of apparel they sell has minimised environmental impact. This kind of commitment is important because sustainability is all about making sure that we attack the problem at every possible angle!
Whether you’re looking to make sustainability a big part of your life, or simply want to do your part in one of your most frequent purchases, choose these brands next time you take a trip to the shops.