7 ethical & sustainable Australian & New Zealand brands to learn about

Every time we spend our money we are casting a vote for the kind of world we want to live in. Spend mindfully! Become an informed and conscious consumer by researching the environmental, and ethical attributes or problems of the things you want to buy before you go shopping.

1. The Social Studio

Based in Melbourne, Victoria, it is a creative space and community hub dedicated to creating training and employment opportunities in fashion for talented young people from refugee backgrounds. All their garments are ethically made using only reclaimed and up-cycled materials gathered from the local fashion industry, and they are certified by Ethical Clothing Australia.

What you’re paying for – Sustainable and ethical casual/dressy wear, made in Australia from recycled materials. ($-$)

2. Bhalo

An Australian ethical fashion label produced in rural Bangladesh. Designs limited edition women’s clothing and accessories, made from ethically hand woven and hand embroidered cotton fabrics. Bhalo (the Bengali word for ‘good’) is primarily focused on honorable working conditions and community development, working only with fair trade producers in rural communities.

What you’re paying for – ethical fashion made by hand using a number of ‘slow’ production techniques like hand-loomed cotton fabrics which have almost zero CO2 footprint. ($-$)

3. Desert Designs

Have created a completely handmade-in-Australia collection, titled ‘The Collector’s Collection’, which utilises the label’s vast archive of vintage fabrics from the 1980s.

What you’re paying for –

‘The collector’s collection’ is made in Australia, using unique vintage printed fabrics rather then from new materials. ($)

4. KowTow

Launched in 2007 in Wellington, New Zealand, after sourcing a manufacturer in India that only worked with 100% fair trade organic cotton. Kowtow’s focus is on ethics and strong design using only premium certified fair trade organic cotton dyed free of hazardous elements such as formaldehyde, pesticides and other metals (approved by GOTS).

What you’re paying for Certified fair trade organic clothing that is ethically and sustainably made from seed to garment. ($)

5. Rachael Cassar

Sydney based womens-wear designer creating forward thinking sustainable high-end fashion. She describes her line as semi couture creations for the creative hearts. Cassar uses the process of deconstruction to create garments that are ‘one offs’ comprised of90% recycled materials . Her luxurious eco designs have been worn by Rhianna, Kristen Stewart, Ginnifer Goodwin, Christina Ricci, Tarryn Manning, Kerri Underwood, Kesha, Selena Gomez, Angela Lindvill to name a few.

What you’re paying for – high-end, sustainable and ethical couture made from recycled materials. Unique pieces for special occasions. ($)

6. I Wear Ethical

“We want to offer the world a line of great looking basic clothing, that is durable and most importantly ethical and eco-friendly. We also want to invite people to join in the journey to live more minimally, ethically and sustainably.”

What you’re paying for –  sustainable and ethical clothing made from recycled materials. Unique pieces for special occasions. ($)

7. Energetiks

Energetiks uses Australian made performance TACTEL® with added High IQ™ Moisture Management. Up to three times more durable than natural fibres resulting in increased abrasion resistance. Super fine fibres are at least twice as soft and 20% lighter than most other fibres, creating a lightweight and luxurious garment. TACTEL® dries eight times faster than cotton and has superior colourfastness. TACTEL® has moisture controlling properties that transport the moisture from your skin to the fabric’s surface, resulting in rapid evaporation.

This article first appeared here

CYW – J.Z

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