Turn to the person next to you and give them a socially distanced smile. You made it. Survived another winter. But not just any, that was three months of pandemic-fuelled hybernation with no holidays in sight. So let out that sigh and lap up the sunshine, it’s time to freshen up your wardrobe with our edit of ethical clothing brands doing good things for the planet.
A spring shoe you can rock day in and out is essential. Veja has mastered the balance between sustainability and style with their range of sneakers. They’re incredibly transparent about all their operations creating high quality and fair trade shoes.
Whats more, everything is made with eco-friendly or innovative up-cycled materials like organic cotton, wild rubber and plastic from recycled bottles. For an animal friendly alternative, take a look at their Vegan Collection.
Traditionally water guzzling and chemical happy, denim has to be one of the industry’s worst in terms of environmental impact. One B-Corp certified company changing this is Aussie ethical clothing label, Outland Denim. In addition to making flattering jeans worn by the likes of Meagan Markle, the brand is making denim more sustainable while also empowering women.
Their process is transparent and impressive, using up to 86% less water, 57% less energy, and 83% less chemicals in their jeans – all made in their Cambodian factory, which provides ethical employment opportunities for women rescued from human trafficking.
This ethical clothing brand are making quality basics with a minimalist aesthetic more affordable. For sustainable style, Assembly Label’s linen range is the one to watch. It’s vast and includes trousers, shorts and shirts for both men and women, as well as dresses and jumpsuits. Your clothing will come in environmentally friendly packaging and reusable totes too.
Keep an eye out for Assembly’s regular Choose What You Pay sales. The clothes appear at heavily discounted prices and you can choose to pay more and send the difference to a local cause, with the brand matching your donation dollar for dollar.
Kings of Indigo
One of the ethical clothing brands reinventing eco-conscious design is born in Amsterdam. Kings of Indigo effortlessly fuses street style with responsible production in a completely vegan, Peta-approved collection.
The brand’s aim is a minimal impact on animals, people and the planet. All their clothes are made fairly in a transparent process, with up to 95% of their range made of sustainable materials and 100% certified organic cotton. Although KOI are best known for their denim capsules (the latest made with no new cotton and biodegradable stretch fabrics), we think their men’s jackets are the real MVPs.
One just for the women, Kuwaii’s latest collection is too good to miss. The ethical clothing brand’s focus is on transeasonal pieces you can wear year after year, all made in Melbourne and made to last. The latest series is a low waste, limited run of statement styles, including dresses, skirts and locally handmade shoes.
Their sustainability efforts look to close the loop with a Lifelong Repair Program, a Garment Recycling Program (that gives you $20 store credit for recycled Kuwaii pieces) as well as minimizing their footprint, with commitment to planting a tree with every purchase.
New on the scene, these locals take their love of the outdoors seriously. Zorali creates basics and ethical clothing you can wear in the wilderness, ideal for spring hiking and camping. Their tees and lightweight outerwear are made using natural fibres like hemp, organic cotton and recycled fabrics.
They’ll also plant 10 trees for every product you buy from their range. The label is fully carbon neutral and supports the 1% For the Planet initiative, donating a portion of what they make to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.
This Byron-based brand has planet-conscious practices at their core. Afends specialises in clothing made from their favourite fabric with minimal chemical and environmental impact: organic hemp. Their Hemp Revolution Collection is endlessly cool and has almost every kind of garment you could want. It’s well worth checking out.
Afends’ ethical efforts don’t stop there – the business has a holistic approach, from plastic-free packaging and a solar-powered HQ, to authentic advocacy and collabs that financially support a few key causes.
When it comes to elevated essentials to see you through the season, Vege Threads is our top pick. The brand is not only Australian owned, designed and manufactured but accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia and a part of 1% for the Planet too. Their clothing is focused on low impact production, using 100% organic and eco-friendly materials like hemp, natural plant-dyed fabrics and 100% GOTS certified organic cotton.
Their range of basics, loungewear, and even swim are available in neutral and pop colours, so there’s something for everyone.
Need more inspiration?
From weekend travel inspiration, ethical brands to shop and farm to table dining spots; to sustainability news and wellbeing essentials – This Weekend is a sustainable living guide that’s good for you and the planet.