Amid the backlash against the fast fashion industry in recent years, buyers are increasingly turning to ethical fashion labels for more sustainable styles. For the fair-minded fashion enthusiast, buying clothing that’s better for producers and for the environment is a no-brainer.
Here are some of the Australian luxury brands creating designs with a difference.
With its planet-friendly philosophy and message of female empowerment, KITX is a quintessential ethical brand turning heads on the fashion scene.
Launched in 2015 by seasoned fashion veteran Kit Willow, the Sydney-based brand is steadily gaining international traction. KITX’s designs have been exhibited at Buckingham Palace and caught the attention of a handful of fashionable A-listers, including Emma Watson.
The brand’s signature looks range from tailored silhouettes to flowy garments that cleverly incorporate a modern twist on bohemian style. The latest collection focuses on playful prints with animal and nature motifs for a bold, on-trend aesthetic.
Their environmentally-conscious mission statement is reflected in the names of each piece.
The ‘Green Future Jacket’, fittingly, is a pine-green structured jacket crafted from ethically-sourced Australian merino wool. The free-range sheep are allowed to roam and graze as they wish, and the material is fully biodegradable.
Sporting a tongue-in-cheek name, the ‘Future Waste Skirt’ is constructed from Econyl: a yarn made from repurposed marine litter and nylon fishing nets. With its ocelot-print front and solid black back, this pleated skirt is as stylish as it is eco-friendly.
Ginger & Smart
A trailblazer in the eco fashion world since its inception in 2002, Ginger & Smart is an established Australian brand making regular appearances on runways. Sisters Alexandra and Genevieve Smart created the label as a celebration of individuality and sophistication.
Social responsibility is at the core of this brand’s values and every step of its production process; its ethos revolves around the slow fashion movement. Here there’s an emphasis on quality – the designs are made to be worn more than a few times, minimising waste.
Premium fabrics are used, including Tencel, a fibre derived from eucalyptus forests. Ginger & Smart sources recyclable and biodegradable materials created using renewable resources. The brand also avoids using excessive chemicals and water in production.
Ginger & Smart ensures that its manufacturers treat their employees well, with its overseas factories receiving consistently high ratings.
Their newest clothing drop for Winter 2019 proves that winter wear doesn’t have to be drab. The collection is a colour explosion, featuring feminine pleats, florals and abstract multi-hued prints. For a more casual look, their Akin range will upgrade your off-duty style with its understated pieces in neutral tones.
Beloved Australian icon Bassike has paved the way for the sustainable fashion industry. Deborah Sams and Mary Lou Ryan formed the brand in 2006 with a vision to create luxury wardrobe stables while reducing their impact on the environment.
Over 90% of production occurs within Australia in a solar-powered factory, reducing the brand’s carbon footprint. Their clothing is produced from a mix of organic and sustainable cotton, as well as sustainably-produced natural fibres such as linen, denim, wool and cashmere.
In keeping with their zero-waste commitment, the label donates its spare jersey material and one-off samples to be used as rags by local mechanics and cleaning companies.
Bassike’s collections for men and women go back to basics with minimalist, utilitarian designs in simple colours. Comfort and simplicity is the name of the game, with their relaxed-fit shirts, jeans and tracksuits.
Rug up this winter in a cosy funnel neck top made from reverse Japanese fleece, or an oversized hooded jersey crafted from organic cotton.
By Jennifer Luu