What is ethical fashion? Knowing what to look for when shopping for ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly fashion brands is challenging. How can you distinguish between the three labels?
It can be challenging to understand all the terms involved in shopping consciously. At the moment, there isn’t one definition. However, sustainability fashion generally focuses more on the environment and a long-term approach towards fashion design, manufacture, and consumption. Marie Claire Australia: Georgina Neill Ryan is the founder of Slowe Store.
Slow fashion is a term that refers to brands that have reduced their environmental footprint by using specific fabrics (e.g., natural fibers), manufacturing processes (e.g.,”
Ethical Sustainable Clothing Australia
“Ethical and sustainable fashion can be used interchangeably,” Georgina explained. “Ethical fashion does not focus on how animals are treated within the industry, but some do. Ethical manner focuses on living wages, working conditions, and animal welfare practices but sometimes does not consider the ethical implications of climate change on humans or animals.
What are fair trade and eco-fashion?
Fairtrade fashion must adhere to the same principles as the previous terms. They must pay them a living wage and provide decent working conditions. They also need to comply with local labor laws. This means they ensure that the people who make the product aren’t exploited. The term eco fashion is a broad term that encompasses ethical and sustainable fashion with a focus on the environment.
Why is it so challenging to transition from fast fashion to sustainable fashion?
Georgina stated, “This is a huge question, and there are many variables but a few that come up are: People find the transition to sustainable difficult and don’t know what to do.”
It can be difficult for consumers to know what is sustainable. There is a lot of information available that can sometimes be confusing. One of the biggest problems is the greenwashing being pushed onto them by big fashion companies. Trend-driven fashion is a reality. People are expected to keep up with current trends. This expectation makes it easy for consumers to buy unnecessary items and leads to a vicious cycle where they buy more and less to keep up with social trends. Price is another crucial factor. People tend to take prices for fast fashion at face value, e.g., A shirt from H&M costs $30, while a sweater from a smaller brand is $250. People need to stop and consider why it is so expensive and how this affects animals, people, and the planet.
Georgina’s tips for curating a sustainable, perfect wardrobe
- What do you have? The best wardrobe is the one that’s already in your closet. First, look at your wardrobe to see what you have. You can then identify gaps and determine how to fill them. These are the foundations for your sustainable wardrobe. Think of the pieces that you love and reach for often. It is essential to choose timeless pieces that you only need.
- Be Classic: Choose critical essays you’ll get for repeatedly. You can choose from a white shirt, a black slip dress, and even the perfect pair of jeans.
- Natural fibers: If you are looking for classic and high-quality pieces, choose those made from natural fibers. They will last longer, feel better on the skin, and have a lower environmental impact.
- Take care of your clothes. Use a premium detergent when you invest in quality garments that will last a lifetime. Use the delicate cycle and wash on low. You can also buy quality hangers.
Ethical Fashion Brands
Many ethical fashion brands in Australia offer something different. While no fashion brand can be 100% honest or sustainable, the industry is not sustainable. However, some brands are trying to do their part. Marie Claire Australia has collected 16 of our favorite brands below so that you can shop (mostly!) guilt-free.
GANNI is not focusing on sustainability. Instead, it focuses on responsibility. It holds itself accountable for four key pillars that care about people, the planet, and production. GANNI has set out to reduce its carbon footprint and adopt circular business models. It has also taken steps to improve supply chain accountability. The label has already met 30 of 44 of its responsibility Gameplan goals, originally intended to be achieved in 2023. However, it is now expected that they will be completed in 2022. GANNI’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection styles included 92% organic, low-impact, or recycled materials. GANNI even created shoes from grapes. There are many exciting things ahead.
Maggie Marilyn, a New Zealand label (not Australian, but we’ll claim them anyway! Maggie Marilyn, a New Zealand label (not entirely Australian, but we’ll try to claim them anyway!), uses sustainable and ethical business practices at every stage. This includes using organic cotton to make their dreamy pieces or working with local Merino farmers to move towards regenerative practices. Maggie Marilyn wants clothes that last forever. They even offer tips for caring for silks, wool, and polyester.
Viktoria & Woods
Viktoria & Woods is an Australian brand that creates effortless wardrobe staples with a modern, pared-down feel. Their collections are timeless in their simplicity and timelessness. Their merino wool collection, launched in 2004, is the brand’s core. The offering has grown to include premium fabrications like sustainably sourced bamboo and organic cotton basics, silky Japanese cupro, luxury coating, and luxurious coating.
Citizen Wolf uses technology to create custom-tailored T-shirts. They do this locally, ethically, and with zero waste. This philosophy ensures that if you make a piece you love, it will last longer than you can replace and you will repair rather than replace it. It is also the best way to reduce our environmental footprint. They call their pieces “smarter casual” because they are better for the environment and you.
Arnsdorf, a modern womenswear brand made in Australia and ECA certified, is committed to creating archetypal fashion for all women. The company is the most prominent voice in Australia for transparency, disclosing the cost of each garment, the origin of each fabric and material, and aiming to inform and lead a new generation.
Good Studios is a clothing label promoting organic materials like hemp textiles to create a fashionable and modern design. They are also proud to provide a platform for education and support to the community about sustainability in fashion.
Vege Threads, an Australian apparel brand, is proud of its low-impact production. They use only organic and sustainable materials like hemp, organic cotton that is 100% GOTS-certified organic, and natural dyes.
Nelson Made sandals are distinctive and stylishly made with a commitment towards slow fashion and small-batch production. All materials are sourced using the least possible environmental impact and human impact. Nelson Made’s footwear is available in a range of styles and colors.
Bassike, Australia’s favorite basics label, has been a leader in sustainability for many years. They continue to show that they are more than essential. Their ongoing efforts to create a new frontier in ethical and responsible design have paved the way for emerging labels such as COMMAS, who credit their founders with opening doors they never imagined.
The brand’s jersey cotton fabric has been certified 100% carbon neutral. Climate Active has certified that a Bassike T-shirt emits 43% less carbon than a regular cotton tee. This material is more than just essential. It’s a leap forward in fashion’s future and is marked with thoughtful and purpose-driven creations.
Who said style had to be sacrificed for sustainability?
This sustainable brand, technically based in New Zealand, is one that we would love to claim as ours — it’s that good! The brand’s focus on eliminating slavery trade and unethical work practices ensures that every worker and fiber is sourced with severe respect. They also adhere to ethical practices.