Customers are increasingly looking for retailers who are committed to ethical and sustainable practice. They want to know where their clothes are sourced from, where they’re made, and who benefits from the profit. This has opened a large segment in the market for ethical and sustainable clothing brands who are dedicated to meeting the needs of customers looking to reduce their environmental impact.
We thought it would be a good idea to spread the word about some of these brands who are making waves in this movement right here on home soil.
Citizen Wolf is an online and flagship store that creates tailored T-shirts locally and ethically with zero waste. They believe that it is much better to repair than replace, and for this reason offer their customers free repairs for life. Every t-shirt is made on demand to avoid waste, and customers can watch the whole process happen before them at their Darlinghurst micro factory. This is a great option for shoppers who want to disengage from the mass production and standard sizes of fast fashion and move towards buying intentional clothing made specifically for them. All of Citizen Wolf’s Australian made products are also accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA).
Image Source: Creative3
C.R.U.M.P.L.E (Collapsible, Reusable, Urban, Mobile, Pocket Sized, Leak Proof, Ethical Cup) by iLoveEarth is a mother daughter startup on a mission to stop disposable coffee cups. After learning that many customers weren’t purchasing reusable coffee cups due to many being bulky and made of breakable glass, they set out to create a coffee cup that can collapse into a disc for transportation. They are transparent about the fact that the cups are made in China, however maintain that the silicone is made using sustainable practices with a low carbon footprint. The cups are a great option for customers who want to reduce their individual contribution to landfill without having to compromise on aesthetics or transport convenience.
Image source: Crumple
Ecoture is another Aussie mother daughter co-founder company who want to make a positive change in the retail sphere. Ecoture sources sustainable, ethical and cruelty-free clothing from around the world and have a detailed system that tells customers exactly what credentials the piece of clothing has e.g. symbols that indicate whether an item is cruelty-free, ethically made, handmade, natural, organic, up-cycled/re-cycled, vegan or vegetarian. A customer can then shop accordingly based on which values are most significant to them. The company is committed to putting their foot on the brake when it comes to fast fashion and instead promote quality over quantity. They have also established a Waste not, Want not (WNWN) program, which makes sure that clothes and accessories purchased from their online store find their way to new homes rather than being thrown out after a customer no longer wants the item anymore.
Image Source: Ecoture
Founded in 2015, Denimsmith came about as a vision of Australian designers who are committed to the ethical production of high quality denim clothing. The family business is run from Melbourne, where customers can observe the team in action at their studio + factory + store in Brunswick East or shop the collection in their Fitzroy Store. Each pair of their natural-indigo jeans is built by skilled makers with over two decades experience in denim-craft and all clothing is ECA accredited. Denimsmith focuses on connecting with communities and locally-made production, making it a great option for customers who want to shop small and support a local Australian community.
Image Source: Denimsmith
Nimble Activewear is a Bondi-based athleisure brand started by two best friends with a passion for activewear that doesn’t cost the earth. Each product in their COMPRESSLITE range has been created with used plastic bottles. Every pair of leggings uses 4 recycled plastic bottles and every sports bra uses 1 recycled plastic bottle. The brand also ensures all materials are ethically sourced, for example by guaranteeing that any goose or duck feathers used are Down Pass Certified and meet the Responsible Down Standard. The manufacturing factory in Taiwan is regularly visited to ensure a high standard of pay and working conditions, and products are produced within an 80km radius within Taiwan to reduce the amount of waste, transportation and packaging used in the process.
Image source: Nimble Activewear
It’s great to see retailers like these taking big steps towards sustainable practices, and many large companies are now starting to hop on the bandwagon, most noticeably when it comes to recyclable packing.
There’s still a long way to go on the path to sustainability, particularly when on the manufacturing side of things, however what’s great is that businesses are already starting to make significant changes in this area.
We’ll continue to keep on the lookout for any exciting or new Australian retailers who are committed to sustainable and ethical practice and will be sure fire them your way as we spot them.