“What are the tops brands for ethical clothing in Australia?”
Gone are the days of casually strolling Sydney’s hot spot Oxford Street Paddington enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, diverse culture, trendy bars restaurants and cafes and world-famous retailers and boutiques.
Sydney boutiques have been superseded by the big chains, big box retail stores appealing to the masses with cheap on trend fashion.
This is a worldwide phenomenon, that has paved the way to the birth of “fast fashion” as we know it. Clothing collections built around what’s seen on the runway last week in Paris and New York are available in store to the masses the following week. This consumer is driven by instant gratification, purchasing replica designer garments, cheaply made with the intention to wear for a short period of time before the next fad hits.
Ethically made clothing and sustainability is a hot topic in the fashion industry. We know that fashion is the second biggest polluter on this planet after oil. As we are becoming more environmentally aware, we are seeing changes in the fashion industry and consumer behavior. The ethical and eco-friendly fashion choices is about returning to the concept of quality over quantity.
What is ethical fashion?
Ethical fashion is a term coined to describe ethical fashion in design, production, retail, and purchasing. It covers the issues of working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal cruelty.
Essentially it is designing and manufacturing clothing in a way that cares for human rights and animal welfare whilst minimising the impact on the environment. And we are seeing more companies adopting a ‘eco-friendly’ practice, in the way they source and make their clothing.
Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA®) founded 20 years ago is an accreditation body working collaboratively with local textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) businesses. ECA ensures that the Australian supply chains are legally compliant.
Their accreditation is focused on establishing fair trade practices ensuring that local TCF workers are being paid appropriately, receiving all their legal minimum entitlements and working in safe conditions throughout the entire supply chain. As manufacturing supply chains can be complex, they work alongside Australian businesses to ensure their legal obligations are met.
With companies like;
A leader in Australian fashion since 2002, is a committed advocate of socially responsible business initiatives. Where possible, the brand sources fabrics that are organic, recyclable, biodegradable and non-toxic, minimising the use of harmful chemicals and excessive water usage in both the production of their clothes. Adequate wages, healthy working hours, a safe hygienic workplace, protection of the environment, prohibition of forced labour and elimination of child labour are all vital to the brand’s social responsibility.
Back in 2015, Tigerlily became one of the first brands to commercially release swimwear using recycled materials. Today the brand still works with the Italian innovators behind ECONYL, a regenerated nylon yarn made from post-consumer waste. Tigerlily’s most recently announced it had become the first label worldwide to develop its own recycle swimwear lining. They would be using this new technology in 100% of the brand’s swimwear by April 2019.
CEO Chris Buchanan has also helped champion several other eco-friendly and sustainability initiatives in-store and through the brand’s e-commerce store. They have switched the online packaging from cardboard boxes to compostable bags made from 100% biodegradable materials.
Beyond their commitment to great design, ELK has a strong ethical foundation. The brands mission is to design and manufacture well-considered products that support traditional trades and circular economy. Their clothes are made responsibly, with regard for people, animals and the environment.
All manufacturers are visited numerous times each year where working conditions, company ethics, workers’ rights and workplace safety are assessed prior to any engagement by ELK. Transparency and honesty are fundamental values upheld across the entire supply chain.
Spell not only make some of the worlds most beautiful bohemian clothes, but they are also a brand at the forefront of ethical practices and sustainability. Their 2025 plan is laid out in detail on their website, comprising of supply chain transparency, sustainable and organic fibres uses and environmentally conscious dye and printing practices, to name a few. Spell are on target for 40% of the styles in their collection being made with sustainable fibres. The label also partners with Canopy, an organisation set up to ensure brand’s cellulose-based fibres (viscose, rayon, Tencel, modal) are not contributing to the deforestation of ancient or endangered forests.
Spell is also committed to using organic cotton over conventional cotton wherever possible. The brand also only works with partners who are signatories to its code, holding internationally
recognized certification and agree to be audited.
We all love fashion and enjoy having the latest in looks and trends, especially working in the industry… but at what cost?
At STYLED BY JADE & Co, we strive to teach our clients about how to purchase mindfully on pieces that will last and see the season out and the new season in. We are about creating a great foundation, going back to basics and injecting those ‘fashion’ pieces wisely.
So many of our clients are asking to be guided more and more down the path of buying ethically, when they book in for a Personal Shopping day. And we totally respect our clients who are not driven by the product that they purchase. We are finding more and more that our clients are wanting quality over quantity. We are also mindful of how their fashion pieces are made and at what cost.