Fast fashion, you might have heard the phrase thrown around a lot lately and thought it’s just another buzz-term. The reality is it’s more than just a catchy phrase, it’s an epidemic – one I have contributed to knowingly. Perhaps we all have.
It’s about the cheap undies, quick party purchases and easy everyday-wear buys and I’m not just talking Target and K-Mart here. Most ‘big’ brands have got their thumbs in all kinds of unethical and mildly unappealing processes.
With the rate fashion trends come in and out it is not surprising the amount of people who buy cheap clothes, I mean, why would you spend $150 on a pair of pants when you will only wear them for a month.
But we need to get our heads out of the commercial fumes, start exploring minimalism in our wardrobes and begin a new generation of thoughtful shoppers who are happy to spend more if it means helping other humans and helping our environment. So we’ve dug up five Australian brands that tick all the ethical boxes. Oh and they’re worth every penny too.
#1 Lonely Kids Club
Lonely Kids Club was created by Warwick. His t-shirt addiction combined with a disenchantment with his construction degree, started his journey to the now flourishing quirky and colourful clothing label. Currently six years old, Lonely Kids Club clothes are all made in his store in St Leonards, Sydney.
Nothing is imported and no one’s being paid 1 cent an hour. The style is all about nostalgia, colour and being you. He has a firm belief that clothing should be personal and wants to bring back bespoke in a new colourful slothy kind of way.
Warwick is making this all possible with the ‘design your own’ tees, jackets and pant-pockets. With cool clothing for all genders, you have to check out the brands new summer range featuring clothing from kitty dresses to tropical shirts. Check our more of their reminiscent threads on Insta.
Minimal, affordable and made for all body sizes – we’re big fans of the HARA team and brand. The HARA suite of bamboo-based products focuses on underwear and ladies clothing, with a focus on being ethically responsible and sustainable. I really love their mission too, which is to use the label as a platform to bring change, awareness and education to the issues within the fashion industry.
And they don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. Any purchase you make with them includes a contribution to EJFoundation, which supports projects in remote areas of the world that are “under environmental stress”. Think marine environments that are in danger, the ending of toxic pesticides and supporting environment defenders and activists. Look good, fell good, do good.
#3 Eva Cassis
Hand made in Sydney, Eva Cassis have all your style boxes ticked. Their ethos is about simplifying clothes and creating wearable and sustainable fashion and the simple elegant shapes of their designs reflect this perfectly.
With a minimalist colour palate, Eva Cassis work with sustainable cottons and linens. All that stylish simplicity out of their Marrickville, Sydney studio. With a zero waste goal they sit in line with the other brands featured on this list as frontrunners in the future of fashion in Australia.
As well as their clothing range they also have an eco-jewellery line. Their jewellery perfectly reflects the brand as a whole and channels the beauty of the natural environment. All pieces are handmade so no two items are ever the same and making every piece especially unique. Have a look at all the action at on their ‘gram.
#4 The Social Outfit
A Sydney based label who are not only ECA approved, they are much more than a brand. Also a registered charity and an amazing social enterprise providing training and skills for refugees. Their clothing is a collective effort of all those involved in the project. And as such create vibrant, bold and diverse ethical fashion.
Through providing training in fashion industries such as clothing production, retail skills, design and marketing they are empowering new communities, developing new skill sets and creating autonomy for new Australians.
The fact they are producing ethical one offs and small runs of fantastic high quality garments out of their studio in Newtown, Sydney is just a bonus. Check out all the action on their social channels here.
#5 Mia Fratino
As an Australian based knitwear brand, Mia Fratino have built themselves on a philosophy of rethinking the fashion industry in which it operates. Specialising in fine cashmere garments they offer transparency of process, from creation to delivery.
With their own independently owned factories, ethically sourced wool and a zero waste framework in manufacturing, Mia Fratino are high fashion in style but ethical in practice. They also run an NFP based in Sri Lanka supporting women to become self-sufficient and financially independent. Offering opportunities away from lives of exploitation and domestic abuse. Plus contributions from every purchase go towards this project.
At the higher end of the price range does push them into the luxury item category, but with proper care cashmere holds a long life expectancy. It’s a staple of any winter wardrobe, marrying cosiness and warmth. Shop their Insta here.