19. JANUAR 2022 | BY HANNAH VOHRER
TITEL IMAGE: @a_c____official
Australia and New Zealand often pioneer innovative and edgy fashion labels and beauty brands with a fresh design perspective. The country is far removed from the influences of the big fashion scenes, which can be seen as a competitive advantage. There are now some independent designers who place so much emphasis on sustainability, ethics and extravagance that they should definitely be on your radar if you need a new wardrobe. We've picked out the most exciting and sustainable fashion labels and cosmetics brands from Australia and New Zealand that embody the casual elegance of Down Under.
Melbourne | stylish, ethical and sustainable bag label. A_C is the acronym for the ethos: Ahimsa Collective. Cruelty-free handbags designed with the earth in mind and ethically made with cactus leather. Born out of a love of design and a commitment to the earth, A_C's design principles are based on a circular economy. The label produces contemporary yet timeless styles for the modern market that recognizes the need to ensure our safety. The journey from concept to construction is a thoughtful one, ensuring that the production of our accessories is kind to our planet, our people, and our animals.
Melbourne | smartly made garments with full disclosure on every piece. Circular economy fashion is part of the solution! A.BCH is a circular fashion label from Melbourne that offers a simple solution to a complex problem. Circular economy fashion is part of the solution. The Australian fashion label offers a small selection of t-shirts and shirts for men and women. A.BCH uses GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) cotton, Belgian linen and Indian denim. Production is only carried out by companies with ethical labor standards supported by GOTS, Fair Trade or the Fair Wear Foundation. Every A.BCH garment comes with a list of the companies behind each component - thread, buttons, lining, fabric and packaging.
ALL THAT REMAINS
Sydney | the Australian fashion label creates handmade, limited edition garments. No two pieces can ever be the same, and many hours go into each creation. The minimalist designs evoke timeless femininity and thoughtless ease.
Sydney | BASSIKE has grown to become one of Australia's leading fashion brands. The BASSIKE philosophy focuses on quality design and construction with a commitment to sustainable manufacturing. The label prides itself on supporting local industry by producing their organic jersey and mainline collections locally in Australia.
BIRD & KITE
Sydney | simple and minimal. Women's clothing fairly produced and inspired by nature. Bird & Kite is an Australian lifestyle and fashion brand: interwoven with the magic of tropical Balinese living and classic Bohemian luxury.
Sydney | sustainably made carbon-free bespoke collections. The Australian label is built on a simple idea - the clothes you wear every day can and should be made especially for you.
Bryon Bay | DEIJI is all-inclusive; free and independent to create your own life experiences in comfort. They are proud members of 1% for the planet because intention is everything.
Melbourne | Sculptural accessories, handcrafted leather and ready-to-wear collections define an artful vision, while a commitment to ethical and environmental practices has positioned the Australian fashion label as a leader in the practice of responsible innovation for the fashion industry.
GINGER & SMART
Sydney | the sister's duo create beautifully thoughtful, timeless pieces that are designed to be worn many times and not harm our environment. The label believes that sustainable fashion can impact not only the environment, but also social change.
Wellington | modern, minimalist and fair fashion label. KOWTOW works with a slow production chain, where all collections take 18 months from design to delivery. This is the foundation of the label's values to ensure workers' rights and environmental protection. All garments are certified by non-profit, internationally recognized organizations. KOWTOW supports fair wages, no child labour, workers' rights, gender equality & the community of producers.
MILK & THISTLE
Byron Bay | refined garments made from natural fibres. Limited collections. Founded in 2006, Milk & Thistle is the creation of Australian designer Danielle Atkinson. A mother of two with a passion for textile design and modern, wearable garments, she draws inspiration from her hometown of Sydney and the kaleidoscope of people, places and objects she loves. Known for her signature digital and screen prints on well-constructed, easy-to-wear garments, Milk & Thistle - which is designed, printed and manufactured entirely in Australia - is gaining new fans with each collection.
New Zealand | the designer saw it as her mission to build a brand that champions transparency, empowers people and ensures that the health of our planet is at the forefront of every decision. Her goal is to use fashion to create a better world.
Byron Bay | bohemian fashion collections with feminine dresses, love of turquoise, florals and vintage lace. Spell taps into the sense of nostalgia, beauty, and freedom that so inspires the female spirit. The vibrant, expressive part of you that comes out on holiday or in the middle of a festival - Spell brings that spirit to life wherever you are. All garments are proudly designed and sampled at the Arts & Industry Estate in Byron Bay and ethically produced in factories around the world.
THE SOCIAL OUTFIT
Sydney | Fashion with a difference. Passionate, fabulous, creative and ethical. The Social Outfit is a fashion label with a difference, they provide both people from refugee and recent immigrant communities with employment and training in garment production, retail, design and marketing. The social business model builds skills in a supportive environment, interacts with wider communities in Sydney and produces ethical fashion that reflects a hopeful Australian spirit.
VIKTORIA & WOODS
Melbourne | lightweight wardrobe with an understated, modern feel, made in Australia. VIKTORIA & WOODS emphasizes sustainable textiles and manufacturing methods that leave a smaller footprint on the planet. The use of sustainable fabrics is an integral part of the brand. Wherever possible, source textiles that are high quality and environmentally friendly, taking a sustainable approach.
VAN DER KOOIJ
Melbourne | edgy, design-led collections. The label's focus is on local production, which gives you greater control over production to ensure it is as sustainable as possible. Every single garment from VAN DER KOOIJ is handmade in the atelier, and a record of limited production is incorporated into each garment. This not only reduces excess stock and waste, but also emphasizes the exclusivity of our products. The label has also introduced a Plant-a-Tree program through Carbon Neutral Australia. For every purchase made online and in retail, a tree is planted in the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor to reduce our carbon emissions.
Melbourne | Lois Hazel is a premium Australian womenswear label committed to sustainable and ethical practices. Based in Melbourne, the brand offers 100% transparency in the sourcing and production of every element of their garments, with all craftsmanship carried out either in-house or in a local Melbourne factory. The luxurious and multifunctional collections are made from either recycled garments or organic and traceable fabrics.
Queensland | premium and super cool denim jeans that bring seamstresses and customers closer. Founded as a way to educate and employ women who have experienced sex trafficking, these women now craft high quality denim from the best raw materials from around the world. They have proven that a sustainable career path and a holistic approach to supporting employees is the foundation for real social change for our employees and their families and communities. So far, 750 people have benefited from permanent employment.
Melbourne | modern clothing brand that is thoughtfully made in Australia. Beautiful designs that are also transparent, sustainable and ethical. The knitwear is made from high quality yarns on one of the last knitting machines in Melbourne, and we are certified by Ethical Clothing Australia. The label uses low environmental impact materials that degrade naturally. They pride themselves on the fact that their designs don't change much from year to year. The doll cardigan can be worn open, closed or with the buttons down the back, so you have three knits in one! FRANCIE produces in limited quantities and have never had a sell out. So your knitwear is a special, limited piece and they don't overproduce.
Sydney | artful and nature-driven jewellry and accessories designed and made in Australia. Holly Ryan founded her eponymous label in 2010 and has always been committed to sustainability, using recycled metals in her designs. The label therefore uses materials such as recycled gold in their designs. Stones are sourced responsibly, either through Fairtrade in India or directly from local suppliers. Their mission is to design timeless pieces that are long-lasting, reduce environmental impact through sustainable materials and support traditional craftsmanship, among other things.
Sydney | sustainable jewellery label with an eco heart. Zefyr was founded in 2009 out of a love of travel, a love of beauty and a desire to make a difference. The jewellery is designed in Australia and is handmade with love from upcycled sterling silver and brass. Each piece they make at Zefyr has its own individual and personal story. A story that is a postcard of their travels and a reflection of life's beautiful kaleidoscope.
Melbourne | ZETTE offers high-quality, vegan shoes for men and women in bold, sophisticated styles. With a slow fashion approach, the vegan shoes are handmade in Europe in limited quantities in Spain, Italy and Portugal. They seek out small, family-run factories where the artisans receive fair, safe working conditions and living wages. From the (vegan) leather to the adhesives, dyes and more, they ensure that no animal-derived materials are used to make their shoes. Zette Shoes is also accredited as a PETA-approved vegan.
Sydney | sustainability is their philosophy, activewear is their expression. The label strives to have a minimal footprint throughout their business. From the water used to the packaging that produces the brand; every decision is made with the aim of reducing their impact on the planet. The unique, distinctive designs are all hand-drawn and printed on the latest, sustainable, high-tech fabrics. Everything is designed with a focus on fit and comfort. DHARMA BUMS' goal is to have less impact on the planet they love and design activewear for the future, putting purpose over profit.
Byron Bay | sustainably focused activewear made from upcycled textiles, natural dyes and organic yarns. Sustainability, inclusivity and a celebration of diverse culture are at the heart of the process. The brand's intention is to create a diverse platform that connects fashion with fair trade, community-based initiatives and humanitarian work that is not often associated with fashion brands. By incorporating sports, movement and spirit practices from different culture, the brand embodies a healthy and conscious lifestyle.
Byron Bay | a sustainable surfwear company for women that emphasises female surf athleticism, diversity and style. For over three years, the label has chosen to source and use ECONYL® regenerated nylon in our surfwear. Sustainable textiles and responsible manufacturing are the new normal and a business imperative for all fashion, surf and swim brands in this modern economy.
HARA THE LABEL
Australia | the label consciously creates pieces that are soft and beautiful, with sustainable and ethical practices at their core. From seed to shop, they strive to empower life and rejuvenate the earth. Their mission is to use the label as a platform to bring change, awareness and education to issues within the fashion industry. The label has partnered with the Environmental Justice Foundation to support their environmental projects, especially regarding pesticides and chemicals in cotton production.
Australia | Boracay Skin founder, Emille Mendoza discovered the benefits of coconut oil while on holiday on Boracay Island in the Philippines, which helped her skin condition and assisted in fading scars. Emille hopes to inspire others to use vegan skincare products and protect animals from product testing.
The range has now expanded to include natural and shimmering body oils, all with the benefits of coconut oil! Boracay Skin is proud to be a vegan-friendly company. No products or by-products of animal origin are used in the formulation of their products.
Australia | the label's mission is to care for your skin from the outside in. The self-tanning, skincare, sun care and cosmetics range is designed to suit even the most sensitive skin types. They are 100% vegan and animal cruelty free. The tanning oils help you achieve a beautiful golden tan. They are designed to replenish dry skin and soothe eczema, scars, cellulite and acne. They give you glowing skin no matter what time of year it is. Bali Body Skincare is designed to naturally nourish the skin and provide a bit of sunshine all year round. Bali Body's Self Tan collection is designed so women can have tanned skin in any season.