10 Aussie Fashion Brands Forging The Way For Fair Trade Fashion In Australia

Because caring about who made your clothes is cool

There’s no denying that the fashion industry is changing – and thankfully it’s for the better. More than ever consumers are holding brands accountable for the materials used, their methods of distribution and also how – and by whom – their clothes are made. Fair trade clothing has never been more accessible, affordable and fashion-forward and there are a number of Aussie brands paving the way and allowing us to make conscious fashion choices without having to compromise on style.

What is fair trade fashion?

While we hear a lot about ethical clothing and sustainable fashion – what exactly is fair trade fashion? According to the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand fair trade is “a movement: a socially innovative response to market failure – the failure of a conventional globalised trade system to incorporate fair access to markets, wage justice and environmental standards.”

Consumers want to know that the brands they shop – and love – are looking after not only the environment but the smaller businesses and individuals working for them. And thus, fair trade fashion places a focus on the people who are making the products (as well as those along the supply and delivery chain), ensuring they are not exploited, that they are paid a living wage, treated to decent working conditions and adhere to local labour laws.

RELATED: 10 Australian Ethical Clothing Brands To Shop And Save The Planet

How do I know if an item is fair trade?

While FairTrade is an internationally recognised body which gives FairTrade accreditation, there are a number of there ways in which you can look into how a brand is producing their goods.

The GoodOnYou APP allows you to search brands that they have rated on criteria such as how they treat their workers, the environment and animals and covers both local and international brands – as well as some of the world’s leading retailers. 

Ethical Clothing Australia also provides information on Aussie brands who produce their garments locally – and of course ethically.

RELATED: All Of The Sustainable Fashion Brands You Need To Know

Ethical Clothing Australia also provides information on Aussie brands who produce their garments locally – and of course ethically.

Read and follow sites like Ethical Fashion Australia, and Fashion Revolution AUS NZ as well as a number of other organisations and websites keeping brands accountable so just get online and get informed. If you are unsure about a brand, jump on their website and get reading – or better yet contact them and ask them to provide information on their practices or shop via ethical fashion marketplaces such Thread Harvest who do the hard work for you by only offering fair trade and ethical brands.

10 local fashion brands forging the way for fair trade fashion in Australia:

10. Outland Denim

What: Denim

Price: $$

What they say: “We know each of our seamstresses by name, they earn a living wage and are given support to build a bright future for themselves. They are the reason we do what we do.”

The brand, a favourite of Meghan Markle, is committed to sourcing the most ethically and environmentally sound raw materials and endeavour to verify their entire supply chain in alignment with the world’s best practices. 

9. Boody

What: Basics, underwear and activewear made from organically grown bamboo

Price: $

What they say: “Good for you and our planet”

Boody don’t mess around when it comes to being ethical and sustainable, they boast a number of certifications from Ecocert to PETA and all their factories are WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) gold compliant.

8. Indecisive

What: Bespoke fashion made from sustainable fabrics

Price: $$

What they say: “Not only do we understand the impact of the fashion industry, we are determined to reduce its impact and drive better practices that are more sustainable and will benefit nature and humans alike. We want to acknowledge that we are not perfect, but we are actively ensuring that our actions drive the reduction of our footprint on the Earth.”

Indecisive manufacture their garments in-house on the South Coast of NSW using ACO certified organic cotton jersey that is grown in India and spun and woven in Australia and all other fabric is sourced as surplus from multiple sources both at home and off-shore.

7. Bon

What: Luxe essentials for women

Price: $$

What they say: “The love of a good tee, organic cotton + ethical practices”

Bon the opposite of fast fashion, they are about quality essentials made to last. Designed and made in Australia Bon are ECA accredited with GOTS certified organic cotton jersey for all of their tees and sweaters as well as other sustainable fabrics such as lycra made from recycled pet bottles.

6. Torju

What: Sustainable staples

Price: $$

What they say: “Torju is a certified organic label that prides itself on fair trade standards, is sustainable and holds high ethical principles. Inspired by the natural, raw beauty of our hometown, committed to creating quality, timeless fashion for the environmentally & ethically-aware women.”

Torju is an ethical clothing brand hailing from Torquay in Victoria and they are walking the walk when it comes to ethical fashion with multiple certifications and accreditations and a commitment to providing safe working conditions and giving back to surrounding communities.

5. Spell

What: Bohemian fashion and swimwear for the modern woman

Price: $$$

What they say: “Rather than strive for sustainability to be our point of difference, we hope to drive change within the textile industry so that a new ‘normal’ is achieved universally.”

The iconic Byron Bay fashion brand have made a serious commitment to ethical and sustainable fashion and adhere to stringent checks by independent certification bodies (WRAP, SEDEX, BSCI & Fairtrade) who specialise in social and ethical standards at their factories across the globe.

4. bassike

What: Clothing and accessories

Price: $$$

What they say: “The bassike philosophy centres on high-quality design & construction with a commitment to sustainable manufacturing. bassike is proud to support local industry by producing their organic jersey & mainline collections locally in Australia.

bassike has become the quintessential Aussie basics label, but there’s nothing basic about their commitment to social responsibility. Yep not only do they get their designs oh-so-right, but their path to production ensures you can also wear it with pride.

3. Bianca Spender

What: Quality fashion for the modern, conscious consumer.

Price: $$$

What they say: “I am very passionate about maintaining local manufacturing; we develop skills, provide jobs and stay connected with everyone who works with our product. All of this is central to maintaining the best quality.”

Bianca Spender places a major focus on sustainability and ethics in all areas of design and manufacturing. All garments are designed and made in Australia and the label is accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia.

2. Elk

What: Clothing and accessories that combine simplicity with innovation

Price: $$

What they say:Our mission is to design and manufacture well-considered products that support traditional trades and a circular economy, and that are made responsibly, with regard for people, animals and the environment.”

Elk have a serious commitment to ethical practice and sustainability with a proven track record and only work with suppliers who share their vision.

1. KitX

What: Designer fashion and accessories

Price: $$$

What they say: “We are committed to being an example of true style for the modern global era, we simply don’t believe in quality without honesty and integrity”.

KitX take pride in only working with manufacturing partners who share their values and are committed to both quality and human decency. KitX support the 10 principles as defined by the United Nations Global Compact and adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

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