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15 Affordable Ethical Clothing Brands in Australia

Australia is the 2nd most aware country in the world of sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry with an overall +110% increased interest in this industry showed by consumers over the past year.

As opposed to Europeans, who tend to search online for “sustainable fashion”, Australian shoppers are more interested in “ethical fashion”. And we can confirm that this trend is reflected in the labels’ missions. All the brands we’re about to talk, have indeed put ethics and respect for workers first.

In this article, you can read about 15 brands that we’re happy to recommend even if you don’t live in Australia. They design and produce trans-seasonal clothes at a slow pace using quality materials that you can wear on repeat.

Let’s get into it!

1. Spell

Categories: dresses, tops, bottoms, underwear, knitwear, activewear, wedding dresses
Materials: organic cotton, recycled nylon, EcoVero, Lezing, Tencel, linen, hemp, animal and faux leather, silk
Men’s: no
Prices starting at AU$34
Shipping: international

Spell creates some of the most exclusive modern boho chic clothes from sustainable fibers out there. Their versatile and feminine designs and patterns are inspired by far-off places, vintage treasures, and childhood memories where nostalgia, beauty, and freedom blend and compliment perfectly with the female spirit.

From unique gowns to stunning crochet tops and skirts to wedding dresses: everything at Spell is meant to be worn forever. And if you live in Australia and aren’t sure what to buy or just don’t want to buy new clothes, Spell now offers a rental service.

Designed in Byron Bay, all the garments are then ethically produced in factories around the world that adhere to a strict code of conduct. Although most of their clothing is cruelty-free, they also use leather and silk.

2. Afends

Categories: t-shirts, shirts, hoodies, jackets, jeans, pants, dresses, shorts, skirts, tops
Materials: hemp, organic cotton, denim
Men’s: yes
Prices starting at AU$60
Shipping: international

“Why Mars? Save Earth” is the mission of Afends, a Byron Bay brand committed to being a role model in sustainable practices. Afends’ favorite sustainable fabric is hemp that they use – along with other fibers – to make everyday versatile essentials and accessories in a range of neutral colors and bold designs.

At Afends sustainable future in fashion is also free from gender norms. As such, they’ve created a unisex clothing line that everyone can feel comfortable in without compromising on style and comfort.

Afends ensures that workers are treated with respect and dignity, earn a fair wage, and are provided with opportunities to foster their skills.

3. Bimby + Roy

Categories: bralettes, bottoms
Materials: raw and recycled polyester 
Men’s: no
Prices starting at AU$29,95 (bottom) and AU$44,95 (top)
Shipping: international

Bimby + Roy is a dream come true of two sisters who lived their childhood years in the Fiji Islands. Today, Bimby + Roy designs versatile, colorful, and size-inclusive bralettes and bottoms intimates that are all about comfort and femininity. You can easily match and pair their pieces and use them to sleep, as regular underwear, and even for swimming!

Their pieces have the same simple style. What changes is the pattern – floral, fantasy, or solid color. The logo is simple yet special: it’s the founders’ father’s handwriting. That’s so touching, isn’t it?

Designed in Australia and ethically manufactured in Fiji islands, Bimby + Roy in 2019, with the Government’s help, opened a childcare center attached to the manufacturing facility to allow workers to have their children close by during working hours.

4. Merry People

Categories: boots
Materials: natural rubber, neoprene, vegan glue
Men’s: yes
Prices starting at AU$139,70
Shipping: international

Like many other cool inventions, Merry People was born out of a need. In 2014 Dani – the founder – was working for a company in Melbourne, a city with unreliable weather. Dani kept wrecking her work shoes and so she realized she needed a durable and comfortable pair of boots that could withstand her commute and still be suitable to walk into an office.

And so Merry People was born. The brand creates vegan, comfy, and versatile gumboots, bringing modern design to the classic waterproof boot. All their boots are made with 100% natural rubber and are designed with superior technology to keep your feet warm and supported.

Kindness, adventure, happiness, and authenticity are the values that inspire the brand to create thoughtful, long-wearing, high-quality products with a timeless style. Merry People is ethically manufactured in China by skilled artisans.

5. Ceres Life

Categories: tops, shirts, t-shirts, sweats, pants, dresses, jumpsuits, skirts, shorts, jackets
Materials: organic and recycled cotton, recycled synthetics, Lyocell, linen, leather
Men’s: no
Prices starting at AU$19,95
Shipping: international

From basic t-shirts to long sleeve tops, from cozy cardigans to oversized shirts and floaty dresses, Ceres Life has all you need for your everyday essentials outfits in a range of delicate patterns and natural colors.

The gingham styles are the centerpiece of their collection. Usually, gingham clothes are boring and look like bad copies of picnic tablecloths, don’t they? Well, Ceres Life has found the perfect combo for their timeless gingham: sustainable and rescued fibers, femininity, and comfort.

Born and raised in Ceres, Victoria, Ceres Life is a size-inclusive brand member of 1% for the planet. All the items are fairly produced in China.

6. Boody

Categories: activewear, loungewear
Materials: bamboo
Men’s: yes
Prices starting at AU$12,95
Shipping: international

Boody is one of those brands we first recommend to anyone who wants to start building a sustainable wardrobe. Indeed, Boody creates stylish yet minimalistic everyday clothes from premium fibers and keeps prices very low.

The organically-grown bamboo they use is perfect for garments that sit close to the skin like underwear, socks, and everyday basics because it’s super soft, comfy, antibacterial, and breathable. They only use rainwater to grow bamboo and all water used in the production process is recycled and reused.

Boody is a vegan brand made fairly and responsibly in top-rated factories that meet the highest standards of labor and environmental practices. Boody also supports activist groups and projects for change.

7. Vege Threads

Categories: t-shirts, underwear, bottoms, swimwear
Materials: organic cotton, hemp, modal, recycled nylon, wool
Men’s: no
Prices starting at AU$59
Shipping: international

There’s no need to look any further! Vege Threads creates all the eco everyday essentials you could ever need – from swimwear to dresses they’ve got you covered. The range of colors is not that wide, but their shades are bright and vibrant.

Their collections are manufactured in Melbourne in limited quantities using eco-friendly, non-toxic, and certified dyes. Their dyeing facility also has an exceptionally high standard of processing wastewater, which is then used to fertilize nearby crops.

Vege Threads not only respects the planet and workers, but also acknowledges the aboriginal communities and celebrates their stories, cultures, and traditions.

8. Etiko

Categories: t-shirts, bottoms, hoodies, underwear, shoes
Materials: organic cotton, natural rubber, vegan glue
Men’s: yes
Prices starting at AU$15
Shipping: international

Etiko creates seasonless organic basics clothes with a minimalistic yet urban and contemporary style from certified fabrics that are grown and manufactured responsibly. They also offer sustainable shoes that are perfect to pair with your favorite looks.

Their sneakers are made from GOTS certified cotton, have a FSC certified natural rubber latex sole, and are also REACH compliant, meaning that they are free from harmful chemicals.

In a competition between more ethical, sustainable, and cruelty-free brands, Etiko would certainly be on the podium. Indeed, Etiko was the first brand in the southern hemisphere to become Fairtrade certified. And the name says it at loud: Etiko is derived from the Greek word for “ethical”. Their products are fairly produced in India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

9. Bon Label

Categories: t-shirts
Materials: organic cotton
Men’s: no
Prices starting at AU$79
Shipping: international

At Bon Label they believe in the power of a good t-shirt (or “tee” to say it quicker) because a good tee enables a multitude of outfits, it can be dressy or casual. Even better if the tee is made by Bon as its creation doesn’t damage the environment or exploit people.

Bon’s mission is to create tees that have a positive impact on every body it touches. Their ultimate goal is to create t-shirts that make you feel comfortable, confident, and sexy!

I know what you’re thinking right now: these t-shirts are too expensive! Trust me, the quality of these tees is incredible, not to mention that the cotton they’re made from is organic, non-gmo, fairly traded, and grown on a farm in India by expert farmers. They’re then ethically made in both Australia and Bangladesh in accredited factories.

10. Baythe

Categories: swimwear, activewear
Materials: recycled nylon
Men’s: no
Prices starting at AU$79
Shipping: international

Baythe is the emblem of what every sustainable brand should be: versatile, seasonless, timeless. Every facet of this brand fascinates me, but let’s start with what Baythe is: a premium swimwear-meets-activewear label committed to sustainable fashion.

The brand name is a play on the word “bathe”, which is both the act of immersing yourself in water to cleanse the body and leisure time spent in the ocean or pool. So basically Baythe draws on this idea of cleansing the naked body as a way of returning to our natural state or starting with a blank canvas.

If you’re looking for something that can be worn in the water, during workouts, and as underwear Baythe has the perfect item for you.

11. Nico

Categories: underwear, tops, bottoms, dresses
Materials: organic and recycled cotton, Tencel
Men’s: no
Prices starting at AU$34 (bottom) and AU$69 (top)
Shipping: international

Nico wants to celebrate the sartorial philosophy of minimalism and understated luxury with ethics and sustainability at the core. Nico creates underwear and basics in a wide range of pastel and neutral colors and also offers some colorful wave prints.

From triangle bra to full cup bra and from thong to boy shorts, Nico has a huge selection of underwear. They also produce some essentials with the same characteristics. Anyway, all their pieces are meant to not only look beautiful, but to feel beautiful to wear too.

Nico’s items are produced in India and Bangladesh by super skilled and specialized artisans in environmentally and ethically responsible garment factories. 

12. Team Timbuktu

Categories: activewear
Materials: recycled plastic bottles
Men’s: no
Prices starting at AU$79
Shipping: international

Team Timbucktu creates high-performance and functional activewear – from bike shorts to waterproof raincoats – from recycled plastic. This fiber is comfortable, soft, breathable, durable, and looks and feels just like regular fabric. It’s not sweaty, not stiff, or crunchy at all!

Their items are simply stunning in their extreme simplicity and have so far contributed to recycling over 75,000 bottles – just one raincoat requires approximately 31 bottles – and planting over 2,500 trees – for every order, Team Timbuktu plants a tree.

The design is 100% made in Australia while the products are fairly made in India and China.

13. The Common Good Company

Categories: t-shirts, sweaters, hoodies
Materials: recycled cotton, recycled polyester
Men’s: yes
Prices starting at AU$40
Shipping: international

The Common Good Company (aka TCGCo) is committed to providing a sustainable replacement to the apparel industry, proving that there’s not only a better way to consume but a better way to produce as well. As such, they use recycled materials and pre-consumer textile waste to ethically manufacture casual essentials in 3 main colors – black, gray, and white.

Each TCGCo item is made up of 60% recycled cotton and 40% recycled polyester. By using only recycled fibers, they’ve eliminated the unnecessary waste, water use, land use, and pollution that are typically involved in the production of regular yarns.

Many certifications – from Fairtrade to UN Global Compact and GRS – confirm the brand’s commitment. Last but not least, TCGCo is 100% cruelty-free and PETA-approved.

14. The Road

Categories: t-shirts, tops, underwear, dresses
Materials: organic cotton
Men’s: yes
Prices starting at AU$29
Shipping: international

The Road creates fashionable, fun, good-looking basics from GOTS-certified cotton in the most ethical way possible. Yes indeed, at The Road they believe ethics in fashion should be mainstream and therefore transparently declare their real costs.

In their own word, it costs $13,64 to make a t-shirt. What’s behind that number? Healthy, happy, and fairly paid farmers, millers, and makers; non-toxic dyes and unpolluted rivers. The final price is then absolutely fair.

Their clothes have a minimalistic style although there’re some funny prints and patterns too (planets and sharp claws are my favorites).

15. Sllo

Categories: t-shirts, bags
Materials: organic cotton, recycled plastic bottles
Men’s: yes
Prices starting at AU$25
Shipping: Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK

Sllo designs the basic staples we all need in our wardrobes. Their t-shirts are unisex, come in black or white, have a simple style, and are fairly made from organic cotton. In their collection, there’s also a bag made from recycled plastic materials and costs AU$70.

The founders both come from immigrant families who moved to Australia with nothing. Their grandmothers worked for years in the textile industry and have seen firsthand the fashion production processes.

Sllo is a brand committed to ensuring ethics and sustainability throughout all stages of the supply chain. In addition, their shipping is carbon neutral.

Alberta Bernardi
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Alberta Bernardi is a Ph.D. in Management, Innovation, and Sustainable Development. She likes to call herself a “sustainability warrior” because she aims to spread knowledge on the environment, ethics, and plastic pollution day after day. Her love of nature and battle against plastic around the world are on Instagram @together_no_plastic