Wardrobe Refresh: How to Shop for Sustainable Fashion in Australia in 2023
In a world where fashion trends come and go faster than you can say "fast fashion", it's important to stop and think about the impact that our clothing choices have on the planet. As consumers, we have the power to make a positive change by choosing sustainable fashion brands that promote ethical and environmentally-friendly practices. But where do we start?
Here in Australia, there is a growing movement towards sustainable fashion. But not all options are designed or produced equally. In this post, we'll show you how to refresh your wardrobe and give you our favourites list of independent, trendsetting, and sustainable designers.
One of the easiest ways to shop sustainably is to buy from local brands. Not only does this support local businesses and the economy, but it also reduces the carbon footprint associated with shipping and transportation. Look for brands that use locally-sourced materials and support ethical manufacturing practices.
Some local sustainable fashion brands to check out in Australia include:
Outland Denim: an Australian brand that uses organic cotton and supports the training and employment of women rescued from human trafficking. Their jeans are handmade in Cambodia with a focus on quality and sustainability.
Kitx: a luxury brand that uses sustainable materials and practices, including upcycling, zero waste, and organic fabrics. Their designs are bold and innovative, with a focus on timeless style.
Fri&Fro (well, duh!): a luxury sustainable fashion brand that reworks denim jackets with vintage textiles sourced from the founders' archives. Their one-of-a-kind pieces are handcrafted in Western Australia using ethical and sustainable practices.
Invest in Quality Pieces
When it comes to building a sustainable wardrobe, it's important to invest in quality pieces that will last. This means choosing high-quality materials and classic styles that won't go out of fashion. A white tee and denim shorts/jeans is pretty much the Australian uniform, regardless of age, style or gender.
Consider investing in:
Organic cotton t-shirts: There are definitely fabrics that are more eco-friendly than cotton but it remains a favourite in Australia because it is so lightweight and breathable. These days, you can find lower impact cotton that's grown without the use of harmful chemicals. Look for high-quality t-shirts that are soft and comfortable, and can be dressed up or down. If you get lots of wear out of it, it's worth it. Find our list of the best organic cotton tees, here.
Sustainable denim: Denim is a staple in most wardrobes because it's durable and only looks better with age. However, producing denim can be very polluting. Opt for reworked, second-hand or vintage denim or brands using sustainable materials and ethical production practices.
Another great way to shop sustainably is to buy second-hand clothing. Not only does this reduce the demand for new clothing and the associated environmental impact, but it also gives new life to pre-loved items. Look for high-quality vintage or designer pieces that are timeless and versatile.
Some of the best places to shop for second-hand clothing in Australia include:
Vintage boutiques: There are plenty of vintage boutiques around Australia that offer high-quality, unique pieces. Look for boutiques that specialise in vintage clothing or have a curated selection of pre-loved items.
Online marketplaces: Websites like eBay and Depop are great for finding second-hand clothing, especially if you're looking for specific brands or styles. You can also check out local buy-and-sell Facebook groups or apps like Shpock.
Op-shops: Op-shops, or charity shops, are a great place to find affordable second-hand clothing. Not only do they offer a wide range of items, but the proceeds often go towards supporting a good cause.