It’s not easy to be green when you’re a youngish fashion label, especially when offshore production is so alluringly economical and domestic materials so pricey (damn you, local oil industry). But it’s not impossible: Here are six fashion labels with a conscience, and without a garish felt pea coat in sight.
Melburnians Clea Garrick and Nathan Price are the brains behind one of the country’s coolest fashion labels, known for its clean lines, bold colours, structured separates, and playful irreverence. What you wouldn’t know from looking at Limedrop clothing is that it's made with ethically-produced fabrics, and that the designers are as clued up on sustainable practices as they are on digital prints.
This three seasons young Melbourne brand gives mum knits a whole new meaning. Each Thursday Sunday collection features organic natural fibers and knitwear 100% made by designer Mara Tonetti’s dressmaker mother. All their clothing is made from luxurious locally-sourced fabrics ranging from wool to velvety silk angora, the natural texture of which is complemented by clean tailoring.
Gorman has been championing green fashion since 1999, and is now one of Australia’s most iconic fashion labels. In 2007, designer Lisa Gorman introduced ‘Gorman Organic’ to her product range. All pieces from that line are either sustainable or certified organic, and none of them sacrifice the directional, distinctive prints and colours her brand is known for.
The Melbourne-based basics label by Alex Trimmer is a cutting-edge company with a conscience. Each season SOSUME churns out entire ready-to-wear collections using luxurious eco-friendly fabrics and processes, putting the brand at the forefront of local fashion’s sustainable shift.
Bassike aims to create wardrobe staples with longevity, combining timeless style with a strong design element. Delicious knits and staples so relaxed they’re almost asleep are constants with Bassike, as are sustainable fabrics and a commitment to low carbon production.
Flying the flag for quiet achievers with a conscience is Elsom, the brand born from designer Sam Elsom’s personal ambition to make high fashion, yet sustainable, products with great attention to detail and traditional hand tailoring. Only organic textiles are used in Elsom collections, such as the horsehair canvas sourced from a company in Antwerp with only one other customer: Dries Van Noten.