australian bohemian & metaphysical lifestyle journal

10 Ethical And Sustainable Australian Bohemian Clothing Brands

10 Ethical And Sustainable Australian Bohemian Clothing Brands | Sun Moon Tribe
Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Whilst the attractive low price of clothing offered by fast fashion companies (i.e. global chain stores, brands that utilise mass production and machine-made processes) may seem like a great short-term investment, the effects of these fibres and materials on the environment is a different story.

According to Business Insider, the fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions, is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply, and pollutes the oceans with microplastics. On the ABC program 'War on Waste', it reports that Australians are currently disposing of 6,000 kilograms of fashion and textile waste every 10 minutes. Most of this comes from 'on-trend' clothing which gets discarded once it is out of fashion.

One way that we can be a solution to this problem instead of contribute to it, is to make more conscious decisions when it comes to our clothing. By choosing to buy pre-loved or vintage clothing is one option and another is to support brands that put sustainability and ethics at the forefront of their business.

These ten Australian clothing labels are part of the purpose-driven slow fashion movement and rejects everything that fast fashion is about. Australian Certified B Corporation® company and slow fashion retailer Biome states, 'Slow fashion champions transparency, natural fibre fabrics, fair treatment of those who make your clothes, eco production, and innovation.'

Each brand has their own story, their own ethics and social and environmental commitments.

Aside from designing and creating beautiful timeless garments that don't follow trends, these ten clothing labels are created for eco-conscious free spirits, with respect for people, the environment, and animals.

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Opia

Timeless and delicate, Opia is an independent sustainable clothing label from Byron Bay inspired by the beauty of nature and made for the eco-loving free spirited bohemians. Using only natural raw fibres, Opia’s range of garments are plant-based and beautifully textured. Designs are created locally in Byron Bay, whilst the small-run garment production process is maintained by a local family in Indonesia working under fair and ethical conditions. Unaffected by the seasonal trends of fast fashion, Opia offers garments that are both simplistic and transitional in design.

www.opia.com.au

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Tree of Life

Tree of Life is an iconic Australian bohemian lifestyle brand created by John and Wendy Borthwick who opened their first retail store in Sydney in the 90s. The boho folksy style is inspired by their global travels and a celebration of freedom and creativity. With a focus on sourcing ethical and sustainable textiles, handmade wares and treasures from across the globe, Tree of Life is a home for the free spirits and dreamers alike. All products are manufactured under ethical and fair practices and devoid of any demanding fast fashion processes. Traditional handicrafts and skills are employed to create garments, further rejecting the notion of mass production.

www.treeoflife.com.au

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Luna + Sun

With a collection of carefree and playful outfits in beautiful earthy colours, Brisbane-based label Luna + Sun is a sustainable and vegan friendly womenswear brand by designer Teshani McManus. All garments are locally made in Brisbane and the label is accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia, meaning they provide fair and safe working conditions throughout the entire supply chain. Luna + Sun are committed to using only natural plant-based fabrics which comply with the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex®. Being a 100% vegan friendly label, they are accredited by PETA and don’t use any animal products in their designs –  including silk, wool, cashmere or leather.

www.lunaandsun.com

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All the Wild Roses

Based in Sydney, All the Wild Roses is an independent womenswear fashion and lifestyle brand founded by designer, Hang Osment-Le. Most of the outfits are made from upcycled fabrics, including recycled biodegradable fabrics that are found amongst excess or remnants from fabric warehouses. All the Wild Roses also has a collection of recycled vintage clothing, where vintage pieces are restored and repurposed into one-of-a-kind pieces. Each garment is carefully crafted by talented women-led clothing artisans from Hang’s native North Vietnam, empowering them to rise out of poverty through work & business. All the Wild Roses is a Certified B Corporation® brand – a collective of businesses that are leaders in the global movement of people using business as a force for good.

www.allthewildroses.com

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The Hemp Temple

Operating from the coastal town of Margaret River in Western Australia, The Hemp Temple is a clothing label (and informational hub on consciousness) that exists to challenge the conventional short-term profit-focused fast fashion industry. Founded by friends Anna, Britt and Izzy on the idea of freedom and responsibility, The Hemp Temple’s flowy and effortlessly bohemian clothing is made from 100% organic hemp – a naturally abundant fibre and the most eco-friendly of all fibres. Every purchase counts towards preventing the ecological waste, pollution and landfill problems that our planet is currently facing; and also financially supports the local families and communities that are involved in creating the garments.

www.hemptemple.org

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Auguste the Label

Founded in Byron Bay by designer Ebony Eagles, Auguste offers ethically-produced womenswear and swimwear with floaty and romantic silhouettes that pays homage to the vintage years of the 70s, 80s and 90s. Auguste places eco-friendliness over mass production and uses natural fibres in their garments such as organic cotton; rayon made from regenerated wood pulp; ECONYL® regenerated nylon; and organic linen. Auguste is part of the 1% For The Planet program – an organisation representing a global network of businesses, individuals and nonprofit organisations tackling our planet’s most pressing environmental issues.

www.augustethelabel.com

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Bird & Kite

Based on her nostalgic 70s childhood of growing up with a life of self-sustainability in remote Australia, designer Jodi Gibbs founded Bird & Kite upon her own personal values of eco-consciousness, reducing waste consumption and going back to basics. Instead of using digitalised machine labour that fast fashion employs, Bird & Kite chooses to collaborate with Balinese artisans to keep handmade artisan culture alive, opting to use ancient and traditional methods of production. Beautiful and nostalgic, the flowy garments at Bird & Kite are reminiscent of warm Australian summers and lazy days spent outdoors.

www.birdandkite.com

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Spell

Spell is known for their ethically-produced modern-bohemian flowy and feminine dresses that evoke a sense of vintage nostalgia. Created by sisters Elizabeth & Isabella in Byron Bay, Spell uses a variety of accredited certification schemes to ensure the fabrics being used are of the highest international standards in regards to social and environmental impact. This includes using organic cotton, recycled ECONYL® fibres, renewable wood pulp, hemp and linen. Production and manufacturing is done overseas with a strict focus on fair working conditions for the workers that comply with globally recognised best practice social & environmental standards and programs.

www.spell.co

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RŪPAHAUS

With a style that is folksy and earthy, RŪPAHAUS is a sustainable clothing label created by three sisters – Stephanie, Adeline and Nathascha. It was founded by Stephanie, who wanted to make a shift towards slow living and create a sustainable fashion practice by collaborating with traditional local artisans in rural Indonesia. Adeline and Nathascha came onboard and the trio created RŪPAHAUS as a brand which embraces and empowers independent artisanal communities; who chooses traditional processes over digital machinery; and respects the environment by using 100% non-GMO organic cotton grown by local farmers in Indonesia. Based between their home studios in Perth, Melbourne and Berlin, the RŪPAHAUS team is all about being personal and hands-on throughout the whole process.

www.rupahaus.com

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Arnhem

Colourful prints, vintage inspired floral and earthy designs are a signature look at Arnhem. Founded by designer Arnhem Buckley, the Byron Bay label offers gorgeous Summery collections of womenswear and girls’ wear. From maxi dresses to separates, the designs are elegantly feminine and playful. Sustainability is at the core of the brand and Arnhem is committed to producing clothing which pays respects to people and the planet. Fabrics utilised in the garments include: LENZING™ ECOVERO™ and TENCEL, which are compostable and biodegradable and at the end of their life can return safely to nature; plant-based fibres like organic and sustainable cotton, linen, and hemp; and recycled fibres such as ECONYL® regenerated nylon made from discarded fishing nets.

www.arnhem.co

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ADDITIONAL READING RESOURCES:
Cassandra Chew

Cassandra Chew is the founder and content curator of Sun Moon Tribe. She has a keen interest in spirituality, metaphysics, sustainability and plant-based living. Being a small business owner herself, she is passionate about supporting and sharing the work of other local businesses. Along with running this journal, she pursues her creative interests through her design business and is an avid coffee enthusiast.

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