Sam Leigh is the Founder and Blogger behind the sustainable fashion blog ecomono. Dedicated to bringing her readers regular sustainable style inspiration in the way of creating a beautiful monochrome capsule wardrobe of essential pieces. All while educating them on the ethics of the fashion and textile industry. Here, Sam has compiled a list of her Top 5 Ethical Australian Brands to help you build your own conscious capsule wardrobe. Everyone has heard of the term ‘less is more’, however in current times people own more stuff than ever before. It’s time to cut back, declutter and make way for a new minimal you. A capsule wardrobe requires key elements; here’s some brands to help you get started.
#1 Great Basic Tee’s ‐ Project SoCo
Project SoCo began when Founder Ainsley Reed was travelling the world. Through many travel adventures, she was inspired by locals who had very little, yet gave so much. Before Ainsley’s trips, she always struggled to find the perfect tee. She wanted versatility, quality material and to know her money wasn’t supporting the exploitation of others in the sweatshop industry. Project SoCo tees are socially and fashionably conscious – they mix classic style with modern thinking to bring you tees that stand above the rest. Every Project SoCo tee is created from combed organic cotton, is ethically produced, environmentally friendly and donates to a not‐for‐profit, registered organisation from every sale.
#2 Good Quality Jeans ‐ Nobody Denim
From what started in 1999 as a Melbourne backstreet laundry, Nobody Denim now produces multiple styles of jeans for all shapes and sizes. Working hard to keep production local and transparent they always use the best materials and support ethical labour practices. Sam recently bought her first pair of Nobody Denim jeans, opting for the black, high waist and ripped Siren Skinny Jeans ‐ perfect all year round!
#3 Cosy & Comfy Knitwear ‐ Viktoria & Woods
Viktoria & Woods is Sam’s favourite go to place for sustainable style inspiration, often featuring the brands must haves in her weekly #ecomonostyleinspo’s on Instagram. Viktoria & Woods design knitwear that is timeless and durable, with their signature merino wool collection at the heart of the label. Since launching in 2005 they have expanded to included premium fabrications such as chunky cable knits, luxury coating, cotton basics and silks.
#4 Stylish Outerwear ‐ Trenery
From puffer vests to duffle coats, anoraks to tailored coats, Trenery has multiple on trend styles that suit everyone. They believe that often, less is more – that beauty lies in simplicity, which is a philosophy to go by. Trenery fall under the Country Road Group who are on a journey to be a leader in sustainability having recently improved their carbon footprint. Trenery has strong labour policies and avoids the use of hazardous dyes. In the 2016 Australian Fashion Report there is a criteria which looks at worker empowerment. Trenery has strong policies that support workers’ rights and have been praised for paying their suppliers a living wage.
#5 Long Lasting Footwear ‐ R M Williams
When it comes to Australian made boots you can’t get much better than R M Williams, long lasting, hard wearing and most importantly stylish. Born in the Australian outback, R.M.Williams purposefully designs beautiful and sustainable boots and shoes to help you enjoy life’s adventures. These boots have been on Sam’s wish list for a while now. Remember the days when you would save up for items you wished to purchase? In the Australian Fashion Report 2016, R M Williams received credit for investing in paying fairer wages to workers from Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA). ECA accreditation applies only to Australian made textiles, clothing and footwear and does not extend to offshore production, or any raw materials. Furthermore the ECA accreditation ensures that all Australian workers are receiving the correct wages and entitlements as per the current Textile, Clothing and Footwear Award.
Other footwear favourites, although not Australian made are Beyond Skin and Matt & Nat’s brand new vegan range.