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:: Good Stuff: Australian Ethical Fashion To Put On Yourself

Katie Hosking

Ethical Fashion Australia : Obus

I was looking through Reuters most powerful images of 2013 yesterday. There’s a lot of disturbing content there, truth be told, but the one that I keep thinking about involved the Bangladeshi garment factory collapse. I won’t go into details but you can see it here, if you would like to. Over 1000 people died and despite being a $10 billion industry, conditions for workers are deadly.

Because I have been thinking about this a lot, I realised that  I really want to know more about companies who are looking after their workers, in terms of fair pay and conditions. I am guessing you have been thinking about this too…  Perhaps you are well informed about this issue already? Or perhaps you’d like to know more?

I did a bit of research and found some local labels are getting serious about looking after the people who make their clothes.  (That said locally made does not always mean ethically made.)  If in doubt go here to see a great list of 100% ethical local fashion labels. It’s a big issue and people like us can make a big difference if we think before we buy…

I think it’s great that the Alliance For Bangladesh Workers and Bangladesh Worker Safety Accord have been established, but I am a bit worried about them walking the walk. (I think sometimes these organisations can be very slow and just talk the talk, but we will see how it plays out!)

Ethical Fashion Australia : Fare-WellEthical Fashion Australia : Katie Hosking

You can sign Oxfam’s petition urging better conditions for Bangladeshi workers here.  And here’s some local and/or accredited fair trade labels you might want to support:

The Social Studio
A Part Of Me
Otto and Spike
Ginger and Smart
Manning Cartell
Peta Pledger
Milly Sleeping
Three Little Ducks
Hopeless Lingerie
Nobody Denim
Scanlan and Theodore
Bianca Spender
Fare Well Co
Katie Hosking
Pastime Clothing

Here’s some things I am going to try to do from now on:

1. Stop buying from unethical labels, fast fashion companies and cheap online retailers (some of my very faves don’t seem to be very ethical!)
2. Wear more vintage and second-hand clothes
3. Buy less OR buy from the maker
4. Make more (and find out more about sustainable fabrics)

How do you feel about this? Does it bug you that some REALLY COOL fashion labels (some MUCH loved indie faves) don’t seem to have a policy about ethical production? Are you torn between buying cheap clothing and doing what’s best for vulnerable garment workers? It’s confusing, right?

Can you recommend any other fair fashion labels that we might want to support?

x Pip

Footnote: One of the many reasons we closed our shop was that we couldn’t survive without the larger margins we got from retailing ‘made in China’ items. Those items ensured our survival, as the profits on handmade items were not enough to sustain us.  In the end we just didn’t want to do that anymore. So we stopped. And we closed.

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  • Gordon
    October 18, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Hi Pip
    You might be interested in a new service that provides information about the ethical performance of a large number of mainstream and niche brands. It’s called “Good On You – Clothing” and it’s at

    At the moment we list about 13,000 products from 120 brands. We rely on sources like Ethical Clothing Australia, Behind the Barcode and the global Rank A Brand service – we bring it altogether in one place so you can check out how your favourite brands perform.


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