Adventure brand Zorali was created by Cam and Elise Greenwood to inspire people to get outside and explore the wonders of the natural world. What's better, Zorali products are made with sustainable fabrics and ethical practices to ensure you aren't causing any unnecessary harm to nature as you explore it. Cam and Elise took some time away from climbing mountains and chasing waterfalls to explain how the brand began and what's in store for the future. Hint: it involves 1 million trees.
Over the past several months you may have heard or seen the mention of China's Uyghur Genocide in the news. Interestingly it doesn't come up too often, especially in mainstream news, but it's a tragic situation that deserves immediate and significant attention. Unsurprisingly, it's also been linked to the fashion and textile industry *sigh*.
Every now and then a person pops up in your life that leaves you in awe of everything they do, say and represent. Tia Pirihi is one of those people. A couple of weeks prior to publishing this interview with Tia she came up in our newsfeed after giving us the most amazing shout out about our Black, Indigenous and People of Colour led fashion businesses article.
Did we really just research and find 33 different brands making ethical face masks? You betcha. Why? Because it's so hard to know who has stock available and who's sold out. To be honest, we can't believe we're writing this—but hey, stranger things have happened. Or have they? 2020 has been well and truly unpredictable to say the least.
It’s silky soft, it’s fluffy, your grandma knitted you your first beanie out of it when you were born and now it’s on the head of a teddy bear somewhere at your parent’s place. Recently, you found a pink angora/wool blend turtleneck jumper at your local op shop and it’s made you open your browser and google ‘what is angora wool?’
We don’t know about you, but we’ve searched for the perfect tracksuit about 237 times since the global pandemic started several months ago. Although we could definitely get away with wearing our pyjamas while working from home, we didn’t want to lose our sense of dignity (most days, anyway).
After searching high and low for the perfect raincoat—one that was stylish, sustainable and easy to transport—Ponch founder, Sophie (along with her co-founder and partner, Alexander) realised it didn’t actually exist, and took it upon herself to create her own. We spoke with Sophie about the makings of this bright, beautiful and ethical raincoat brand, and how she spends her days between doodling, researching best practices and endlessly making decisions for Ponch.
As a budding eco-enthusiast or activist, you’ve probably been in a situation where you’ve had to explain your actions or beliefs to someone who may not share the same view as you, and while it’s easy to argue or even dismiss the other person as ignorant, it’s actually incredibly important to engage in this type of discourse. Why?
Picture this: you’ve just purchased a cute top from a fast fashion brand in this season’s must-have colour. Sure, you know it’s not the best purchase you’ve ever made, but you’ve done a great job at justifying the purchase, “I’ll wear this for years, I have nothing to wear, I can pair it with four different pairs of pants, etc.”.
We’ve had a blast learning alongside you about viscose, modal and Tencel, which were once (be honest) just words on a clothing tag until you realised those words had ethical implications. And by blast, we mean the sound that a metaphorical bomb makes exploding in our heads when we realise that our hopes for a fabric’s environmental impact have been… well, blown up. But fleece isn’t going to be like that, right? Because fleece is just the shorn woolly coat of a sheep. Totally natural. Except that’s not what you’re actually asking, is it? You’re asking…
It seems both a lifetime ago and also five minutes ago when COVID-19 hit and changed the world as we knew it. It also feels like a lot has happened in the world since then, but at the same time it feels like we’ve spent a lot of time doing very little at all. Back in March, we asked the founders of some of the brands from our directory how they were taking things day by day amidst lockdowns, border and business closures, working from home orders and just generally slowing everything down.
One of the best ways to arm yourself with the right information on your journey to becoming a more ethical consumer, is to read as much as you can directly from the experts. If you’re new to ethical fashion or you simply want to continue your education towards making better decisions about the things you buy, there are a number of great books available that can help you to do so. We’ve read and reviewed our seven favourite ethical fashion books that will inspire you into action and support your journey towards being a conscious consumer.
Marnie Prowse from Tiny Haus is a recovering consumerist who shares how to release your material mindset, to shift from wanting to contentment. Through self-reflection and experimentation, she saw the negative habits she had built and the impacts on her family. From that moment she decided to make long-lasting changes in my life. We encourage you to try these out too.
For a profession that thrives on making other people look and feel good, it’s baffling that so many of the population are unable to find a hairdresser with the training and skills to look after their hair. Like fashion and makeup, European ideals of beauty have saturated hairdressing for far too long, and BIPOC have been left out in the cold.
Since October 2018, searches for “vegan leather” have skyrocketed by 119%. Turns out it’s not only vegan food the world is hungry for, but vegan fashion too. High street brands, like Topshop, are embracing vegan leathers’ debut, and even Dr Martens have launched an animal friendly version of their globally adored classic boot. Vegan leather seems like the obvious ethical and environmentally friendly approach to a US$40 billion leather industry that mistreats animals, exposes workers to harmful chemicals, and pollutes.
Katie Hennah and her partner Kerry have both successful careers as both businesswomen and mothers, but it wasn’t until they joined forces and started Nue Bar that they truly found their calling. Together they’ve created a beautiful plastic-free alternative to your everyday beauty products to care for the planet and their community, and we were lucky enough to talk to Katie all about it.
Talking about ethical fashion is hard. When you begin discussing the topic with someone who hasn’t heard of issues in the fashion industry, there’s a point in the conversation when they realise...
When we called Pip Best, co-founder of Worn For Good and all round beautiful human, she was tucked up in her Bondi home with a hot water bottle keeping her company as she put the final touches on the Worn For Good website ahead of launch day.
When I sat down to write this article about the recent Boohoo shit-show, I assumed it’d be a pretty clear-cut story stating the facts around the recent exposé from The Sunday Times. But two hours into researching the story, I’ve gone from aiming to share the facts, to diving into the mountain of issues that surround fast fashion, including supply chains, billionaires’ responsibilities, racism, slavery, COVID-19 and the list goes on.
Where do you go after being featured in Vogue and New York Fashion Week at just 20 years old and two months out of a fashion degree? You focus on ethical practices, stay optimistic and stop giving a f*ck according to Hannah Green from Haan Haan.
It’s 6pm on a Thursday night - you’ve been looking forward to this for weeks. Your roots are out of control, your ends are like your best friends latest romance (split), and it seems like years since you rocked anything but a messy bun. Thank God for your hair appointment. Three hours later, you’re walking out with a spring in your step and a blonde, bouncy locks.But what about everything you left behind?
It’s Plastic-Free July, and you know what that means? Plenty of reasons to feel guilty about your failures as an eco-friendly consumer, if we’re being brutally honest. We understand that it’s difficult to be perfect (well actually, it’s impossible) and we get that there are going to be slip-ups along the way. The important thing is that we’re all trying to do better so we can clean up our act (in more ways than one).
With a family history in the footwear industry that dates back four decades, Oscar Anselmi was destined to step into the world of shoes himself. Only this time he was going to do things a little differently by creating slow, simple, and transparent products that offered consumers a clear alternative to the status quo.
If you’re relatively new to the ethical fashion space (or not at all new), you’ll have noticed this term popping up a lot. At Ethical Made Easy, we really harp on about it. If you google ‘supply chain’, you’ll get a bunch of information about economics.
What’s better than clothing that you can wear literally anywhere (we’re talking bed, work or yoga class) with ease, comfort and style? The answer: Clothing that does all that and is also ethical! That’s what Belinda Jane Keehn set out to create with her loungewear and pyjama label, Bjs Pjs. We spoke with her recently about her beautiful, minimal and conscious family-run brand that’s made right here in Australia.
Lefko is a fashion label dedicated to creating sustainable pieces and employing refugees stranded in Greece. Mihalis and Joanne work from Athens and Singapore to make it all happen, and were kind enough to speak to us about their business, the makers behind their clothes, and the brand that inspires them most.
Marnie Prowse’s life was flipped upside down for the better when she took the plunge and quit her demanding career and let go of her perfectionist mindset to build her dream tiny house alongside her family. Since then Marnie has become a slow-life activist who helps others to achieve a slower, more mindful lifestyle through coaching.
Luke Mitchell is a man who inspires us to no end. He lives and breathes transparency, both IRL and also in the way he does business. Mitch’s brand Yuki Threads is as committed to sustainable and ethical practices as a brand can be, yet he makes a very clear point that they aren’t sustainable. Confused? Don’t be - this is what true transparency looks like. We’re excited for you to learn more about the man behind the brand, enjoy this chat we had with Mitch.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the protests against racial injustice happening all around the world, we must continue the fight to dismantle systemic racism.
We were so encapsulated by travel writer and author Nina Karnikowski’s new book, Make a Living Living that we just had to pick her brains about giving up the 9-5 and pursuing a life she loves. In this interview Nina shares her favourite travel destinations and the best advice she’s ever received from one of her favourite authors. Warning: This may convince you to quit your 9-5.
Including the name of the artisan who weaves your garments on each clothing tag isn't an easy feat, but it's one of the many things Hannah does to ensure the consumer forms a connection with her clothing.
We’ll be the first to admit that fabric isn’t the sexiest part of the fashion industry, but knowing what you’re putting on your body is… Well... Not that sexy either, but it’s definitely important. This blog delves into the world of Tencel, but brace yourself, it’s a bit of a roller coaster (much to our surprise).
Finding ethical, sustainable and safe cleaning products that also smell amazing isn’t an easy thing to do. In fact, when Jessica Bragdon and Paul Davidson set out to do just that for their family, they couldn’t find anything that ticked all their boxes.
For years there have been conversations floating around about the relevance of traditional fashion seasons thanks to our increasingly digitised world. Until now, leading labels have produced spring/summer, autumn/winter, cruise and pre-fall collections to be shown at fashion weeks around the world, but as the fashion industry has globalised and the consumer has become more diverse, the fashion seasons that once aligned with European weather patterns have become obsolete.
Over the last few months one thing has been made clear; when the world is in crisis it’s the oppressed who suffer the most. As the global pandemic has unfolded, the injustices faced by garment workers in developing nations on a regular basis were amplified, something we didn’t even know was possible until now.
Today we’re launching a campaign called #mynewnormalwardrobe and we want you to join us. We’re not asking for you to go out and spend and consume more, instead we want to celebrate the items you already have in your wardrobe and to view this as a key part of your new normal post lockdown level four. We want to encourage you to love what you already own, to tell the story behind it and to inspire others to do the same.
The average woman wears only 33% of her wardrobe. Dwell on this for a second or two. It’s crazy right? Unfortunately, we’ve been trained to think of fashion like...
We spoke with Esse the Label founder, Alicia Tsu to learn about her label’s supply chain, her favourite documentary and how adopting a more conscious mindset inspired her to shift from fast fashion-lover to starting her eco-friendly brand.
We’ve all had that awkward word moment. You know, the one where someone’s used a word you’ve never heard in your life and you stand there smiling and waving like the penguins from Madagascar told you to because, well, you literally have no idea what that word means. There are a lot of terms within the ethical and sustainable world that are not often discussed or used in the mainstream sphere but are the cause of these awkward word moments. Never fear, Ethical Made Easy is here! Sorry team, we had to.
Getting crafty may not exactly be essential but it’s something getting a lot of people through the coronavirus pandemic. Sewing, in particular, is a great way to exercise that creative muscle and it’s also an ethical boost to your wardrobe. Not to mention the satisfaction you get when you can say “Oh this old thing? Yeah, I made it”. Someone who knows exactly what that's like is Maddy Rawlings from The Essentials Club.
Sam Sargent is an advocate for natural beauty, health and wellbeing, and founder of the wonderful wellness brand Be Genki. he’s also the next subject for our #DAYBYDAY series, where we ask our favourite humans how they're taking things day by day during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic...
One look at Fay & Phable’s website and it’s obvious that the brand’s founder, Helen, cares more about connection than profit. Connection to earth; the organic fabrics, made from plants. Connection to home; the beautiful native Australian prints
It’s Fashion Revolution Week 2020, a week where we come together to ask Who Made My Clothes and address critical issues within the fashion industry. It’s also the week when Fashion Revolution releases its Fashion Transparency Index, a report that rates 250 brands on how much information they disclose with the public. We believe transparency is one of the most important topics of discussion within the ethical fashion world, but we have one obvious question about the report: How did H&M top the 2020 Fashion Transparency Index?
Jo started her own kids swim and athletic range when she realised there was no one out there making long-lasting garments ethically and with full transparency. She’s changing the game, one beautiful pair of swimmers at a time.
This is a question as old as time. Well, probably not, but it’s definitely just as complicated. Like you and your high school best friend, the terms “ethical” and “sustainable” seem to be joined at the hip, and although they intertwine and complement each other greatly, the actual meanings behind the respective words differ.
Catherine’s eye for timeless beauty is obvious in her furniture and home accessories design. That any item you buy would be something you’d keep forever is important to Catherine; with lifetime warranties on each piece to stem disposability, and all created from local NZ timber, sustainability is at the core of what she stands for.
One of the greatest things—if not the greatest thing—about Ethical Made Easy is the community it has created, and the curiosity that comes from the people within it.
Sadly, a lot of fashion brands have cottoned on to the fact that ethics and sustainability are great marketing tools. They stretch the truth or manipulate words and imagery to make it seem like they're ethical when really they aren't. Here’s how we discover a brand’s ethics and how we here at EME find out if their claims are actually true.
It seemed that a lingerie brand made entirely of vegan, organic fibres didn’t exist. Especially not a locally manufactured brand that cared about women feeling comfortable and confident. So Felicity set out to make it happen, making sure she didn’t compromise on any of her key values.
It seems as though everywhere we go we’re reminded to mindfully dispose of our rubbish. Whether it’s the icon of Ronald McDonald dunking a piece of rubbish into a bin on every takeaway cup...
When The Ark’s original founders decided to retire in 2016, General Manager, Lyn McPherson was concerned the rare and creative culture they had worked so hard to build would be compromised
Wild Bee Skincare began with the purpose of helping to heal Aussies, and heal Australia at the same time. How? By supporting Earth’s pollinators, bees, which also happen to be the source of some of the most nutrient-rich, antioxidant-packed ingredients ever.
With her focus on interesting prints, bold colours and quirky designs, it’s no surprise to find out Osha has been inspired by the many different places she has called home in her life. Add to that her background as a costume designer, and you can see why handcrafted, local values are such an essential part of her brand, Bilboa.
If you were to ever mention the Aral Sea in regular conversation, you would probably be met with blank stares and open mouths. This is totally understandable —we even had such a moment when we first heard the two words—because the topic is not often discussed in mainstream media.
As a budding eco-enthusiast, you’ve probably been in a situation where you’ve had to explain your actions to someone who may not have shared the same view as you; you may even have gotten into a fight with an old man about the outdated reasoning behind the use of plastic bags at supermarkets. Or maybe that was just us.
Jacky’s love for the environment began when she was just a girl, though it was as she grew older that she started to think about her place within it, and also how she could do what she loved without adding to the mess that already existed (and still exists today).
International Women’s Day is the perfect time to reflect on both the improvements we’ve made and the hurdles we’re facing in the fight for equality. But what happens when March 8 passes, the Instagram posts are archived, the slogan t-shirts reading “GIRL POWER” are sent to the bottom of the pile, and the marketing campaigns become a distant memory?
Adelaide says “it is often in the most simple things that we find true happiness, including the clothes that we wear”. We think it’s also the...
Guys, we need to talk. We’re sorry if that line triggers you, but we just really need to get something off our chest. We all need...
Let’s not beat around the bush; ethical fashion is more expensive. The cost of ethical fashion represents the true cost of a garment, where no one...
As women (and men!), we’ve all, at some time or another, had a toxic relationship with our body and, in turn, our clothes. Adding to this...
Gaelle seemed to have the fashion career crafted from dreams: she worked in various different roles in the industry and had won a national competition...
The Fair Trade Winds family is not just made up of Lois & Paul, but extends beyond race and across oceans. The goal with Fair Trade Winds was always to support fair trade businesses and their employees, but as time has shown, this company has gone further than even they could have ever imagined.
When Alexandra saw a gap in the market for an extremely healthy, extremely delicious snack that could be eaten daily, she decided to fill it with...
If there’s one thing Nina is good at (aside, of course, from whipping up fabulous outfits within Kindling’s strict ethical and sustainable processes) it’s showing complete and utter transparency in her work.
An air of powerful femininity, floaty silhouettes, a palette inspired by native landscapes, 1970s nostalgia that leaves you with butterflies. These were just a few things we fell in love with when we first laid eyes on at Bird and Kite’s collection of conscious designs.
You know us, we’re all for a great deal (vintage Levi’s at an op shop, for one). In saying this, we believe there’s a fine line between shopping with intent and purpose and shopping for the sake of it, and we think Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have crossed it.
There are many questions a lot of us ponder, though we know in our heart of hearts we’ll never fully know the answer to. What’s really used in hot dogs? What is the meaning of life? Why did the chicken actually cross the road? Sorry to disappoint, but no, we are no closer to finding out the answers to these questions than you are.
Let’s talk about linen. You may only be acquainted with this wonder fabric through your favourite Zingara Collection piece, or because that linen tablecloth your grandma gave you when you moved out of home five years ago is still going strong (regardless of the copious amounts of spilled wine).
Growing up in an Indonesian household, Steph always held the Indonesian culture close to her heart, though what pushed her to build a fashion HAUS around it (pun intended)—apart from her deep love and appreciation for the culture—was her desire to preserve it, and to “interlace tradition into stories”.
For the last six years Baptist World Aid (BWA) has released its annual Ethical Fashion Report with the express purpose of providing “... a picture of ethical sourcing practices in the fashion industry as a resource for consumers, corporations, investors, and policymakers.”
Eve was so set on crafting a clothing brand with transparency at its very core that she chose a name to reflect this mission. Ricepaper The Label was born from Eve’s own struggle to find ethically made, timeless pieces, and her belief that “a garment should really last a lifetime”. Oh, and from coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
Warning: if you read beyond this point you will be put under Kitty's spell (she is, after all, a self-confessed mermaid). She's kind, she cares about this planet, and she's put these passions into an environmentally and socially conscious business.
Of all of the plants available for cultivation and utilisation by human beings, hemp has got to be up there as one of the most handy. Hemp is a strain of the cannabis species so it has long been utilised for its medicinal purposes, but it’s super versatile; it can be used to make paper, art supplies, skincare products, food products, biomass fuels and, because the fibers have immense strength and durability, it is even used to form an insulating building block similar to concrete. So basically, hemp is a super plant.
Stephanie Devine, aka the fabulous founder of The Very Good Bra, had her heart set on “creating the world’s first zero-waste bra”. After starting a wire-free bra brand through which she learned about everything from natural materials to sizes that fit all body types, she decided to make her dream become a reality, and the environment (and our girls) could not be happier about it.
Sometimes the world feels like it's falling down around us, but there are always those silent super heroes, spreading love, kindness, and instigating action, who put it all back together. Meet Laura Cope. Laura is one of those people. What would the world be like without her? Not as great; that's for sure.
Oh, greenwashing: the great marketing tool of our generation. The obstacle that stands in the way of caring, well-intentioned consumers purchasing products that reflect their caring, well-intentioned ways. Greenwashing is basically what Kmart Veja knockoffs are to the real Veja’s: an inexpensive way of leeching off of the hard work environmentally and socially conscious brands do in order to maximise their profits.
Shapes In The Sand has firmly cemented itself in the ethical and sustainable fashion industry. Everything Alex does with Shapes In The Sand, from the fabric used for the designs to the inspiration behind each collection, is done with the environment in mind, and we are in absolute awe of this epic founder.
Not many of us think of the negative impacts a yoga mat can have on the environment, on the people who made the mat, or even on us as consumers. However, Danny, the founder of Valka Yoga, built a socially and environmentally conscious business on this thought.
Home-grown and family-owned company Ernest & Joe is as close a business team as you can get. You know why? They're all related. As self-taught jewellers, they take no shortcuts (because they don't know how!), and this makes their products completely and utterly unique.
Teshani, the powerhouse behind Luna + Sun, was not always the ethically and sustainably minded gal she is today. After realising the detrimental effects her habits were having, she decided to put them to bed once and for all. Boy, are we glad she did.
“You’ll be so proud of me, I just dropped off four bags full of clothes to the op shop!” She says, as she grabs another skirt off the sale rack ‘just coz’. When you gather a pile of unwanted clothes, the usual response these days, is to drop them at the op shop, or shove them in those wide mouthed metal donation bins. Although you may think this is the best option for unwanted items, think again.
The only thing unknown about Known Supply was what made the founders tick, but don't worry, we got to the bottom of that. Kohl Crecelius is one of the original brains behind this incredibly transparent brand, and we found out a little more about Kohl and Known Supply just for you.
Ana Wilkinson-Gee. Cement those words in your memory for the next time you are asked the name of an inspiring woman. Ana is an Arts and Design graduate and has always had a keen eye for sewing, though little did she know how much good she would eventually do with this skillset.
Elle Evans Swimwear is an environmentally conscious company crafting beautiful, made-to-order creations straight out of a Melbourne studio. Elle Evans is a mother, a small business owner, and a self-confessed introvert, and she's also a complete inspiration to anyone wanting to do a bit of good with their business.
Stuff is suffocating. It creeps into our lives unsuspectedly, fills our cupboards, and clouds our minds. The more stuff we have, the more time we spend cleaning, repairing, moving, and maintaining it. Batteries, buttons, laces: they all need to be considered and replaced, and that takes time and mental energy. The more time and energy you spend maintaining stuff, the less time and energy you have for the people you love, and enjoying experiences which create real, long lasting happiness.
James saw that something was very wrong, so he created Outland Denim in an attempt to make it right. Not only did James become passionate about cleaning up the messy processof jean production, he also wanted to use this as a tool to rid the world of another dirty industry: the sex slave industry. Now, with a thriving ethically and sustainably made jeanscompany and a circular business model that allows for the employment of women who have been saved from.
Frankie “had an income, a squishy chair at the table, and was pretty comfortable.” She had a full-time job, a super busy schedule, and a passion for sustainability. So, she quit.
Before Sam became the founder of a successful Australian business she was, first and foremost, a friend. To help improve a dear friend’s state of mind, Sam concocted a blend of essential oils, and worked with her to the point where self-care rituals eventually ended up taking the place of anti-depressant medication. This oil blend was Be Serene, and this process turned into Be Genki.
There are some things in this world that can only be understood when you’re actually in them. Working as a garment worker in Cambodia is one of those. Sure, you can watch The True Cost, read interviews, and indulge in media coverage, but describing what it’s like to work in one of the world’s most polluting and damaging industries, is near impossible.
Elizabeth had always held a desire to celebrate the beauty of childhood, imagination and playfulness, so she decided to create a company that focused solely on that. As Little Emperor grew, so too did Elizabeth’s knowledge of the fashion industry, and the growing environmental and social impacts it was ultimately having. She soon realised “this business had to be so much more than its end product”, so she switched it up a little...