COVID had an unexpected positive impact on the fashion industry in 2020 and now in 2021, as we turn our eyes to locally produced garments. From jeans to jumpsuits, coats to cardigans, and everything in between, there has been a significant rise in popularity of homegrown fashion, delivering a long awaited and well deserved boost to our talented Australian designers.
Whilst international brands with global production houses continue to struggle during the pandemic, Aussie fashion houses have stepped into the national spotlight as “Buy local” becomes more than a buzz phrase – it’s a call to action, as seasoned fashionistas actively seek out homegrown designs to fill their wardrobes. Let’s take a closer look at why “Buy local” has become the focal point of the Australian fashion scene.
Why Buy Local When You Can Pay Less?
Supporting local designers leads to a sustainable and ethical Australian fashion industry, as more homegrown brands make a sincere effort to ensure their lines are environmentally friendly, using small local manufacturing factories focusing on quality rather than quantity. We’ve handpicked 4 iconic Australian brands that really stand out from the competition when it comes to locally, sustainably produced fashion.
Source: Myer Australia
One of the most iconic Australian fashion brands, Cue, has been crafting local and ethically produced fashion for decades. Originating in Sydney, Cue paved the way for international style trends to reach our shores and kickstart the local fashion industry under the careful and creative guidance of Rod Levis.
Originally a label for the fashion forward youth of Australia, Cue evolved and elevated their designs to meet the needs of the Australian “everywoman”. From the mumpreneur to the corporate goddess, Cue’s minimalistic, luxurious styles take inspiration from high fashion concepts, putting an Australian spin on the global runway.
Cue very quickly evolved to become the largest Australian fashion manufacturer and committed to the local cause by becoming accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia ensuring production remains transparent and compliant. A family owned, Australian business for over 50 years, Cue continually strives to create conscious fashion, by donating surplus product to relief funds and charities, and utilising environmentally friendly packaging.
Source: Empire Rose
Searching for an edgier style that is a tried and true Australian Brand? If you haven’t yet heard of Empire Rose, you will want to check them out, pronto! This West Australian fashion label gained attention in the late 90s, brought to you from the expressive mind of designer and owner, Kathryn Cizeika.
Bringing art to life through fashion, Empire Rose captures the essence of the modern woman, with elegant and sophisticated pieces that break the boundaries of design through the use of dramatic and striking colours and patterns. It is this symbiosis of style that wearers of Empire Rose have come to know and love.
One of very few West Australian designers that produce their apparel locally, Empire Rose has also made a commitment to ethical and sustainable manufacturing. Designed, produced and retailed from her local Fremantle studio, Cizeika is dedicated to supporting the local fashion industry, paving the way and supporting other upcoming local designers to follow suit.
Source: Vege Threads
Vege Threads, a Melbourne born and bred fashion label, blends simple style with ethical production: doing right by the people and the planet. Founder, Amy Roberts has a vision when it comes to clothes – resource efficiency, leisure and style.
This brand is deeply committed to using certified organic cotton materials produced in accordance with ethically accredited manufacturing standards, and boasts 100% on-shore supply chain, meaning you are guaranteed a homegrown product. Vege Threads knows only too well that a pair of brilliantly cut organic cotton trousers can be just as enhancing as any haute couture garment.
Vege Threads understand the fashion industry is geared toward impulsivity, but rather acknowledge that fashion is a deeply personal experience, purpose-driven by various needs, including the recognition of ecological integrity. With this in mind Amy has created an ethical clothing company with easy to wear, stylish, no fuss choices for the modern and environmentally conscious woman.
Source: Museum of Applied Arts and Science
For the ultimate in sustainably produced garments that are tailor made to fit your shape, Citizen Wolf has created an incredibly interesting concept. This Australian brand takes a modern, minimalistic approach to fashion, putting the power of design back in the buyer’s hand.
Citizen Wolf’s philosophy is that truly sustainable fashion must be made on-demand, rather than mass production. So, this quirky designer, based out of their factory in Sydney, produces tops and tees in all shapes, sizes and forms, on a made-to-order basis, using simplistic designs and only high quality, ethically sourced fabrics and materials. Uncomplicated and stress-free fashion is at the heart of what Citizen Wolf brings to an overly saturated Australian fashion scene.
Ethical Clothing Australia certification only confirms the dedication Citizen Wolf has to consciously manufactured clothing, and they are committed to a transparent and honest supply chain. Using sustainable, organic and often locally sourced materials, means this brand is supporting local suppliers, whilst still being mindful of the environment.
Remember, consistently voting with your wallet leaves a long-term impression on the fashion industry – what kind of conversation are your hard earned dollars leading?
Marketing Assistant at Myer
Kate has over a decade of fashion experience, covering everything from catwalk looks to cost effective catalogues. When she isn’t writing about clothes, Kate loves watching bad rom-coms and relaxing on social media.