sustainable fashion

5 ethical, sustainable (and comfy) underwear brands

While Instagram has its downsides, it’s given ethical designers an amazing platform to be discovered, just as I have with the brands below. Labels like Susu Intimates and Me Undies are not only ethical, but redefining what it means to be comfortable. The rise of the bralette was life changing for me (as I’m sure it was for many women out there), and I’m so glad there’s more brands are emerging that value comfort over underwire and ridiculous padding. Here’s five of those such brands:

Me Undies

I first heard of Me Undies on the Time Ferris Podcast and then on Rich Roll’s podcast and possibly Joe Rogan’s too (I forget). Either way, this brand seemed to be genuinely loved by the three of them and while I admit I haven’t tried the myself, their popularity is there for a reason — they must really be as comfortable as their claims. Me Undies use a carbon neutral process to create their underwear, converting sustainably harvested beechwood pulp into fibres and capturing nasty excess chemicals in the process.

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Hara the Label

Made in Australia, Hara the Label dye their soft comfy intimates with plants. From earthy oranges, to powder blue — their dreamy range is shipped worldwide, with profits from every purchase being donated to the EJFoundation so they can continue save the world with one of their many projects, from protecting our oceans and calling for the end of toxic pesticides.

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Pansy Co

Crafted with organic cotton in California, Pansy Co create a contemporary yet nostalgic range of underwear that are as comfortable as they are pretty. Milled domestically, their underwear is designed and sewn ethically in California a mere 15-minute drive from the founder’s apartment.

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Nude the Label

Offering basic underwear for every day, Nude the Label craft their intimates with comfort and simplicity at the top of mind. Ethically made in Spain, you’ll find their thoughtfully put-together bralettes and underwear in stone fruit and mulberry hues.

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Susu Intimates

While a lot of ethical brands are doing the opaque cotton thing at the moment, Susu Intimates keep it slightly sexier (but still comfy), with their sheer take on a simple black or white bralette.

 

 

 

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7 of our favourite conscious clothing labels

A single cotton T-shirt takes 2,700 litres to make and just last year, The New Daily found a woman in Bangladesh who was paid 35 cents an hour to manufacture clothes for Target and H&M. Investing in sustainable brands that prioritise fair trade and sustainable practices is a way to stand against low paid workers who sleep on dirt floors, toxic dyes in our clothes and unsustainable practices that tax the environment. 

These seven ethical brands are mindful about their practices and encourage you to purchase less, but purchase better quality items that you'll love and live in for years to come.  

Arthur

Named in recognition of his father who was a practicing Buddhist, Arthur continually produce divine collections of minimalistic clothing, cut from linen and cotton. Suited for every day living, Arthur do a great easy culotte and feminine but casual jumpsuits that you'll never want to take off (I live in mine). 

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Arnhem

Using ocean plastics to create some of their clothes and biodegradable natural materials like Tencel (made from wood pulp), Arnhem ethically audit their factories to make sure their workers are treated fairly. The result is a dreamy range of bright vintage floral prints, throw-on dresses, as well as edgy and classic bohemian threads that'll put you in a floaty and carefree holiday mindset like nothing else. 

The Hemp Temple

The three conscious and creative minds behind The Hemp Temple produce their feminine range of easy wardrobe staples entirely out of hemp. It’s the fastest growing and most sustainable fibre in the world, needing little water to grow and being naturally organic and mould resistant, it's both kind on your skin and the environment.

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Rowie The Label

Yet another incredible label from the crystal shores of Byron Bay; Rowie is synonymous with simplistic on-trend clothing that’s easy to wear and made with top quality fabric. Everything from their silk to their cotton knits feels sturdy and like it’ll last a lifetime in your wardrobe. Rowie posts all their online deliveries in compostable bags and also works closely with Riza the manager of their small factory in Bali, to make sure the workers are always looked after and treated fairly.

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St Agni

With a vision to create simple luxurious pieces that reflect the beauty and freedom of the Australian lifestyle, Byron Bay based label St Agni have done just that. Their stunning range of clean and easy to wear shoes and clothing is all ethically produced in a small factory in Java.

Yoli & Otis

For lovers of linen and creamy palettes, Yoli & Otis ethically design and manufacture the loveliest wardrobe essentials, that will never date. Their earthy range also extends to clothing for bubs and children’s wear. Using natural-dyed fabric, they avoid the 8000 chemicals ordinarily present in most artificially dyed clothing — making it a particularly safe option for little one's to wear. 

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Harly Jae

With the hashtag #slowfashion bannered across their website, Harly Jae are a Vancouver based and produced fashion label. Inspired by vintage pieces that have remained popular for years, Harly Jae delivers their reliable wardrobe staples in ethical packaging.

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7 amazing eco conscious swimwear labels

Ocean lovers and sustainability should go hand in hand. No one wants to go for a salt water dip and find more plastic than fish in the sea, yet is this (sadly) where we’re heading according to recent reports by Project Mainstream. Aside from plastic packaging lost in ‘leakage’ that finds its merry way into the ocean, the nylon and polyester used by most swimming brands are also is petroleum based.

So how can you help? Say no to packaging and buy ethical brands. Here’s 7 beautiful conscious swimwear brands you'll love:

Ambra Maddalenna Collection

Using recycled ocean plastic to create her entire range, the self-titled West Australian/Italian swimwear sweetheart Ambra Maddalena designs the most romantic bikinis and one pieces you could lay eyes on. Think Lolita circa 1950, meets Sophia Lauren in a Dolce and Gabanna campaign. Check out her current Sorrento Moon campaign here.

 

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Amara

Based out of Tulumn, Mexico, Amara believe ethical fashion isn’t optional — it's imperitave. Their simple, luxurious pieces are crafted from regenerated Nylon and designed to mix and match and sometimes reverse to encourage doing less with more. Shop Amara here.

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AllSisters

Queens of Athleisure, AllSisters are about bold statement cuts and a crisp black and white palette. Using high quality recycled textiles that are screened for nasty substances, their sharp, sophisticated collection is a timeless investment to your wardrobe and ideal for fitness junkies. 

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FAE Swimwear

This is a brand for women that aren’t shy about a cheeky cut, because Fae Swimwear aren't shy about it either. Their one pieces are almost exclusively small on the behind, but their separates range offer more coverage on the bottom to pair with flattering tops in classic colour ways.

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Mara Hoffman

A designer of all things from clothing to swimwear, Mara Hoffman offer bold block patterns on classic cuts, amidst more paired-back basics. We particularly love their cute one pieces with bow details, cut-outs and styles to suit all bodies.

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Now Then

For ladies that get excited by subtle details like the addition of light mesh, or a delicate spaghetti strap, Now Then’s minimal range is a perfect mix between fashion and function. Their kini tops can be worn as a bralette and their few sporty nylon pieces are great for adventurous types.

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Und Swim

Elegant and timeless, Und Swim offer a beautiful range of eco-friendly basics that are designed to flatter and fit like a glove. The specialize in a perfect fit for all bodies and swimwear that’s so comfy you might forget you’re wearing them.

 

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Simplify your wardrobe, simplify your life: How to cull your wardrobe the right way

A capsule wardrobe can save you time to spend on more important things in life and money to buy experiences instead of unnecessary things. 

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Reading time: 3 minutes

I didn’t expect that removing 90% of my old wardrobe-cull to be so life-changing. Getting dressed is simpler and it's an absolute no-brainer to put outfits together now. The clothes I buy are better quality, I make less dud purchases and I can pack an outfit to change into after yoga in 1-minute flat without stressing. To me, a capsule wardrobe is pure gold. 

I was inspired by something called the 80/20 rule; the idea that you wear 20% of your clothes, 80% of the time.  Here's how I did it:

Step 1 // Remove EVERYTHING from your wardrobe

Dump it all on the floor, then separate into three sections; a no, yes, and a maybe pile. Be brutal with the no pile, put in there anything you haven’t worn in months or years and anything shabby. The trick is to avoid sentimentality or overthinking. It will seem like a waste at first, but this is the most important lesson of the whole exercise; seeing your previous wasteful purchases will stop you from frivolous and unconscious shopping in the future.

Step 2 // Analyse what worked and what didn’t

Get a blank piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, label the first column ‘no pile’ and the second column ‘yes pile.’ Now, write all the commonalities of the no pile, note the brands, cuts and fabrics that tend not to work for you. I learnt that crochet things and colourful patterns never work in the long term. Do the same with the yes pile, what prints and fabrics work, for me it was neutral patterns and colours that last the test of time, as well as fabrics like linen, cotton and denim. The maybe pile can go in a box that, if it in a year’s time is forgotten, can be donated as well.

Step 3 // Figure out what you need

Recent purchase: an all-hemp wardrobe staple

Recent purchase: an all-hemp wardrobe staple

This is the most important part to avoid re-hoarding like a bowerbird. After putting the 20% yes pile back in your wardrobe, you'll probably feel lighter and less overwhelmed already, but there'll be a few blank spots in your wardrobe. Now it's time to figure out what you need to make tiny wardrobe functional. Here's how:

1. Write down your week-to-week lifestyle in percentages, For example, 60% work, 20% exercise, 19% casual bars/gigs, 1% work functions. Now you know what types of clothing you actually need and in what quantity, which means everything will get worn. 

2. Only buy good quality in future. You'll be able to afford to, since you're buying less. Things will last and you'll appreciate and look after what you do have, and you'll know what you actually need to buy if you're every out shopping again (which of course, should be a lot less).