City Series: Where to shop ethical fashion in Melbourne

Melbourne-based slow fashion stylist and blogger Jenna Flood, aka the Ironic Minimalist, takes us on a tour of her home city's best ethical fashion shopping gems.

Stay tuned for more local secrets across Australia and the globe as we kick off the City Series!

Jenna Flood, aka the Ironic Minimalist
Over to Jenna, the Ironic Minimalist...

As we gradually see a shift towards a slower lifestyle and consumers buying less clothing, it’s worth noting some of the ethical shopping options hidden around Melbourne.

The places listed below are all on a mission to reduce their environmental impact and teach their customers about the benefits of buying mindfully.


A.BCH is a Melbourne brand leading the way in transparent and ethical manufacturing. Each minimally designed garment is unisex and designed with circularity in mind. All garments can either be sent back to A.BCH for recycling or composted in your own backyard, which is not something any fast fashion brand can do!

Better yet, each garment is manufactured here in Melbourne with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) fabrics. With basics such as linen pants, shirts and cotton tees it is a must in any ethical wardrobe.

Although A.BCH only has an online store, they have frequent pop-up events around Melbourne. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming events.

They are also hitting the VAMFF runway from today, 6 March 2018 as part of the International Designer Showcase. Tickets available here.

A.BCH women's t-shirt dress in grey


Etiko’s ambition is to “do as much good as possible” and they certainly are. As a Fairtrade and Carbon Neutral company, Etiko creates ethically made apparel and footwear for men and women. 

Although their shoes look similar to a well-known brand, they are definitely different! Sustainable latex is used for the sole, the shoe canvas and laces are GOTS certified organic cotton, there are no PCPs or AZO dyes and even the box is made from post-consumer waste! Phew!

ETIKO is based mainly online, but they frequently hold a stall at ethical clothing/vegan events. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for more information.

Image via Etiko


Monk House Design is a great little shop that features small brands such as Kowtow, Jillian Boustred, Sister Studios, POMS and many more. Many of these brands are made in Melbourne or only have a small run of styles. 

Shopping here is a great way to find unique one-off pieces and applaud smaller designers. Monk House Designs have two locations in the city:

102 Lygon St, East Brunswick
4 Driver Lane, Melbourne

The Dance Slip from NZ label Penny Sage, stocked by Monk House Designs


Although not an Australian brand, Base Range currently has a Melbourne pop up located at No Order Market on Elizabeth St. Base Range creates sustainable underwear and loungewear in clean in minimal styles. 

They focus on high quality, organic fabrics such as cotton, recycled cotton or wool, natural silk, linen and bamboo and use only certified GOTS or Oko-tex dyes. I have fallen for their minimal, but dreamy garments.

Level 1, 187 – 193 Elizabeth St, Melbourne

The Base Range store in Melbourne
Born in Melbourne and accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia, Nobody is one brand I can get behind. Focusing on transparency and keeping it local, Nobody Denim is cut, sewn and laundered here in Melbourne. Their employees are paid fairly and treated like family. 

Nobody uses the latest technology to reduce the use of water when making their jeans and they have also partnered with Well Made Clothes to produce a collection called “Repurposed”. For this collection they took 387 dead stock garments and re-engineered them into new pieces. 

I hope to see that kind of forward thinking from the big fast fashion brands!

396 – 398 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Selected stockists

Nobody jeans, from their 'Borrowed from the Boys' collection
Considered production, functionality and long lasting are some of the words I would use to describe Melbourne label, Kuwaii. 

 Established in 2008 by designer Kristy Barber, Kuwaii bucks the typical fast fashion model and designs minimalist garments with ethical production in mind. Their production runs are very small in size (two seasons a year) and they focus on designing forever garments that will be a part of a long lasting, well-loved wardrobe.

Their two store locations (Brunswick and Cathedral Arcade, Melbourne) are run on 100% renewable, carbon neutral electricity and there is a strict recycling policy. KUWAII is one to visit for well-made garments.

37 – 39 Glenlyon Road, Brunswick
Shop 7 – 8 Cathedral Arcade. 37 Swanston St, Melbourne

Radian jumpsuit with sleeve by Kuwaii
Vege Threads likes to encourage a shift toward a slower lifestyle with their casual, everyday wear. Each garment is 100% manufactured in Australia from organic, eco-friendly materials and dyes, in limited numbers. Their commitment to transparency earns Vege Threads an Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation. Their garments are practical, yet well designed and oh-so-comfortable

(I am wearing The Everyday Jumpsuit as I write this!). With such a commitment towards ethical clothing, you can’t help but smile when wearing Vege Threads.

Mr Kitly – 381 Sydney Road, Brunswick
LuLu Design Store – 3221 Carlise St, Balaclava
Made in Common – 402a Hargreaves St, Bendigo
Limb the Label – 82 Johnston St, Fitzroy (another Melbourne Label that creates ethical garments)

Organic high neck L/S tee by Vege Threads

Top image via Monk House Design.


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