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A growing list of made-to-order fashion labels from around Australia

IMAGE VIA OATS

WORDS BY Emma Håkansson

Today, more than a whopping 100 billion garments are made each year, meanwhile, a truck full of clothes is sent to landfill every single second. Ouch. To make things worse, 30 per cent of clothes sold each ‘season’ (a word that’s lost all meaning in fashion) are thrown out – before they’re even sold.

For big, exploitative and extractive brands, it’s often cheaper to make more clothes than will ever be sold, than to lose profits if something people want sells out too fast. In landfill, even biodegradable materials like cotton don’t biodegrade – the anaerobic (without air) conditions don’t allow for it.


Keep up to date with ethical designers over at our Fashion section. 


So it doesn’t matter if brands are using organic cotton, or recycled synthetics, or whatever other materials fill their ‘green’ collections, it’s all the same in landfill. A key solution to the many problems of unsustainable fashion? Made-to-order clothes.

If clothes are only made when there’s already a loving home waiting for them – and they’ll be loved and cared for over the years to come, meaning we can all buy less – we’d reduce fashion’s negative impact.

At the same time, we’ll get to foster our own personal style better than if we kept following fast fashion’s TikTok driven micro-trends. As big lovers of Australian fashion, we’ve rounded up a (growing) selection of labels making clothes to order with ethics and sustainability in mind.

Citizen Wolf

 

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A brand that exists to ‘re-engineer the fashion industry’, Citizen Wolf is zero-waste, made to order, and custom fit – using its unique Magic Fit algorithm. Making the most perfectly cut tees (and turtlenecks, and sweats) under the sun, everything is made in-house in Marrickville, Sydney on Gadigal land – certified by Ethical Clothing Australia and B Corp. Sustainable materials like hemp, GOTS certified organic cotton and tencel – as well as tees made from recycled tees – round off a pretty environmentally perfect brand.

citizenwolf.com

Lucinda Babi

 

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Through her label Lucinda Babi, Lucinda Houghton is creating truly sustainable fashion that looks nothing like sustainable fashion at all. The Melbourne-based designer works with fabric scraps and other miscellaneous finds alongside locally sourced fabrics, creating pieces that are a truly original (and exciting) interpretation of what exists in the broader trend cycle. Everything is made to order, by hand, in her Collingwood studio with minimal fabric waste as a result.

lucindababi.com

E Nolan

 

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Been hunting for the most perfect suit you can find? Naarm’s E Nolan crafts made-to-measure, tailored garments for women and the queer community. Designer Emily Nolan has an eye for timeless, elegant shapes and it shows. With 600 United Kingdom and Japanese made fabrics to choose from, it’s easy to choose something sustainable and unique to you. A suit from E Nolan is definitely an investment, and can become an heirloom. That’s slow, considered fashion – as it should be.

enolan.com.au

Par Moi

 

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Made to order with love by Ashiya Omundsen in Narrm, everything at Par Moi is made from deadstock fabrics. Refusing to overproduce while saving fabrics from landfill? We love that. Sweaters, upcycled denim vests and skirts, gorgeous print dresses and playful shirts are all made just for you here.

par-moi.com

First Principles

Sick of trying to fit into the perfect jeans? Well, the perfect jeans are the ones made to fit you. At First Principles, you can choose the fit and waist height you want, the colour of your denim’s hardware, the wash of eco-friendly Japanese denim you want, and even the colour of the thread. This unique label is proudly made in Naarm.

firstprinciplesdenim.com

Kalaurie

 

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Using deadstock and surplus materials much of the time, Kalaurie makes beautiful dresses, blouses, jackets and other staples ethically in Narrm. When deadstock materials aren’t available, Kalaurie works to make use of sustainable options like organic cotton, linen, tencel and cupro (made from the fuzz surrounding cotton seeds). The dark, dreamy aesthetic of this brand is unmatched.

kalaurie.com.au

Toilé Studios

 

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Like a great lip-and-cheek colour or a glossy formula you can use on the eyes, there’s something so pleasing about a hardworking, multi-functional garment. Melbourne label Toilé Studios, founded by designer Nadya Kusumo, was built on the concept of ‘innovative wardrobe solutions’. Nadya’s made-to-order garments are equipped with detachable, reversible and transformable features, all crafted from recyclable materials.

toilestudios.com

Oats the Label

 

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Oats the Label is a Naarm-based brand that crafts romantic and versatile womenswear. Working from their local studio, designer Bridie Davey and her mother have attracted attention from a slew of Melbourne creatives. The mother-daughter duo has designed a beautiful selection of clothing, including the beloved Pop Top collection which is an FJ favourite thanks to its bold, feminine aesthetic.

@oatsthelabel

Dead Pretty

 

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Another Sydney-based label, Dead Pretty makes softly sparkling fits you can style for a disco or your cute gal’s brunch. Using Japanese made tencel-blend material, Dead Pretty’s bandeau, halter and cowl neck tops, hot pants, dresses, ruched and mini skirts are locally and fairly made to order. Tencel has thermo-regulating and moisture-wicking properties, making it great to wear all year round.

deadpretty.com.au

Krystal Deans

 

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You’d have to be living under a proverbial rock if you haven’t seen Krystal Deans’ contrast stitch basics flooding your IG feed at one point or another. With consciousness at the centre of the brand’s ethos, the Wadawurrung-based label is on a mission to create elevated yet classic staples that capture the essence of the modern woman. While minimal in design, each style is created with a level of thought and consideration to stand the test of time.

krystaldeans.com

Our editorial decisions are made with our readers (you!) in mind and we hope you enjoy the products that we wholeheartedly recommend. Fashion Journal may sometimes receive a commission or similar from third party links placed.

For more on made-to-order fashion, try this.

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