Health / Wellbeing / Wellness

Locally made — 25 fashion labels manufacturing in Australia

As we toil toward a fashion industry that we can be proud of, one that is environmentally conscious and places people over profit, an important question to ask yourself is where are your clothes made and by whom? Some of you have been doing this for years. For others, this is a reflex you're actively learning to engage. But what are the benefits of buying fashion that is locally made?

Well, the first thing is this shortens the supply chain. By purchasing from designers that manufacture within Australia, you're significantly cutting down the time, money, resources like water and energy, and human labour that are required for an article of clothing to end up in your hands. Not only this, but a shortened and localised supply chain allows designers to oversee and maintain control of the construction process. This ensures that workers rights are respected, waste is minimised and that transparency is available to consumers.

A lot of the time local manufacturing equates to a limited production and a rise in quality too — who doesn't want clothing with a lifetime guarantee? It's also important to note that when you support locally made, you're essentially fortifying and injecting confidence into Australia's garment-manufacturing industry. Making it a more viable option for designers and therefore (hopefully) attracting more creators — which in turn will allow Australian made clothing to become a more accessible and affordable avenue.

The good news is there is already a bunch of labels manufacturing in Australia. Read on for 25 of our favourite.

 

Romance Was Born

 

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What's more Australiana than Romance Was Born? Not only has Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales leaned into our cultural (and natural) landscape with collabs featuring May Gibbs, Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson; but every piece is made in Australia. And like the sugar coating on necessary medicines, it helps that each garment glitters with all things fanciful, theatrical and camp.

 

Michael Lo Sordo

 

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Long has Michael Lo Sordo's pieces held space in the wardrobes of Australian women; after all he clearly understands the brief. We want tailored and well-crafted suits without having to compromise on bias-cut silks, thoughtful drapery and the typically feminine. Bonus points for delivering this all from the soil of his homeland.

 

Alix Higgins

 

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Bind me in Alix Higgins and fling me onto the dance floor! Inspired by the internet and days on end spent trawling through tumblr; Higgins' pieces are a form of visual poetry. Literally. Brandished across lycra bike shorts and one-sleeved tops are sunsets, horizontal lines and cyber-font text in varying size — and it's all produced in Oz.

 

Bassike

 

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As far as slouchy, cotton-jersey staples go, no one does it better than Bassike. Nor do they make them as ethically and environmentally conscious either. More than 95% of Bassike's garments are made in Australia, with an exception only to their denim which is crafted by a family-owned factory in Japan that employ sustainable methods.

 

Par Moi

 

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It can be said of almost all designers, but Ashiya Omundsen (the brains and brawn behind Par Moi) is painstakingly hard-working. She designs, drafts, cuts and sews all her garments from deadstock fabric in Melbourne and all by herself! Here you'll find drop skirts, exaggerated collars and balloon sleeves all with a hint of Madeline about them.

 

Albus Lumen

 

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What often gets glossed over is that true luxury is found at home. It's the orange tree in your backyard heavy with fruit and in the same breath, it's reaching into your local community for well-crafted and made-to-order garments. Albus Lumen is that luxury for us. Blouses, trousers and gowns available in cotton muslin, silk and linen, made with consideration in the heart of Sydney.

 

Arnsdorf

 

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Arnsdorf reemerged from the ashes in 2016 with a manifesto of sustainability and transparency stapled to its' core. It's carried this torch ever since. Every garment across their range of jeans, loungewear, suiting and staples, detail the name of exactly who produced the item at Arnsdorf's Melbourne digs; from the machinist and fabric cutter to the pattern maker and presser.

 

Bianca spender

 

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Just as her mother did before her, Bianca Spender continues to champion Australian Fashion by leading with integrity. How does she do this? By zeroing in on quality and construction. Any wearer of Bianca Spender can take comfort in the fact that each garment is made in Australia from fabric that has almost always been milled locally.

 

Nobody Denim

 

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Once a lone ranger in the world of Australian manufactured denim, Nobody denim has long understood the importance of propping up Australia's garment industry. After all, locally made usually means a shortened supply chain and much more control over the finer details. Like how much water is used in the dyeing and washing process? A question that can never be mulled over enough in the production of denim.

 

Maroske Peech

 

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Come summer (a hot vaxxed one of course!) you'll be hard pressed to remove Maroske Peech from our quaking bodies. Not least because we'll be prancing about on the dance floor, burning off all the energy we built up from days on end spent indoors. And we couldn't pick a more perfect uniform! Made in Melbourne, Maroske Peech carries with it an undeniable ballet-aesthetic; one that is built for performance. From arm warmers, velour leotards and asymmetrical tanks to lavender bike shorts with dangling straps made to be wrapped around the calf — there's no denying the freedom of movement embedded into Maroske Peech's pieces.

 

Daisy

 

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By now you would have witnessed the absolute frenzy that follows when Daisy Ltd. release a new collection. Previously worn by Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Lily-Rose Depp, Renee and Gibson Fox have the midas touch when it comes to designing pieces most likely to go viral. And not that you would know it at first glance, but all of Daisy's pieces are made in Australia.

 

Karla Špetić

 

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“I like the idea of creating jobs in Australia, rather than taking them offshore - it’s an Australian brand and it should be made here," Karla Špetić once said in an interview with SBS. And she is yet to stray from this vision. All her garments are made in Australia to this day and it's this point of difference that has solidified her prominence in Australia's Fashion Industry.

 

Ramp Tramp Tramp Stamp

What's old is new again. Niamh Galea has tapped our nostalgia for velour, thongs and all things racy in her label Ramp Tramp Tramp Stamp. Although this time around, the rise of early-aughts styles doesn't come at the exclusion of some over others. Much like her contemporaries, Alix Higgins and Jordan Gogos, Galea reimagines the vanities of Y2K for those oft excluded from mainstream fashion and we're here for it!

 

Annie Hamilton

Anyone privy to the force that is Annie Hamilton will have witnessed the way creativity simply oozes from the multi-hyphenate. Just like her music, her eponymous clothing label is considered, eclectic and heavily influenced by the natural world. Did I mention it was made in Australia?

 

Hara the Label

 

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For anyone looking to refresh their intimates drawer, Hara the Label tick every box. Not only are all its designs crafted in Australia, but they're made from organic bamboo, dyed naturally with plants and come in an inclusive range of sizes, XS to 5XL to be exact. Also, they're extremely comfy?

 

Diaspora

 

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Hand-crafted by Steph Liakos in Sydney, Diaspora is fueled by Liakos' desire to create pieces outside of the norm or heralding from that which is deemed "inappropriate." The result? One-off pieces stitched together from upcycled and rescued material in designs that are experimental and truly unique.

 

Sister Studios

 

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Sister Studios wrap up all the sunnier moments of the fashion zeitgeist into seasonal collections heavily laden with vintage motifs. Think 70s inspired halter necks, gingham, loud patterned disco pants, linen and Empire Records-esque cardigans. And all of this is designed and crafted from its lodgings in Melbourne.

 

Iordanes Spyridon Gogos

The break out star of AAFW 21; Jordan Gogos' reeled us in immediately with his breath-of-fresh-air casting and jubilant, freeform collection of wearables. A line this detail-oriented could only be hand made, and luckily for us Jordan lives and breathes in Sydney.

 

Uniek

 

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For a long time the world of loungewear was stuck between two extremes; sports pieces run by international giants and hyper-feminine lingerie. Uniek exists in the liminal space between those two poles; offering considered and comfy track pants, crew necks, hoodies and t-shirts crafted from organic cotton that are knitted and dyed in Melbourne.

 

Autark

From Adelaide and Melbourne, Autark delivers us enduring styles with quality craftsmanship. Balloon-sleeved dresses and blouses, tapered trousers and wrap dresses are on offer; made from natural materials like silks, linen and organic cotton poplin.

 

Jillian Boustred

It was from her station at an Annandale share house that Jillian Boustred conjured up her eponymous label. Since then it's built a cult following and still retains its status as a locally made brand. What's classic is king at Jillian Boustred; with linen blouses and tiered dresses among the neutral-hued lineup.

 

Noble Label

 

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Out of Sydney, Noble brings us garments that would make a seamless transition into any wardrobe. Subtly feminine and made for many sizes; their Clip Wrap Top, made from the softest Japanese cotton, elicits visions of warming up at the barre. Pair it with blue jeans and ballet flats and this fantasy is realised - kind of. But we're going to cling to it anyway.

 

Esse Studios

 

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Esse is here to remind you of the essentials — the essence of dressing well. A philosophy that points to classic silhouettes, inimitable craftsmanship and picking well.

Reigner

 

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Designed and made in Melbourne, Reigner lays down clothing that is genderless and ignores the seasonal approach to fashion that larger retails adhere to. On offer are oil skin coats, western-style suits and denim with two-tone stitching. Dig in!

 

 

E Nolan

 

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E Nolan is just about as Australian made as it gets: offering a made-to-measure suit service for women and LGBTIQ+ folk alike. All the ready-to-wear range — a trove of knitted cricket vests and crew necks, as well as flannel over shirts and sleeping suits — are crafted in limited quantities in Melbourne. Très bon!

 

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Images: @enolanmelbourne @albuslumen