Consumers who want to shop consciously and support sustainable and ethical brands can often feel frustrated by the prevalence of greenwashing in the fashion industry.

Greenwashing is a marketing strategy in which companies make false or exaggerated claims about their environmental or social responsibility to appear more sustainable and ethical than they are.

 The frustration of consumers who want to shop consciously stems from the fact that it can be difficult to differentiate between genuine sustainable and ethical brands and those that are simply greenwashing. Consumers may feel that they are being misled or that they are not able to make informed choices about the products they purchase.


How to Spot Greenwashing

One way to spot greenwashing is to look for specific and verifiable claims. For example, a brand that claims to use recycled polyester should provide information on the percentage of recycled polyester used and the source of the material. Some brands may also use certifications such as the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) to verify their use of recycled polyester.

It is important to note that while recycled polyester may be a more sustainable alternative to virgin polyester, it still has environmental impacts and consumers should also consider other factors such as the brand's overall sustainability and ethical practices.

Another way to spot greenwashing is to research the brand's production process and sustainability initiatives. Genuine sustainable and ethical brands will have transparent and detailed information about their supply chain and production process on their website. They may also have certifications from third-party organisations, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Fairtrade.


Don’t be afraid to reach out directly to the company and ask more specifically about their practices and policies. Most of the time, brands doing the right thing are incredibly happy to speak with you and provide the information you’re after.

Achieving sustainability in the fashion industry is a gradual process that requires a significant amount of work to break free from wasteful practices.

Progress towards sustainability should be celebrated and supported and we’ve put together a list of 10 Aussie fashion brands paving the way right now.


Karuna Dawn – founded and launched by Sridevi Blair in 2021, this is a Melbourne based sustainable and ethical brand creating vegan and cruelty free bags and accessories. They only use sustainable materials in the production of their bags, and this includes organic cotton, upcycled denim and their latest collection being ingeniously made from fallen leaves – leaf leather.  The brand partners with ethical production houses who provide safe and supportive environments for their workers who are paid a fair or living wage. Furthermore, every Karuna Dawn purchase empowers and supports women and artisans and provides employment and opportunity to those marginalised and vulnerable in society.   Header image is their Leaf Leather Messenger Bag.


Elk - is an Australian fashion label that was founded in 2004 by husband and wife duo, Marnie Goding and Adam Koniaras. The brand prides itself on designing high-quality clothing and accessories with a focus on transparency, sustainability and ethical practices.

Elk's sustainability commitments are centered around slow fashion and creating investment pieces that build on existing wardrobes.


Nobody Denim - Founded in Melbourne in 1999, this is a sustainable denim brand that is committed to responsible production practices. At the heart of the brand is transperancy, and ethics with a business practice of encompassing the triple bottom line which sees the people and the planet integral in its model. Nobody Denim also supports the local industry by manufacturing all their denim in Melbourne.


KITX - is an Australian fashion label that was founded in 2015 by designer Kit Willow. The brand is committed to sustainability and ethical practices, with a focus on creating circular fashion and minimizing its environmental impact. Its model ensures sourcing of materials from farmers who use regenerative practices; creates new, upcycled garments from clothing destined for landfill and the brand has implemented a circular fashion system whereby customers can send back their Kitx clothing to be restored and re-sold. 


The Social Outfit - Founded in Sydney in 2014, The Social Outfit is a non-profit organisation that supports refugees and new migrants through employment in the fashion industry. The brand uses sustainable and recycled materials and focuses on ethical production practices. The Social Outfit also offers design and employment training to refugees and new migrants.


Good Studios: Founded by Anny Duff in Adelaide in 2012, Good Studios is a sustainable fashion brand that uses natural and organic materials such as linen, hemp, and organic cotton. The brand also uses eco-friendly dyes and focuses on minimizing waste through a zero-waste production process. Good Studios also prioritises ethical production practices, and works closely with local makers and craftspeople.


Citizen Wolf - is an Australian fashion label that was founded in 2017 by Zoltan Csaki and Eric Phu.  Citizen Wolf's sustainability commitments are centered around using sustainable materials, minimizing waste, and reducing its carbon footprint. The brand uses fabrics such as organic cotton, linen, and Tencel, which have a lower environmental impact than conventional materials. Citizen Wolf also offers a custom-made service, which means that each garment is made to order, reducing the amount of waste generated in the production process.


Etiko - Founded by Nick Savaidis in 2005, Etiko is a sustainable fashion brand that uses ethical and sustainable practices in all aspects of production. The brand uses organic, vegan and fair-trade materials, and has a focus on transparency and ethical production. Etiko also has a commitment to social responsibility and works closely with fair trade organizations to ensure fair wages and working conditions for workers in their supply chain. They are Fair Trade and B Corp accredited.


A.BCH- Founded by Courtney Holm in Melbourne in 2017, A.BCH is a circular fashion and  sustainable brand that uses renewable, organic and recycled materials.  The brand is committed to transparency and ethical production and has a focus on circularity by offering a repair service and a closed-loop system for recycling garments.


Lois Hazel -Founded in Melbourne in 2015 by Lois McGruer-Fraser, Lois Hazel is a sustainable fashion brand that uses sustainable and ethical practices in all aspects of production. All pieces are in Melbourne either in-house or at local factories. This allows her team to keep a close eye on the entire supply chain ensure safe working conditions are provided and people are paid a fair wage.



These a just a few of the fantastic Australian brands doing their bit to forward and promote sustainable fashion. Karuna Dawn is proud to be part of this movement that keeps the planet and the people at the forefront of fashion design and manufacturing.