• The Mindful Materialist

Linen Made in Melbourne

Linen has been synonymous with warm weather for thousands of years. Dating back to 8000BC in ancient Egypt, it is one of the oldest known fibres in the world. Linen’s enduring popularity is due to its durability, versatility, anti-bacterial qualities and natural moth-resistant state. Linen is made from flax—a highly resilient plant which requires far less water than cotton and uses far fewer pesticides than most agricultural crops.



So, is it all good? Not always. Just because flax can be grown without pesticides and turned into linen using natural dyes, doesn’t mean this is always the case. Make sure you look out for organic certifications and natural dyes. If you see linen which is a crisp white and fine thread, it’s likely a heavy bleaching process has been used. When in doubt, just ask the brand. If they don’t fess up, I’d advise looking elsewhere.


Melbourne can have some scorching hot days in summer, so I’ve put together a list of some wonderful brands producing linen garments right here in Melbourne.



Obus

Known for their bold prints and intrepid spirit, Obus has a new linen range in their collection for this summer which is more on the minimal side. You can mix and match their luxurious linens with bold prints or opt for an entire linen ensemble. Obus are a small business based in Melbourne with a loyal following they’ve gathered over the years. Check out their flagship store in Northcote or shop online here.


Kuwaii

Melbourne style doesn’t get much better than Kuwaii. They’re known for their ethical manufacturing in Melbourne for both clothing and footwear. They can dress you from head to toe in Melbourne-made sustainable clothing, and this summer is no different. Their linen dresses and shirts are designed to keep you cool while looking your best. Shop at their CBD, Fitzroy or Brunswick stores or shop online.


The Ark

Accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA), The Ark are known for their timeless and classic clothes. They have basics which are driven by style rather than trends, so they’ll last you a long time. Shop in one of their eight stores across VIC, NSW and SA or shop online.



A.BCH

Spearheaded by founder Courtney Holm, this brand is leading the way in circular fashion. Everything they produce has the end of the garment’s life in mind. This means that each part of every garment is designed to be reused, recycled, composted or repurposed. They’re also accredited by ECA and have a great range of linen basics. Shop in store in Collingwood or online.


Farn

With a reputation for gorgeous botanical screen-printing, Farn garments draw on earthy tones and Australian flora for an authentically Aussie look. The jumpsuits and wide-leg pants are iconic—and definitely on my wish list. Handmade in Melbourne and newly accredited by ECA, find Farn designs and wall hangings at their online store.


Captain Robbo

Known for their Adventure Pants, Captain Robbo have expanded their range and now include a collection of linen clothing online and in store. There are patterns or plain fabrics to choose from, all made in their Collinwood studio. Shop in store or online here.



Metta Melbourne

This is a new discovery of mine—Metta are a wonderful slow fashion brand in Melbourne creating beautiful garments ethically and sustainably. They have an extensive range of linen clothing which uses ethically sourced linen from Lithuania. They are a bit on the pricey side, but they’re not designed for single use. You’ll get loads of summers out of these garments. Take a look at their stockists list or shop online.


Ricepaper the Label

Down to the name of the maker, Ricepaper the Label take transparency seriously. Their Vaal Dress is made from 100% Australian linen and is manufactured by Vanessa in Heidelberg West. How do I know this? It’s on their website, plain and simple. This is how transparency should look. Shop through their online store here.


Special thank you to Obus for letting me borrow from their Perseverance range—this is not an affiliate promotion, but rather an example of the wonderful ethical fashion community in Melbourne. Other garments featured are my own.


Photography: Elena McGannon

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