Made in Melbourne: Basics
When working from home is our new normal, work uniforms become increasingly redundant. I've been spending a lot more time in my basics of late, how about you? As an advocate for supporting local businesses, here are some of my favourite brands for basics who manufacture right here in Melbourne.
This Melbourne brand is known for their versatile and comfortable clothing. They design items you can wear all day and night, from t-shirts and jeans through to activewear, bathers and summer dresses. Vege Threads use certified GOTS and ACO cotton, non-toxic dyes, woolmark accredited wool, hemp, and recycled nylon. They’re also a member of 1% For the Planet, donating 1% of their profits to environmental causes. Since 2019, they’ve been supporting Clean Coast Collective to do beach clean-ups around Melbourne and Byron Bay. Their collections are designed in block colours which you can mix and match. They design for both men and women, while focussing on local production and sustainability. They’re known for their focus on comfort and minimal design.
Established by Courtney Holmes, this label may sell basics but they’re no basic business. The business was designed to be circular – reusing and recycling fabrics and resources. They are ECA accredited and use GOTS-certified organic cotton and manufacture locally in their carbon-neutral Collingwood studio. Being a circular brand, they consider the whole life cycle of their garments – from design and production to the end of use. 99 per cent of their products are biodegradable and the rest can be recycled. This drastically reduces their environmental footprint, along with their minimal designs which are intended to stand the test of time and avoid a trend-based approach. They also offer a repairs program, as well as gender neutral items. A.BCH also values transparency so you can read about all their materials, manufacturing, design processes and more on their website.
With a local factory in Burwood, The Ark has been producing ethical and sustainable basics for over 25 years. Their simple and effortless designs are made to last. They are ECA accredited, use organic cotton, air-dye fabrics to reduce water usage, and reduce their carbon emissions through local production. The brand also runs styling workshops to ensure their customers can get the most out of their designs and find what works best for them. The Ark has you covered for basics from tees and singlets, to jeans and slip dresses. They also have a range of neutral designs, as well as classic stripes.
Since 2008, Kristy Barber’s brainchild, Kuwaii, has been committed to sustainable and ethical designs which celebrate Melbourne’s fashion scene. Everything is completed within a 15km radius – from design and production, to retail and their HQ. They’re also one of the few brands still manufacturing footwear in Melbourne. Their basic black pants, wide-leg trousers, simple knits and tees are versatile and timeless. They use a fairly muted range of colours all year round, with added pops of colour for the different seasons. They stick to a slow fashion model, producing in small batches with a focus on quality over quantity. They’re also working towards a circular model to further reduce their environmental impact. Definitely a great brand to support.
Find more Melbourne brands in the Brand Directory.