The Mindful Materialist
Sustainable Menswear Guide
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
This is your ultimate guide to sustainable clothing for men in Australia.
When it comes to shopping like a mindful materialist, there’s a glut of sustainable fashion options for women, but the same isn’t always true for men—something I’ve become aware of recently when shopping for new clothes with my partner. But if you know where to look, you can find plenty of great Australian brands making sustainable, ethical clothes for men (as well as some unisex options). From everyday clothes to denim, underwear and activewear, this list is your ultimate guide to Australian sustainable clothes for men.
These guys do damn good tshirts. Using their special algorithm, Citizen Wolf calculate your measurements based on your weight and height, then magically make and send your tshirt to you. My partner and I have both ordered from them and swear by them. You can choose which fabric and colour you’d like, and they’ve got a range of styles and cuts to choose from. They make everything ethically in Sydney and are accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia.
Based in Melbourne, HEW started out as a menswear label that has since branched out into womenswear as well. Their designs are vibrant and beautifully tailored, using GOTS certified fabrics. Go bold in one of their prints or opt for a minimal design, whatever your style, you’ll find something to love at HEW.
This is the place for basic tees, hoodies and tracksuits. Australian Stitch make all their garments ethically in Australia, with minimal designs that will see you through years of comfort. They also have some super cosy beanies and socks for winter.
Part clothing label, part social enterprise, HoMie is a streetwear label working to end youth homelessness through their philanthropic programs and retail training. The designs are made for Melbourne, with urban style and streetwear culture driving the collections.
Perth label Rupahaus is all about slow fashion which is mindful of people and the planet. Their men’s and unisex ranges feature beautiful, naturally hand-dyed fabrics with muted colours and relaxed fits. Everything is ethically made in Indonesia, with 5% of every purchase going towards the artisans’ communities.
We all know Country Road, they’re a staple in Australia’s fashion scene. But did you know they also have a big focus on sustainability? In the men’s range you’ll find the Heritage Sweat which has been ethically made in Melbourne, recycled polyester puffer vests, and Australian cotton tshirts. While they do make a lot more than some of the other brands on this list, they’re a great Australian label that are greening up our high streets.
Clothing the Gaps
Clothing the Gaps is a Victorian Aboriginal-owned social enterprise on a mission to close the inequality gap between Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australians. Their clothes and accessories send a message of solidarity and encourage people to wear their values.
Based in Melbourne, A.BCH is pioneering circular fashion with their ultra-transparent supply chains and ethical manufacturing process. They produce a range of men’s and women’s clothing which is minimal and designed to last you through the seasons.
At Irrelevant Society, they make clothes exclusively for men and donate 20 per cent of the profits to organisations that educate and provide support to women facing violence. They make tshirts, shirts, jumpers, jackets and accessories which are designed for everyday wear while working towards a future that’s free from violence against women.
Using certified organic cotton, Etiko makes ethical and vegan clothing and footwear for men, women and kids. They’re a certified B Corporation which means everything they do is mindful of people and the environment. They make underwear, tshirts, hoodies, polos and shoes.
Rooted in surf culture, Panamuna Project is an organic and cruelty-free brand making ethical clothing for adults and kids. They’re a member of 1% For The Planet and make tshirts with an environmental message, as well as boardshorts and accessories.
The Common Good Company
This label is working towards the common good — as the name suggests — by making ethical and sustainable clothing with recycled materials. Their tshirts are simple and minimal, and they’ve just brought out a range of beanies too. They also donate 10 meals to Food for Change for every tee purchased.
Think ‘Teskey Brothers aesthetic’ and you’ll get Tasi Travels. This label is super laid-back, with button-up shirts, tshirts and bottoms for timeless style. Their products are designed and made in the Noosa Hinterland from natural fabrics, and they’re also a member of 1% For The Planet.
Based in Byron Bay, Afends make skate and surf-inspired clothing for men, women and gender-neutral people. They’ve gradually been working towards 100% sustainable collections rather than selected sustainable items, and as of 2021 they’ve done it. They make sustainable denim using hemp fabric and organic cotton, loads of tshirts, jumpers, trackies, shirts, shorts and more.
Having just released their first circular collection, Nique are making sustainable fashion both modern and stylish. Their collections push gender boundaries and aim to be as inclusive as possible, with a men’s, women’s and unisex range available.
Denim by Denimsmith is handmade in East Brunswick in Melbourne. The family business has been operating since 2015 and is accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. Their denim is high-quality, and you can visit their factory and studio to see how they’re made for yourself.
Started by three friends from Melbourne and Stockholm, Neuw has its roots in vintage denim designs and a love of music. Their range of jeans includes their signature fob ring on every pair as a nod to the fob watch gifted to Denim Director, Pär, from his grandfather.
After watching the Liam Neeson film Taken, Outland Denim founder James Bartle was inspired to put an end to sex trafficking and help secure safe futures for vulnerable women through training programs and employment security. With over 750 staff who have come through the doors at their Cambodian facility, Outland Denim is now a B Corporation changing lives for women while making quality, sustainable denim for the world.
Ethical Clothing Australia certified, Bushy is an Australian-made underwear label, using sustainably sourced TENCELTM fabric. For those who don’t know, TENCELTM is a super soft fabric made from sustainably harvested eucalyptus trees. It’s also biodegradable, odour-resistant and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Mighty Good Basics
This underwear is made from Fairtrade cotton in ethical factories to suit all kinds of body shapes and sizes. Mighty Good Basics make a range of underwear for men and women in various colours. They were rated ‘great’ on Good On You and they received an A+ on the Ethical Fashion Report (2019).
Sock subscription anyone? Soxy Beast make their Ethical Clothing Australia accredited socks in Melbourne and ship them to your door every month. They use their brand to collaborate with Australian artists and support local charities. You can also buy the socks without subscribing if you’d prefer.
Crossing over to New Zealand, Thunderpants is a family business making bold, bright and colourful underwear. They make both socks and underwear for men using GOTS Fairtrade cotton in their New Zealand facility, focussing on “quality over quantity”.
What started as a sock recycling company in Melbourne has grown into a certified B Corporation textile recycling company that champions the circular economy. Upparel will collect all your old clothes and textiles and give you a voucher for their sustainable underwear and socks. As someone who has recycled with them and purchased their products before, I highly recommend them.
Bamboo is the name of the game at this sustainable Australian brand. Boody uses organic bamboo fibres which are antibacterial, breathable, thermoregulating and super soft on your skin. They’re members of 1% For The Planet and are charity partners with Thread Together, and their range includes underwear, socks, basics and a new athleisure collection.
Activewear and Swim
South Beach Boardies
Based in Fremantle, South Beach Boardies is a family business making boardshorts from recycled polyester for men, women and kids. They’re passionate about ocean conservation and donate 5% of all profits to conservation organisations, and they make all their products in ethical factories in Indonesia and China.
This Brisbane brand is well-known in Australia’s ethical fashion circles for their sustainable practices and ethical manufacturing. Established in 2017, dk active caters to a broad range of sizes using quick-drying, moisture-wicking regenerated and organic fabrics. Their men’s range includes shorts, tanks, tshirts and even compression shorts.
If you’re a beach bum then Original Weekend is the sustainable brand for you. This Melbourne-based brand make premium ‘resortwear’ for men from their GOTS certified organic cotton tshirts to their recycled polyester boardshorts. Their shipping is all carbon neutral, and their products are made ethically in India and China.
Thank you for reading! Please share this article with the men in your life and let's all be mindful materialists.