South Australia has attracted the best global minds to help businesses rise to the challenge of evolving technology, opening doors to future-focused careers.
A 2022 Australian Fashion Council report found Australians bought 14.8 kilograms of clothing every year.
Sadly, much of it — about 10 kilograms per person, per year — ends up in landfill.
While it’s widely known that South Australia is a global leader in sustainable energy, we’re becoming increasingly recognised for our focus on sustainable fashion too.
“With consumers more and more conscious of where and how their clothing is made, it is crucial that South Australia’s fashion industry explores sustainable solutions to keep the sector attractive and profitable,” Dr Susan Close, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science said.
“We want South Australia to be part of the solution — rather than a contributor — to this global concern.”
The fashion sector represents 16 per cent of creative industries employment here in SA, with talented designers honing their craft in the laneways of Adelaide.
From hemp activewear to cosy wool knits, Adelaide Fashion Week — held in October — highlighted a swath of sustainable, home-grown fashion brands, designing on-trend pieces for eco-conscious consumers.
Take a look at this round up of four sustainable SA fashion brands you need to know.
Sunset Lover is a new project from Australian Fashion Labels co-founder (and Adelaide girl), Melanie Flintoff.
The brand’s luxurious resort-wear is made from compostable natural fibre — meaning the clothes will never end up in landfill — and the label aims to have a zero-carbon footprint.
“Building a brand from the ground up means we are looking at every aspect of what we do to make sure that it is as sustainable as possible from labels to packaging to the garments themselves and at the end of its life it can simply be composted and return back to nature without harm,” she recently told the ABC.
Solomon Street was founded in 2017 by Lauren Crago, a graphic design graduate with an interest in social businesses and sustainability.
All of the clothing produced by Solomon Street — activewear and underwear — feature the label’s signature bright and bold prints (all hand-drawn by Lauren herself), and are exclusively made from natural fibres and synthetics (where necessary) that fit into a circular economy.
As a low waste business, Solomon Street also limits its use of packaging, and encourages its suppliers and manufacturers to do the same. You won’t find any swing tags on their products, they repair worn garments with fruity embroidery, and offer a recycling service with Upparel once garments have been ‘loved to death’.
“Having grown up with German heritage, sustainability has always been a part of my life and so was a no-brainer; whatever I was to put into the world would have to only improve it,” Lauren says on her website.
Autark is a slow fashion label from Adelaide-based clothing designer Sophia McMahon, featuring modern, innovative, and bold yet feminine designs.
A limited number of garments are created in each collection in an effort to minimise waste, with each piece locally manufactured using 100 per cent natural fibres, like organic cotton and linen.
For every sale made through the brand’s online store, they also donate five per cent of profits to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
While Good Studios’ minimalist aesthetic draws inspiration from Japan and Scandinavia, its home base is rooted in the Adelaide Hills town of Piccadilly.
Offering affordable linen and hemp garments and homewares, Good Studios is committed to a collaborative approach to making responsible fashion, with garments manufactured in Ethical Clothing Australia accredited facilities and its 100 per cent hemp linen bedding ethically homemade to order in SA.