What is fast fashion and why should you avoid it at all costs? Let’s talk about Fast Fashion in general and Fast Fashion Brands in Australia in particular. Fast Fashion is marked by its low cost, cheap quality, and high production volumes. Many fast fashion brands have flourished in recent decades because of the affordable catwalk clothing these brands offer. Wherever the trend goes, fast fashion follows regardless of its effect on the planet, people, and animals.
This is the reason fast fashion brands are infamous for being major contributors to generating textile waste, ocean waste, plastic waste, exploiting natural resources, exploiting labor, violating human and animal rights, and basically ruining the planet. In order to follow the trends and profit from them, fast fashion brands will go to all these lengths and more. This is exactly why you should avoid fast fashion.
Despite the increasing awareness and use of sustainable fashion, many clothing brands are adamant about producing fast fashion. So, as conscious consumers, we bring you a curated list of Australian fast fashion brands that still plague the Australian fashion industry and refuse to incorporate sustainable fashion.
Australian Fast Fashion Brands to Avoid
Not from Australia?
You may want to steer clear of these Fast Fashion Brands from other countries:
8 Fast Fashion Brands in Australia To Steer Clear Of – 2024
Here’s a list of Australian fast fashion clothing brands that have been graded F this year by the Baptist World Aid Organisation:
1. Quick Silver
Place of origin in Australia: Torquay
Founder(s): Alan Green and John Law
Price Range: $9-$1000 (AUD)
Being one of the world’s largest brands of surfwear and boardsport-related equipment, Quiksilver is an Australian brand selling a wide range of products all around the world for men, women, and even kids. Quiksilver’s core concept is ‘fashion with function.’ However, this function seems to be failing when it comes to sustainability.
Although the brand’s policies and governance have improved some, it still has poor Supplier Relationships and Human Rights Monitoring. Additionally, no effort toward empowering workers has been made and the brand has a poor environmental sustainability rating. Quiksilver has been graded ‘F’ by Baptist World Aid Australia.
Quiksilver is one of the many fast fashion clothing brands from Australia that we recommend you to avoid.
2. DC Shoes
Place of origin in Australia: Cairns
Founder(s): Ken Block, Damon Way
Price Range: $10-$400 (AUD)
DC Shoes is a global brand selling shoes, apparel, accessories, etc. for action sports, including skateboarding and snowboarding. Like Quiksilver, DC Shoes is a subsidiary of Boardriders Inc., a leading action sports and lifestyle company.
The brand has been rated ‘F’ by Baptist World Aid Australia. This is because the brand’s sustainability has reached an all-time low; there is no transparency in its supply chain and no guarantee that human rights are incorporated with due diligence.
DC Shoes is one of the many fast fashion clothing brands from Australia that we recommend you to avoid.
3. You + All
Place of origin in Australia: Sydney
Founder(s): Anne-Marie Wade
Price Range: $1-$110 (AUD)
You+All is an Australian women’s plus-sized clothing store that offers a wide range of plus-size women’s clothes, as well as accessories and homewares, available for purchase both online and in-store. You+All is a sister brand of Ally Fashion, which is a famous Australian women’s fast fashion retailer.
Although the brand is known for its size-inclusivity, it is not so inclusive when it comes to environmental sustainability and ethical manufacturing. The brand’s policies and governance might be up to the mark, but it still fails to employ supplier relationships, human rights monitoring, workers’ empowerment, and traceability in the supply chain.
The brand has been rated ‘D’ by Baptist World Aid Australia. You+All is one of those affordable Australian clothing brands that we recommend you to avoid.
Place of origin in Australia: Melbourne
Founder(s): Jana Kachel
Price Range: $90-$290 (AUD)
Founded in 2007, Kachel is an Australian retail fashion brand fusing art and fashion. The brand is famous for its “billowing blouses, swishy skirts and flared dresses doused in paisley motifs, feminine blooms and colour-pop tie-dye.”
The brand has been rated ‘F’ for its Supplier Relationships and Human Rights Monitoring, Worker Empowerment, and Environmental Sustainability by Baptist World Aid Australia. Despite its claims of ‘reducing impact through each step of our design and production process’, the brand lacks proof to back such claim.
Kachel is an Australian brand that we recommend you to avoid.
Place of origin in Australia: Perth, Western Australia
Founder(s): Alister Norwood
Price Range: $15-$130 (AUD)
Jeanswest is famous for its denim collection spreading all over 111 stores across Australia & New Zealand. From wardrobe staples to must-haves, Jeanswest provides it all at affordable cheap rates. Although they claim to offer the best fit when it comes to denims, they certainly aren’t the best fit for sustainability and ethics.
The brand has been graded ‘F’ for its Supplier Relationships and Human Rights Monitoring, Worker Empowerment, and Environmental Sustainability by Baptist World Aid Australia.
Jeanswest is an Australian brand that we recommend you steer clear of.
Place of origin in Australia: Penrith, New South Wales
Founder(s): Fast Future Brands
Valleygirl is a retailer of fast fashion apparel and accessories for women in Australia. The brand recognizes itself as “one of the front runners in the area of fast fashion retailing for females aged 15 to 25.”
The brand comes up with 65 new styles each week, which is an alarming production rate when it comes to sustainability. Moreover, it calls itself ‘synonymous with fast fashion.’ Clearly, the brand is proudly polluting the planet, displaying all this information front and center on its website.
The brand has been graded ‘F’ for its Tracing and Risk, Supplier Relationships and Human Rights Monitoring, Worker Empowerment, and Environmental Sustainability by Baptist World Aid Australia.
Valleygirl is an Australian brand that we recommend you steer clear of.
7. Ping Pong
Place of origin in Australia: Melbourne
Ping Pong is a label that has spread its reach to over 300 boutiques across Australia. All their collections are based on global trends generating trendy modern fashion. As a retail clothing company, the label provides little information on its ‘About Us’ page. That, in itself, is suspicious.
Furthermore, the brand has been graded ‘F’ for its Supplier Relationships and Human Rights Monitoring, Worker Empowerment, and Environmental Sustainability by Baptist World Aid Australia.
So, Ping Pong is an Australian label that we recommend you to avoid.
Place of origin in Australia: Melbourne, Victoria
Founder(s): Carol Skoufis
Price Range: $10-$400
Bardot is an Australian brand selling women’s fashion staples and must-haves like jeans, tops, accessories, suits, dresses, etc. The brand claims to be supportive of the local fashion industry but the real picture says otherwise.
The brand refuses to disclose information about its supply chain, leaving it at ‘incredible manufacturers.’ Furthermore, Bardot has been graded ‘F’ for its Policies and Governance, Supplier Relationships and Human Rights Monitoring, Worker Empowerment, and Environmental Sustainability by Baptist World Aid Australia.
So, Bardot is an Australian brand that we recommend you to avoid.
Best Alternatives to Fast Fashion Brands in Australia
In the world of fashion, where fast-paced trends dominate, it is essential to take a moment and reflect on the impact of our choices. This article serves as a reminder to conscientious consumers, urging them to steer clear of fast fashion brands that prioritize quantity over quality, often at the expense of workers’ rights and the environment. Instead, we present a selection of sustainable and ethical clothing brands in Australia that embody principles of fairness, transparency, and eco-consciousness. By supporting these brands, readers can not only embrace stylish and high-quality garments but also contribute to a fashion industry that values ethics, sustainability, and positive change. Let us embark on a journey to discover these Australian brands that align fashion with responsible practices.
1. Outland Denim
As the brand name goes by, Outland Denim specializes in ethically produced denim collections. The brand was born with a mission to provide employment opportunities to underprivileged women and help them lead better lives. Outland Denim lives by sustainable and ethical values like zero waste policies, carbon footprint reduction, and women empowerment. Plus, it is also vegan.
2. Thread Harvest
Thread Harvest is another B Corp Certified online marketplace that houses ethical and affordable brands under its roof. The brand partners with NGOs and their business model circulates around an Impact Badge System like Fair Trade Practices, Supporting Charity, etc., and the brands they house have about 4-5 of these badges making sure to ease every mindful shopper’s conscience.
3. Her Pony
If hand-embellished bold outfits make you go weak on the knees, then Her Pony is the answer to your prayers. The brand advocates slow fashion and its designs are vintage-print-inspired. Her Pony is PETA-approved, believes in a transparent supply chain, and makes small batches of handmade clothing crafted by artisans who receive fair wages. In addition, for every purchase you make, the brand donates $1.
Kathmandu has made its mark among the best ethical brands in Australia that strongly operates by ethical and sustainable policies. The B Corp Certified brand’s outdoor gear collection is not only innovative and cozy but a beauty that you’ll definitely love. What’s best? Kathmandu was recently graded an ‘A’ in the Ethical Fashion Report commenced by Baptist World Aid Australia.
Kowtow is another ethical Australian brand that deals in clothing made of 100% Certified Fairtrade organic cotton. The brand has an amazing collection of comfy and cozy womenswear in classic and slow-fashion designs and also offers a free repair program where you can get your Kowtow products’ repaired for them to last longer.
According to an article by Earth.Org clothing sales have doubled from 100 to 200 billion units a year while the overall wearability of clothes has decreased by 36%. We are producing more, and buying more, yet not using enough. This is what fast fashion has led us to; a world of increasing textile waste.
Companies deem it fit to keep up with the latest fashion trends because we are willing to buy them. The trick is to steer clear of fast fashion brands that are not only harming the planet, but also other stakeholders like animals and humans.
Quik Silver, DC Shoes, You + All, Kachel, Jeanswest, ValleyGirl, Ping Pong, Bardot, etc are some of the Australian fast fashion brands that one should keep away from considering their ethics and sustainability.