10 Aussie companies leading environment sustainability efforts

globe in shopping trolley

Most Aussies (75%) choose brands for their waste reduction programs, new data from Commbank’s October Consumer Insights Report shows.

This means that we are becoming more mindful of the companies we choose to shop with and are less likely to buy from those that are not environmentally conscious.

Commbank’s research also found that 64% of Aussies think that businesses should do more to embrace the circular economy, while 34% of consumers are willing to pay more to support businesses that adopt circular principles.

The circular economy is a framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste and pollution.

So, which Aussie companies are environmentally friendly?

It can cost more to be a sustainable shopper and not everyone has the luxury to be able to afford it. But if you can, it’s important to steer clear of big fast fashion chains and opt for smaller businesses or those taking steps towards sustainability.

Here are 10 companies doing their bit to reduce carbon footprint and help the environment by using organic materials.

  1. Boody: Boody is an environmentally friendly underwear company that sells clothing, underwear, pyjamas and socks for men and women. Their clothing is made from ethically grown bamboo. Bamboo is good for the environment because its plantations produce 30% more oxygen than an equivalent area of trees and also absorb more carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. Boody donates 1% of its online profits to not-for-profit organisations that help protect the environment. You can buy Boody products directly from their site or from other retailers such as The Iconic.
  2. Patagonia: American retailer Patagonia is known for its clothing that can be worn as casual wear or outdoor activity. It’s a company that’s very conscious of ethical standards and environmental impacts. For example, Patagonia proudly boasts that 100% of the virgin down used in its clothing is certified to the Advanced Global Traceable Down Standard, 100% of the virgin cotton in its clothes is grown organically and 94% of its line uses recycled materials. Patagonia also has an initiative called Worn Wear, where customers can bring in their pre-loved Patagonia clothes and trade it in for credit and it is then recycled.
  3. The Iconic: The Iconic is a big online company that sells items from hundreds of different brands. It launched the “Considered” edit in 2019, which labels all the items made from sustainable materials or made in a location that has a lower environmental impact. These items can be found here. The “considered” edit is a good step towards helping people shop sustainably.
  4. Kathmandu: Kathmandu is a company with a big focus on using ethically sourced products. It uses 100% ethically sourced goose and duck down in their products as well as sustainable cotton and polyester, which is made from recycled things such as plastic bottles. The business also aims to reduce carbon emissions and become carbon zero by 2025.
  5. TJ Swim: Australian swimwear company TJ Swim says it’s “continuously striving to reduce their overall carbon footprint and environmental impact.” The company uses environmentally friendly packaging materials in order to reduce single use plastics, and premium fabrics to ensure that products have a long life. In 2021, TJ Swim launched its first sustainable swim collection which was made entirely from premium recycled polyester.
  6. Outland Denim: This company was founded as a source of employment and training for women who had been victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia. These girls were given training and wages to help them get back on their feet. Today, the team in Cambodia is made up of 75% women. The supply chain of their denim is said to be 94% traceable and 100% vegan. They also use organic cotton and the production uses techniques to reduce energy and water consumption as well as chemical and energy waste.
  7. Nobody Denim: Nobody Denim is a denim brand that has been awarded with an Ethical Clothing Australia award. The company manufactures garments in Melbourne which reduces the travel miles and minimises carbon footprint. Since 2017, the company has reduced water consumption by 50%. More recently, it partnered with tech company FibreTrace to launch a capsule edition using Australian grown, fully traceable cotton.
  8. Veja: The French sneaker company started with the goal to design a shoe that respected the environment. Since the launch of the business, all of the cotton in its products has been certified organic. The company also publishes production stats each year to be completely transparent with its customers. Because Veja uses fair trade and organic raw materials, the sneakers cost five times more to produce than other big brand sneakers.
  9. Bassike: Since 2006, Bassike has made clothes with organic cotton and 95% of its garments are made in Australia. Producing products locally shortnes the supply chain and reduces the company’s carbon footprint. Bassike’s signature cotton fabric has been recognised as 100% carbon neutral and 95% of their cotton jersey garments are made with organic fabric. Certified by Climate Active, a Bassike t-shirt produces 43% less carbon emissions than a conventional cotton t-shirt. It also only uses non-toxic natural indigo dye to reduce emissions.
  10. Glassons: Well known Australian and New Zealand brand, Glassons has introduced ethical and sustainable fashion at a decent price. By the end of 2020, Glassons aimed to have at least 30% of its clothing range sustainably sourced and made steps to eliminate single use plastic. In 2021, 81% of its swim range was made from recycled fabric and 48% of its product mix was sustainably sourced. The company was also given an “A” in the Ethical Fashion Report graded in 2021 for these efforts.

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