Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand

A carefully curated selection of the top sustainable clothing brands in New Zealand.

Are you part of the growing trend of eco-conscious consumers in New Zealand who are increasingly aware of the fashion industry’s impact on the environment? If so, you likely understand the importance of sustainable fashion choices that align with your values. The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters globally, and many Kiwis are turning to eco-friendly clothing to reduce their environmental footprint.

Sustainable clothing options aim to reduce the fashion industry’s environmental impact by using eco-friendly materials and production methods. These materials include organic cotton, linen, hemp, and recycled polyester. Eco-friendly production methods include reduced water usage, energy efficiency, and waste reduction.

However, with the rising popularity of sustainable clothing, several brands are making false claims about their eco-friendliness to attract customers. It’s crucial to look beyond the marketing claims and understand the criteria that make a brand eco-friendly. Some of the factors to consider include:

  • The materials used
  • The production process
  • The brand’s transparency
  • Its commitment to ethical practices and environmental sustainability

The impact of sustainable clothing choices

Did you know that the country imports approximately 380,000 metric tonnes of textiles annually, with over half ending up in landfills? This results in significant greenhouse gas emissions. In 2020, a worrying 87% of microplastics in Auckland’s waterways were traced back to synthetic fibres from discarded clothing.

Transforming fashion, one brand at a time

Like the rest of New Zealand’s eco-friendly brands championing sustainability locally and internationally, the fashion scene is transforming. Discover a carefully curated selection of the top sustainable clothing brands in New Zealand, each at the forefront of ethical fashion. From eco-friendly materials to fair trade practices, these brands are committed to positively impacting both people and the planet. Whether you’re looking for casual or formal attire, you’ll find stylish and sustainable options that align with your values.

1. Mane Project

The Mane Project is a dedicated platform for ethical and organic women’s fashion, featuring the brands Arc & Bow and Bare Bones. Distinguished by their New Zealand design roots and their commitment to transparent and ethical manufacturing, all garments are produced in fair trade facilities in India.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand
  • Spotlight: Striving for 100% recycled Spandex, this brand represents the intersection of fashion and responsibility.
  • Values: Ethical, Fair Trade, Organic, Inclusive.
  • Price Range: NZ$22 – 219.

2. Rachel Mills

Rachel Mills offers sustainable and comfortable underwear, swimwear, and clothing made from organic and recycled fibres. Each item is meticulously crafted in their Mount Eden garment house in New Zealand with great attention to detail.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand
  • Spotlight: Committed to in-house sustainability, Rachel Mills uses Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton and upcycled fabrics.
  • Values: Organic, Natural, Ethical.
  • Price Range: NZ$25 – 389.

3. Kowtow

Kowtow Clothing champions sustainability and circular fashion, using only certified organic cotton for its garments. Each piece is Fairtrade organic cotton, aligning with their commitment to sustainable practices.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand
  • Spotlight: A free repair program and fair employment policies set Kowtow apart in the sustainable fashion industry.
  • Values: Ethical, Natural, Organic.
  • Price Range: NZ$29 – 649.

4. Masami Clothing

Masami Clothing creates limited-edition, handcrafted garments that embody femininity and sophistication. Each piece is meticulously designed for elegant and independent women who value unique items in their wardrobe. Masami’s clothing offers effortless style, elevating everyday elegance with superb craftsmanship that celebrates individuality.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand
  • Spotlight: Emphasising slow fashion, Masami offers custom-made pieces from re-imagined fabrics.
  • Values: Slow fashion, Ethical, Handmade, Recycled.
  • Price Range: NZ$145 – 895.

5. Little Yellow Bird

Little Yellow Bird offers 100% organic cotton essentials made under ethical practices. They encourage customers to return products for free fibre-to-fibre textile recycling, promoting sustainable clothing, a circular economy, and reducing waste.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand
  • Spotlight: With a focus on organic cotton and non-toxic dyes, Little Yellow Bird is redefining sustainable clothing.
  • Values: Organic, Sustainably-sourced.
  • Price Range: NZ$10 – 200.

6. Maggie Marilyn

Maggie Marilyn is a sustainable fashion brand that goes beyond traditional sustainability. They aim to actively improve and restore the environment and the communities involved in the production process. Maggie Marilyn is the preferred destination for those who seek fashion that aligns with their values of environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand
  • Spotlight: Maggie Marilyn champions circular fashion with recycled materials and innovative designs.
  • Values: Circular, Ethical.
  • Price Range: NZ$75 – 1795.

7. Recreate Clothing

ReCreate Clothing is a sustainable and ethical fashion brand that designs clothes in New Zealand and produces them in Cambodia. The brand is committed to fair employment, training, and empowerment initiatives, which help transform lives. ReCreate’s approach prioritises environmental sustainability and social responsibility, providing consumers with stylish fashion that feels good.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand
  • Spotlight: This brand blends ethical practices with community support, offering more than just fashion.
  • Values: Ethical, Natural, Inclusive.
  • Price Range: NZ$80 – 250.

8. Outliv

Outliv is a sustainable fashion accessories brand based in New Zealand. Their bags are made from pre-loved materials to minimise waste and promote circular fashion. Outliv also supports environmental organisations by donating a portion of their sales.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand
  • Spotlight: Specialising in upcycled materials, Outliv advocates sustainable fashion practices.
  • Values: Ethical, Natural, Upcycled.
  • Price Range: NZ$23 – 345.

9. Nisa

Nisa makes ethical men’s and women’s underwear and clothing from organic cotton in Wellington. They employ women from refugee and migrant backgrounds, providing them with work and training. This supports a sustainable business model that benefits the community and the environment.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand
  • Spotlight: Nisa, meaning “women” in Arabic, focuses on empowering women through sustainable undergarments.
  • Values: Fair wage and treatment, Organic.
  • Price Range: NZ$10 – 129.

10. Ovna Ovich

Ovna Ovich offers a wide range of sustainable and ethical clothing options. Their commitment to reducing waste is evident in the thoughtful design of their products. Each piece reflects a deep respect for nature and a commitment to responsible fashion.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Discover 10 Top Sustainable Clothing Brands in New Zealand
  • Spotlight: Celebrating the duality of women, Ovna Ovich blends ethical practices with timeless designs.
  • Values: Organic, Natural, Ethical.
  • Price Range: NZ$59 – 550.
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