Shopping is great, but have you ever bought something that’s so high quality and durable that it stays with you for decades? That’s the kind of consumption we’re obsessed with. Plus, there’s the feel-good bonus of buying ethically, where you know the whole process, from start to finish, has been good for everyone involved.
When online shopping is so fraught with scams, cheap materials, and the unknown of a new brand, it helps to have a go-to guide from people you trust. Which is why we’ve bundled all of our experience, industry knowledge, research and personal recommendations into a list of brands we know you’ll love.
From sweet treats and clothing to cleaning and of course, bedding, these are our favourite places and products to shop when you want long-lasting products that don’t literally cost the earth.
When you want an ethical wardrobe…
One of the biggest influences on our environment is fast fashion, with researchers estimating that a truckload of abandoned textiles gets dumped in landfill or incinerated every second. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that people are buying 60 per cent more clothes and wearing them for half as long. And we haven’t even started on the water usage, chemicals entering the ocean, plastic microfibres or fair working conditions!
Suffice to say, you don’t need that kind of baggage when buying clothes. Instead, we shop with these brands to avoid all that drama…
With an ethos of using clothing as a step towards a healthier planet and a fairer world, Kowtow offers good clothes and good vibes. The brand’s garments are made entirely from 100% certified fair trade cotton, traced from seed-to-garment, with a completely transparent manufacturing process that shows how every item is made - and by whom. Using circular design, Kowtow also prioritises reducing waste, making products that last, keeping them in use, and regenerating the natural environment every step of the way.
Right now, we are utterly obsessed with winter pieces like this Staple Sweater in black or chartreuse, made from 100% certified organic cotton in a single jersey stitch, and individually knitted to prevent yarn waste during production. We also rate these high-rise, straight leg Sailor Jeans, made with organic cotton denim, which carries the same Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification that we have for our bedding.
There’s a glorious range of bold statement pieces and block-coloured staples in sizes up to XXL/18 that mean you can mix and match for years without ever getting bored.
A.BCH is a circular fashion label, meaning its products and processes follow three key circular economy principles; designing out waste, keeping materials and products in use and regenerating natural systems. With their calls to end fast fashion, it’s nice to know that when you shop with A.BCH, you’re investing in a brand that’s fighting the good fight in fashion.
And for the sceptics, the brand literally walks you through how they achieve these promises, while offering services like clothing repairs or custom repair kits to keep your clothes alive for longer. On top of that, their store features categories like perfectly imperfect, AKA pieces that haven't met the highest standards for full price garments, but that have been mended to avoid waste and give more people access to their clothing with a lower price tag. Plus, for every product you can actually read the full story of how the garment came to life - how’s that for transparency?!
When you want an ethical home…
So you want your home to look and feel beautiful without any dodgy shortcuts along the way? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re steering clear of chemicals like parabens and phthalates, avoiding synthetic materials in your furnishings, or just want to detoxify your home, these brands are completely clear of bad ingredients, ethos and approach.
The brand we trust the most for all our showroom and warehouse cleaning, SimplyClean is exactly what it says it is: a range of sensitiser free, toxin free and earth safe home cleaning and personal care products.
Their ingredients are natural, plant-derived and mineral based, with constant research to ensure every product evolves to be as healthy and harm-free as possible. Among the green ticks we look for are things like palm oil-free, toxin and sensitiser free for our allergy-prone friends, biodegradable, vegan and cruelty-free, and grey water safe to keep waterways happy.
Using Australian grown essential oils like lemon myrtle, eucalyptus, and Australian lime oil to get the job done ethically, while also providing refillable bottles and a return program for refill containers, this brand gets a big ‘yes’ from us.
Check out their home cleaning range, with everything from disinfectant and dishwash to window and glass cleaner, their laundry specific products, or their hand and body range, with things like hand and body wash, sanitiser, and build your own pack options.
A big consideration when it comes to creating an ethical & sustainable, low tox home is what you cook your food in. Stainless steel has a good reputation, but did you know some scientists suggest there are very low levels of metals released from stainless steel over time? With not all cookware created equally - and not all brands behaving ethically - it pays to know the right places to shop for all your kitchen needs. And that starts with nickel-free stainless steel.
Nickel toxicity can cause anything from dizziness and lung problems to muscle pain and heart attacks, so it’s a no-brainer to look for one without it. Solidteknics, began in Australia by mechanical engineer and keen cook Mark Henry, is the perfect place to start.
Mark founded this company because he felt compelled to stop all those cheap, synthetic-coated pans piling up in our landfills. It took two decades of research and development to come up with the first seamless one-piece pan, wrought from a single sheet of iron. It’s free from toxins, heavy metals, synthetic coatings, and it’s durable enough to last for centuries, so your purchase can literally be handed down through generations.
Our pick is their nöni range, formed into shape from one solid sheet of 3mm ferritic (nickel-free) stainless steel, which is also compatible with induction cooktops. A little on the pricey side? Yes. But for how many decades it’ll stay in your family? We say it’s worth it. Pre-order their 3 Piece Starter Pack for August this year to get more bang for your buck. They even run Kickstarter campaigns to release new designs, and by pledging to one of the tiers, you get rewards and discounts on their pots and pans. We love an outside-the-box thinker!
When you want an ethical sleep…
By now, we all know the benefits of a good night’s sleep - for our mental and physical health, cognitive functioning, mood, and longevity. So instead of buying on a whim from ads on Instagram, we’ve curated some places determined to get your sleep in good shape - and for much longer, we might add.
Who said sleep was all about the bedding? As sleep enthusiasts, we’re always searching for the ultimate sleepwear, and at Deiji Studios, we’ve found it. High comfort, high quality, and an unwavering social, ethical and environmental consciousness are the pillars of this small Byron Bay brand. They’re members of the 1% for the planet, donating 1% of annual sales to environmental causes, as well as partnering with Thread Together to donate samples, seconds, and end of line items, and they’re 100% certified by OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and Global Organic Textile Standard. You can read all of their ethical commitments, learn about their different materials, and see how they give back to the earth and community here - and a heads up, it’s a long, feel-good list!
Our team love Deiji clothing because it blends sleepwear and loungewear, meaning we can get away with leaving the house in some of the items - maybe not the slippers though!
We can’t go past the Soft Shorts and T Shirts that pair perfectly for cosy sleep or lounging around, and made from 100% linen jersey so they’re comfort all the way. Then you’ve got these Straight Quilted Pants that literally feels like you’re wearing your duvet, with a cotton outer, cotton voile lining and 100% recycled poly fill. Don’t forget your organic cotton Woven Socks and organic linen Robe to really complete the leisurely vibes.
The Natural Bedding Company
We couldn’t resist sharing a few of our own values as a sustainable and ethical bedding company! For us, the materials we use in our organic latex mattresses or bedding accessories are everything. Not satisfied with the VOC-filled alternatives, our founder Andrew has made it his mission to find eco-friendly materials that support the planet, the people who work with us, and you, our customers.
Our natural mattress covers are a unique blend of Organic Cotton and Hemp, a weave that we have curated specially to withstand the lifespan of the mattresses, and free from harmful chemicals throughout the growth cycle of these materials. Our carbon neutralised 100% Certified Organic Latex is sourced from sustainable plantations in Sri Lanka, devoid of any harmful toxins and naturally hypo-allergenic. Using latex also allows us to create 11 unique layering styles to suit every sleeper - so there’s nothing to lose when switching from memory foam or other styles.
We use pure, untreated Australian Wool in our products, as well as the sustainable, yet lesser known, Coconut Coir, which is crafted from the shredded fibres of coconut shells and rubberised with liquid GOLS certified Organic latex.
All of the products we manufacture come with the certifications you’d expect from an ethical brand - the latex is tested regularly and certified to the Global Organic Latex Standard & OEKO TEX Standard 100, we only use natural materials and sustainably sourced wood, and our bedding uses organic fillers too.
As for sustainability, we pride ourselves on creating quality products that are made ethically and fairly during every stage of the manufacturing process. The Natural Bedding Company works with both CarbonClick to offset carbon footprints and distribute to projects like the Rarakau Rainforest Conservation Project and NSW Farmers Regenerating Aussie Bush. We also donate 1% of all of our woodwork sales each month to Carbon Positive Australia, who has helped plant 203,497 trees, sequester 66,741 tonnes of carbon, and restore 294 hectares of degraded land in recent years.
You can browse all of our natural mattresses, organic latex pillows, bedding and furniture here.
When you want an ethical treat…
What would this shopping guide be without the ultimate in ethical treats? Yes, we’re talking about chocolate! Now that you’ve got the cosiest, high quality clothes, and your home is feeling fresh and toxin-free, we’re rounding out this list the best way we know how…
A sweet-toothed brand that’s only got eyes for chocolate - and our team can personally vouch for the deliciousness of its products. From their Byron Bay home, founders Emica and Jesse make delicious vegan, soy and refined sugar free chocolates, which they call, artisanal chocolates with benefits.
Consider all the boxes ticked - organic, fair-trade premium Cacao from small organic and sustainable farms in Peru, plant-based and whole food ingredients without preservatives, and testing for heavy metals and other impurities across all sourced ingredients. These detail-oriented business owners have even packaged the chocolate sustainably, including recycled paper lined with foil and home compostable packaging.
As for the taste, it’s a given - Emica’s background as a naturopath means she takes both flavour and health seriously. Their collections include truffle bars in 10 delicious, rainbow-inspired flavours, and Utopia bundles of everything from salted caramel shortbread and wild rose ganache to coconut and cashew.
And we know this is the ‘food’ category, but this brand has branched out into delectable lifestyle gifts as well. So you can have your ethical chocolate and eat it too, while also shopping products like their Aphrodite Sandalwood and Vanilla candle, made in small batches with 100% eco soy in a glass jar with a parchment sticker.
Peace of mind with your purchase
These brands are just a handful of favourites that we’ve found over the years, which have made our shopping easier, more fun, and of course, more fulfilling, since we know what causes our purchases are supporting.
Ethical products might cost more, but when you dig deep and learn about the whole process of how something was made, it’s always worth it. Now, you can shop a few more essential items, without the hassle of research and with peace of mind included.
Stay tuned for more of our ethical recommendations in the future…