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The Cost of Manufacturing Onshore VS Offshore: In Conversation With Sample Room

By Resources

The Cost of Manufacturing Onshore VS Offshore: In Conversation With Sample Room

No matter if you are a solo designer, start-up business, established manufacturer or global brand at some point in your business journey you would have had to consider the benefits of manufacturing in Australia, verses manufacturing offshore. We recently spoke to Julia Van Der Sommen, Director at ECA-accredited end-to-end development house Sample Room about the advantages of manufacturing onshore and the cost comparison of offshore production.

Julia has been working in the Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Industry for more than 27 years. Starting her career locally in Adelaide working in product development, designing, pattern making, managing businesses and sourcing factories for wedding dress, sportswear, women’s fashion and kids wear manufacturers before starting Sample Room in 2009.

Can you tell us about the cost comparison research you have done about manufacturing onshore vs offshore – what insights did you find?

This is a very interesting topic. I had a gut feeling about this many years ago and undertook this research in 2019. The results were very surprising, the industry assumption is that it is cheaper to manufacture offshore, but this is not necessarily the case. The results of our research showed that with all things considered such as development, manufacturing, freight, and fault rates, you were better off manufacturing in Australia.

This information has become much more widely recognised after 2020 and the impacts of COVID-19 on both international and local industries. Many businesses encountered the tipping point of quantity and number of styles being produced. For those making less than 20 styles and less than 1000 pieces per style, it really is worth looking into manufacturing onshore. Based on pre pandemic numbers, our research found through a comparison on four styles manufacturing 300 pieces per-style resulted in a lower cost per piece when manufactured on shore. On top of that a designer then needs to take into consideration that the local industry can offer lower minimum order quantities (MOQ’s) which will also help to lower your overall costs.

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What are your thoughts on how we can secure the future of the Australian TCF industry and the workers in it?

Now is a great time to put the skills of our local industries talented workers to the test. From smaller runs with quick turnaround times to improved fit, the ability to quickly pivot when needed and the ability to communicate your requirements for unique designs, there is an opportunity for Australian designers, businesses and bigger brands to branch out and grow. I would like to see the technicians and workers behind the scenes highlighted as much as the designers to attract people to want to work in these roles and create a collaborative approach to development.

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Realising that creation is a team effort is essential to this shift. This education can also extend to the consumer, so they see who made their clothes to create a connection and understand of the costs involved. We need honest and genuine transparency, as without the technicians, skilled garment workers and manufacturers, designers are at the mercy of global politics, pandemics, freight issues and whatever else is out of their control. It is fair to say that it is in the best interest of the local design industry to nurture this.

Over the last couple of years, we have developed our workroom and equipment at Sample Room to support people who are making card patterns with other pattern makers. We have had a digitizer machine for many years, but the process of digitizing patterns was inaccurate and requires a huge effort of re-printing and re-checking. I just never felt it was accurate enough to reflect the detailed work that has been put into the patterns. I have had my eye on a particular scanner for a few years and we decided to invest in this equipment at the beginning of last year. This allows us to scan in patterns with 99.99% accuracy. This is the same machine used by NASA, allowing us to scan, grade and print markers or card with incredibly fast turnaround.

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Is there a final message that you have about the importance of ECA accreditation and protecting the rights and lives of our local garment workers?

This industry is labour-intensive and will be for many years to come. The people behind the scenes are incredibly important to the survival of all fashion brands. Having an understanding to what is involved and the specialist skills each person provides is the first step to respecting the people who are there to support you in reaching success. From the first phone call to the last collection, just to treat everyone you talk to as you would like to be treated. There is gold in the knowledge that is behind the scenes and many people who are willing to support you.

Sample Room is proudly 100% made in Australia and accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. You can find out more about Sample Room Here


Is Ethical Fashion (rightfully) More Expensive Than Fast Fashion?

By Resources

Is Ethical Fashion (rightfully) More Expensive Than Fast Fashion?

By Jenna Flood, The Ironic Minimalist

We often baulk at laying down cash or swiping a card for expensive purchases, even if we know that we are making a good investment at the time.

This often applies to ethical fashion. Compared with fast fashion brands, ethical fashion brands seem to cost their products much higher, which can make our money-savvy brains think we aren’t getting a bargain or are missing out on a deal. When in fact, we are usually the ones missing out on a good deal when we opt to buy fast fashion.

Investing in an ethical and well-made garment means we don’t have to spend our valuable time looking for the same garment season after season, as it’s already hanging in our wardrobe. It also cuts down the amount of clothing in our wardrobe, making it easier and less stressful to get dressed on those busy “must-get-out-the-door” type days.

When we choose to spend our money with a brand that values its workers and cares about the longevity of its garments, we are voting for a better future and helping set the standard for other brands to follow.

Want to know a bit more before you spend all your hard-earned money on that ethically made jumper? Well, let’s unravel, (pun intended) the cost gap between ethical and fast fashion and why investing in ethically made clothing helps to build a better wardrobe.

Garment workers need to be paid a living wage

One study released by Oxfam found that the garment workers who made our clothing weren’t receiving a living wage. In Bangladesh, workers were paid as little as 39 cents an hour, which isn’t enough to cover basic needs such as food, housing and healthcare. While we may think this is an isolated issue in international countries, the reality is that it happens here in Australia too.
Many manufacturers employ out workers (also known as home workers). These workers are based outside the traditional factory or work environment. They often do not understand their rights as Australian workers due to a lack of spoken English and often due to these boundaries struggle to speak up when they experience unethical working conditions, such as long hours, not receiving correct award pay rates or no entitlements such as leave or superannuation.

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When a brand is accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA), the ECA accreditation ensures that any worker who works in that brand’s supply chain receives the correct wages and entitlements and are working in safe conditions under Australian Law. Supporting the work that accreditation bodies like ECA do is important for the future of the fashion industry.

So, when you next head off to buy something for your wardrobe, ask yourself a few questions. Did the workers who made this garment work in a safe and secure environment? Were they paid a living wage or at least the minimum wage? Is this a company that you want to support?
The more we support brands who are doing the right thing, the more we set the standard for other brands to follow.

Ethical garments are built for longevity

Imagine opening your wardrobe and inside are four coats. Three of the four coats are from fast fashion brands, they have begun to lose their shape, the stitching has started to unravel, and they have to be layered with another jumper to keep you warm. You only bought these on sale at the end of last winter! The fourth coat is made by an ethically accredited brand, it still retains its structure, the fabric feels smooth against your skin and most importantly, it keeps you warm. What’s the bet that you reach for the fourth coat the most?

Due to the skills, talent, extensive training and passionate craftsmanship of their workers, ethical brands ensure that their garments will last season after season. One example of this is Denimsmith.

At Denimsmith we believe in the slow jean making process, this means whatever we do we have the end user in mind. We want to ensure our Denimsmith jeans become our customers' favourites, they need to stand the test of time and not be discarded after a few wears due to poor quality. We source high quality fabrics from Japan that are strong, we make our jeans with care ensuring more stitches per inch. Taking our time with weaving, cutting, manufacturing and washing means we have better quality control and little customer returns.

Leonie,Creative Director of ECA-accredited Denimsmith.

Because brands like Denimsmith and their craftspeople take the time and focus on making their denim goods with care rather than focusing on creating for profit. Their jeans are loved and cared for by their loyal customers. Investing in garments such as these means we need to spend less on our wardrobes in the long term.

Develop your personal style

Those marketing geniuses behind fast fashion brands work hard to make sure you want something new and shiny season after season. They trick you into thinking that having the latest trend in your wardrobe is the key to living a happy life. But not all trends are created equally, not all trends suit the body shapes and sizes that buy them. Soon your wardrobe is filled with pieces that don’t flatter and prints that don’t match.

When you decide to stop buying into trends and invest in well-made pieces, you will find that your wardrobe may shrink. Don’t worry, it’s for the best! By taking a considered approach to shopping, we can narrow down what we want from our wardrobes. Investing in key pieces such as staple coats, and jeans, (or pants) can help us to build a wardrobe that we love.

Defining your values also helps to build a better wardrobe. Do you want to support brands that pay a living wage and provide a safe space for their garment workers? Maybe you’d like to support the Australian manufacturing industry (check out ECA’s digital shopping map)? Once you have identified some of your core values, you can work on finding brands that match them and begin to build a wardrobe that represents you and your values.

Cost per wear

If you are someone who does want to get the most bang for your buck, try embracing the “Cost Per Wear” (CPW) method to your clothing before buying. Cost Per Wear is a great way to help you invest in pricier pieces as you analyse how many times you would wear something before taking the leap. CPW is the price you pay for a garment, divided by the number of times you wear it. For example, if you buy a garment for $100, and wear it four times, that garment cost you $25 each time you wore it. So, the more you wear, the less the CPW is.

By thinking about your clothing as investments rather than trend-driven purchases, you can use the CPW calculation to get your money’s worth. Purchasing higher quality, timeless garments can also help you build a wardrobe that doesn’t rely on trends or forces you to buy something new each week. This in turn saves you money and reduces the amount of clutter in your wardrobe.

Stopping the habit of weekly fast fashion purchases can be challenging, I know it took me many years to stop the weekly peek at new trends. But, I know that once I made the switch to saving up for a garment from an ethical brand, I found that my wardrobe was filled with garments that I loved and cared for. Getting dressed is now a walk in the park compared to the messy “I have nothing to wear” days of before. While I can still be tempted by a flashy fast fashion piece glinting at me from the window when I walk past, I know that there is no room in my wardrobe for brands that don’t align with my values.

You can find out more about Jenna and The Ironic Minimalist Here


Meet The Makers: Nobody Denim

By Resources

Meet The Makers: Nobody Denim

In April we have been spotlighting the talented workers behind your clothes. You can find these people working in ECA accredited factories, with companies in the supply chain of ECA accredited businesses and even working from home. Last week was Fashion Revolution Week and as the conversation around ethical manufacturing practices and garment worker rights grows louder, ECA accredited for 11 years Nobody Denim have spotlighted some of the vibrant personalities that put their heart and soul into creating ethically and locally made denim.

The majority of Nobody Denim’s products are proudly made in Australia and accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia.

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Fashion Revolution 2021: Meet The Woolerina Team

By Resources

Fashion Revolution 2021: Meet The Woolerina Team

This week is Fashion Revolution Week. The week was started after the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more on 24thApril, 2013.It’s a week where important conversations are started, where we are all encouraged to ask brands, “who made my clothes” and where we can continue to create change in the TCF industry both here in Australia and internationally.  

As part of the week, ECA accredited Woolerina have shared a meet and greet series with their local team. Read on to find out who makes your clothes, Woolerina style! 

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Meet Warwick… Warwick is the founder of Woolerina and has held a strong passion for Merino wool for more than 45 years! Warwick held a dream of taking Merino wool directly off-farm and following it through to a finished garment and that dream led to Woolerina. Warwick is involved in all aspects of the business, however his primary role is selecting the raw wool for their garments and following the process through the spinning of the yarn, knitting and dying of the fabric and then to the cutting and sewing of garments. 

“I enjoy seeing the response from our customers when they feel and try our garments on and their realisation of how wonderful the wool fibre is. It really gives me a buzz when the customers comment on the quality, not only the feel of our fabrics but also the finish of our garments.” 

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Meet Rosemary… Rosemary is in charge of Woolerinas frontofhouse. You will often meet her if you shop in-store and if you order online, your order is more often-than-not packed by Rosemary. Rosemary is always very willing to help wherever she can and sometimes can be found tying swing tags on garments or sweeping the work room floor! 

“I love the diversity of my job, and the people I work with. I love their passion for the entire process of producing the end product ethically.” 

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Meet Pippa + Penny… Penny and Pippa are sisters, best friends and Warwick’s daughters. They have followed in their dads’ footsteps and share his passion for Merino wool – maybe because they were always told from day dot, “if you are cold, put a merino wool singlet on!” Pippa is primarily in charge of marketing, social media and Woolerina’s wholesale customers and Penny is the backbone to Woolerina, keeping the team in line. 

 “We love our team! Everyone is unique and brings their own personal touch to each aspect of their job. We are so appreciative of our team and how hard they work and everyone’s willingness to jump in wherever needed to get the job done!” 

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Meet Charlene, Delia, Melissa and Trudie (away when picture was taken) 

Delia is the Production Manager and has been working at Woolerina since 2014 when she came for “just a few days work”. Seven years later, she’s still there! Delia creates all of the patterns and manages Woolerina’s team of sewers.  

“The people are great to work with, it’s very collaborative, all opinions are valued. It is not working when you enjoy what you are doing each day.”  

Charlene is one of Woolerina’s Machinists with a very high attention to detail and she has been part of the Woolerina team for nearly two years, she is always very willing to help out where needed but also very happy to put her head down and get the job done! 

“I love the product and am proud to be in a team that has a high standard of workmanship. I love that Woolerina is a locally based country business who employs people to stay in a rural community” 

Melissa is another one of Woolerina’s machinists with more than six years at Woolerina. She has recently started to manage the internal system of ensuring all of the patterns are correctly digitised.   

“I love working at Woolerina because even after working here for almost seven years I am still finding opportunities to learn from not only advances in technology and fabrics, but also from team mates.” 

Trudie is the latest addition to the team, bringing years of sewing experience with her. Trudie is very willing to jump in when needed and sure knows how to get the machines humming! 

“The thing I love about Woolerina is you are part of a family, not just a number. I love hearing Warwick, Penny and Pippa show customers and visitors through our work room as to hear them talk so passionately about what they have been able to produce makes me proud to be a part of this Australian and local business.” 


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The Many Hands Behind Farn

By Resources

The Many Hands Behind Farn

You can’t miss the bold patterns and vivid colours of Melbourne based screen printed textiles and clothing brand Farn. The brand was founded by fashion buyer turned textile designer Amanda in 2018 after she took a career break to study Textile Design at RMIT. As part of our March focus on the many hands that contribute to the making of an ethical and local garment, we spoke to Amanda to learn more about the brand, to meet the markers and to understand why ECA accreditation is important to her business.

Farn became accredited with ECA in 2020, can you tell us a little about why you sought ECA accreditation and why it is important to you and your business?

The extended lockdown in Melbourne in 2020 was an opportunity for people to slow down, reflect and take pleasure in the world around them. For me it was a chance to think about why I started Farn, what I want the brand to stand for and how to establish those values as the business grows. I was beginning to notice that the words ‘ethical’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘considered’ were being used more frequently by fashion brands but they were not being held accountable to what this really meant. Being accredited by ECA was a way for Farn to establish authenticity around my values on ethical manufacturing. Accreditation meant ‘ethical’ wasn’t just a word used to describe how I preferred to work, it became the foundation of how I work and continue to evolve my business to make better decisions.

ECA Accreditation meant ‘ethical’ wasn’t just a word used to describe how I preferred to work, it became the foundation of how I work and continue to evolve my business to make better decisions.

This month we are spotlighting the many hands that go into making a garment locally and ethically. ECA’s accreditation program maps a business and their supply chain. Can you tell us about the workers in the Farn supply chain from design to dispatch?

I work very closely with everyone who contributes to the production of Farn garments. I treasure every relationship and consider Farn a collaboration with everyone in my supply chain. I design all the garments and prints in Farn ranges and work with a local patternmaker who brings my sketches and ‘specs’ to reality with paper patterns. I used to do all the patternmaking myself in the beginning but through word of mouth I found Helen who has been working with small and large Melbourne businesses for decades.

Me in my studio

In my four years of business, I’ve found the Melbourne creative community to be incredibly open and generous in sharing information, experiences and contacts, I couldn’t imagine my business operating anywhere else!

I generally design prints and products at the same time and during lockdown when everything was closed I had to problem solve how I was going to get my designs on screen. I ended up hand-painting each of my screen separations separately on gaff film, which took a few days to complete but was a great learning experience on manual separations.

My designs are then exposed onto yardage screens using photo sensitive emulsion that reacts to lights that etches your design onto screen. I work closely with Nadia and Jason who print my designs onto fabric.


My printers studio is just a ten-minute bike ride from my studio so it’s always easy to pop down to check colour strike offs or collect fabric rolls. I cut all samples and production in my studio in Fitzroy and sampling is either handled by myself or one of my two makers who will be making final production. I fit and amend all sampling in-house before I pass the finished patterns to Holly who also has a studio across the road from me, where she works on her own label and helps me out with sizing.

Once fabric is ready and patterns are available in their full-size range, I cut everything before passing to Neroli who works from her studio in Brunswick or I drop the rolls and patterns off to Vanessa who works from her studio in Heidelberg. I generally only cut and produce 2-3 of each size in my first production run, only recutting when sizes have sold through. Luckily, I also work with small makers who don’t have MOQ’s so I can be quite reactive and rarely have stock left over.

How many hands are involved in the making of one Farn garment? Can you explain the process from initial design to final garment?

 I’m going to use the sleeveless midi dress as an example as this sold-out in my first production run and I am about to start the recut. There’s five people who individually contribute to the production of this dress. First the fabric is printed, this dress has four colours, and each colour is printed separately with a different screen. It’s quite a magical process to witness as you slowly see each colour printed and the final print is only revealed with the last screen. The fabric is then heat cured, setting the printing pigment to the fabric. I then take the roll up the road to my studio and begin cutting the dresses. Each dress uses around 3m of fabric so the 20m roll disappears quite quickly!

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The patterns of this dress were made by Helen and the sizes were graded by Holly. Once cut, I bundle each size up along with labels, threads and production sample and take them to Neroli who sews each dress from her studio in Brunswick. 1-2 weeks later I collect the dresses, take them to my studio for a final press before they go online!

Humans are naturally empathetic creatures so if we’re forced to face the harsh reality of these conditions we would (most of the time) be less-likely to support brands that are stripping away the humanity to make room for high volume, low-cost ranges.

Grading dress

ECA is continually educating the general public about the importance of shopping ethically and locally, as a smaller Australian brand why is it important that shoppers consider who made their clothes when purchasing?

Education is so important in knowing where our clothes were made and the conditions they were made in. Humans are naturally empathetic creatures so if we’re forced to face the harsh reality of these conditions we would (most of the time) be less-likely to support brands that are stripping away the humanity to make room for high volume, low-cost ranges. By purchasing locally and from brands accredited by ECA you know you’re supporting businesses that are doing the right thing and by wearing our garments you are an advocate yourself.

I encourage everyone to make one item of clothing to understand the true cost, you’ll be surprised at how much the raw materials cost alone without even considering the time it took you to make it. How much is your time worth?

100% of Farn’s products are proudly made in Australia and accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia.

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ECA’s Guide To Ethical Shopping In Melbourne’s CBD

By Resources

ECA’s Melbourne CBD

Ethical Shopping Itinerary


Heading into Melbourne this weekend for the final shows of Melbourne Fashion Festival or looking for an excuse to support ethically and locally made fashion? We have created our go-to Ethical Shopping guide in Melbourne’s CBD using ECA’s Digital Shopping Map below!

Stop One

If you have hopped off the train or picked up a coffee from Southbank, we are starting our tour out just up the road from Flinders Street station where you will find Remuse Designs. Stocked at Craft Victoria, Watsons Place.

 Stop Two

Take a short stroll up to Bourke Street and head into Myer Melbourne where you will find Cue, Veronika Maine and Anthea Crawford all in one place!

Stop Three

Cross the road to David Jones Melbourne who stock Perri Cutten, Carla Zampatti and Bianca Spender.

Stop Four

To finish your tour, take a stroll a few blocks over to Emporium Melbourne where you will find Viktoria & Woods and Manning Cartell.

Looking for more ECA accredited businesses in and around Melbourne? Check out our Digital Shopping Map here. We recommend heading out to Fitzroy and Brunswick where you can find brands like Denimsmith, Nobody Denim and Arnsdorf!

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Digital Map Leads To Ethical Destination Shopping

By Projects, Resources, Events

Digital Map Leads To Ethical Destination Shopping

Media Release: The Hon Danny Pearson MP – Assistant Treasurer, Minister For Regulatory Reform, Minister For Government Services, Minister For Creative Industries.

Thursday 11th March 2021

As Melbourne Fashion Festival takes off across the city and beyond, a new digital tool has been launched to help consumers find Australianade, ethically conscious fashion across the nation.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson today launched Ethical Clothing Australia’s (ECA) new online shopping map of accredited Australian ethical retail destinations.

The map shows shoppers where to find ECA-accredited brands at 120 store locations around Victoria, and more than 300 throughout Australia, from any device.

It features trailblazing Victorian brands including Anthea Crawford, Arnsdorf, Clothing The Gap, Denimsmith, Nobody Denim, Remuse, The Ark Clothing Co, The Social Studio, Vege Threads and Viktoria & Woods.

To be ECA accredited, a business’s manufacturing operations are audited from design to dispatch to ensure that local textile, clothing and footwear workers, including any outworkers, are being paid appropriately, receiving all their legal entitlements and working in safe conditions.

The new consumer-focused tool acknowledges that shoppers are increasingly on the lookout for businesses that commit to ethical and onshore production principles. It builds on ECA’s printed ethical shopping guide to Melbourne which was released in 2019.

A recent survey by Ethical Clothing Australia of Australian textile, clothing, and footwear manufacturers, found that 70 percent reported that more customers are asking questions about the labour rights of the people who made their clothes.

Celebrating 21 years in 2021, Ethical Clothing Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that supports Australian workers in the fashion industry, advocating for ethical, fair, and safe work practices across the sector including fair pay and good working conditions.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson  

We know fashion lovers are becoming more conscious consumers. Ethical Clothing Australia has met the moment with a new digital map, making ethical fashion businesses a destination shopping experience.”

“It’s fantastic to see so many ECA-accredited Victorian brands who are focused on local and ethical manufacturing and protecting the workers across their supply chain.”

“We’re proud to partner with ECA as it works to create a fairer, more sustainable future for Victorian fashion businesses and find innovative new ways to bring shoppers to their stores.”

Quote attributable to Angela Bell Manager of Ethical Clothing Australia  

“People are looking to buy ethical fashion and so we’re pleased to be able to give Victorians and shoppers around the country an easy way to map out their shopping via the brands selling local, ethically-accredited fashion.”


Many Hands: The Making Of A Garment Exhibition

By Resources, Events

Many Hands: The Making Of A Garment

Have you ever wondered how many hands are involved in the making of an ethical and local garment? As part of Melbourne Fashion Festival 2021 we launched our photographic exhibition Many Hands: The Making of a Garment in collaboration with The Ark Clothing Co and The Social Studio at Collingwood Yards. The exhibition follows the creation of a garment from initial concept to when it lands in store, telling the story of each step in the process and each talented hand that contributes to the garment.

The night was a sold-out success full of insight into the local industry, a discussion on the true cost of a garment and most importantly the many talented hands that are behind the making of our garments. A big thank you to our guest speakers Lyn McPherson – Director, The Ark Clothing Co, Tara Wingate – Production Manager, The Social Studio and Jenny Kruschel – National Secretary, TCF Union for sharing their knowledge on the night.

Our guests also got a behind the scenes tour at The Social Studio’s new space at Collingwood Yards, with a special meet and greet with Dewi Cooke, CEO, The Social Studio. We also collaborated with Denimsmith who kindly provided a denim tote bag for each guest who attended! You can view the digital exhibition below.

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Where To Buy Face Masks Made Ethically & Locally In Australia

By Resources

Where To Buy Face Masks Made Ethically & Locally In Australia

The ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 health pandemic has meant that face masks have become mandatory or highly recommended for use in the community across Australia. ECA accredited businesses have transformed their manufacturing capabilities over the pandemic to produce face masks and we have created a go-to guide on where to shop. Supporting ethical businesses and most importantly Australian garment workers.

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The A.BCH Dust Mask was developed after they recognised a need for masks in the community and to preserve medical grade PPE for health workers. A.BCH originally made more than 350 masks for their customers and the design has been refined over the past three months. The final result is a 2 ply 100% organic cotton mask, crafted from a thick, naturally moister repelling rib outer and light jersey inner.

Shop Here
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Arnsdorf are manufacturing organic cotton face masks for community use. The masks feature three-layer protection for personal use which are machine washable.

Shop Here
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Bluegum are manufacturing 3ply masks in line with DHHS guidelines that are customisable with your businesses brand or logo. The reusable masks feature three layers including a 100% cotton lining.

Shop Here
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Aquaterro reusable face masks are made with three layers. The outward facing layer is 100% polyester and the inner 2 layers are 100% cotton.
The machine washable masks are available in sizes small, medium, large and XL (beard).
For further information call 03 9754 2922 or email

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CGR Sportswear

CGR Face Masks are Made In Australia, For Australia, By Australia. constructed with 3 ply fabric. Layer 1 is made up entirely of polyester / polypropylene which not only allows it to be breathable but ensures the mask will shape itself comfortably around your face, minimising access to your mouth and nose. Layer 2 is a non-woven fusing which actively filters the air you breathe and is essential to creating the effectiveness of CGR’s Face Mask. Layer 3 is also made up entirely of polyester micro mesh to ensure that the mask will keep its shape, is quick drying and anti wicking.

Shop Here
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Engage Athletic

Engage Athletic’s masks feature a three layer design with a breathable, water repellant outer layer. You can also add a custom logo to your mask.

Shop Here

Fashion Clubwear

Fashion Clubwear are producing reusable protective face masks which are three ply and feature an elastic string. They are available in multiple colours in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes.

Shop Here
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Fella Hamilton

Fella Hamilton have created a 3 Ply Mask, made from a lightweight fabric. It is lined with a layer of 100% cotton voile and backed with a 100% cotton lining. The three pleats can be extended to give full coverage from nose to chin. This mask can be hot machine washed and dried. They recommend washing mask after wearing.

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ILKA The Label

ILKA The Label’s face masks are made from their 3D Zorb Organic Cotton fabrication, (this is a super absorbent organic cotton fabric, infused with SILVADUR™ antimicrobial silver ions to inhibit bacterial growth) and feature an elastic ear band.

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Interknit’s face masks are made from a machine washable blend of poly-cotton, these face masks are a seamless single layer in an interlock stitch construction. The thick single layer face mask allows you to breathe while being able to filter droplets (coughing/sneezing).

Shop Here
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Iole Lingerie

Iole Lingerie’s multi-layer masks come in three sizes and are made from 100% cotton. They also feature an adjustable elastic strap and nose wire for comfort.

Shop Here
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LUX Design Group

Lux Design Group are manufacturing the reusable, breathable and washable V Mask locally in Melbourne. The masks feature inner soft poly cotton lining and a triple layer protection with an outer plash guard. They are available in a range of colours and sizes upon request.

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Jem Designs

Jem Designs have created a nylon or cotton lycra face cover in adults, junior and kids sizing for the whole family. These masks are designed to keep you from touching your face and are reusable with a simple wash.

Shop Here


Jobskin masks are made using 100% breathable woven fabric and feature pockets for the addition of a filter if required. The masks are reusable and machine washable.

Shop Here
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The Mask Project

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, The Social Studio have redirected their manufacturing efforts towards producing DHHS compliant reusable cloth face masks for the community – at cost price. Restocking at 9am each day the masks are 100% cotton and come in two sizes.

Shop Here
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LMB Knitwear / Otto & Spike

Otto and Spike has developed a 100% Cotton knitted breathable, reusable and washable face mask designed to discourage you from touching your face!

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Merino Country

Since pre COVID-19 Merino Country have been manufacturing face masks for community use. They have recently been working with the University of Queensland and Dr John Fraser from Prince Charles Hospital to have their masks tested. The masks are made from three layers of 100% Merino and wick the moisture away, are breathable, machine washable & reusable.

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Next State

In conjunction with local Textile Designers we have created a limited edition run of three-layer Art Masks. Printed by Next State and made in Melbourne.

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Nobody Denim

Nobody Denim have created reversible denim face masks and three-layer cloth face masks for community use. The cloth face masks are designed for comfort and ease of wear without sacrificing on coverage nor breathability. With one single elastic strap around the head, this mask can be put on effortlessly and securely when needed. You can purchase denim masks individually and cloth masks in a pack of two. They are also available in small and medium sizes.

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Nya have created masks using off cuts and fabric scraps from their current collections. The masks are made from a hemp/cotton blend and are washable and reusable.

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Qualitops are manufacturing Australian made, three layer face masks in various colours. The masks are designed to contour the face and are available for purchase in a pack of five.

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Remuse have created the Shibori Face mask crafted form 100% organic cotton and made to order. Featuring a pocket for the addition of a filter if required.

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Style Print

The Styleprint Face Mask is made from 2 layers, the outer layer is 100% Polyester with IP treatment and the inner layer is 100% cotton. Can be custom-printed with your businesses design and logo. Styleprint face masks are available for bulk purchase.

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The Ark/Thread Group

The Ark is selling breathable, reusable, 100% cotton double and three-layered layer masks for women and men made by THREAD Group Australia. For every five pack purchased online, The Ark will donate one mask to Impact for Women to benefit women experiencing domestic violence.

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The Social Studio

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, The Social Studio have redirected their manufacturing efforts towards producing DHHS compliant reusable cloth face masks for the community – at cost price. Restocking at 9am each day the masks are 100% cotton and come in two sizes.

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The Mask Project

The Face Mask Project aims to protect your loved ones and the less fortunate. They have teamed up with amazing not-for-profits so you can help. For every 10 masks sold they aredonating 1 mask to those in our community who cannot afford to purchase one.

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The Sample Room

The Sample Room face masks are made with three layers to WHO guidelines. This means they are 3-layer, with the outer 2 layers utilising a close weave hydrophobic fabric (either 2 x layers of close weave polyester, or 1 layer of close weave polyester fused with a layer of polypropylene) and an inner layer of soft, hydrophilic, cotton. The masks can be bought individually or in packs, in small kids and adult sizes.

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Vince Clothing

Vince Clothing are manufacturing three layer 100% cotton fabric masks featuring a pocket for filter inserts. You can find out more and shop via contacting Vince at

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The Sample Room face masks are made with three layers to WHO guidelines. This means they are 3-layer, with the outer 2 layers utilising a close weave hydrophobic fabric (either 2 x layers of close weave polyester, or 1 layer of close weave polyester fused with a layer of polypropylene) and an inner layer of soft, hydrophilic, cotton. The masks can be bought individually or in packs, in small kids and adult sizes.

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20 Year Anniversary and ECA Week Launch Event 2020

By Live Recording, Projects, Resources, Events

Strong commitment to local manufacturing and retaining jobs as industry marks first Ethical Clothing Australia Week

Textile, clothing, and footwear manufacturers remain committed to local manufacturing and retaining jobs in the industry post-COVID-19 according to a survey by Ethical Clothing Australia. The survey of 34 Australian textile, clothing, and footwear manufacturers was conducted in the lead up to Ethical Clothing Australia Week which runs from18-24 October.

One hundred percent of businesses surveyed say they are committed to local manufacturing and retaining local jobs, and more than 70% reported that more customers are asking questions about the labor rights of the people who made their clothes.

And in a rare upside to the COVID-19 pandemic, local garment manufacturers have seen an increase in both new customers and online sales. Almost 60% of survey respondents reported an increase in new customers and 49% have seen an increase in online sales.

Despite the promising responses, the local textile, clothing and footwear industry has felt the effect of COVID-19. While many manufacturers changed operations in a pandemic-inspired pivot to supply vital protective garments and face-masks, many more have needed to suspend operations and close their stores and the survey results revealed that some are uncertain about their future.

Ethical Clothing Australia Manager Angela Bell said the results supported the view that despite these extraordinarily difficult times, there is a rising interest in local and ethical manufacturing.

“There are definite signs of hope such as these are worth celebrating,” said Angela Bell.

“We have received almost double the number of applications for accreditation and we have almost doubled the number of accreditations when compared to this time last year.”

“This means business sees value in being transparent about their supply chains and they see value in the ethical treatment of workers,” she said.

“The ultimate beneficiaries of this work is the workers in the industry as the audits and compliance work undertaken by the Textile, Clothing Footwear Union (TCF Union) as part of this program commonly find breaches across pay, entitlements, and safety that must be rectified”.

“The Union has completed more than 525 compliance checks this year and they have had more than 262 out worker contacts – again exceeding the volume of work undertaken when compared to this time last year.”

This year Ethical Clothing is celebrating 20 years since its beginnings. The organisation was created in response to rising concerns about the exploitation of Australian garment workers, particularly of out workers (otherwise known as homeworkers) in local supply chains.  Businesses that were doing the right thing were being tarnished by the poor practices of other operators and local retailers and manufacturers were seeking a solution to recognise those that were adopting ethical practices. The organisation is a business, employer and union collaboration. To celebrate the 20 years, ECA is launching the first-ever Ethical Clothing Australia Week.

Ethical Clothing Australia Week will be launched by the Hon. Martin Pakula Minister for Industry Support and Recovery at 12 noon today. Ethical Clothing Australia operates with the support of the Victorian Government.
#ECAWeek2020 is the first and only Australian week-long event focused on locally-made, ethically-manufactured clothing, textiles, and footwear. The week will celebrate the brands, the designers, and importantly the skilled workers behind the garments that fashion consumers buy, through events and online activities.

Quote attributable to the Hon. Martin Pakula, Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery

“The success of Ethical Clothing Australia’s accreditation program is a testament to what can happen when business, unions and government collaborate for the good of the industry and the people who work in it.

“I commend the textile, clothing and footwear manufacturers who have voluntarily sought accreditation for adopting ethical employment practices, and I would like to see more manufacturers get on board.”

Quote attributable to Jenny Kruschel, TCF Sector National Secretary of the Manufacturing Division of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union:

“By ensuring Australian textile, clothing and footwear supply chains are fully transparent and legally compliant, Ethical Clothing Australia’s accreditation program gives consumers confidence the garments they buy are made by workers that are being paid Award wages and entitlements.”

Quote attributable to Gary Campbell, Operations Manager, Nobody Denim:

“It is incredibly important to have a level playing field in this industry and for local businesses who are doing the right thing by their workers to get the information and advice that they need to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations – that’s what Ethical Clothing Australia’s accreditation program provides.”