Skip to main content

How To Find A Clothing Manufacturer That’s Ethical

By 23 May 2024June 3rd, 2024Projects, Resources

How to find an ethical clothing manufacturer

Launching and running a clothing brand in the competitive fashion industry can be tough. You’re an entrepreneur with fresh original designs and you need the right manufacturer to bring your idea to life. Where do you start? 

With so many textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) manufacturers out there, selecting or switching to an ethical manufacturer can give your brand the extra edge to appeal to conscious consumers. 

We’ve put together a guide that explains how to find a clothing manufacturer while keeping ethical considerations and the rights of garment workers front of mind. We’ll show you what to look out for and highlight all the benefits of choosing ethical when choosing the right manufacturer for your clothing business.  

Why you should care about ethical manufacturing

As a society, we are becoming aware that  clothing and other TCF products that are mass-produced by large manufacturers can involve labour exploitation and other unethical business practices that are to the detriment of the workers in the industry around the globe.  

The silver lining is that conscious consumerism is on the rise. We live in a world where buyers are becoming increasingly concerned about how and where their clothes are produced to find the best clothing for them. Whether the clothes they’re buying are made ethically, topics like working standards and supporting local and small businesses are on the conscious consumer’s radar. Ultimately, for designers it’s worth considering the rise of ethical fashion before deciding on the right manufacturer and then you should apply for your own certification with Ethical Clothing Australia.

What are the priorities for your business? 

Understanding ethical fashion is complex. With so much industry jargon and buzzwords it can be overwhelming for conscious clothing brands to tick every box – and do so to a high standard. Realistically, a start-up clothing company will struggle to do everything at once, so we recommend choosing a clothing manufacturer that aligns with what you care about and value most and that you attain accreditation.

At Ethical Clothing Australia , we’ve directed our focus to prioritise people and protect the rights of both local factory-based workers and outworkers (those working from home).  

Supporting people just like you

Supporting the rights of workers is something to feel good about. By going with an ethically accredited manufacturer for your clothing line, you know the organisation is taking care of their employees with fair wages and appropriate working conditions. It also sends a message to consumers that your business values the people who make your product.  

Creating a positive brand perception 

By choosing to go with an ethically accredited manufacturer, you are giving your clothing brand a point of difference in a highly competitive market. Even if consumers are not particularly conscious when it comes to clothes shopping, they can feel good about shopping ethically and create a positive association with your brand. Positive brand perception also creates a clear marketing strategy for your organisation with a unique selling point (USP), brand credibility and can help manage brand reputation. 

Choosing to go ethical later can be challenging 

Launching a brand and then later deciding to swap manufacturers may become quite complicated. Many brands do decide to be more socially conscious in their practices as their brand becomes established but it’s not always a straightforward process. Considering ethical manufacturing and your certification in the early stages of launching a clothing brand may save your company time and money down the track.  

Risk management  

You can rest easy knowing your business is operating at the highest ethical standards. Not only is there great value in third-party compliance and supply chain management for textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) workers, but it can also be used to manage risk of a crisis as the public interest in ethical business practices continues to increase and consumer habits change over time. 

Advocate for goods made in Australia

Now, more than ever, we should be trying to put money back into our economy and investing in Australian producers, makers and manufacturers. Our accredited manufacturers see the benefits and beauty of making ethically in Australia, utilising all the technology, innovation and resources we already have onshore and employing local workers who are skilled, protected and respected.   

Finding an ethical manufacturer with Ethical Clothing Australia 

Now you know some of the key benefits of choosing ethical manufacturing, our ethical manufacturer guide is an easy way to search for and contact manufacturers directly!  

Ethical Clothing Australia’s accreditation program is focused on ensuring that Australian garment workers are being paid appropriately, receiving all the legal entitlements and working in safe workplaces throughout the entire supply chain from design to dispatch. 

We are a joint industry and union initiative that embraces a multi-stakeholder approach toward a more transparent industry whereby supply chain management and adhering to workplace laws is the TCF industry standard.  

Our guide lets you filter manufacturers by product, fabric type, minimum order quantity, capabilities and so much more. Read their Ethical Clothing Australia profile and get in touch with them once you’ve found the right match.

We’ve done the hard part, all you have to do is choose your manufacturing partner to get your idea off the ground and into production.  

The next step? Apply for accreditation! 

Did you know that once you start manufacturing or giving out work in Australia, you could also be eligible for accreditation with Ethical Clothing Australia? Join our community of likeminded businesses and enjoy a range of benefits!   

  • Feel confident that your business is meeting your legal obligations under the TCFAI Award and other relevant Australian workplace laws;
  • Display the prestigious Ethical Clothing Australia trademark;
  • Gain access to training, networking and events;
  • Show your commitment to a vibrant, thriving and ethical fashion industry right here in Australia!
Want to know more? Contact us and we’ll answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, discover more benefits to becoming accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia and the rules about use of Ethical Clothing Australia’s trademark