Finalist 2020

Etiko – Helping Make Fashion Fair & Sustainable

Etiko P/L

Etiko is the pioneering fairtrade focused fashion label committed to manufacturing ethically made wardrobe basics with minimal environmental harm.

Our clothing and footwear are made only from certified organic textiles, & the soles of our sneakers and thongs are crafted from sustainably farmed Fairtrade rubber.

To ensure a holistic approach to our brand’s sustainability values, in 2019 we introduced a take-back for our old footwear which is recycled in Melbourne and made into rubber matting. We are about to introduce a similar program for all clothing that we have ever sold.

Design Excellence

To minimise our environmental impact, Etiko manufactures predominately unisex garments and footwear. We use classic designs and silhouettes that have proven to be customer favourites over the past 14 years.

Examples include rubber-toed canvas sneakers, rubber thongs, hoodies, T-shirts, leggings, singlets and underwear. These wardrobe staples don’t date and therefore deter customers from participating in fast-fashion fads.

All of our products are made from high-quality natural materials including organic cotton and sustainable rubber. Our brand always has been vegan, and we avoid plastic by using recycled paper and cardboard for our swing tags and packaging.

Design Impact

Etiko strives to demonstrate industry excellence by designing quality Fairtrade products at genuinely affordable prices, and taking responsibility for our waste.

By avoiding synthetic fibres almost entirely, we ensure our clothing won’t release microfibres when washed and can biodegrade at the end of their lifecycle.

Our footwear take-back program rewards customers with store credits and facilitates rubber recycling from our old shoes, helping to close the loop on our waste. We aim to implement a similar recycling scheme for clothing later this year.

We also sell replacement shoelaces, which can help extend the life of our footwear, and offset our carbon emissions by supporting the plantation of forests in East Timor.

Design Transformation

This year, Etiko’s web sales increased by 52% and more than 30% of our online traffic now originates from North America.

There is a global appetite for thoughtfully crafted clothing and footwear made by brands who take authentic steps to minimise their waste, provide social justice to garment workers, respect the environment and craft vegan products.

Etiko does all of this, which is why our supporter base is now worldwide, and our family-owned business has been able to tackle a global marketplace while continuing to work with Victorian businesses (like our rubber recycler), employ Victorian staff and helped raise much need funds for Australian not-for-profits including Sea Shepherd, Animals Australia and Free the Bears.

Design Innovation

To differentiate ourselves from other fashion brands we take innovative steps to reduce our environmental impact and ensure our garment workers receive a fair salary.

To do this we:

  • Only use certified organic textile and sustainably farmed rubber to manufacture our products;
  • Avoid plastic by using recycled cardboard and paper for our packaging;
  • Offer footwear recycling for unwanted shoes and incentivise the program;
  • Offset our carbon emissions;
  • Are vegan;
  • Aim to educate customers through our monthly newsletter/blog;
  • Trace our supply chains from cotton seed to finished product;
  • Pay our textile workers a Fairtrade Premium on top of manufacturing costs to ensure they achieve a living wage (the first fashion brand in Australia to do this)

Other Key Features

In 2008 Etiko won the Banksia Environmental Foundation Award for most sustainable business in Australia. The first and only fashion brand to ever do so.

Etiko is the  ONLY fashion brand to receive an A+ rating for ethical production in the Australian Ethical Fashion Report every year since the report began in 2013 .

In 2016, Etiko became the first  fashion label to ever receive an Australian Human Rights Award for addressing the issue of exploitation in fashion supply chains.

Etiko has helped hundreds of companies apply the UN\’s Sustainable Development Goals to the procurement of branded clothing. Clients include RMIT, KPMG, Salvation Army & the Australian Greens.

Etiko has assisted numerous Aboriginal Arts Centres apply sustainability and social impact to the production of a variety of fashion items …from natural rubber thongs (Injalak Arts) to fabrics (Anindilyakwa Arts)

Fashion Design 2020 Finalists

Christian Kimber

Christian Kimber





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