Photo via Heidi and Seek
You may know Lagerfeld from Armani and Balenciaga from Burberry, but if your fashion knowledge doesn't extend to the land Down Under, then you're missing out. Australia is home to a thriving fashion industry where designers put respect for the environment, fair working conditions, recycled fabrics, and organic cotton at the top of their design list. Click through to see seven of the most eco-friendly Australian collections ready to hit your closet now.
1. Heidi and Seek
Heidi and Seek founder Hayley Lau spent her childhood choosing cost over quality--but when she became aware of the environmental damage and working conditions that go into the production of inexpensive, low-quality clothing, she decided to switch things up: Enter Heidi and Seek, a line of one-of-a-kind pieces handmade by Lau entirely from reclaimed or upcycled fabrics. The flirty tops and bright colors give new life to otherwise discarded clothes, and are meant to last--Lau is against disposable fashion, so you know you're getting your money's worth.
Photo via Limedrop Limedrop designers--and husband-and-wife team--Clea Garrick and Nathan Price developed their line of fun, funky fashions for men and women in 2005, with Garrick picking up fashion design and Price focusing on marketing and sustainability. The clothes and jewelry, made from ethically-produced, eco-friendly fabrics and materials, are chic and youthful: The Autumn/Winter 2009 collection is full of eye-catching textures, bold colors, and slouchy shapes, and the intricate wooden necklaces add a whimsical touch.
3. Mother Maria
Photo via Mother Maria
Fashion designer Katie Gannon launched her first collection in 2006, under the Mother Maria label--the name is a tribute to her grandmother--with a lineup of clothes made from reconstructed and remodeled vintage pieces. She still works vintage fabrics and patterns into almost every piece, but also includes recycled fibers and organic cotton in the line--and makes sure her clothes are even more sustainable by being strict about using only ethical production conditions.
4. Two Beat Tremble
Photo via Two Beat Tremble
Shots of neon orange, bright green, and electric blue paired with dark leggings, modern silhouettes, and eye-catching shoes made the 2008 collection from Two Beat Tremble impossible to miss--and the sustainable fabrics make the pieces nearly impossible to pass up. Focusing on incorporating organic and sustainable choices whenever they can, designers Kelly Elkin and Betony Dircks especially like bamboo, and described themselves to the Web site Four Thousand as "inspired by anything and everything, from 1930s designer Elsa Schiaparelli to the stirrup-pant leggings we wore when we were kids."