With social media algorithms advancing every other day, it can be hard to ensure your feed is filled with the messaging that you want to see. With paid promotions from tacky brands to hashtags filled with clickbait, curating an aesthetic and mentally healthy feed on your socials isn’t quite what it was in the good old days.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on zero waste living, sustainable styling choices, or which ethical brands you should be taking note of, these are the people who can point you in the right direction. We’ve curated a list of some of the best New Zealand and Australian-based sustainable fashion, lifestyle and ethically-minded influencers and bloggers that you should be following.
1. Good on You
Ok, you’ve probably already heard of this Emma Watson-supported empire, but they’re too good not go give a shout out to. Founded in Australia by Sandra Capponi and Gordon Renouf, Good on You is the world’s leading source for fashion brand ratings, and is all about being good to the planet, its people, and animals. Run by a team of campaigners, fashion professionals, writers, scientists and developers, everything that Good on You works for contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular emphasis on sustainable production and consumption patterns. As well as having a downloadable app so that you can research fashion brands anytime, anywhere, their Instagram and website is full of easy-to-navigate ‘How Ethical is…’ guides on popular fashion brands with a handy smiley rating system. With so many specific posts, you can type pretty much anything into their search bar and be met with a slew of helpful guides to point you in the right direction. A great starting point? 42 Sustainable Brands for Every Budget and Taste.
Image via Elite Daily website
Kate Hall is the ball of sunshine behind this New Zealand business that inspires people to live in a way that respects and protects our planet and its people. An educator, activist and blogger, Kate works tirelessly to advocate for better daily habits in keeping with a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle. She makes her own kombucha (and can teach you at one of her workshops, too!), and has even presented on a TedX stage. Her blog and social media feature sustainably minded brands, so if you’re looking to make some positive change in the way that you shop, look no further. Have a read of her guide to Where to Shop for Sustainable & Eco Friendly Products in New Zealand to get you started.
What began in 2016 as one woman’s search to find a platform that made it easy to discover ethical brands and their stories quickly became Ethical Made Easy, a global platform curating brands that are actively working toward creating a better planet. Now Jasmine Mayhead, the Melbourne-based Founder and Editor-in-Chief, wants to share these conscious brands with the world to help other adopt more ethical and sustainable lifestyles too. Check out their Journal for cool interviews with the founders of the featured brands, as well as topical articles on global fashion issues – an easy entry point is 32 Fast Fashion Facts That Will Change Your Shopping Habbits for Good. A must read, in our books.
Image of Jasmine Mayhead, from Ethical Made Easy website
4. Maggie Zhou
Slow fashion advocate Maggie Zhou is based in Naarm (Melbourne) and hosts the Culture Club Podcast. Her portfolio is impressive, having featured in Fashion Journal, Well Made Clothes, Broadsheet, ELLE, Marie Claire, and also appeared on the Shameless podcast. Her article, Sustainable Fashion & its Problem with Size Inclusivity, is a must-read, and Maggie also covers other essential topics such as cultural appropriation in fashion and internalised racism in the beauty industry. With swoon-worthy style and her insightful, punchy writing, Maggie’s definitely someone worth following.
It all started with Jennifer Nini, writer, activist and certified organic farm owner, in 2010. Now, this brand has grown into a media empire, covering all the important stuff: sustainable fashion, environmental issues, conservation, feminism, social justice, politics, eco beauty and wellness, and green technology. This community is all about uplifting likeminded people, with a particular focus on feminism. Women supporting women? Yes please!
Start with the post 22 Steps Closer to Zero Waste Living: Disposable Items to Stop Buying Right Now, and for some more thought-provoking reading, check out Sustainable Living: Is it Just for Rich People?, and let yourself fall down the EWP rabbit hole.
What started as Lindsay Miles’s humble blog back in 2013 has since grown into a sustainable lifestyle website with close to 100,000 monthly hits. Treading My Own Path is all about living with less waste and sharing practical, achievable steps towards better, more sustainable habits. Lindsay is an author twice over, has spoken on a TedX stage, and has graced almost every Australian news station. Additionally, she was a founding director of the Plastic Free Foundation, a not-for-profit that you may know for their Plastic Free July campaign. If you’re looking for tips on reducing waste around the house, or food-related sustainable living, Treading My Own Path is the blog to try! A great place to start is Lindsay’s article on 37 Ways to Use Less Plastic in 2021.
Erin Rhoades is the lovable redhead behind this cracking plastic-free and zero-waste lifestyle blog. With a focus on finding the joy and health in life, Erin has been writing about how reducing her waste and exposure to harmful chemicals has led to a simpler, but richer life – all while saving money. She’s released a couple of books, Waste Not, followed by Waste Not Everyday, on the subject – with 5% of her author profits going to Waste Aid Australia every year. In 2020, Erin also became Queen Victoria Market’s first Sustainability Ambassador. Not only that, but she was also one of the legends behind the grassroots advocacy campaign Plastic Bag Free Victoria, which submitted the largest petition to Victorian parliament in more than a decade and led to the state-wide ban on plastic bags in November 2019.
The Rogue Ginger covers topics ranging from zero waste living, to fashion and beauty, to raising little ones in a minimal waste household, to reading recommendations that will broaden your understanding of all things sustainably minded. In 2016 she even covered her own Zero Waste Wedding and it’s full of inspiration for anyone planning on tying the knot.
Founded by Claire Goldsworthy, whose deep love for fashion is what began this journey, The Fashion Advocate is on a mission to create a community of sustainable and ethical brands and businesses who are dedicated to making the Australian and New Zealand fashion industry a better place. There’s an online store, a magazine, pop up shops, even an annual runway event – if you want to investigate ethical fashion, this is the blog for you. With a super aesthetic website and easy-to-navigate blog to help you jump to any topic, you can read about nearly anything here. Claire is all about encouraging people to make better fashion choices that will lead to a healthier planet. Start with her blog I Tried the Minimalist Thing and Bought Nothing New for A Whole Year and you’ll be hooked by her accessible and engaging writing.
This sustainable fashion platform is headed by the incredible Claire Press, the first ever VOGUE Sustainability Editor and first Global Ambassador for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative. Driven by a passion for sharing knowledge, The Wardrobe Crisis is firm in their belief that clothes can’t be beautiful if they’re made in an ugly way. A Sydney-based journalist, filmmaker, author and presenter, Claire also created the Wardrobe Crisis podcast in 2017, as well as co-hosting the Ethical Fashion podcast with UN officer Simone Cipriani. Not only that, but Claire has also founded the Wardrobe Crisis Academy, offering courses in Sustainable Fashion in association with the Australia Fashion Council and Arch & Hook. Have a look at their post “If You Like This, Try That” – Sustainable Swaps for Your Favourite Brands for some great brand inspiration based on your own personal style.
Portrait of Claire Press by Dvora, from The Wardrobe Crisis website.
10. Connie & Luna
Connie’s passion for beautiful photographic content makes Connie & Luna a real treat for your eyes. Naarm-based travel, lifestyle, home & sustainable living blogger, Connie puts her love of all things creative to good use and has plenty of great tips to share around gardening, composting and plastic free living. After completing a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce, Connie went on to study Permaculture Design, and is currently working on her Diploma of Sustainable Living at the University of Tasmania. Her post on Five Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint at Home is a good place to start, but you’ll quickly find yourself lost in the gorgeous outdoor content. Try her Summer Planting Guide, or the Winter Garden Harvest Diaries for the colder months.
Image of Connie Cao from the Connie & Luna website.
Valerie is a Perth-based blogger and conscious consumer, with a focus on intentional living and minimalism. Her Instagram page is full of brand recommendations and handy how-to posts and videos, such as How to Have a Sustainable Period and her at-home skincare recipes. With her content being based mostly on social media, Valerie’s posts are super accessible and fun to tune into.
12. Danni Duncan
Based in Hawkes Bay, Danni is a beauty and wellness ambassador as well as a fierce advocate for fair fashion. A big supporter of the #whomademyclothes movement, she provides a great range of resources on the living wage and calls out fast fashion brands on her socials. Not only that, but her pastel outfits are to die for, and she promotes some stunning local NZ businesses. Danni is also the beauty contributor for Avenues Magazine and shares her Bare-Faced Truth, writing openly about a life with acne.
13. Eco Styles
Following on from The Wardrobe Crisis is Eco Styles, founded by Nina Gbor, an award-winning sustainability advocate, ethical fashion speaker, climate activist, writer and educator. Before she was the Development Editor at TWC, Nina coined the phrase ‘get off the fashion trendmill’ and taught sustainable fashion subjects at RMIT University in Naarm. Now, Nina lives a life based on combining her passions for fashion, sustainability, female empowerment, and poverty alleviation. Her blog is a beautiful ode to vintage and second-hand fashion, told through personal stories that will make you smile. Meanwhile, check out this in depth piece about how Climate Change Has the Biggest Impact on Women.
Nina Gbor recreating the Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment. Photos by Brunela Fenalte Photography & Bryant Evans, from the Eco Styles website.
Words by Jess Stanley | @speakinjess