13 stylish sustainable Australian homeware brands to discover

Australia is home to not only a burgeoning slow fashion movement, but also to a slew of homewares brands that are likewise focused on sustainable and ethical production practices. 

With everyone still mostly locked down across the country, the focus on our homes has seen an increased awareness of what we really want when we are making our nests more comfortable – style and coziness without a corresponding impact on the environment. 

ABODE LIVING

Established by the same Melbourne family behind Australia’s top bedding brand Adairs, Abode Living is was set up in 1991 after selling the original business to focus on creating handcrafted luxury bedding in small, hand-sewn runs of sheeting and quilts. The brand produces in Australia using fabrics from around the world manufactured at ethical facilities. While offering the usual sheets and quilt covers, Abode Living also produces its own filled quilts and pillows, towels and bathmats, table cloths, napkins and placemats, throws and cushions and even sleepwear and loungewear – basically everything you need for your home that is made from fine fabrics. The brand also has plans to move into creating furniture hand-crafted in Melbourne. Go to: www.abodeliving.com

DOLLMA DESIGN

Established in 2014, this Melbourne brand creates hand-crafted homewares specialising in woven baskets and bags made from cotton rope, jute, sisal and other natural materials. Set up by two friends Olga and Danijela, the pair make everything by hand from wall art, wooden serving trays and baskets to cushions. The baskets are great for decorative plant pots or home storage and come in a wide variety of sizes. Go to: www.dollmadesign.com

MARLA + CO 

For pretty decorative wall-hangings and tassel chandeliers, check out Marla + Co by Melbourne artist Shannon. The pieces are all handmade from natural materials and can also be made-to-order to exactly match your interior decor. All items are made to order and take between two to three weeks to produce depending on the size. Go to: marlaco.com.au

MILK WORKSHOP

These ceramic pieces have an artistic, minimalist style featuring unique shapes and detailed textiles in natural materials. The plates are detailed with beautiful line drawings and match fabulous gifts. Go to: milkworkshop.com

HUXTER HOME

Started in 2016 by Claudine Welsh, Huxter Home offers a mix of pretty gifting products, but its focus is on Australian-made soaps and skincare with unique packaging featuring the work of Australian artists using all natural materials and sustainable packaging. These products are perfect additions to any bathroom or powder room and make stunning gifts. Go to: huxter.com.au

LITTLE RAY DESIGN

Artist Jessica Anderson produces beautiful floral paintings that are the perfect addition to any home. Her works are available framed or unframed from The Artisan Storeroom or Forman Art & Framing, both stockists of more fantastic Australian artists’ work. Go to: www.littleraydesign.com.au

R2 DESIGNS

Gracie Ferro started R2 Designs for her handmade soy candles. All of her candles are non toxic and non-paraffin. Since the brand’s launch the online store has also begun stocking other Australian homewares brands including Kip & Co bedding, Sage & Clare bathroom goods – fabulous fun bath mats in particular –  and Summer Salt Body crystal deodorant. Go to: r2designs.com.au 

ROBERT GORDON POTTERY

This brand has been around for 35 years making handcrafted ceramics and pottery pieces in the back streets of Melbourne. Robert Gordon was an art potter who was also the son of renowned Australian potter June Dyson. The brand is known for its beautifully finished fine ceramic pieces including full dinner sets, stunning feature bowls, platters and vases, as well as cool items like keep cups. Everything is made on site in the Melbourne factory using their own unique stains and glazes with a range of traditional and modern tools, and sustainably recycling the clay offcuts. This is statement pottery at its best. Go to: www.robertgordonaustralia.com

SELJAK RECYCLED BLANKETS

Sisters Sam and Karina Seljak established Seljak in March 2016, with the aim of creating a circular production system. The brand works with Australia’s oldest mill in Tasmania and a 92-year-old weaving mill in Lithuania to weave recycled wool blankets made from a minimum of 70% recycled merino or lambswool and a 30% blend of other fibres (mohair, cotton and alpaca and poly). After you have finished with the blanket, the brand collects it free of charge and recycles it again into a new blanket. On top of these sustainable credentials, for every 10 blankets sold the brand donates one blanket to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) in Melbourne. Most importantly though, these blankets are beautiful, super soft and amazingly warm. Go to: www.seljakbrand.com.au

STUDIO TINTA

The stunning hand-dyed bedding by natural dyer Katie Wilkins is not only uniquely beautiful but also all natural. Studio Tinta is based in Newcastle, NSW, where Wilkins hand produces her dyes using fresh and dried plant materials, non-toxic metal mordants, heat and water, before using them on natural fibres like silk, linen, hemp and organic cotton. The fabrics are then turned into sleepwear and bedding. Even the natural materials used to make the dyes are composted. The Studio Tinta silk pillowcases are made at a family run factory accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia, and the silk eye masks and scrunchies are handmade in the brand’s studio. Studio Tinta uses compostable packaging, carbon neutral shipping, and is plastic free. Go to: studiotinta.com.au

THIS IS INCENSE

If you love a scented home, try the Australiana scents from This Is Incense. These incense sticks are created from native Australian essential oils from the coastal surf spots of Bells Beach, Byron Bay and Margaret River, and are all hand-dipped in Melbourne. The brand also produces handy incense holders in ceramic, timber and metal. Go to: www.thisisincense.com.au

YUMMY LINEN

Yummy Linen is a bedding brand that offers a variety of products, but the highlights are their organic cottons, handmade Kantha bedding and bedding recycled from Indian saris. While the brand finishes much of its bedding in Australia, they also support ethical consumerism via support for small family manufacturers in India when they source their fabric. The brand also works with a small family run business that employs local villages to make Kantha fabric pieces. The men do the block printing, and the women do the Kantha hand stitching. The recycled sari fabrics are hand-dyed with plant-based dyes before being turned into soft furnishings. If you are looking for pretty, boho pieces for your home, this is the brand for you. Go to: www.yummylinen.com.au

WAVERLEY MILLS

Established in 1874, Tasmania’s Waverley Mills is Australia’s oldest working textile mill producing fabrics and products that are beautiful and last forever. The brand works with wool, alpaca, and cotton to create artisan crafted blankets, rugs, throws, scarves, and recycled blankets. The mill also uses the latest in sustainable production practices, that cover everything from fibre sourcing, minimising waste and using own unused yarn and to produce recycled blankets to distribution. Most importantly, however, is that these products are beautiful, comfortable, long-lasting and the perfect addition to add texture and luxury to a home. Go to: waverleymills.com

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