Nico Underwear - Australia's first ethical clothing underwear brand + giveaway

12 August 2014
When I tell people that I buy all my clothes second hand I usually get challenged with the question “But what about your underwear?” I will freely admit that I don't buy thrift store underwear or stockings (nothing wrong with those that do!). When I admit that I do buy NEW items I add that it is ethical, sustainable and Australian made brands like Nico the first Australian underwear brand to be accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia that sits snuggly in my lingerie draw.

  There are labels on just about everything outlining if it's organic, not tested on animals and fair trade providing transparency into the companies practice. Ethical Clothing Australia is one of those bodies that lets us, the consumer, know that a product is being made ethically ensuring all workers are being paid fairly and working in good conditions and is a sustainable practice. If you see the ECA logo then it is safe to say the company has ticked the boxes to earn them that badge.

Ethical Clothing Australia
I was fortunate enough to interview Elisabeth Harvey the designer, brains and beauty behind Australian underwear brand Nico a Ethical Clothing Australia accredited brand.
Where and how do you source your fabric? Why do you source it from here?
Every collection is different and we source from a lot of different places and suppliers. The things we are always looking for though are the eco credentials of the fibre (eg. Organic cotton over regular cotton), the conditions staff are working under to produce it and of course that it is lovely and soft and beautiful to wear!

Why did you have a desire to make your garments in Australia? What do you think are the benefits?
I knew that we certainly wanted to ensure an ethical supply chain and ensure that no workers would be exploited in the creation of our garments. This can be achieved offshore as well as in Australia but the idea of keeping things local did appeal to me. NICO is manufactured in our hometown of Brisbane - just 15 mins away from our office, so I can be really involved in the process and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

What credentials did you need to have to be Australia's first underwear brand accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia?
The way that Ethical Clothing Australia works is to provide independent accreditation of our supply chain to ensure that everyone involved is being paid fairly and working in good conditions. We report regularly to ECA with details of what suppliers we are working with and they in turn visit those suppliers to ensure fair workplace laws are being upheld.

Nico Underwear - Australia's first ethical clothing underwear brand

What are the benefits of being apart of Ethical Clothing Australia? What kind of support do they offer?
Fashion supply chains can be complicated things and so to have an independent body who are able to investigate thoroughly and provide a guarantee to me and in turn to my customers that our garments are being made in ethical conditions is really invaluable. They are also so great at connecting us with consumers out there who are looking to make more ethical clothing choices.

What are your plans for the future of Nico Underwear?
Right now we are working on a basics range which we are really looking forward to releasing later this year. It's going to be all about great cuts, beautiful fabrics and the colours we need for the everyday – all made right here in Brisbane :)

Nico Underwear - Australia's first ethical clothing underwear brand

Ethical Clothing Australia is without a doubt necessary for a sustainable and ethical clothing industry to flourish here in Australia. And as a sustainability advocate I support their hard work and vision for the future. Not only does it keep operations crystal clear for the consumer, it promotes and supports local businesses like Nico so we can enjoy kind and beautiful lingerie made right here in Australia. I think that is pretty awesome.

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