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Circular, transparent, timeless: how Australian brand Arnsdorf has set the bar for sustainable fashion

Photography By Arnsdorf

Whether you’re channelling Grace Kelly in a classic 50s headscarf, strutting around in a pair of wide-leg pants, styling a unisex outfit with a fringed bag, or sporting balloon sleeves, you’re making a statement about who you are.

Fashion is the most universal form of self-expression and even the face mask you wear conveys a message to the world.

Jade Sarita Arnott, the founder of womenswear label Arnsdorf, agrees. When she decided to launch her own fashion label in 2006, her credo was that what you wear has a direct influence on the way you feel. “I truly believe that good design and beautiful things make a powerful impact on our lives,” Arnott says.

After taking a hiatus from fashion due to “increasing concerns over how the fashion industry operated in terms of environmental impact and human rights”, Arnott relaunched Arnsdorf three years ago with the view that her brand could be part of the industry’s solutions, rather than its problems.

“[We restructured] our whole operation and brought our manufacturing in-house where we could ensure that the people realising the vision of the designs were working in safe, pleasant and meaningful working conditions and were respected for the crucial role and skills they bring to the garment creation process,” Arnott says. As an accredited B Corp, she also makes transparency a priority, publishing comprehensive information on the suppliers, workers and raw materials used to make each garment.

“I feel that in the future we will demand all brands in every industry to operate from a foundation of transparency, ethical manufacturing and sustainability and we will look back and be perplexed that this wasn’t always the way,” she muses.

Arnsdorf’s garments are a reflection of both practicality and personal style. Basic tees and cut-out tanks sit alongside timeless classics like tailored trousers and suit jackets, while textured dresses and tops with surprising silhouettes showcase Arnott’s creativity and flair. She hopes her collections encourage customers to build long-term relationships with their clothes and keep them in circulation for as long as possible, even offering free lifetime repairs and complimentary alterations on all Arnsdorf garments.

“Most of our customers come to us for the combination we provide,” Arnott says. “They are attracted to the aesthetic design and when that is backed up with our ethical and sustainability commitments, it allows them to feel aligned both stylistically and with their personal values.”

Arnott recently announced another initiative to improve the label’s circularity efforts, launching a system with Swapchain where customers can exchange Arnsdorf garments they’re not wearing with ones they will. “This has been an exciting step in our circularity journey and we look forward to introducing even more innovative initiatives towards full circularity of the product,” she says.

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