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Sustainably Yours: The Earth Week Edition. Why the world needs you and your love of better made things.

by David James 24 Apr 2024


From newspapers to TikTok influencers, the term ‘greenwashing’ has more recently stumbled into our popular vernacular - for good or bad – pessimistically describing when companies mislead their consumers about how environmentally sound their products are. The formula is simple, just slap an ‘organic’ or ‘ethically made’ label onto your product and expect it to move units. Tut tut!

These days consumers are getting smarter and care more about the things they bring into their home, put on and in their body, and whether those products are doing harm to people and the planet. No matter how much a company pays a fancy PR company to spin it, the truth is consumers are doing their due diligence and voting with their purchasing power.  

These days companies need to authentically demonstrate how they are actually giving a damn about the environment and living up to their values. 

“It’s true, we are seeing more people coming into the store looking for better quality products that will last,” says Brenda, our homewares guru. “People are fed up with waste and want longevity in the things they buy. Not just something they will end up throwing away in a year.”

Driven by our own values for change Thomas’s has been for the better part of a decade transitioning into practices that better support the future of our people and planet. Whether that’s going paperless in our offices, or using more environmentally friendly packaging (such as our faves: #INVISIBLEBAG – a water-soluble, compostable, biodegradable plastic alternative), or by partnering with brands that support ethical labour practices or reducing their carbon footprint, one of the first questions we ask any company who wants to be a part of the Thomas’s story is: hey, what are you doing to make the world a better place?

“At Thomas's, one of the things that the team look at is the sustainability of any product,” Brenda says. “When you're dealing with an owner operator, we're also dealing very closely with the manufacturers and the distributors. We go through their environmental statements, how they treat their workers... Then, we actually know those people, and their story. And we can share that story with a customer.”


We do the due diligence, so you don’t have to.


“Well, I think people nowadays are more conscious about all the waste that goes with creating a garment,” says June from womenswear. “They want something that's sustainable that there is a reduction in waste, the plastic, the whatever else is goes into all that material and fabric that is harmful to both the environment and the people wearing them. They also want to know if the product will last.”

“That’s right. It's sustainable and it's not the turf away, cheap, one season product,” says Robyn from womenswear.

For Earth Week (starting on Earth Day, April 22nd and finishing on April 28th) and beyond we are always happy to take showcase just some of the brands that we feel have been consistently delivering for the future of the planet and people. Here they are, and the reasons why you too need to give them a big thumbs up during Earth Week.



RM Williams:

Apart from making absolutely gorgeous boots that last, RM Williams are committed to crafting products that have a positive environmental impact on the world. This means moving to regenerative material supply chains and operating their own manufacturing responsibly and renewably. The company also recently engaged a third party to conduct a living wage audit for all employees globally to ensure its employees are being remunerated fairly. The company has also invested in reducing their upstream emissions per boot by 50% by 2030, by partnering with regenerative farms, sourcing 100% leather from tanneries certified Gold (or equivalent) by the Leather Working Group.


The problem is there’s not enough space to discuss how much R.M Williams are doing right now for the environment as leaders in the fashion industry. We’re just proud of these guys, and you can read more about it all here:



Denim company Neuw is one of those brands who are really, truly thinking outside the box and doing things differently. Famously, the water utilized in their manufacturing process is entirely reused and recycled, ensuring zero waste is discharged as contaminated sewage. But Neuw is also deeply committed to environmental stewardship and ethical labor practices. The company's focus extends to every aspect of its operations, from selecting sustainable materials like Australian grown and organic cotton to innovative water recycling processes in manufacturing. Neuw is not only passionate about reducing its environmental footprint through energy, water waste reduction, and recycling but also champions circular design principles to minimize reliance on raw materials.



One of our favourite brands Thrills, are part of the 1% FOR THE PLANET network, a global consortium of businesses dedicated to safeguarding the natural environment committing 1% of their sales to environmental causes. Also, since 2019, they have allocated a portion of their sales from selected sustainable products to support SEED, marking Australia’s inaugural Indigenous youth climate network. Directed by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, SEED enables youth and communities to champion climate justice. It equips them with the necessary skills and confidence to lead meaningful climate campaigns and articulate their narratives.



Of course, any discussion about sustainable practices needs to include NZ brand Kowtow. The company was founded on the principles of eliminating all plastics from their clothing. For 17 years Kowtow has really been leading the way in their commitment to Fairtrade organic cotton, and other companies are and have been following their lead. From the labels to even the buttons, not a single lick of plastic is used in the manufacturing of their products. Plus, since Kowtow's inception in 2006, they have been Fairtrade-certified, working with Fairtrade-certified partners throughout our supply chain. From Fairtrade-certified cotton farmers to mills and manufacturers, the company can trace every part of our process from seed to garment.


Lollys Laundry:

Copenhagen based Lollys Laundry predominately use natural fibers including cotton, wool, mohair and leather. Recently ECOVERO viscose has been introduced which is a pulp derived from wood with a manufacturing process low in emissions and water impact.

Also, Lollys Laundry use JIAREN fibers which is a new technology creating recycled polyester which has been made from old garments from Adidas, H&M and Ikea etc. This reduces co2 emissions and waste.


Silka Designs:

Did you know that rattan is one of nature’s most environmentally friendly materials? As one of the world’s oldest and largest producers of rattan furniture, sustainability has always been a part of Sika Design’s DNA since 1942. Sika Design’s factories are located in Indonesia, where the wickerwork is a tradition-bound craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation. The harvest is done by hand, using only a few machines in the process. When you buy Sika Design you can be assured that the company is committed to both regenerative practices and fair trade.

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