Obus is proud to offer affordable, high quality garments to our customers while at the same time supporting local businesses, the Australian manufacturing industry, and social causes we believe in.
While Obus’ inspiration is global the mainstay of each collection is proudly manufactured in Australia.
Approximately 80% off Obus garmentsare made by longtime Melbourne makers and independent, family-run businesses. Over 20 years, Obus has built relationships with expert makers and crafts people, covering everything from denim through to Winter coating. We have daily contact with our skilled local makers, balancing production to ensure safe working conditions and sustainable practices. Supporting the local manufacturing industry and protecting future jobs in Australian fashion is always top of mind for our team.
All design, pattern-making and sampling is done in our studio in Northcote, above our boutique. Our small, resourceful studio team work mainly part-time, juggling family commitments, other careers and study. We’re honoured to offer flexible roles and hours in a female dominated industry.
For more product specific manufacturing information check the sections below. Find features on our makers & internal sustainability initiatives via our Travelogue Blog series.
Specialised items, Responsibly Crafted Offshore
20% of Obus’ annual product line is crafted offshore (speciality items such as some knitwear, shoes & accessories). In these cases, we choose to only engage businesses who comply with Australian labour and wage standards. Our knitwear for example, is in a crafted at a specialised, BSCI accredited factory, which is audited annually to confirm all aspects of their workplace conditions are in accordance with human rights, ILO conventions and national labor law. Our footwear is made in by a small team in China who dedicated to producing made-to-order limited runs of bespoke shoes in an ethically and environmentally conscious way and our signature socks are made in Turkey, by a ISO 9001 Registered company, certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX.
MADE TO LAST
As an independent, Melbourne made label we’re always searching for new ways to reduce our environmental impact and keep our pieces out of landfills. Obus’ commitment to producing small runs of high-quality, well-made clothing that transcends seasonal fads is at the heart of our business model. Our garments are made carefully, with longevity in mind, to treasure and wear time & time again.
Since trialling our Swap Shop innovative in 2019 (exchanging your pre-loved Obus items for store credit) we've continued our circular fashion journey, seeking a more permanent way to extend the life of Obus pieces. We've partnered with AirRobe to seamlessly integrate an a way to resell, rent or recycle your Obus online. We’ve launched a rewards program, partnering with Mutual Muse to help your pre-loved Obus find a happy forever home.
Obus consistently reviews practices and implements policies to reduce our environmental impact at our head office and Northcote store, especially in regards to order packaging and studio waste. We send your Obus online orders in compostable satchels or recycled pink cardboard boxes you can reuse and repurpose.
It is common practise in the fashion industry for each item to come from manufacturers wrapped in plastic (sometimes even in multiple layers for one item). We are proud to say that our determination and persistence to reduce huge amounts of waste has paid off with close to none of our deliveries arriving to us with plastic packaging now.
The majority of our marketing collateral is produced in Australia, and our store fit-outs use recycled or repurposed furniture and materials where possible. We regularly reassess and redesign our packaging in an effort to reduce plastic and waste.
As part of our commitment to reduce our business’ impact on the environment Obus was a partner of Seed The Change’s tree-planting program. Between 2015-17 years Obus funded the planting of over 7500 trees in rural regions of Haiti, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Nepal; restoring their environments, enhancing agricultural output and offering sustainable employment opportunities for their citizens.
Each Obus collection is designed to ensure the most efficient use of fabric in the manufacturing of each piece. We often produce small ranges of accessories from fabric offcuts and are always dreaming up creative uses for fabric offcuts from our Melbourne studio. We've partnered with Tangentyere Artists - and donated excess fabric rolls and yarn spools to community organisations such as ASRC and The Social Studio. Our studio team make Love Again Bundles from remnants collected from clothing production and sampling that we retail for crafts & creative projects or mending. We strive to ensure none of our clothing ends up in landfill, a problem that is commonly associated with clothing production and the fashion industry.
FEEL GOOD FABRICS
Obus garments are made from carefully chosen, premium natural fabrics. Our team prioritise supreme quality and sustainable & ethical production at every step of the way.
We are signatories of the Uzbek Cotton Pledge, meaning none of our cotton is sourced from Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan. Our jersey cotton yarn is BCI Certified and our Organic Cotton is GOTS certified.
The Merino wool used in our Traveller range is sourced from Australian and Vietnamese producers. Our Melbourne-based mill is committed to producing Merino with a low environmental impact that we then to manufacture and dye our into custom colours. Merino produced in Vietnam is done so by a Bluesign® system partner, which means the company producing the wool complies with strict ethical and environmental standards right from the beginning of the manufacturing process. Raw wool for all our Merino collections is sourced from New Zealand and Australian sources.
Made from Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) accredited, pre-washed, untreated Turkish cotton denim that’s soft yet sturdy. Blended with 1% elastane to encourage stretch and recovery. Proudly made in Melbourne by longtime makers, with with custom Obus hardware and stitching.
Shoes + Accessories
Our socks are manufactured by a specialist factory in Turkey. The factory is an ISO 9001 Registered company which means that the company meets both statutory and regulatory requirements related to any product. The factory is also certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX, meaning the textile production process uses no unwanted or harmful substances which remain as a residue on the final product.
Our stockings are manufactured in New Zealand from Australian and New Zealand wool.
Obus footwear is made in Dongguan, China by a small team dedicated to producing made-to-order limited runs of bespoke shoes in an ethically and environmentally conscious way. Having chosen our manufacturers after an extensive research process and site visit, we can be confident that those who produce our footwear are respected, have safe working conditions and are remunerated fairly. Similarly, leather comes from tanneries that have strict environmental control and all material comes from farmed animals. We continue to build a strong working relationship that uses their decades of specialist craftsmanship and passion for investigating new ethical materials and processes.
Our Sunhats and Tote bags are made in India, and the manufacturers are regularly audited by SMETA for labour standards, health & safety, and environmental compliance.
We do not use fur, mohair or down in any of our products.
Obus' TRAVEL TIPS nail polish is made in Queensland, Australia from a sustainable, plant based formula that’s high-shine, chip resistant and non-toxic. Vegan and cruelty free, it uses a "Ten Free Formula" that contains no Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, Triphenyl Phosphate, Animal by products or animal derived ingredients, Benzophenone, Styrene Acrylates.
With just the right amount of stretch, the ultra flattering fabric used in our swimwear is created from from cutting edge, sustainable fabric comprising recycled post-consumer material. Made from regenerated waste such as carpets, clothing and fishing nets and transforms it back into a raw material without any loss of quality. This recycled alternative to traditional polyester continues to improve alongside technological advances.The Lycra component of our swim range is manufactured to ensure extra longevity in the life of the elastane, meaning your swimwear will continue to fit and flatter for many seasons despite contact with chlorinated or salt water.
Since the state of the knitwear and leather-goods industry in Australia diminished in 2014 we've had to look overseas for specialised businesses to meet our exacting production standards, and maintain our commitment to producing high-quality garments at an affordable price. Our knitwear is manufactured by a specialist factory in China who we began working with after Kylie visited on a factory research trip in 2018. The factory is BSCI accredited and audited annually to confirm all aspects of their workplace conditions are in accordance with human rights, ILO conventions and national labor law.
Supporting causes close to our heart is a huge part of the Obus ethos. Each year Obus partners with social enterprises and/or not-for-profits in an attempt to impact our local and international community in a positive way.
We use the Gift For Good app on our website to make daily donations to longtime charity partners One Girl, Sister Works & Djirra. This practice ensures even when bigger projects aren't in the works we're still able to use our platform and reach for good.
Alongside our 2020 OLANA X OBUS collaboration with Ethiopian-born, Melbourne-based artist Olana Janfa, we were introduced to the fantastic work of Create Impact — an Australian-based non-profit organisation that provides education, clean water and health care to remote communities in Ethiopia. In conjunction with our the collaboration launch we held an exciting online group art auction with all of the funds raised going to Create Impact and their Medagi school building project and raised a total of $11,700 in just seven days.
We love introducing our loyal and big-hearted community to these social causes and organisations and collaborating with them to make a difference.
Want to learn more about Obus? Visit our Blog.
We have run an annual Winter clothing drive for Brotherhood of St Laurence, gathering donations of quality coats, blankets and other clothing from customers to distribute to those in need. Other organisations we have worked closely with are We Care Nauru, The Unicorn Foundation, One Girl, Tsuno, and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).
Within Australia, our response to national environmental disasters like bushfires and floods has been with a heavy heart. Donating profits from sales for the Australian Red Cross, or fabrics and pouches for injured native wildlife and aiding flood relief by partnering with Thread Together in 2022 to donate 250 new pairs of socks to those you lost everything.