Sustainable travel clothing​ brands

Three sustainable clothing brands that have been tried and tested for travel…


Your one stop shop for sustainable travel attire

It can feel overwhelming to know where to begin when it comes to making more conscious clothing decisions, which is why we have made the process easier by showcasing three local brands that produce incredible sustainable essentials that we know will become your suitcase staples.

Team Timbuktu – Victoria, Australia

How they began

Team Timbuktu was founded by Rhianna Knight. Her range was inspired by her love of hiking and her dissatisfaction with other travel merchandise on the market after she noticed the synthetic clothing she was wearing during a hiking trip through Patagonia was both uncomfortable and ugly.

With a background in fashion, Rhianna knew it was possible to make clothes that allow the body to move freely, without producing clothing that has a damaging effect on the environment. In 2018 the Team Timbuktu journey began through a crowdfunding project to build a community that helped fund her first production run.

Team Timbuktu was founded on two core beliefs; that bodies were made for movement and there should never be a compromise between style and sustainability.

How sustainable are they?

While Team Timbuktu remains solely run by Rhianna, she knows her success has been a team effort which is why she is committed to taking care of her employees.

All Team Timbuktu activewear is made sustainably in a small factory in Xiamen, China, where there are strict and fair working conditions in place to ensure that there is no underage labour, that wages are above minimum and leave entitlements are paid.

Team Timbuktu’s organic cotton is sourced from an organic cotton mill and manufacturer in Tiruppur, India, known for outstanding policies for their employees and free training programs for staff who may be interested in upskilling further.

Rhianna and her team undertake annual visits to their garment manufacturers and they check in fortnightly to provide support via video conference.

Rhianna continually strives to make improvements to her sustainability efforts. Her activewear range is environmentally friendly and even her mailing and garment bags are now made from corn starch, ensuring that they are biodegradable for customers at home.

In addition to providing staff with an ethical environment to work in, Team Timbuktu manufactures their clothing using recycled products. Instead of using oil to create polyester as it is traditionally made, Team Timbuktu replaces the oil with plastic bottles. After the plastic has been sorted, sterilised and melted, it is crafted into a new material which not only takes less energy to make, but is also sustainable, breathable and durable – perfect for travelling.

We love: Team Timbuktu’s 7/8 Leggings – Colour Black

  • Made from 75 per cent recycled polyester and 25 per cent elastane, these leggings are super flexible and never ride up or down
  • Second skin feel and super soft on skin
  • Convenient pockets on both hips for essentials such as your phone and keys
  • These are the perfect leggings for your next hike, road trip or long haul flight


Find out more about Team Timbuktu’s sustainability efforts and view the entire range.

Team Timbuktu 7/8 leggings. Colour: Black (Image provided by Team Timbuktu)

Icebreaker – Auckland, New Zealand

How they began

When founder Jeremy Moon had a serendipitous meeting with a merino sheep farmer, it sparked an interest in Jeremy he didn’t even know existed.

Not long after that meeting, Jeremy was on a kayaking trip where he noticed his synthetic active wear quickly became uncomfortable, sweaty and smelly. He switched to the merino wool t-shirt he had been given by the farmer and he was instantly hooked.

Determined to follow his passion for this product, he courageously quit his job in market research and re-mortgaged his home to purchase the concept behind the prototype merino garment.

Jeremy had a clear vision; ‘to connect people with nature, wearing products from nature’. His business plan won over investors and the Icebreaker brand was born.

By the end of Icebreakers’ first year in business, they were stocked in 14 outdoor stores across New Zealand. 25 years later, their products are now available in over 40 countries.

How sustainable are they?

Icebreaker became the first brand to establish long-term contracts with key merino wool growers highlighting their commitment to animal welfare and protection of the natural environment.

Icebreaker has gone from strength to strength and that is a true testament to the quality of their product. The wool from the merino sheep is a natural renewable ultra-fine fibre that helps regulate body temperature and wicks away moisture.

Merino wool doesn’t retain odour, so after a busy day of exploration, just hang the t-shirt up to air out, ready for the next day. This means less laundry for you and less harm to the environment.

Icebreakers’ goals for the future are to have a return and recycle program by 2022.  They are also working towards their goal of being 100% plastic-free across their entire range by 2023. 

We love: Icebreaker Women’s Cool- Lite™ Merino Impulse Training Shorts – Colour Black

  • Easy to wear and super comfy
  • Stretch waistband stops them from riding up
  • The hidden inner liner gives you the confidence to move freely without worry
  • The cool-lite™ eyelet liner keeps you cool and fresh, even on hot days

We also love: Icebreaker Women's Cool-Lite™ Merino Sphere Short Sleeve Low Crewe T-Shirt – Colour Orchid Heather

  • Breathable fabric that keeps you feeling fresh all day, even after a long hike
  • Fabric dries quickly, making it ideal for travelling
  • The t-shirt has a slightly dropped hem which gives it a longer length and relaxed feel
  • Super soft against your skin.


Find out more about Icebreakers’ sustainability efforts and view the entire range.

Icebreaker_Sphere_SS_Low_Crewe t-shirt
Icebreaker Sphere SS Low Crewe t-shirt. Colour: Orchid heather (Image provided by Icebreaker)

Vege Threads – South Australia and Victoria, Australia

How they began

Vege Threads was founded in 2013 by Amy Roberts, whose dream was to create a sustainable line of responsible and versatile basics, in a bid to combat the war on fast fashion.

Amy started with a line of ‘basics’ which remain part of the collection to this day. The simple colour palette inspired by their plant based ACO (Australian Certified Organic) dyes, suit a variety of complexions which makes their collection appealing to a wide range of people.

Amy was determined to reignite local production in Australia; designing and manufacturing their creations onshore as much as possible, using knitting mills and dye houses around Melbourne.

Using certified organic cotton, eco-friendly materials and plant based dyes in limited numbers mean the garments they produce feel softer, smell better and are less likely to trigger allergies.

How sustainable are they?

Vege Threads remains committed to helping reboot industry in Australia and create jobs for skilled workers; their main factory remains in Melbourne while their swimwear is made in South Australia. 80 per cent of their supply chain remains onshore, with only their knitted hemp and swimwear pieces being imported due to a lack of local production.

Amy continues to find innovative ways of creating timeless sustainable apparel. Their ‘Intimates’ range uses older fabric stock and end rolls leftover from their main production, whilst their ‘Swimwear’ is made from recycled nylon ECONYL® using recycled post-consumer waste and the LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ provides UV protection and chlorine-resistance.

Their dedication to transparency and an ethical supply chain has gained Vege Threads accreditation from Ethical Clothing Australia and they are a member of the ‘1% for the planet’ initiative, donating a percentage of their profits back to environmental projects.

We love: Vege Threads Yoga Bralette – Colour Rust

  • The colour is absolutely gorgeous and rich, perfectly complementing both pale and darker skin tones
  • Fabric is super comfortable and the bralette stays in place all day
  • The ‘no transparency fabric’ provides full coverage and helps to give women confidence
  • Ideal for every day wear and a must-have for your backpack


Find out more about Vege Threads’ sustainability efforts and view the entire range.

Vege Threads Yoga Bralette, Colour: Rust (Image credit: Ryan Wheatley)


Article written for Wanderlust with a Purpose by Lucy Barrett.

*Disclaimer: Wanderlust with a Purpose received the products reviewed in this article from Vege Threads and Team Timbuktu at a discounted rate for the purposes of writing the article. Author, Lucy Barrett, was gifted the products from Icebreaker in exchange for an article originally published for Hunter and Bligh media. All reviews are authentic and in no way influenced by our association.