3Fish

3Fish is a multi faceted Fairtrade Certified apparel company. They produce Fairtrade organic clothing for their own retail label, undertake work for other fashion brands, have set the benchmark for environmentally and socially sustainable merchandise and work extensively with not for profit organisations. Just casually.

When asked about their unique name, husband-wife team stated they “felt that fish have such lovely symbolism with new life, creation, transformation, renewal, and empowerment (“Give a man a fish”…), which sits well with our commitment to Fairtrade”. Such a business faces many challenges in this ruthless budget environment.

Especially, a huge lack of awareness and empathy of the issues, an obsession with getting a good deal, intense price competition from sources producing items from sweatshop and underpaid factories, as well as the fact that the Australian market and consumer knowledge is simply behind Europe and the UK.

3Fish

Producing Fairtrade clothing for their own label and other brands, 3Fish have set the benchmark for environmentally and socially sustainable merchandise

With over 20 years experience in this sector between them, 3fish ethical clothing and manufacturing takes all the difficulty out of having a sustainable business practice. Ethical business is a great ideal, but in reality most small business owners are too busy concentrating on maintaining a steady income and looking after their front end customers to worry about the back end of their supply chain. Story of humanity’s life for the past three centuries really.

3fish connect these busy middle men and women to ethically sourced products, making the supply chain all the stronger. They offer promotional material, corporate giftware and apparel, making the choice for corporate responsibility super easy. For those who grew up watching Captain Planet this service might help you sleep better when next organising your marketing budget!

There are many benefits to their Private Label Supply Chain Service. As they themselves state, an ethical supply chain is a powerful way to differentiate a brand in the marketplace, as well as the right thing to do.

With their own online store offering a slim range of sustainable gifts and homewares, men and women’s cotton they cover all the bases. All of their products are received with their own ethical and sourcing explanation, in recycled packaging. Really, you’d be hard pressed to get much more carbon-neutral-ethical-and-sustainable if you tried.

3fish offer an unmatched authenticity, offering full traceability to source materials and supported by an independent audit trail. The company has a next day inventory in Australia, as well as quick dispatch overseas.

Their supporters include Blue King Brown and the John Butler Trio, both of who have used their services for ethical brand merchandise. Their source of organic cotton is fed by monsoonal rains in India, and their dyes and inks for print work are organic. This is an extremely difficult thing to secure, and 3fish are the only ones doing it in Australia.

ethical clothing
These guys use sweatshop free factories, certified by the Fairtrade Organisation, meaning everyone involved has been paid a fair price. Is this neoliberalism at its best? As large businesses like Cadbury, Westpac, RMIT, Macquarie University and Corporate Express embrace Fairtrade, the growing recognition of the label and appreciation for what it stands for, seems to indicate a ‘yes’.

Supporting these kinds of initiatives is easy, it’s a simple choice which has a big impact. It’s heartening to see these businesses becoming successful, and it’s very much a win-win situation. The branding and identity of sustainable products has been rising in trend since at least 2008, and the consumers on the front end are the most to benefit.

3fish create customised connections, empowering small scale farmers in developing countries, providing equal opportunity options for women, and paying a fair price to all. Natalie, with husband Marty, founded 3Fish in 2010, an ethical clothing company and provider of sustainable clothing and merchandise. The winner of the 2011 United Nations World Environment Day Award, and the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award, when asked ‘what’s the best way consumers can get involved in the sustainable fashion movement?’ – “Ask questions and think.”

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by Isaac Keatinge


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