• Nico Underwear: ECA accredited.
    Nico Underwear: ECA accredited.

A Brisbane-based label has become the first Australian underwear brand to be accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) - just eight months after launch.

Nico Underwear, founded in January by designer Lis Harvey, gained the ECA merit after completing ECA's accreditation process - a program that assists the local textile, clothing and footwear industry ensure Australian workers receive fair wages and decent conditions.

Commenting on receiving the accolade just eight months after launch, Harvey said it reflects her decision to make Nico ethically conscious from inception.

“We are really pleased this accreditation recognises our on-going commitment to ethical manufacturing. It is important to guarantee to our customers that their choice to buy Nico is an ethical one,” she said.

“Nico Underwear is first and foremost a fashion brand but we are also committed to ethical practice and sustainability.”

Harvey added that the ECA accreditation is also a savvy business choice.

“The fashion industry also has a bit of a bad reputation for unethical practices and I think more and more consumers are becoming aware of this and demanding change. With this in mind it makes sense business wise to embrace ethical practices now and to be a part of a growing market. The ECA accreditation is a way for us to guarantee to our customers that their choice to buy Nico is an ethical one.”

Currently, there are 76 successfully accredited Australian brands and manufacturers, which span a diverse range of product categories; fashion, footwear, school wear, corporate wear, sports-wear, infant and maternity wear and work wear.

However, going forward, ECA national manager Simon Mc Rae said ECA is also keen to encourage more young designers to build their business model considering ethical manufacturing and treating people fairly.

"We are delighted that Nico, a young and upcoming designer, recognises the importance of making your supply chain ethical. We are proud that Nico are our first local underwear maker to be accredited,” he said.

“Ethical consumerism is growing and consumers are becoming more concerned and interested in how things are produced and made.”

Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) is an accreditation organisation for the Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Industry governed by a management committee of made up of TCF employer organisations, individual TCF business and trade unions.

The organisation's primary responsibility is to assist TCF businesses comply with the Homeworker Code of Practice and related legislation, in particular the Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award 2010.

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