West Melbourne-based fashion label A.BCH, owned by Courtney Holm, utilises renewable, organic and recycled materials in its production process. Its ethos is led by circularity and a mission ‘to transform the way clothing is designed, made, sold and cycled. The brand focuses on eliminating material and energy waste through pre-user, user, and post-user phases whilst creating biologically circular garments for its consumer base. And when the garments reach the end of their life, they can be sent back to A.BCH for recycling.
After completing Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS in 2012, Courtney Holm began working for a popular Melbourne fashion label and launched two businesses of her own. But over time, the growing awareness of overconsumption, wastefulness, human rights abuses, and lack of transparency throughout the production process channeled her passion for fashion design into addressing fashion’s environmental and social issues. In 2017, A.BCH was born.
Since its launch, A.BCH has made circular fashion economy its primary agenda. From its early days, the fashion label refused to follow the seasonal fashion calendar, tradiitonal men’s and women’s collections, the retail model, traditional pricing structures, and undisclosed business practices. Instead, it has always focused on eliminating material and energy waste through pre-user, user, and post-user phases whilst creating beautiful apparel. The brand also ensures that all garments are intelligently crafted in Australia from renewable, organic, and recycled materials like GOTS-certified organic cotton and TENCEL. This means the products are recyclable and compostable—further lessening their impact on the environment. They are manufactured in-house by the team, or, when larger runs of a particular garment are needed, by a local partner manufacturer certified by Ethical Clothing Australia.
“We don’t just talk about circularity, ethics and sustainability – we live and breathe them. Our clothes are made in Melbourne from renewable, organic and recycled materials. From our buttons crafted from the seeds of fallen corozo fruit in Panama, to our company owned Circular Factory in West Melbourne, we work tirelessly to ensure that every step of the journey is as thoughtful and sustainable as possible. Not that we’ve clocked it, by any means. Our search for ways to improve is just as tireless,” per the official website.
A.BCH is also passionate about helping shoppers extend their garments’ lifespan with its Care, Repair, Wear program—with every order, A.BCH provides a care guide to help keep clothes looking fabulous for a long time. It also offers free repairs for the life of the garments and facilitates repair and zero waste workshops within the community. Importantly, A.BCH tackles its garments’ afterlife by only designing clothes that will biodegrade or can be recycled. Sometimes it uses materials upcycled from waste but all raw material must have a circular projected life cycle in order for the brand to use it. This goes for everything, including buttons, labels, threads, and interlining!!
Slow Fashion is the pillar of the brand, which believes that when you buy one of their intelligently crafted garments, you’re becoming part of the solution. The brand campaign ‘Slow’ conveys this with its well-researched theme: “Our campaign celebrates the notion of slowing down; embracing process and allowing the senses to intensify. In fabric production alone, the fashion industry uses around 9 trillion litres of water a year. That’s enough to hydrate every person on earth for two years. It’s time to slow. If the fashion industry continues on its current path, by 2050 it could use more than 26 per cent of the world’s total carbon budget associated with the two degree pathway. It’s time to slow. The cotton industry alone uses a whopping 25 per cent of global pesticides and 11 per cent of global insecticides produced annually… It’s time to slow… Over fifty per cent of the world’s garment workers are paid less than minimum wage… As people consume and dispose of fashion faster than ever before- it’s time to really consider those who made our clothes. It’s time to slow.’
Through their unique point of view on seasonality, production volumes and marketing alongside a devotion to industry education and customer empowerment, sustainable fashion brand A.BCH is demonstrating a positive, reimagined future of fashion.
To design and make apparel from renewable, organic and recycled materials. From buttons crafted from the seeds of fallen corozo fruit in Panama to the company owned Circular Factory in West Melbourne, every step of the journey should be as thoughtful and sustainable as possible.
To transform the way people buy, wear, and discard clothing.
Founder Courtney Holm
Stylish apparel rooted in circular design.
All of A.BCH products are proudly made in Australia and accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia.