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Someone sitting down wearing jeans and a blue and white striped top, overlaid by white text saying Seed Heritage with a highlighted sad face emoji beneath it.
28 Jun
Someone sitting down wearing jeans and a blue and white striped top, overlaid by white text saying Seed Heritage with a highlighted sad face emoji beneath it.

How Ethical Is Seed Heritage?

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Australian brand Seed Heritage has garnered a loyal following over the years, but it rates “Not Good Enough” for people, the planet, and animals. This article is based on the Seed Heritage rating published in January 2019.

How ethical is Seed Heritage?

Established in 2000, Seed Heritage began as a childrenswear boutique before expanding to teen and womenswear later on.

The Australian brand has grown rapidly over the years and has garnered a loyal following thanks to its network of more than 200 stores in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. Swedish digital influencer Fredrika Akander was even seen wearing head-to-toe Seed Heritage at this year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, and she is regularly featured on the brand’s Instagram page.

Seed Heritage prides itself on making exceptionally designed pieces that are built to last, and says it is “committed to the safe and ethical manufacture, sourcing and supply of goods and services”. But what does that actually mean? How ethical is Seed Heritage? The Good On You team has done the work for you — here is the low-down on the brand’s ethical and sustainable practices.

Environmental Impact

Seed Heritage doesn’t publish sufficient relevant information about its environmental policies, which is why its environmental rating is “Very Poor”. The brand states “As part of Seed Heritage’s dedication to the environment, all suppliers must work to minimise any negative impact on the environment. All relevant national and international environmental legislation must be adhered to in all manufacturing processes in the supply chain. All dyeing, printing and finishing operations should conform to the Seed Heritage Environmental Code of Practice, which is continually revised and updated.” This isn’t enough for us to give the brand a higher rating.

As consumers, we have the right to know how Seed Heritage’s production practices impact the environment.

Labour Conditions

Based on the 2018 Ethical Fashion Report, we gave Seed Heritage a “Not Good Enough” rating for its labour conditions. It has no worker empowerment initiatives such as collective bargaining or rights to make a complaint. What’s more, the brand traces only some of its supply chain, does not publicly list its suppliers, and only audits a small proportion of its traced facilities. Seed Heritage has a Code of Conduct that covers all of the ILO principles, however it has made little to no progress towards ensuring payment of a living wage.

Animal Welfare

Seed Heritage doesn’t use angora, fur, down, or exotic animal skin or hair, but still uses wool and leather without stating their sources, which is why the animal welfare rating is “It’s a Start”. Sourcing wool from non-mulesed sheep is essential on the road to ethical wool use, and stating where the leather comes from lets us know if basic animal welfare standards are being followed.

Overall rating: Not Good Enough

Based on information from our own research, we gave Seed Heritage a rating of “Not Good Enough”. The brand does not publish sufficient relevant information about its policies.

To get a higher rating, the brand needs to be more transparent about its actions to protect people, the planet, and animals, as well as work on its labour policies to ensure the payment of a living wage.

Note that Good On You ratings consider hundreds of issues, and it is not possible to list every relevant issue in a summary of the company’s performance. For more information, see our How We Rate page and our FAQs.

See the rating.

Good swaps

Love the Seed Heritage aesthetic but worried about its impact? We know how you feel. So, we’ve found some “Good” and “Great” ethical alternatives to Seed Heritage.


Rated: Good

Kowtow is a New Zealand brand that uses organic, fair trade cotton and non-toxic dyes to produce its clothes. It designs elegant, timeless womenswear, and also has a range of ceramics.

Find the clothes in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Kowtow.

No Nasties

Rated: Great

Another leader when it comes to responsible fashion, No Nasties makes simple and stylish clothing from Fairtrade organic cotton in India where it is actively working to grow the ethical consumer market.

Find styles in sizes 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop No Nasties.


Rated: Good
Someone sunbathing in a one-shoulder swimsuit by Underprotection.

Underprotection is a Danish brand combining ethics and aesthetics, creating underwear, loungewear, and swimwear from lower-impact materials like organic cotton. All of its packaging, paper, and polybags are either recycled or biodegradable, and it only works with certified factories as it believes “fair working conditions and fair wages are human rights”. Underprotection exists to celebrate women of all kinds, and its goal is to make them feel as beautiful and comfortable as possible.

You can find the full range in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Underprotection.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

Whimsy + Row is a US-based lifestyle brand born out of a love for quality goods and responsible practices. Since 2014, its mission has been to provide ease and elegance for the modern woman. Whimsy + Row utilises deadstock fabric, and by limiting each garment to short runs, the brand also reduces packaging waste and takes care of precious water resources.

Find most products in XS-XL, with an extended sizing range up to 3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Whimsy + Row.

Shop Whimsy + Row @ Earthkind.

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands.

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