A design and technology review for leading ethical clothing brand Arnsdorf

Arnsdorf, an Australian womenswear brand and leader in the field of ethical fashion and sustainability, have worked with Portable as their branding and digital partner since 2017. They identified the need for an update to their brand voice, visual design and website in 2021 and Portable’s design and technology teams worked together over multiple sprints to bring these changes to life.

Arnsdorf, a fellow B Corp, is like-minded to Portable in the way that it is built on a belief that businesses can operate in an ethical way and balance profit with purpose. Arnsdorf, under the direction of its founder Jade Sarita Arnott, is a recognised leader in the field spearheading a clear pathway for how design can be balanced with a responsibility to people and planet. 

Since 2017, we have been a trusted partner of Arnsdorf’s, when we worked with Jade and her team to redefine the label’s brand, digital presence and online customer experience. Like with all brands and websites, customer and business needs evolve over time and our team worked closely once again with Arnsdorf in 2021 to introduce new branding to the company’s digital presence, including website and digital communications. 

Design challenge

The Arnsdorf brand has been alive for over a decade but has gone through a range of transformations. Starting in Melbourne in 2006, Arnott took the brand to New York where it set up a presence in the northern hemisphere. In 2012, she put the label on hold as a result of her growing unease of the environmental and human impact of the fashion industry. When she returned to Australia in 2016, she re-launched the brand with a new ethos of transparency and traceability to the Australian public. 

This journey and the following evolution of the label over the past five years meant that the brand’s story contained historical elements along with new perspectives that were not entirely cohesive. Therefore, there was a need to revisit the story of the brand and the associated content and collateral, to imprint a voice that could go forward with confidence over the next five years.

In addition to this, the label has changed significantly since its relaunch in 2017. It has opened a factory, launched three new retail stores, created wholesale and drop shipping relationships with retailers and amassed an entirely new following of environmentally and ethically conscious women. Therefore, the digital technology needs of the brand had evolved and required a rethink. 


Content review and audit

As a starting point, we did a content review and audit of the Arnsdorf website. We also looked at how other brands similar in style, approach and positioning to Arnsdorf were talking about themselves and their values. 

Iterating on the brand voice, values and positioning

After this, Portable’s content strategist worked closely with Jade and some of her team to develop and iterate on the brand’s voice, values and positioning. Making sure to retain the original ideals that had driven the relaunch of the brand in 2017 but evolving the aspects that needed to speak more clearly to Arnsdorf new audiences and future plans. 

Reviewing how the brand is applied to the website

The next stage of the project was to review the visual elements of the brand, which had been updated 12 month prior, against the current website and supporting technology. The original Arnsdorf website had been built using a custom theme from the Shopify platform. In addition, a range of features had been added, predominantly user comments and ratings, which meant that the original visual style had been reshaped in ways that were not entirely consistent with the visual language of the site. New opportunities had also presented themselves that the brand was unable to take advantage of due to the age of the template in use. This included the ability to select multiple colourways within a single listing, without having to go through multiple listings. 

Updating the website

Working directly with Deb Cupitt, one of Portable’s developers, the team at Arnsdorf selected a new template and worked through a series of sprints to customise not only a new selection of features, but the visual style and layout across the platform. The new site featured a revised information architecture which was reflective of the content review we had undertaken.  


  • New content design, brand voice, information architecture for the Arnsdorf brand
  • An updated theme on the Shopify platform representing the contemporary visual design of the brand
  • Newly introduced features including overhauled category pages and colour way selection

Reflections and testimonials

Jade Sarita Arnott, Founder, Arnsdorf

"We’re such fans of Portable’s work and it’s always a pleasure to work with a like minded company that understands our customers as well as the ethical and design space. Through this experience we were able to refresh our language as well as upgrade a range of features on Shopify. We were also able to leverage past customer research work and what we enjoyed the most was being able to work directly with the developers and content team members, who were extremely generous and insightful. We’re looking forward to our next project with Portable."  

Emily Pearce, Senior Content Strategist, Portable

“It was a privilege to work with a fashion label that is committed to a better way to design and manufacture garments that embed transparency, sustainability and quality in every step of the process.” 

Portable's project team

Deb Cubitt, Developer

Emily Pearce, Senior Content Strategist

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