Thursday 8 September 2011

a green aussie fashion fling

As seen on The Vine

These days you don’t have to farewell fashion in order to become a greenie; check out five of Australia’s hottest (and greenest) labels.

As seen in Peppermint
SOSUME may just be the antithesis of fast fashion. Dedicated to style and sustainability, the designers of this forward-thinking collection have meticulously selected sustainable fabrics to create modern, sophisticated pieces certain to last many seasons in your wardrobe.  Preferred fabrics of the label include organic wool, raw silk, micro modal (made from Beech trees), Tencel (Eucalyptus trees) and Lyocell (Oak and Birch trees).  The collection’s draping shirts, vests and tops are incredibly soft to the touch, and any chemicals required to create the soft fibres are used in a closed-loop process, ensuring no chemical runoff into land or waterways.  SOSUME’s business operations are sustainable, too, with a commitment to carbon offsets, use of recycled paper and boxes, and soy inks for printing.

The capricious and distinctive designs of Gorman have captured the attention of Australian women since 1999, with environmentalists also paying attention thanks to the label’s strong commitment to sustainability.  Since it began Gorman has reduced garment packaging by 90% and now uses recyclable packaging materials like LDPE when required.  In addition to energy-efficient lighting and great recycling practices, the company also uses 100% accredited green power and has hired an environmental consultant to work with the label both in Australia and in its overseas manufacturing facilities to lessen the label’s environmental impact. Gorman has even been known to give discounts to customers who ride their bikes to the store.  In 2007 the label launched Gorman Organic, which features fabrics sourced from certified organic or sustainable farms and treated only with non-chemical and/or closed-loop processes.

Lane Palmer Green
Born out of a desire to create environmentally minded fashion, Lane Palmer Green’s collection of clothing and accessories was launched by mother-daughter team Lane and Adele. Inspired by European summers, the collection is modern bohemian chic, innately fashionable and kind to the planet.  Sustainable fabrics are used throughout the collection including hemp, organic cotton, recycled PET (plastic bottles) and vegetable tanned kangaroo and parrotfish leather.  The team apply their sustainability values to all aspects of the label, from carbon offsetting flights to the manufacturing process of the swing tags, and it’s hard not to appreciate their candid admission: “We are not perfect, but we are certainly trying to practice what we preach.”  Here’s looking forward to more seasons from this feminine, ethical collection.

Funkis range of clogs, clothing and homewares are inspired by the designers’ Swedish background, including strong design aesthetics and environmental responsibility.  Currently working toward carbon-neutral status, Funkis has a number of sustainability initiatives already in place including use of 100% accredited green power, no plastic in garment packaging, plantation timber used in their clogs (along with vegetable dye-treated leather), and a range of organic cotton clothing and fabrics.  The collection is also designed to operate on-demand, ensuring minimal extras and waste.  Encompassing sustainability into all aspects of the collection, manufacturing takes place only in Sweden or Australia to ensure good working conditions and fair wages for people involved in the production of Funkis goods.

If you’re seeking unique, sustainable accessories then look no further than Melbourne-based Elk. The label creates jewellery, textiles and knitted apparel using only the finest, sustainably sourced, natural materials from around the globe.  Elk’s bold wooden jewellery is a standout in the range, and the wood used in its production is offset by a tree buy-back scheme.  The designers work directly with independent manufacturers to guarantee safe and fair working conditions and ensure efficient, low-waste processes, while also bringing us beautiful pieces made with traditional techniques from cultures around the world.

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