If you haven’t yet been introduced to homegrown label From Found, then sit down and let us teach you a thang.
After successfully crowd funding $40,000, three young Adelaide women were able to realise their dream of establishing an ethical, sustainable fashion label. Now, the trio have continued their success by launching a new collection. These women are Hannah Materne, Lauren Bonnet, and Annie Graetz. With a vision to see women from refugee backgrounds empowered through employment, the brand also has an admirable commitment to sustainability.
This year, the label has stepped it up by releasing a colourful winter collection that we truly adore.
The Winter Collection
Each item from the winter collection is aptly named after an inspiring woman who advocates for social change. There’s a skirt named Malala, after the youngest Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafazi. There’s a jumper named Serena, after one of the greatest athletes of our time, Serena Williams.
While the Summer ‘17 collection showcased patchwork-style pieces, the winter collection exudes a different vibe. The collection’s vibrant earrings and accessories are here to stay, but the winter collection is a little more pared back and structured, while still being fresh and lively. There’s still plenty of colour, fun prints, and fluted sleeves, but the collection has taken on a more adaptable, wearable quality that will enable the items to be in high rotation in Adelaide closets.
For example, the Helen Skirt, named after Helen Keller, comes in two lengths and two colours. You can customise it any way you like, and it’s made from organic cotton with a belt made from reclaimed fabrics. And the best part? It has pockets. Pair it with the super-flattering Alek wrap top and you’re good to go.
Another standout piece was the pinafore-style Missy dress, named after everyone’s fave, Missy Higgins. The dress is a versatile part of the collection that is begging to be styled up, styled down, repurposed, and worn over and over and over. It also has a cute criss-cross back which gives it a business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back feeling.
Whether you’re rocking the Malala, the Missy, or the Serena this winter, you’ll be supporting a worthwhile South Australian non-for-profit that aims to change the way we consume fashion.
Why “From Found”?
The fabrics used to make each garment are “found”. This includes reclaimed, recycled, and recovered textiles. Meaning that these designs are one-off and made-to-order; you’re getting exactly what you want, made exactly for you. It also certifies that the clothing takes a stand against the environmental and ethical issues that result from fast fashion. Each item is carefully crafted right here in Adelaide, by women from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.
Not only are you supporting clothing made ethically, but by supporting slow fashion you’re also saving the environment, one Malala skirt at a time.
Okay, but what is ‘Slow Fashion’?
Slow fashion is an industry buzzword that fashion fiends have been throwing around for some time now. It’s the industry’s answer to solving the environmental issues that plague the fashion industry. Unlike its obnoxious cousin, fast fashion, slow fashion encourages taking the time to produce high-quality garments in an eco-conscious way. It’s a greener approach to fashion, and it encourages us to be ethical consumers.
The environmental impact of the fashion industry is staggering. In 2009/2010, Australians sent 501,000 of textiles and leather to landfill (according to the ABS). It’s become clear to many fashion lovers that something needs to change; the trends of fast fashion, and the resulting overconsumption, are just unsustainable. As a consumer, it can be hard to move away from global, mass-produced brands like Zara and H&M. Even local labels are guilty of churning out low-quality garments that people are only going to wear a few times.
Clothing made from polyester takes up to 200 years to break down in landfill. Even steering away from plastic-based fabrics doesn’t mean that you’re making an environmentally friendly choice; you need a three-year supply of drinking water just to produce one cotton t-shirt.
It’s time to move away from poorly made dresses that you’ll only wear once. It’s time to move towards slow fashion, and embrace a more sustainable shopping habit. There are sustainable and ethical alternatives, made right here in Adelaide.
You can check out the winter collection here.
See our top picks from the winter collection below:
Gallery photography: Erin Paterson
Other images: Christabel Ballard