Conscious fashion label Akazi is the partnership between Gold Coast-based mother and daughter Tracey Barker and Pia Twyford, with their relaxed, comfortable and cool designs all inspired by their shared travels, and the family’s experience of living a more simple life for many years in Africa together.
All of Akazi’s ethical fashion is made by local tailors and craftspeople from quality, natural plant-based fabrics, using quality linens, silk and cotton, with Tracey and Pia designing every piece to be a classic, timeless wardrobe essential, giving longevity, practicality and an ageless edge that defies the current throwaway ‘fast fashion’ industry.
In addition to their small production ethical fashion collections, Akazi has recently introduced a made to order system on a variety of their styles which allows them to produce at low volumes, keeping the focus on exceptional quality while simultaneously reducing waste – just another way they keep their focus on ethical manufacturing. You can read more about Akazi’s sustainability journey on their website.
Brisbane-based ethical fashion and lifestyle brand Tulasii takes inspiration from the traditional art and craft of India, with small batch, limited edition pieces designed for travel and slow, authentic living.
Working with a family-run group of block printers in the small artisan community of Bagru on the outskirts of Jaipur, Rajasthan in India, Tulasii has produced a collection of organic cotton travel scarves that showcase the traditional block print art of the region, which utilises completely natural dyes, created from vegetables and mineral pigments, including the red or Madder from the Aahl tree, blue from the Indigo plant, and yellow from dried pomegranate rinds, turmeric and dried flowers of Dhabaria trees.
Tulasii also has a beautiful loungewear collection of kimono-style robes, produced in small batches through their partnership with Saheli Women, an ethical fashion social enterprise run by the NGO, IPHD India, in the village of Bhikamkor, rural Rajasthan, which employs over 24 rural women, providing them with fair wages, health insurance coverage and a safe work environment free from gender, religious and caste discrimination, while also supporting a range of programs within Bhikamkor run by IPHD, including a community centre housing a female health clinic, and a Community Kitchen Garden. It’s a really interesting story of fashion with a purpose, which you can read more about through Tulasii’s journal on their online shop.
LILLA BY FIA
Born in Denmark but now based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Sofia Tomkins is creating and sharing her ethically produced fashion designs under the name of Lilla by Fia.
Her ever-changing collections include basics like t-shirts, dresses and shorts, with a different colourway introduced with every season, drawn from the natural environment, including colours derived from plants, fruits, vegetables and flowers (this season Lilla by Fia is even embracing lentils in its colour palette!). You can read more about Fia’s use of natural dyes and colours on her website.
Lilla by Fia uses natural fabrics including hemp, a fibre that requires very little water and is durable, absorbent and softens with wear; and organic cotton that is woven with the hemp, producing a super comfortable garment. Every piece has been designed, drafted, cut, sewn, and dyed by hand by Fia herself, with very little by-product (even the offcuts of fabric are used as clothes tags) making this a truly sustainable, eco-friendly and slow fashion brand to watch and wear.
Shop the Lilla by Fia collection
Dreamt up in paradise on Atauro Island in Timor-Leste, and with a name meaning “ocean” in the local Tetun language, Tasi Travels was founded by Jessica Abraham in 2017 and has fast become one of Australia’s foremost ethical fashion brands, combining minimalism, practicality and style. Jess also co-founded and ran independent publication Tidal Magazine before launching the brand. A passionate and active environmental conservationist, particularly concerned with the impact of marine debris and plastic pollution, Jess has created the Tasi collection to inspire slow, authentic travel – five or six items you can pack, with nothing more needed for your trip, no matter how long you’re away for. It’s all handmade to last a lifetime of travels by local seamstress Charlie Mackay, who also happens to own menswear brand Tyranus Apparel. Tasi’s range is designed to be appropriate for both conservative cultures and hot climates, offering coverage and relief from the heat with breathable, sustainable and light fabrics such as Tencel – one of the most environmentally-friendly textiles available.