Sustainable fashion is all very very new to me. Im only JUST starting to learn about all the practices involved and the effect they have on the environment and the people who work to make the clothes we wear. In the past year or so, so many great brands and initiatives have sprung up to educate and make us more aware of how to make more conscious fashion choices. We were even lucky enough to be invited to the first ethical and sustainable fashion show as part MBFW Sydney. So when the call came to meet young sustainable sleep wear designer, Emily McIntyre in Brisbane with her brand House On The Prairie we just wanted to meet her and get her insight on what sustainable & ethical fashion really means.
Tell us about house on the prairie how did it come about?
After becoming frustrated with the lack of choice in sleepwear available in Australia, I wanted to take a more fashion forward approach to sleepwear designs. Just because we wear these garments to bed doesn’t mean they need to be predictable and limited. I decided to create a label that showcases bold colour, artistic designs andconstructions which are appropriate for both bed and play.
Were you always in fashion? If so what were you doing/what are you doing now?
I actually used to work in systems IT, I then decided to pursue my dream which is creating clothes. I also work for an australian handbag label and I am having the time of my life.
What is it about sustainable fashion that drew you to start house on the prairie?
I feel a sense of responsibility in looking after our environment, making my clothing sustainable is my way of doing my part.
Tell us about the fabrics used – where they are sourced and how they are treated/coloured/no chemicals/fair trade etc?
House on the Prairie uses 100% GOTS certified organic fabrics to create its collections which are manufactured in a textiles mill certified for their Global Organic Textile Standard.
OUR TEXTILE MILL IMPLEMENTS THE FOLLOWING STANDARDS
- Farm using natural seeds instead of GMO, soil rotation, trap crops and natural defoliation as a replacement for inducing with toxic chemicals and spraying with insecticides and pesticides.
- Weaving processes use warp yarns which are stabilised using non toxic corn-starch instead of
OUR TEXTILE MILL IS ALSO RECOGNISED FOR PRACTICING FAIR TRADE WHICH ENSURES:
- No child labour employed; Fair wages for employees; Safe and hygienic working conditions.
How do you go through the design process ?
All our prints are original designs and concepts created by myself with help from two of my friends. I design the prints for the collections and afterwards create the perfect versatile and contemporary cuts that will match. Once I have designed the garment cuts for the collection I consult a pattern maker and finalise patterns.
Will you be branching out of women’s sleepwear? What are the future plans?
I am looking at adding mens pieces to the upcoming collections.
How do you recommend people search and know about what ethical & sustainable practices go into their fashion choices?
http://fairwear.org.au/ is a great resource and are working tirelessly to eliminate the exploitation of sweatshop workers in the australian clothing industry.
http://www.ethicalclothingaustralia.org.au/ is a great resource that lists organisations including fashion labels that adhere to fair trade.