Eco-friendly col­lec­tions on pa­rade

Countryman - - WOOL - Bob Gar­nant

Aus­tralian Merino fash­ion ap­parel was show­cased at the in­au­gu­ral in­ter­na­tional Eco Fash­ion Week Aus­tralia across five days in Novem­ber at var­i­ous Perth venues.

The or­ganic haute cou­ture event in­cluded a swag of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional de­sign­ers, who shared the same pas­sion and artis­tic flair to­wards en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly fi­bres.

Launch­ing among the beau­ti­ful sur­rounds at Tay­lors Art & Cof­fee House in the Swan Val­ley, guests were treated to a didgeri­doo rhythm run­way, which pre­ceded five nights of 44 cap­ti­vat­ing de­sign col­lec­tions pa­raded in his­toric Fre­man­tle.

Perth-based eco fash­ion de­signer and EFWA founder Zuhal Ku­van-Mills said WA’s eco-fo­cused event aimed to raise aware­ness for en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious fash­ion.

“We aim to strike a chord with de­sign­ers, fash­ion­istas and me­dia,” she said.

In­cluded in the itin­er­ary were ex­clu­sive in­for­ma­tive dis­cus­sions, ex­hi­bi­tions and hands-on work­shops.

“The fash­ion in­dus­try is one of the largest pol­luters world­wide, not to men­tion one of the least eth­i­cal,” Ms Ku­van-Mills said.

“We seek to prove that eco fash­ion can be just as stylish as its fast-fash­ion coun­ter­part while re­main­ing so­cially and en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble.”

Queens­land de­signer Ker­rie Richards, of Merino Coun­try Aus­tralia, launched her new ac­tive-wear range, MOVEinMerino, along­side her very suc­cess­ful Merino wool un­der­wear range, Wundies.

“We’re ex­cited to be in­volved and show­case the ver­sa­til­ity of Merino wool with our Aus­tralian life­style col­lec­tion,” she said.

“Our fab­rics and gar­ments are all made lo­cally, grown and sewn in Aus­tralia, which al­lows us to re­spond very quickly to mar­ket de­mands.”

The event at­tracted US eth­i­cal de­signer Jeff Garner, who has dressed sev­eral fa­mous mu­si­cians in­clud­ing Tay­lor Swift and Mi­ley Cyrus.

Mr Garner’s Prophetik la­bel capped off the event with the grand fi­nale run­way pa­rade mak­ing a last­ing im­pres­sion and an en­vi­ron­men­tally sound foot­print on the fash­ion con­scious.

Lo­cal Fre­man­tle de­signer Azu­lant Akora, whose la­bel has be­come syn­ony­mous with nat­u­ral Aus­tralian Merino wool, said or­ganic fash­ion had be­come so­cially ac­cept­able as more and more peo­ple cared about what was hap­pen­ing to the planet.

Ja­panese de­signer Hiroaki Tanaka took his Aus­tralian al­paca fi­bre fash­ion de­sign in­spi­ra­tion from Noon­gar cul­ture with a visit to the Swan River im­mersed with a Dream­time story from Wil­liam Hay­ward, a keeper of na­tive spir­i­tual knowl­edge.

In­dian de­signer Shra­van Kum­mar summed up eco fash­ion, say­ing his na­tive coun­try­men and women were seek­ing pu­rity in their cloth­ing of choice.

EFWA or­gan­is­ers plan to move the global event to dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions around Aus­tralia each year.

Pic­tures: Bob Gar­nant

Merino Coun­try Aus­tralia de­signer Ker­rie Richards brought her col­lec­tion, grown and sewn in Aus­tralia, to the Eco Fash­ion Week Fre­man­tle run­way.

Merino Coun­try is cel­e­brat­ing 24 years of man­u­fac­tur­ing in Queens­land.

Merino Coun­try de­signs are in­spired by Aus­tralia's di­verse life­style and colours.

MOVEinMERINO men’s range.

MOVEinMERINO ac­tive wear.

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