Fash­ion­istas mar­vel at eco Merino

Great Southern Herald - - News - Bob Gar­nant

Out with syn­thet­ics and in with nat­u­ral re­new­able fi­bres, WA or­ganic Merino wool will be a star at­trac­tion as eco fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers pre­pare to re­write haute cou­ture eti­quette.

At­tract­ing lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional de­signer in­ter­est, the se­cond an­nual Eco Fash­ion Week Aus­tralia will show­case high fash­ion gar­ments all sketched and hand-stitched un­der en­vi­ron­men­tally sound eth­i­cal stan­dards.

Nat­u­rally, in cel­e­bra­tion of the event, there was a pre­view of the new col­lec­tion of eco de­signs at the Mari­noni fam­ily’s or­ganic farm­ing prop­erty in Kojonup.

EFWA founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive Zuhal Ku­van-Mills said her Green Em­bassy Merino-in­spired de­signs had their fi­bre ori­gins at the Mari­no­nis’ farm, where sheep are grazed on chem­i­cally-free pas­tures.

Eco fash­ion model Hay­ley Beard­man, at 23 weeks preg­nant, said she felt safe in wear­ing the farm’s home­grown wool as she pa­raded care­free among the rich and green unadul­ter­ated land­scape.

Ms Beard­man is one of many eco model vol­un­teers, which is open to new­com­ers, who will pa­rade fash­ion this year and she will have given birth to her first-born only weeks be­fore.

“My con­tri­bu­tion will leave a last­ing green foot­print for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” she said.

Grantly Mari­noni, who farms with his wife Peta and par­ents Phil and Vi, said he was fully cer­ti­fied in the pro­duc­tion of or­ganic Merino wool for more than 20 years to co­in­cide with his cer­ti­fied or­ganic oats pro­duc­tion.

“We were hope­ful of cre­at­ing a new mar­ket for or­ganic wool, but be­cause de­mand was limited, it was not cost-ef­fec­tive to con­tinue and also there were no al­ter­na­tives to par­a­site con­trol to en­sure com­plete an­i­mal health wel­fare stan­dards,” he said.

“We ap­plaud the eco move­ment for recog­nis­ing our wool, which is pro­duced through or­ganic pas­ture and oaten stub­bles.”

Ms Ku­van-Mills said the care found on the Mari­noni’s farm was a driv­ing force for the direc­tion of the eco move­ment.

“We are in­spired by farm­ers’ sto­ries through their eth­i­cal pro­duc­tion of wool and Merino will be highly fea­tured at this year’s event,” she said.

The farm­ing com­mu­nity will have the op­por­tu­nity to pre­view a se­lec­tion of eco fash­ions dur­ing the GWN7 Dow­erin Ma­chin­ery Field Days — Au­gust 29 and 30.

This year, the EFWA will take place in two lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing Port Dou­glas, Queens­land, from Novem­ber 4 to 10, and in Fre­man­tle from Novem­ber 15 to 21.

“The host of ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude fash­ion pa­rades and free work­shops all in­spir­ing com­mu­nity sup­port and par­tic­i­pa­tion,” Ms Ku­van-Mills said.

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion can be found on www.eco­fash­ion weekaus­tralia.com.

Pic­ture: Bob Gar­nant Photo avail­able at west­pix.com.au

Eco fash­ion mod­els Hay­ley Beard­man and Ali­son Brem­ner take to the or­ganic farm paddocks of Kojonup, the ori­gin of Merino wool-in­spired de­signs.

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