What drew you to become a fashion designer?
I was taught to sew by hand from my grandmother at a very young age, and I always aimed to never wear what was available in the store - being totally unique in my own dress code!
The pure enjoyment I got from creating my own one-off individual pieces was always so satisfying, that by the time I became a single mother, I decided to give up working for the man and simply make a living at home with my daughters by doing what I enjoy most.
Why was it important to you to offer a sustainable, responsible, eco fashion line and how do you incorporate ideals such as Zero Waste into your work?
I studied for 5 years, working on a degree in environmental health after leaving high school. The importance of the health of our environment had quite a huge impact on my life. Always admiring precious stones, crystals, shells and the love of hand embroidery, I wanted to use a fabric that would withstand the time and wear, so my pieces could become heirlooms. All of my off cuts I make lingerie out of, to also provide an Eco breathable under wear.
Where do you find inspiration for new work?
Having learnt the ancient indigenous language of the rainforest where I live, I find constant inspiration surrounding me. I have been singing in a local band for 20 years now, dedicated to the preservation of this ancient tongue. It has taken me to many ancient sites and gatherings throughout far north Queensland. I find the rainforest and this culture gives much inspiration for expression through thread.
What materials do you work with - organic, reclaimed, etc?
I mostly use 100% organic hemp, hemp/silk, bamboo, and just recently 100% pineapple. I use reclaimed fabric, for the love of recycling.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a sustainable designer?
The biggest challenge is always the education of the consumers. Having had a market stall for 20 years, I realize it matters not what your product is or how eco friendly it is, most consumers will always go for the "quick fix" unfortunately.
How do you help customers understand the higher cost of sustainable garments when they are so inundated with sweat shop-produced cheap merchandise?
This is always a struggle, however, I find that if the customer is truly looking for that particular sustainable garment, they will and do find understand. I've always promoted that my pieces are hand made, hand embroidered, hand beaded by myself. The only way to educate is to never give up publicizing!
What can we look forward to seeing on the runway at Eco Fashion Week Australia 2018?
Hand made organic gowns with a hint of my hand embroidery and beading, in designs of an era of elegance.
How do you incorporate sustainable living in other areas of your life?
My life is devoted to sustainable living.
I bought my property in the rainforest of Kuranda 15 years ago. Having limited access, no mains power, and no mains water. I hired a mobile mill from New Guinea, and milled on the trees required off the land to build my home. I now live completely off the grid in a pole home, using only rain water, and composting amenities to feed my ever producing garden. This is the perfect space to create organic pieces of wearable art, and write and play beautiful music, of which I do with two bands.
Anything else you would like readers to know?
I believe we have not inherited the earth from our ancestors, we borrow from our children. My three beautiful daughters have been my driving force to continue on the path of sustainability .