Theo the Label is an independent Australian clothing label focused on sustainability.
Wikipedia (my best friend) says that "sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes". Sustainability in relation to fashion then, explores the endurance of systems and processes within the fashion industry. The key word here is endurance. How long can something last? How long can it continue? Or maybe, how long are we going to be okay with it?
There are many systems within fashion and unfortunately a lot of them aren't pretty! There are toxic systems around raw materials, labour, landfill and the overall rate of clothing consumption and these are big, global issues we're talking about. So how long can we let these systems continue? How long can we continue polluting the environment and expect animals (and us!) and their habitats to be okay? How long can we allow humans to be used and abused purely for profit? Basically how long can we let all this bad stuff continue without doing something about it? It's rhetorical of course and that's why it's unsustainable - it can't continue.
Sustainable fashion means developing systems and processes to make clothing that are good for people, the planet and in my eyes, greater purposes.
Don't get me wrong, there isn't one perfect solution to 'fix' everything (unless we want to get comfortable with being nude 24/7 and going back to the Garden of Eden?) but there are a million ways to do things better and that's why I started Theo. I think it's unsustainable for the fashion industry to continue relying on cheap, sweatshop labour to churn out millions of crappy garments and so Theo is basically the opposite.
I work one on one with super skilled garment makers (they put my sewing skills to shame and I have a fashion degree!) and sometimes we produce as little as 5 pieces for one style. Not 5 in each size, not 5 in each colour, a grand total of 5. Theo clothing is designed to be loved and to be worn to death so that it doesn't end up 'out of fashion' and in landfill after 2 wears. It's all natural so those pesky microfibre thingys don't end up in the ocean with the rest of the world's plastic. I also have an overflowing basket of paper off-cuts in the studio because I desperately don't want to throw them in the recycling without giving them a second chance!
There are a million more things I could be doing better too but I'm happy to have started something that is positive and taking intentional steps toward being fully sustainable, and I invite you to be part of it! Follow the journey on Instagram and Facebook (where I have knack for telling people to get outside on nice days, oversharing my personal thoughts and of course flaunting the latest Theo threads) and join our VIPs to receive email updates for new collections and sales (which are as rare as unicorn babies).
If you made it this far, congrats! There's a lot more where this word vomit came from so I hope you stick around for the ride. It's much easier to create world change when we're in it together! Cheers,
Founder, Designer, Wifey & Jesus-follower amongst a few other much less glamorous things!
(Pictured here with an amazing group of women from the Bali Life Women's Centre in Indonesia who meet weekly to learn skills and make products to lift themselves out of disadvantaged circumstances. They made a bunch of bracelets we sell in the South Melbourne shop and I'm hoping to train them to be able to sew garments in future! I also promise I won't word vomit on you in case you were still thinking about that.)