Earthie – The Story of a Sustainable Clothing Start-Up


Inspiration

Nature is the true artist, and the source from which I draw much of my inspiration. There's just something so incredibly breathtaking about the infinite colours and textures and patterns to be discovered when you explore the outside world. Nature's architecture and composition is amazing, it's energy and growth is magic. The intricacy of every little detail and the contrast between countless different landscapes is phenomenal. 

What is Earthie about?

Earthie is a platform I'm using to combine my passions of art, creativity and the environment. It was created to be part of a movement towards sustainable fashion. I wanted to create a brand that reflects a connection with the natural world, revolving around core values of sustainability, fair trade, good design and positive vibes. 

Working on a concept sketch for Earthie's Night Owl design

I love that I'm creating, and I don't think I'd be able to find satisfaction if I wasn't. The feeling I get when I create is somewhat intangible, but it's a way for me to find myself in a state of flow. It's a way for me to embrace my inner child. I'm happy to be on a path that is constantly pushing me to learn and grow. 

Other sources of inspiration

Aside from drawing inspiration from nature I've also always really loved surrealism and the idea of tapping into the dreamlike creativity locked within the subconscious. I like working with typography so this element has a role to play in my designs as well.

Impact of the fashion industry

The fashion industry can have a fairly detrimental effect on people and the environment. Workers in third world countries are being paid below decent living wages. Synthetic materials, chemicals and pesticides used in the growing and manufacturing processes are harmful to the workers and the environment. There's and ever-growing trend of 'fast fashion' where cheap, synthetic, poor quality garments are being snapped up by consumers trying to keep up with trends that are changing faster than the seasons, only to live a short life before often ending up in landfill.

Moving towards sustainable fashion

My goal is for Earthie to go against the negative consequences the fashion industry can produce. We all need to be making more mindful decisions about the processes and resources involved in making clothes, and we need to place value in fair treatment of people, animals and the planet.

From sourcing organic cotton, ethically made garments, to using 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard for the swing tags, to using eco-friendly water based inks when I'm printing, I'm constantly trying to make decisions for the business in the most environmental and ethical ways that I can, as well as continuously looking for ways to improve.

Hand painted market stall signage – 'Organic Cotton, Ethically Made'

Making a Difference – Supporting Sea Shepherd and ACF

$1 from each shirt sold is donated to either Sea Shepherd Australia or the Australian Conservation Foundation, two organisations that are working towards a better future for this planet. As Earthie grows we'll be looking at other ways in which we can have a positive impact on the environment and the community. 

Find out more about the Foundations we support here.

Insight into the printing process

I chose to do the printing myself rather than outsourcing because I want to be involved in the hands-on side of creation. I also believe it's highly beneficial to have a thorough understanding of the whole process and every element of your business. I've gained a new skill and it's been a big learning curve.

Learn more about the process here.

Close up of screen printing with squeegee

The future of Earthie

The future of Earthie is not limited to shirts. I want to be able to offer a range of sustainable garments and handcrafted goods, provided it all fits in with the core values of the brand. 

A selection of Earthie's candles made from up cycled wine and spirit bottles on display at a night market

I'm excited to be sharing the art and creations of Earthie, and I want to create a positive community around the brand. I'm looking forward to collaborating with other artists and creatives. 

I want Earthie to connect with anyone who has a love for the natural world, as well as art, design and creativity. 

– Rhiannon Brown, Owner and Designer


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