The Australian By Design fashion parade has showcased sustainably grown Australian cotton in a large variety of high-quality garments made by leading fashion brands.
At the Australian Cotton Conference, held on the Gold Coast from 16-18 August, leading fashion brands showcased their Aussie cotton garments to almost 2500 farmers and industry representatives.
Fashion brands Bonds, Sussan, Rodd & Gunn, Madi & Pip, ELK The Label, Kamakura, Willow & Claude and Country Road participated in the parade.
It was the first time Cotton Australia's brand partners had showcased their Australian cotton garments at the conference.
“How exciting for our farmers and the cotton industry to see the results of all their hard work on the catwalk. 10 years ago you couldn't buy an Australian cotton product, and now these brands have made Aussie cotton a major part of their sourcing strategies, ” Cotton Australia’s Cotton to Market Lead Brooke said.
“Linking the stories of our beautiful sustainable fibres to customers is a great way to get the word out about Australian cotton, and our partners absolutely love working with this quality natural material”
Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing Manager for Rodd and Gunn, Samantha Helmond, said the Australian Cotton Conference was a new experience for her and colleague Klaudia Edmondson.
“We particularly enjoyed hearing from many of the different speakers in the plenary sessions, and there was a good balance between the amount of information shared and the range of topics covered,” Samantha said.
Rodd & Gunn also participated in the fashion parade, which Samantha said was a “wonderful experience”.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for our brand to show the transformation that occurs from fibre to finished garment,” she said.
“We hope that through making this connection, farmers and brands alike can feel a greater sense of achievement and appreciation for the hard work that goes into growing Australian cotton.”
Samantha said the highlight of the conference was without a doubt the fashion parade.
“It provided brands with a platform to tell their Aussie cotton story directly to farmers and the industry,’ she said.
“Sourcing local, high-quality fibre is a natural fit for our brand, where the design, quality and authenticity of our products are at the forefront of everything we do.”
The fashion parade panel included Gold Coast-based boutique designer Emma Bond, who grew up on a cotton farm in New South Wales.
Garments from her label Madi and Pip were showcased in the fashion parade, which Emma said was “an honour”.
“At Madi and Pip we are very particular and like high-quality cotton with a long staple fibre that’s grown with virtually no contaminants and is water efficient,” Emma said.
“Australian cotton offers us all of this and we love that this industry is accountable and has a rigorous commitment to sustainability, and not just having an active goal to be the most sustainable cotton industry in the world, but a global leader in sustainable cotton production.”
Emma said the conference provided conversations about changing market expectations, the need for transparency across the entire supply chain and celebrating people, planet and paddock.
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about soil health and biodiversity, plus conversations about carbon sequestration and innovation,” she said.