Sustainability

Materials

Everything I make uses sustainable materials that have a minimal impact on the environment throughout their life-cycle.

My fabric of choice is linen, a far more sustainable choice than cotton as it requires less pesticide and water to grow. It also lasts longer and needs laundering less often than cotton. All my linen meets OEKO-TEX Standard 100, meaning that no hazardous or toxic chemicals or dyes are used in its production.

In winter I primarily use 100% wool and occasionally wool blended with other natural fibres. This is mostly bought as bolt ends and remnants, meaning that it is saved from the waste streams of larger fashion brands.

Where some synthetic materials remain in my stash (such as polyester sewing threads) I am working to replace these with more natural and sustainable alternatives as they are used up.

The labels used on my garments are made from 100% recycled PET.

permaculture garden - bayleaf handmade goods

Local suppliers

Where possible I choose materials from local primary producers. These include:

Many of my inputs, such as dye plants and herbs used in my lotions, are grown in my own backyard or foraged from my neighbourhood in Ballarat.

Otherwise, I always prefer local independent businesses over larger, international ones. Choosing local shortens supply chains, reduces the energy required for shipping, respects and connects with our bioregion, and builds strong communities.

 

Design for reuse and repair

My clothes and other products are designed to be easy to repair, re-use or repurpose. Apart from their natural fibre materials, the simple designs mean you can adjust or modify them to suit your needs, or easily take a garment apart for some other use once its wearable lifespan is over.

I avoid design elements that often fall apart and lead people to throw out still-wearable clothing. (That means: no zippers!) I also reinforce garments where they’re likely to pull and wear, to make sure they last as long as possible.

Every garment I sell also comes with a mending kit including fabric and thread, and I’m committed to educating people about how to maintain their clothes and keep wearing them for years and years.

mending kit supplied with all bayleaf handmade goods garments

Packaging and shipping

I use recycled, compostable packaging and shipping materials whenever possible. (If only Australia Post would get with the program with their satchels!)

Energy and water use

I work out of a studio at The Lost Ones in Ballarat’s arts precinct, and from my home, where I grow many of my inputs (such as dye plants) and integrate my work into my permaculture household.

I minimise CO2 emissions through purchasing 100% renewable electricity for my home studio, reducing my energy use in the home and workplace, and going car-free. You can sometimes see me around Ballarat transporting mannequins or bolts of fabric on my bike trailer!

All my fabrics are laundered in cold water and environmentally friendly detergents. Where possible waste water from laundry, dyeing and other processes is used on the garden, which in turns saves water through efficient irrigation and rainwater use. Completing the cycle, garden plants are used as dyes and in lotions and other products.

 

sustainability: bayleaf handmade goods uses renewable energy from wind farms like the one pictured
hexagon quilt made from scraps of linen fabric

Waste

Every scrap of fabric in my studio is saved and used to make smaller items. Too-tiny-to-use scraps become pillow stuffing, or are composted along with waste plant material from dyeing and other processes.

Other materials such as paper and the inevitable plastic packaging that comes from my wholesale suppliers is reused and/or recycled. Where possible I choose suppliers who use reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.

Got questions or suggestions?

I’d love to hear them. Drop me a line!

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