The Story Behind Our Tshirts

ethics + aesthetics organic cotton tshirts.jpg

When you’re getting dressed in the morning and you put on your clothes, do you ever think about where they were made and who made them? This is something that’s been lingering on our minds for years now and slowly we’re trying to change our shopping habits and grow our ethical wardrobe. When we started our online boutique a year ago, we wanted to promote that message of ethical shopping by selling thrifted items and some of Tara’s own designs. But from the beginning we always wanted to sell printed t-shirts. Now almost a year later to the day we’re launching fair trade and organic t-shirts! But there is more to the story than that. 

The design?

After a lot of brainstorming, we came up with the slogan “ethics + aesthetics” for our tshirts. Why? Well, ever since the beginning of trying to shop more ethically ourselves, we’ve always found it hard to find affordable items that fit our style. We love fashion and wear a lot of modern trends whereas the ethical options available had a lot more of a bohemian vibe to them. Now as we head in to 2019, it’s amazing to see more and more brands popping up who are making a conscious effort to make their stylish clothes more sustainable. Now we can have the best of both worlds - ethically made and aesthetically pleasing. Just like our t-shirts!

ethics + aesthetics organic cotton tshirts9.jpg
ethics + aesthetics organic cotton tshirts4.jpg

Where are they made?

Our t-shirts are made by an incredible company called Freeset who have a fair-trade factory based in India. For hundreds of women who were trapped in India sex trade, this job producing clothing for Freeset gives them a new life and hope. They are given the opportunity to choose a new job and regain control of their lives in a caring community. Employment is based on their need for the jobs, not the skills or qualifications they may not have. The women are trained, paid a living wage and signed up to a health insurance plan and pension fund.

Why should I care about organic fabric?

Conventional cotton farming consumes massive quantities of toxic insecticides to control pests. These hazardous toxins pollute the environment and cause serious health problems for poorly protected Indian cotton farmers. By using natural pest control methods organic cotton farming removes the need for toxic chemicals. Organic cotton production also uses considerably less water than traditional cotton farming. Using organic cotton for our t-shirts means we’re doing good for our planet all the way back to the roots and the very beginning of the process.

ethics + aesthetics organic cotton tshirts6.jpg

What about the dye?

Another important part of designing our t-shirts was considering the impact the dyes had on the environment. So we were very happy to learn they could be printed using an eco-friendly process with water based inks that are 100% GOTS certified

Freeset also sent through some progress shots of our t-shirts being made which was so cool to see. I feel like a lot of the time we forget there are human hands behind making our clothes, so it was very exciting when these came through showing skilled hands bringing our t-shirts to life!

We also vlogged the weekend Ellen visited Melbourne and featured some of the footage of the tshirts getting made. Check it out below, we had a lot of fun! :)

tara&ellensign (1).jpg
FashionTara Mackenzie