The question posed by Green Hub Online in their latest article about Farm To Hanger
IS THIS AUSTRALIA’S MOST ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE FASHION LABEL?
Imagine a time when every fibre of the shirt on your back was home grown, home spun, and home made.
Those were the good ol’ days.
If you were to ponder whether there was any hope for recreating such a thing, many would shut you down in an instant and tell you you’re dreaming.
Australia moved away from this model when the fashion industry recognised the cost savings involved in offshoring the growing of raw materials and manufacturing of clothing.
These processes where outsourced to less economically developed nations where labour & farming costs were pennies in comparison.
THE CARE FACTOR
In recent years we’ve seen a peaking interest in the farm to table movement. Quite simply, a lot of people are beginning to give a damn about where their foods comes from, how its grown, and from whom. But to what extent does this extend to other areas of our lives?
While we drink our organic green smoothies and fair trade, single origin lattes, how many of us are pondering where the cotton on our backs was grown?
”I was acutely aware from my background in landscape photography that environmental destruction was all around me from many industries, and I wanted to find solutions to the problems I was documenting.”
The fashion industry is the 2nd largest contributor to environmental damage, only trailing behind the even more sinister oil industry.
This was a big red flag for Anna.
“I went looking for transparent businesses that reduce, reuse and recycle resources. When I couldn’t find a clothing source that was 100% transparent about how my clothes were made and where they came from, I decided to do something about it…”
Farm to Hanger is 100% transparent in their manufacturing process of locally grown and produced cotton clothing. From the fields where the cotton is grown, right to the end hanger, you can trace each step of the creation of your cotton tee. They are committed to no child labour, zero waste, locally sourced raw materials, supporting sustainable farming methods and utilising recycled textiles were it makes sense.
Anna has adopted what many would consider, a very radical approach to her business. At the foundations of Farm to Hanger is this idea of radical transparency. It reveals every single step of the manufacturing process so you, as the consumer, can trace it right back to the very seed planted in the field of the cotton farmer.
You can read about each step in the Farm to Hanger model on their website.
Anna is hands deep in the manufacturing process herself, hand-making each garment you can buy from her store. It’s a slow process but at this point in time, she wouldn’t have it any other way. This ensures everything is ethical and sustainable to the highest degree. She appreciates that these things need to unfold slowly if we’re to make long lasting change in the industry.
At the end of the day, she still has this to say, “I look at what I have created and ask what can I do now to be even better than before.”
“I look at what I have created and ask what can I do now to be even better than before.”
ORGANIC OR LOCAL
Conventional cotton growing is an extremely water and chemical intensive process.While organic growing takes into consideration its environmental impact by reducing these dependencies, it’s well documented that yields are lower and few farmers are willing to take onboard such risks. Cotton Australia declares on their website.
“A small number of Australian cotton growers have experimented with organic cotton in the past, but a number of factors have prohibited it from entering long-term commercial production in Australia.“
Growing certified organic cotton in Australia has proven to be nothing but an uphill battle. Adhering to a strict code of organic farming standards while competing against global competition where prices can easily be undercut by cheaper labour costs and less stringent farming standards, has seen the industry grind to a halt.Anna goes on to explain,
“As there are no organic cotton farms in Australia, organic cotton is imported. I wanted to find Australian Grown cotton that’s grown with the best sustainable practices possible. thereby supporting Australian farming and employment. This means a reduced carbon footprint for my product and a 100% traceable product.”
She considers this kind of compromise to be even more desirable with where the industry is at.
“All of our cotton is 100% Australian grown in Queensland using permaculture processes, made into fabric in both Queensland and Victoria, then sent to us in Sydney where we cut, make and finish all our garments in-house. When you shop Farm to Hanger, you’re not only getting quality clothing that reduces environmental impact and waste, you’re also supporting local jobs and farmers.”
BRINGING ON GREATER CHANGE
As Anna continues on her journey, she has witnessed firsthand the kind of astonished expressions people give her when they hear of her close involvement and dedication to the cause. It’s fast become one of the most rewarding parts of her job as she explains
“The most rewarding thing has been people’s response to what I am doing and their excitement at being able to be part of it.”
Being 100% transparent is not just a concept for Anna, but a way of life for her, the brand and their shared values.
“We strive to be Australia’s number 1 sustainable brand and hope to create a cleaner world with happy eco-conscious customers.”
Use the discount code GREEN10 at checkout to receive 10% off your order. Shop Here.