Sustainability has always been at the core of our brand here at Luna & Rose. We are always inspired by people and other brands to keep doing better and walk a little lighter on Mother Earth. To inspire you as well, we'd love to introduce you to the most eco-friendly brands out there, paving the way and making sure we're all in this together!
First, we talked with Danielle Clayton, Creative Director at Salt Gypsy, "well-designed and responsibly made surf goods for women". We'll let her talk you through how she came up with the idea, her inspirations and what is the most important to this endlessly inspiring brand...
Can you talk us through your journey to sustainability as a brand? When did you start & how did this evolve for you guys?
Salt Gypsy began as my personal blog while I worked on a surf charter boat in the Maldives back in 2012. At that time, I needed surf leggings for myself and could not find any in the marketplace that either a) suited my personal style or b) suited my surf guide wages. That year I had a couple of pairs made for myself in Bali which I roadtested for several months in the tropics and began producing made-to-order leggings in Bali at the end of that year for a handful of customers. From 2013 - 2015 I slowly worked my way around the streets of Denpasar trying to find good manufacturers to work with as Salt Gypsy evolved from a blog to a women's surf brand and responding to wholesale orders, including Urban Outfitters in the US in 2014/15. After 2 years of manufacturing in Bali, I handbraked the business mid-2015 after an incident with one of the larger factories left me with a product that was not up to the high standard I strived for, nor was the factory owner (a Westerner I might add) a good human or businessman to deal with. This situation really forced me to look at my fledgling business as a whole and the environmental & social impact it was contributing to. I didn't like what was happening so I made change, moved back to Australia and restructured my supply chain to be more in line with my personal values: to reduce, reuse and recycle - which is the cultural DNA of New Zealand that I was raised in.
At the end of 2015, I began working with veterans of the Australian stretchwear industry in Queensland and switched to Italian fabrics made from 100% regenerated nylon yarn. By this stage I'd also stopped using plastic polybags (a requirement by retailers for every single unit to be packaged in plastic = HUGE amount pollution) and had sourced an Indonesian company who were producing biodegradable/compostable bags made from corn starch. I was open source about that company and it's so awesome to see it's now become industry-standard for fashion businesses to ditch plastic in favour of bio polybags and mailer-bags (and if you're favourite brand/s haven't then shame on them and feel free to call them out about it - the alternatives exist now). So for over 4 years now, I've continued to manufacture in Australia using better, longer-lasting Italian stretch fabrics and working with women-owned & operated businesses in my supply chain which I'm proud of.
What’s your best tip to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle?
It comes back to the cultural education I received growing up in New Zealand to be a "Tidy Kiwi" and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And now, more than ever - stop using single use plastic. Taking reusable bags & containers to do your shopping is one of the easiest habits to form in helping reduce our reliance on plastic.
Who inspires you the most?
My mum. She had me at 18, was a solo-parent for the first 6 years of my life, instilled in me at a young age that "girls can do anything" (no shit - that's one of my earliest memories as a kid in the early 80s!) and then went on to have 3 more children, including 2 homebirths - one of which was my sister who was born on the day of my high school ball when I was 16! - then went on to study nursing at uni the same time I was (and at the same university) and has become a top cardiac research nurse in NZ. And on top of all that she survived sudden cardiac arrest in her sleep and went on to be diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome (a congenital heart arrythmia that can cause sudden death) which all 4 of us kids have also inherited. She is a legend and I am who I am because of her strength of character and tenacity for a better life.
What are your favorite sustainable clothing/accessories/make-up brands?
Lonely Label(NZ),Lottie Hall (AU), Last Layer(AU/Bali),Back Beat Co(Cali),Summer Stories (AU),Beach Knickers(NZ),Buddy Hemp Goods(NZ),Flash Jewellery (AU/NZ) and Luna & Rose since 2013 naturally!
What’s one cause that you would want people to rally behind and why?
Backing Women in Business. Because women are awesome, capable and my mum said we can do anything.
Favorite eco instagram accounts for inspiration?
The Green Hub (AU)
If you could visit any country/city/place in the world right now, where would you go?
Right now, I literally want to be back on a boat in the Maldives SURF SURF SURF
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