Public Figure recognises the impact our industry has had on the people and the world around us. Traditional manufacturing methods and fast fashion have taken a toll on the environment through over production, water wastage and harmful chemicals. However it doesn't have to be that way.
Forward thinking designers and manufacturers have pioneered methods, fabrics and business models that aim to reduce the impact on our earth. Public Figure exists to uplift these producers.
At it's core, fashion will never be perfectly sustainable. But our brands honour their imperfections and are working towards a better, cleaner future.
Recycled & Upcycled
A significant portion of a fabric’s environmental impacts can be reduced by repurposing what is already in circulation. Not only does this savethe material from going to landfill but in closing the loop and making it into a new garment we place less demand on the earth’s resources toproduce something from scratch.
There are two approaches to repurposed fabrics that are being adopted – one involves reusing existing material, also known as ‘deadstock’sourcing. When a fashion house buys their fabric run for a garment or collection they will often overbuy so that they can easily meet demand.Environmentally conscious fashion houses then purchase the leftover reams of fabric or offcuts, aka the ‘deadstock’ fabric, to use in their owngarments saving the material from going to waste. The other approach involves creating a new material from consumer waste by recyclingfabric. Textile recycling involves breaking down fabrics into a form where they can be spun into new yarns that can be woven or knitted backinto fabric. Textile recycling gives waste a new life.
Natural fabrics are a common preference for many, the benefits such as breathability, tactility and movement are hard to trump with engineered fibres. However, natural materials – cotton in particular – have come under scrutiny in the sustainability debate due to the demand that they can place on natural resources. It takes a large volume of water to produce cotton, often requiring potent pesticides which
are harmful to the local environment as well as the growers themselves.
One solution to mitigate this as a conscious consumer is to seek out GOTS certified organic materials. GOTS represents the Global Organic Textile Standard, a worldwide authority who endorse fabrics based on their set of criteria for social and ecological impacts. The benefit of choosing a garment made from GOTS certified organic cotton is that it demands far less water to grow and the methods used cultivate the cotton crops give back to the earth through biologically diverse agriculture which prevents the need for pesticides.
Better Cotton Initiave
The Better Cotton initiative is a not for profit that aims to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it and theenvironment. This includes training farmers to receive training on how to care for soil and natural habitats, reduction of harmful chemicals anddecent work principles.
Made from cellulose from a range of sources (even plastic water bottles & fishing nets) regenerated fibres chemically convert used materials into something new. The best example of this is ECONYL and Repreve.
It seems fortuitous that the new guard in sustainable swimwear is being made from discarded fishing nets plucked from the ocean itself. Econyl is becoming an increasingly popular alternative fabric for your favourite cossie, including our go-to Peony styles.
A recycled nylon, Econyl is made by regenerating post-consumer nylon products such as old carpets, upholstery and abandoned fishing nets. The fibres undergo a process that restores them to their virgin state then transforms it into textile yarn. In doing so up to 80% of global warming contributions are reduced compared to using regular nylon derived from non-renewable petroleum oil.
Best of all the quality of the material is just the same allowing for a high quality swim set with a far lighter environmental footprint.
Natural & Biodegradable Fibes
Well made fashion should last a lifetime. But when it comes to the end of it’s life (after mending and donation of course), fashion made ofnatural fibres ensures that the item biodegrades, taking mear months*. Natural fibres include cotton, hemp, wool, silk, bamboo, flax and Jute.
Water Waste Reduction
Traditional farming and manufacturing methods are known to use excess water to the detriment of our planet. Our designers recognise this and are pioneering methods to reduce the amount of water used in production.
Responsible Chemical Use
Non-natural chemicals and dyes used in production pollute the environment and people around them. Our designers aim to reduce their chemical use, replacing with natural options where possible.
Packaging & Shipping
Each Public Figure order arrives in plastic-free packaging. Made from fully biodegradable materials so that one day it will leave no trace on the environment. We have sourced the best of the best biodegradable materials - even our tape and shipping labels will bio degrade.
Where possible we also strive to work with delivery partners with green initiatives. All orders processed through ShopPay are shipped carbon neutrally.
It was through our founder, Bella’s experience working with large e-commerce retailers that she became passionate about standing up for the working conditions of the people within the industry supply chain.We only work with brands that can verify or are working towards best practises throughout their manufacturing process, ensuring that they are closely connected to where their product is made and the working conditions.
We believe you have the right to know who is making your clothes and the conditions they create. Our brands have personal contact with the producers of their garments and oversee a fair and safe environment.
Made in Australia & NZ
Although it incurs higher costs, producing fashion and textiles locally bolsters our Australian and New Zealand manufacturing industries. It has the
Modern Slavery Act
According to the Global Estimates of Modern Slavery more than 40 million people are experiencing modern slavery – 16 million are subjected to forced labour in the private economy. From farming to manufacturing, whole supply chains can be enslaving women and children in developing countries. The recently ratified Modern Slavery Act aims to hold businesses accountable for their supply chains. It makes mandatory reporting on areas of entity structure, modern slavery risks, policies & processes to address risk, and due diligence processes.
Many sustainable brands work with artisans in developing nations to ensure their craft and skill is preserved. Honouring the work of the entire supply chain, a Fair Trade certification ensures the safe working conditions and equitable trade terms for farmers and workers in developing nations. Fair Trade also facilitates relationships between small scale farmers, workers and international companies.
Ethical Trading Initiative
The Ethical trading initiative is a resource for companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations to create the best possible experiences for workers across all production industries. They are advocate between workers and executives to create mutually beneficial arrangements.
Business Social Compliance Initiative
An auditing program aimed to improve the conditions of employees in production. It is holds manufactures to the high standards of Human Rights, ILO conventions and national labour law. They upload 11 principles over 13 key areas that stipulate from protection od the environment to fair remuneration.
Responsible Jewellery Council
The Responsible Jewellery Council is leading the way for ethical production accreditation in the accessories industry. Working specifically with jewellery manufacturing to monitor responsible practices inducing ethical standards and environmental practices. They are there every step of production from mining to manufacturing advocating for the environment and workers.
Social Accountability Accreditation Services
SAAS oversees audits supply chains to independently validate high social standards. Partners audited by SAAS attain a SA8000 certification.
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit
A social auditing body dedicated to transparency of working conditions. THE SMETA is a world leader auditing producer’s labour, health and safety, environment and business ethics.
We make a conscious effort to partner with brands with intention for our future.We selectively support labels that not only create well made products but also invest in social and environmental issues.It is important to us that our brands are mindful of their impact on the world and make an effort to give back to the environment or local communities.
Packaging & Shipping
Autark are proud to support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation by donating 5% of their profits.
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation fosters an early literacy love through gifts thousands of culturally appropriate books to remote Indigenous families across Australia, and works with communities to tell and publish stories in their own language, with content relevant to their experiences. They have gifted over 500 000 books to almost 400 remote communities.
With the host of causes Lacausa supports it comes at no surprise their name's literal translation is 'The Cause'. Their small LA based team has shown ongoing dedication to social and environmental causes
St Rose has a meaningful relationship with the indigenous community cultivating the sustainable sandalwood that features in their perfumes. They are honoured to work with the Martu Indigenous community with a 50/50 business partnership. They even named their Desert Nomad in honour of their community.
Van Der Kooij
For every product created by Van Der Kooij they plant a tree to give back to the earth. Their latest crop were planted in the WA Western
Positive change is the driving force behind Velvet Canyon – socially and environmentally. 1% of the sales of their eco-creations are donated to deserving causes. At present they support the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Australia.
Partnering with both Trees4Trees and Greenfleet, Worn are dedicated to monitoring and tracking their carbon offsets while giving back to the part
Zulu & Zephyr
Zulu & Zephyr are dedicated to supporting charitable causes close to their hearts. Some of the charitable causes they have contributed to include Jeans for Genes Day, Make A Wish Foundation, Alannah and Madeleine Foundation as well as humanitarian donations to Syria and the NSWRFS bushfire relief