Public Figure is here to elevate labels who are working towards positive change in the fashion industry. We represent an honest approach to sustainability, curating mindful brands and sharing their stories to inspire conversation about conscious fashion.
Public Figure is a platform to tell stories, inspire and start a conversation about the intersection of personal style and sustainability.
We wholeheartedly support sustainability and innovation. We recognize that the traditional fashion industry model has placed a strain on our earth, its inhabitants and resources, therefore we aim to support those that are re-writing business and manufacturing constructs in order to find a better way for the future. We intend to set a new example for the industry by bringing together brands that are championing this change.
1. The Planet
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 MATERIALS||
A significant portion of a fabric’s environmental impacts can be reduced by repurposing what is already in circulation. Not only does this save the 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 to produce 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 own garments saving the material from going to waste. The other approach involves creating a new material from consumer waste by recycling fabric. Textile recycling involves breaking down fabrics into a form where they can be spun into new yarns that can be woven or knitted back into 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.
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.
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 of natural fibres ensures that the item biodegrades, taking mear months*.
|WATER USE 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.|
Each Public Figure order arrives in custom designed plastic-free packaging. Made from fully biodegradable materials so that one day it will leave no trace on the environment. Where possible we also strive to work with delivery partners with green initiatives.
2. The People
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 best practises throughout their manufacturing process, ensuring that they are closely connected to where their product is made and the working conditions.
Above is a picture of Autark's studio in Adelaide, Australia. Just as it should be their makers are paid a living wage, work in clean and safe conditions with reasonable hours.
|TRANSPARENCY||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 added benefit of reducing shipping carbon emissions, ensuring high occupational health and safety standards and a high minimum wage.|
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.|
3. The Public
We make a conscious effort to partner with brands with intention for our future.
|LACAUSA||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. Read more about their hard work here.|
|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 Wheatbelt in 2019.
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.
With the generous support of their vast community around the world, Young Frankk has been a voice for minorities and contributor to non-profits. Read more about their hard work here.
Partnering with both Trees4Trees and Greenfleet, Worn are dedicated to monitoring and tracking their carbon offsets while giving back to the part. Read more about their hard work here.