It’s a modern day conundrum; finding locally produced clothing that is also fashionable, practical and eco friendly.
Designer Emily Nam has it covered with her new, locally produced label, Swete (pronounced “sweat”). It’s a women’s leisurewear brand that uses simple cuts and quality organic fabrics with bold colours and original prints.
The sports-luxe label appeared at the end of last year and its first pop-up store on South Yarra’s Bond Street is already attracting leisurewear enthusiasts. The first collection consists of loose-fit, trans-seasonal tees, skirts, pants and dresses that are comfortable enough to lounge around the house in, but chic enough to confidently wear on the street. Eye-catching shades of red and pink inject some femininity into an otherwise neutral colour palette.
At the store you get a sense of the effort and care put into each piece – even the sales counter was handmade, by Nam’s father. “I could have gone down a much easier road [creating the brand], but I had to feel right about how I was creating my clothes and the only option for me was to do it sustainably,” she says. Swete uses 100 per cent organic cotton and Nam’s suppliers use water-soluble dyes. She is also always working with her suppliers to ensure “accountable manufacturing processes” and to keep wastage low.
“The beautiful thing about having a locally sourced and produced label is that you get to develop a real relationship with everyone involved with your brand, from the people involved in printing my designs to where I source my fabrics,” she says.
Nam hopes that that her designs will not only appeal to those who are eco-conscious, but will also encourage customers new to eco-friendly fashion to be more aware of sustainable clothing.