Up-and-coming Sydney brand Madre Natura just upped the ante when it comes to sustainability. Moments before its debut Australian Fashion Week solo show, the winner of the 2023 National Designer Award for Sustainability announced that it would send last season’s collection down the catwalk.

“Australians throw 500 million kilograms of clothing into landfill every year,” stated the audio track. “Every item you are about to see is ethically sourced and sustainably made. And every item is from last season. Because to avoid wastage, we’re not launching a new collection, until we've sold every single piece of our old one.”

What followed was the “Last Season Collection”, featuring the same pieces available last year restyled in a fresh way. As part of the initiative, Madre Natura – named for the Italian translation of “mother nature” – partnered with sustainability-for-business collective Greener and TikTok to broadcast the show live.

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“I wanted to take a bold stand going into Fashion Week and doing a debut [show],” founder and designer Jackie Galleghan told Broadsheet. “I knew being a sustainable brand, I didn't want to just say I'm sustainable … we're trying to flip it on its head to be an optimistic, positive approach to the future of Australian fashion. It's really about challenging the notions and taking a stand against zero waste.”

After winning the NDA Sustainability award, Galleghan wanted to live up to expectations of her gender neutral, renewable material-focused brand. “Instead of just putting more garments on the runway in multiple colours, why can't I showcase this beautiful collection, that I've designed, that I know is incredible?”

The brand’s green credentials include almost-entirely compostable fabrications; zippers made from vegetable molasses, elastic from organic rubber and organic cotton, and no-polyester tensile thread. This dedication to detail – and a commitment to holding back new garments until the current drop is sold – sounds like genuine sustainability.

madrenatura.com.au