As Adelaide Fashion Week kicks off to celebrate the ‘art of fashion’ in our city, we’re reminded of the mecca of creative talent we have right here in South Australia.
The fashion industry has bolstered many well-known South Australian labels like womenswear staple Acler, couture master’s Paolo Sebastian and iconic leather manufacturer RM Williams to the global stage, but there’s a whole group of smaller local labels making waves.
A new campaign, Buy SA. For SA, is asking South Australians to support local brands like this, and help millions of dollars stay in the state.
Led by Brand South Australia, Buy SA. For SA reminds us that supporting local helps keep profits here, but also helps local brands to establish a strong base, which is essential if they are to grow into new markets.
Many of our state’s local designers are taking a modern approach to creating pieces worthy of a spot in your wardrobe, using circular design strategies, creating pieces that buck the trends, using local suppliers and manufacturers and more.
While other states around Australia like Sydney and Melbourne are often praised for their outstanding fashion scene, South Australia should be congratulated for its contribution to the national and global apparel stage.
In August 2021, Deloitte Access Economics and the Department for Innovation and Skills published a report which showed 1,089 fashion businesses operating in South Australia contributed an estimated $218 million in value to the South Australian economy, and employed 2,576 FTE workers.
The retail and fashion industry in South Australia actually comes second to wine, making it an important sector for us to continue investing in.
In an effort to showcase our state’s fashion industry, Glam Adelaide has rounded up 7 local fashion labels of all shapes and sizes, from smaller sustainable activewear brands to larger labels growing rapidly.
Sunset Lover is a new label founded in 2021, and has already been seen on the likes of global fashion creator Joanna L. (@lookofmermaind), model and dancer Natalie Lim Suarez and fashion journalist and stylist Annabel Falco. It’s no wonder, as the Australia Resort wear brand not only creates beautiful designs, but aims to leave zero footprint.
The label takes a modern approach to design using circular design strategies and creating garments to last seasons rather than focussing on trends. One of the cool facts about Sunset Lover is it deep dives into the South Australian Museum and Botanic Garden on South Australia archives to draw inspiration from local fauna and flora for its stunning prints.
Local label Andorwith produces a complete range of ethical and sustainable surf wear which toils between awesome prints and minimalistic gear.
“Buying and supporting local designers and brands in South Australia is a way for individuals to play an active role in shaping the economic and cultural landscape of their community by boosting the economy, fostering a sense of community, promoting environmental sustainability, and contributing to the overall well-being of people,” said Daniel Smith, Director of Andorwith.
“Now if that’s not a good enough reason to buy and support local, I’m not sure what is!”
The brand is heavily influenced by the coastal vibes of Australia’s blue oceans, sandy beaches and the bitumen and bricks of our city streets. They have tried to create a brand that truly reflects Australia’s people, diverse culture, spectacular landscape and laid-back lifestyle.
Not only do Solomon Street design beautiful clothing known for its fun fruity prints, but they exclusively use natural fibres and circular design principles, such as making scrunchies from their clothing off-cuts so no fabric goes to waste!
Activewear is known to mostly be made from synthetics such as polyester, nylon, and spandex for its stretch, but at Solomon Street hemp and organic cotton fabric is the go-to, also making the clothing itself a ‘carbon sink’ reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, while also improving natural ecosystems and regenerating polluted regions. The fabric also comes from a manufacturer that takes sustainability so seriously (they have implemented clean energy across all of their offices and factories).
Iris and Wool
Iris & Wool embraces the essence of luxury through its exclusive designs crafted from 100% Australian merino wool. Celebrated for its commitment to promoting this iconic material on a global stage, Iris & Wool proudly champions local wool producers and their communities.
It recently earned the prestigious and internationally recognised Woolmark, which symbolises the pinnacle of merino excellence. It’s also a label that creates limited collections that transcend fleeting trends, reflecting a timeless style that endures. Its offerings have organically expanded to encompass women’s, men’s, and children’s fashion, all while embracing other opulent natural fibres.
Globally recognised eponymous handbag label Katya Komarova creates staple pieces which are a symbol of elegance, functionality, and sustainability. Katya created the brand 8 years ago and only this year she opened her first modern but minimalist store in Stirling.
“We have slowly but surely built this concept of stitch-free bags. All the bags are made with press studs, you can fold them and unfold them for easy travelling and they allow customers to swap straps and handles,” Katya tells Glam Adelaide.
Curvature the label was created out of founder Lisa’s frustration out of “the rubbish offerings of fashion for women who are considered, ‘plus size'”. While the brand started in 2019, Curvature is now available in sizes 6 to 30, ethically creating clothing that’s beautiful.
Everything is made-to-order so it’s as sustainable as possible, creating garments that will last for many seasons to come.
Founded in 2016, ORTC’s sophisticated and effortless range has experienced a meteoric rise which has seen it expand its offering with the introduction of kids and women’s athleisure collections. Last year the brand unveiled its first retail store in Norwood which was the start of an exciting time for the brand with eyes on expansion in the future.
Quality is at the heart of everything ORTC do. Their garments are constructed from premium natural fibres, such as cotton and linen, and the swimwear range is created from high quality recycled yarn, designed to stand the test of time.
For other ways to support our local fashion industry and other South Australian businesses visit Buy SA For SA.