Wool rich, ethical and sustainable: Allora

Published on 22/05/19

Light, warm and breathable, wool is one of the most versatile fibres used in apparel. It’s also the most reused and recycled major apparel fibre on the planet, making wool a sustainable choice for clothing. With Wool Week celebrating the very best wool and wool-rich apparel from 20-26 May, it’s the perfect time to spotlight some of our ECA-accredited manufacturers who are using this fibre. Allora is the second of our three manufacturers embracing wool.


Designer Tabatha Brixton uses a signature Italian wool cashmere blend to create garments that stand the test of time at her Melbourne-based label, Allora, since 2016. She has been working with an ECA-accredited factory from the very beginning, and gained her accreditation in 2017.

 

“I was motivated by the desire to make a beautiful, high-quality garment that had meaning behind it and a local story to tell. Melbourne is synonymous with fashion, style and design and I wanted my label to reflect this.  Made in Melbourne is just as important to me as the design,” says Tabatha, who founded Allora following a decade working with labels like Polo Ralph Lauren and Pacific Brands.

 

Tabatha aims to develop a series of investment pieces that will remain timeless.

 

“The signature coating we use in Allora capes and coats is an Italian wool cashmere blend. It’s a beautiful coating that’s soft and luxurious to wear, premium quality and highly resistant to pilling. There are so many amazing benefits of wool but one of the most important to Allora is that quality wool garments stand the test of time.”

 

This winter, Tabatha has introduced Australian merino wool to Allora’s range.

 

“Australian merino is an entirely natural, biodegradable and renewable fibre, which makes it the perfect choice for those seeking garments that have a minimal impact on the environment. The merino we have used is fully traceable from farm to spinner and knitter which is important to us,” says Tabatha.

 

Local production and a good awareness of her market means Tabatha is able to forecast how many garments she will sell in a season. The timelessness of her designs means that if one does sell out there’s a good chance that customers will wait until its back in stock.

 

“One of the advantages of making locally is that I can re-order and I don’t have long lead times,” she adds.

 

Tabatha also takes care to communicate her ECA-accredited status to her customers by attaching the ECA swing-tag to all garments to instantly communicate that the garment has been made ethically by protecting and upholding the rights, entitlements, wages and safety conditions of the workers who made it.

 

“When I became accredited with ECA {in 2017} it boosted awareness of my label and helped me find a niche of customers who are ethically minded. The accreditation has also enabled me to educate women about what ethically-made means. I think there is still a misconception that if it’s made in Australia it must be ethical and that is certainly not the case. This is why it’s so important to have the ECA as an independent party to conduct audits and protect the brand and workers,” says Tabatha.

 

“I think when you find something you love – whether its art, fashion, furniture – and you connect with the story of how and where it is made, it becomes a much more important piece to you. You also get an added sense of pride when you buy local, and that’s a feeling I want my customers to have when they wear Allora.”

 

 

Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA®) is a proud supporter of Wool Week 2019, being held from May 20-26 in Melbourne.

 

Further information about tickets, events and speakers is available online at woolmark.com or on Facebook.

SNAPSHOT

 

Business type: Brand

Location: Melbourne

Launched in: 2016

Accredited since: 2017

Website: alloracapes.com.au

Social media: facebook.com/alloracapes

Instagram.com/alloracapes