Two Bundaberg entrepreneurs who are committed to reducing microplastics in the ocean have started new fashion label Balaquin.
Living in the Bundaberg Region, Natalie Turner and Kiara-Bella Moore have teamed up with Tamara Benetti to combat the environmental issue.
Natalie said the fashion industry was responsible for a significant portion of the microplastics in the ocean and each time synthetic clothes were washed, tiny fibres were released into the water.
She said they were too small to be filtered out and would end up in the ocean.
By producing feminine pieces made from 100 per cent natural fibre the new Australian fashion brand aims to combat the growing problem.
“When I searched for natural fibre clothing, there’s plenty of choice if you’re after a potato sack dress, or something plain, but not a lot of choice if you want something pretty,” Natalie said.
As the designer, Kiara-Bella said the inspiration to start the Balaquin fashion label was to make environmentally friendly and attractive clothing, that was all designed here in the Bundaberg Region.
“This was the inspiration for Balaquin,” Kiara-Bella said.
“We are creating unique clothes that are beautiful and sustainable.
“By choosing natural fibres, we can significantly reduce the amount of microplastics that end up in the ocean. Even our accessories are plastic-free.
“Our buttons are shell, and our buckles are made from rattan.”
Kiara-Bella said Balaquin's debut collection was made of a global organic textile standard and from certified organic cotton.
The range, described as an Australian first, features dresses, blouses, and mix-and-match sets.
“We’ve designed each of our separates in our first collection to go together,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter which bottoms or tops you choose, they all match.”
In addition to being a natural fibre brand, Tamara said Balaquin was manufactured ethically in Vietnam.
“Our production partners are small family run businesses.
“For us it is important that our seamstresses have regular days off, limited overtime, and access to proper health care,” Tamara said.
She said the brand was committed to providing fair wages and safe working conditions for all of its employees.
Natalie said Balaquin was excited to join the movement of brands that were committed to creating positive change in the fashion industry.
“With its dedication to sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices, Balaquin is poised to become a leader in sustainable fashion,” she said.
To check out Balaquin’s fashion range, click here.
- Other news: TAFE student Hannah awarded bursary prize