Carlie Ballard is not your average fun loving, globe trotting fashionista.
She is also the founder of ethical and sustainable fashion business Indigo Bazaar, an etailer that sells stylish, contemporary and avant garde ethical and sustainable fashion pieces. Carlie hasn’t always played this role. Once upon a time she worked for an adventure travel company which saw her travelling to far flung corners of the globe. This job enabled her to learn about the world, learning about its vast cultures, enjoying its food, receiving the kindness of its people and witnessing its beauty.
However, it was one particular trip to the Nepalese Himalayas that planted the seed of this business idea. Carlie was no longer content to enjoy these countries, take some photos and move on to the next adventure. The Nepalese people were so very welcoming and warm hearted that she wanted to empower these people to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves, their families and their communities. And it was this thought that gave birth to Indigo Bazaar.
“Starting a business is a challenge in itself,” Carlie says. “But I think the biggest challenge I am facing at the moment and I think ethical fashion in Australia is facing is the availability of ethical fashion! You won’t find any of the brands stocked at Indigo Bazaar at a Westfield, so the challenge is about getting people comfortable with purchasing online, being strategic in their purchases so they don’t have to do a mad dash to the mall on a Friday afternoon. [I don’t want them to] sacrifice their ethical fashion beliefs because they need an instant outfit.”
A relatable eco fashion story
It was like Carlie was telling me the story of my own ethical shopping frustrations! But despite this, Carlie remains optimistic about the future of eco and ethical fashion. “The industry is without a doubt more advanced in the northern hemisphere. Many of the brands we stock are from the UK, America and Europe. The Ethical Fashion Forum is based in London and Indigo Bazaar is actually a member. They have dedicated fashion trade shows such as Estethica, the Green Shows and also Pure London and have a large amount of ethical labels. People here in Australia are starting to catch on with numbers for the awareness of Fair Trade increasing in 2011 by 35% on 2010 figures. So it’s happening, but these figures are predominantly focused on food. So the challenge is to filter this through to fashion.” You can see Indigo Bazaar’s recent interview with The Ethical Fashion Forum here.
In spite of the overwhelming odds, Carlie is going full steam ahead to realising her ethical and eco fashion dreams. She along with a group of like-minded business individuals are currently in talks to hold future events in Sydney to showcase ethical and sustainable fashion. “It’s no longer about wearing hippy square pants. Fashion is turning a corner and knowing the story of your garment is something that people are wanting to know more about now.”
Personally, I love that Indigo Bazaar stocks some green fashion forward labels including Choolips, Nearfar, Lalesso, and Kissin Cussin. And they don’t just stop at garments. You can purchase beautiful bags, purses, scarves and perfume too!
So don’t be shy, head to the Indigo Bazaar website and browse through their fabulous range. And don’t be afraid to email them if you have an enquiry about size and fit. They understand that some of their labels are relatively unknown in Australia and are more than happy to help you out!
Indigo Bazaar is also offering a discount for Eco Warrior Princess readers. Just use the code: ecowarriorfriends to receive $10 off your next purchase over $50 at Indigobazaar.com.au.
Thanks a bunch Carlie xx