Australian conscious intimates brand HARA the label was founded on a simple mission: to connect fashion design with sustainability and bring eco-fashion into the mainstream.
Founder Allie Cameron’s sustainable fashion epiphany began when she was travelling through India. After spending time on farms speaking directly with India cotton farmers and witnessing the use of toxic synthetic pesticides to grow conventional cotton as well as the resulting chemical run-offs, she realised that she had the power to change things. Her solution to the fashion problem? HARA the label. A year later Allie was in Bali, Indonesia seeking out ethical production facilities and discovering natural dyes. Finally, in November 2016, HARA was officially launched.
Australian-owned, Bali-made, the brand’s wearable, minimal and feminine intimates appeal to women who are seeking reasonably-priced, super comfy, eco-friendly undergarments. “I wanted to create intimates that I could dance in, roll around in, feel free in and enjoy life in… I like the intimates to have a gentle feel about them,” explains Allie.
In creating the label, Allie didn’t just consider the needs of the modern, active woman; she also considered the environmental and social impact of each business decision.
Firstly, the brand is committed to ethical manufacturing and works closely with four Balinese tailors who work in the comfort of their own homes and are paid a living wage. The brand’s commitment to transparency and ethical production is made clear on their website with accompanying images of happy, relaxed workers in unstaged environments.
Then there’s Allie’s decision to veto cotton and opt for bamboo fabric. This decision was a conscious one. Aside from the fact that bamboo fabric is luxuriously softer than cotton, there were other environmental considerations that persuaded Allie to choose bamboo.
For starters, cotton is an extremely water-thirsty plant, needing about 2700 litres of water to produce one t-shirt. It also requires acres of land in which to grow. Regardless of whether the cotton is grown organically or not, it is still a heavily resource-dependent plant.
In comparison, bamboo doesn’t need synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, and requires significantly less water than cotton. It also behaves less like trees and more like grass so that even when harvested, it quickly regenerates making it one of the fastest-growing sustainable materials in the world. While some conventional bamboo fabrics are problematic, HARA only uses certified organic bamboo fabric that is OEKO-TEX 100 certified to verify that no harmful chemicals were used in its processing.
“HARA, meaning green in Hindi, is a clothing label designed for you and our earth collectively. Consciously creating pieces that are soft and beautiful with sustainable and ethical practices at the core. We strive from seed to store to empower lives and rejuvenate the earth.” – Allie Cameron, founder of HARA the label.
The garments are also dyed naturally using the leaves of different plants such as the cacao tree and mango tree. These trees are grown in the mountains of Bali. To preserve the trees, only the leaves are taken for processing. HARA’s natural dyes are extracted from these leaves and are soaked in the fabric. The dye waste is then filtered using Hyacinth plants which form the natural filtration system. The remaining water is then used for other plant life. Leftover leaf waste is composted. Nothing is wasted. Unlike chemical dyes that are synthetically derived this natural dying process causes zero water pollution.
The brand’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop there. Its products are also packaged in a reusable organic bamboo bag and care instructions are also provided to ensure product longevity and enable maximum use.
“We are not stopping at the label. We are using the label as a platform to make change. To bring awareness to the issues and use that awareness to change habits…” – Allie Cameron, founder of HARA the label.
For us, the best part about this brand is not the adorable, sweet designs, or the ethical and sustainable story which we expect of all brands that we partner with. It’s that the brand’s mission to create ripples of positive change and raise consciousness in the fashion community comes from an honest place. Allie Cameron is genuine. Her experiences are real and they form a part of her truth. The brand’s use of diverse women of all shapes and sizes in their marketing isn’t some PR stunt designed to get the support of millennial feminists; rather it communicates Allie’s desire to help her fellow woman love and be comfortable in her own body and skin.
When it all boils down to it, at the core of this sustainable brand is pure heart.
A month or so after Allie and I had our first chat about partnering, and after failing to receive her promised new product images, I followed up. Allie was in the midst of the volcano eruption commotion in Bali, and was in the middle of helping evacuate people in nearby local communities to shelters and ensuring that they had food and water.
Heart. While greenwashing eco-conscious brands try to cultivate it, force-feeding us with made up stories designed to extract an emotional reaction, it all feels utterly contrived. Too controlled. Too fake. You know heart when you feel it and experience it. And that’s why Allie and HARA have our full support.
Because they have heart.
Prices start at AUD $45. To shop eco-friendly intimates or purchase a gift card, visit harathelabel.com.
Love Allie and HARA’s eco vibe? Make sure to follow them on Instagram here.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by HARA the label. Writer’s opinions are her own. All monies received helps us cover operating expenses and allows us to pay our team of writers. For more information about our policies, click here.