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Whether you own something from the brand or not, you’ve still most likely heard of Spell before, originally known as Spell & The Gypsy Collective or even just Spell Byron Bay. They coin themselves as a modern-bohemian fashion label, Spell was founded by two sisters in Byron Bay, Australia inspired by adventures, vintage treasure and nostalgic memories.
To date, Spell have amassed an impressive 1.1m followers on Instagram but it’s not their social media presence or their beautiful prints and silhouettes that’s caught our eye over the past few years; it’s their incredible pivot to a more ethical and sustainable business and the way in which they’ve been transparent about is that’s got us hooked.
Spell’s journey to a more sustainable supply chain occurred about five years ago when a customer emailed during Fashion Revolution Week with the question of intent we all know and love, Who Made My Clothes? That sparked a deep curiosity, unfolding and learning for the founders on the social and environmental issues that faced the brand and the fashion industry as a whole. They were already a very successful fashion business by that stage and believed if they started to make conscious changes they could have a really important, positive impact.
This is why we’ve been loving Spell.
1. They don’t compromise on style
Spell has kept true to their style and ultimately what their customers want even as they’ve adapted their process to a more sustainable model. Many people have the misconception that being sustainable in their wardrobe means compromising on their style– Spell is a testament that sustainable fashion isn’t always earthy colours and linen (although we love that too). Their signature floral and bohemian prints allow for statement pieces in your wardrobe while still being conscious, think flowy dresses with embroidery detailing, flared pants and vintage style tees.
2. They are transparent
You could literally spend a few hours scrolling through all the sustainability information published on their website; evident that the brand has taken this pivot to fashion sustainability seriously and want their customers to be involved in the journey. They provide information on fabrics, social ethics, their carbon footprint and even an annual Impact Report on the website.
3. They nurture the artisans that create their products
Spell design their collections in the coastal town of Byron Bay before having them responsibly produced around the world utilising independent certification standards and programs to adhere to ethical practice. As part of their commitment to social advocacy, the brand have also committed to fair trade artisan projects. In 2018 they provided 186 days of work to 22 artisans through their projects. You can meet their makers here, including workers in the organic cotton farm and the textile mill.
4. They use natural fibres
The materials used to make our clothing accounts for close to two-thirds of its sustainability impact and although they all have some impact on the planet to produce, some of course, have less environmental impact than others. Such textiles such as organic cotton, linen, hemp, cellulose fibres like Tencel, recycled polyester and leather sourced from Leather Working Group tanneries are just some of the eco-friendly materials used in Spell’s collections. They are also researching and sampling vegan leather options that have the same durability as leather without the animal welfare, climate change and chemical pollution issues.
5. They are committed to moving forward
Spell have committed to seven overarching pillars in their sustainability strategy including supply chain transparency, social advocacy, sustainable fibres, dyes and printing, carbon footprint, circular fashion and giving back. They’ve created a roadmap until 2025 to work towards their sustainability goals which you can read about here.
“It’s a funny thing to be on a journey that, technically speaking, has no end. It’s not like we’ll get to some end point and ‘boom!’ we’re sustainable. But we are finding much purpose in measuring our impact and in doing so, challenging ourselves to continually better the way we do things.” – Elizabeth and Isabella, founders of Spell
The brand also use biodegradable poly bags for their products and compostable mailers, their office headquarters and the iconic Byron Bay store both use solar power and the company have supplied each of their employees at HQ with a bike to encourage less use of personal vehicles. They have removed single-use plastic bags, straws, water bottles and disposable coffee cups from the office.
Want to learn more or just keen to explore the world of Spell? Visit https://aus.spell.co
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All images via Spell.