Eco-friendly collections on parade

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantThe West Australian
Merino Country Australia designer Kerrie Richards brought her collection, grown and sewn in Australia, to the Eco Fashion Week Fremantle runway.
Camera IconMerino Country Australia designer Kerrie Richards brought her collection, grown and sewn in Australia, to the Eco Fashion Week Fremantle runway. Credit: Bob Garnant

Australian Merino fashion apparel was showcased at the inaugural international Eco Fashion Week Australia across five days in November at various Perth venues.

The organic haute couture event included a swag of local and international designers, who shared the same passion and artistic flair towards environmentally friendly fibres.

Launching among the beautiful surrounds at Taylors Art & Coffee House in the Swan Valley, guests were treated to a didgeridoo rhythm runway, which preceded five nights of 44 captivating design collections paraded in historic Fremantle.

Perth-based eco fashion designer and EFWA founder Zuhal Kuvan-Mills said WA’s eco-focused event aimed to raise awareness for environmentally conscious fashion.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


“We aim to strike a chord with designers, fashionistas and media,” she said.

Included in the itinerary were exclusive informative discussions, exhibitions and hands-on workshops.

“The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters worldwide, not to mention one of the least ethical,” Ms Kuvan-Mills said.

“We seek to prove that eco fashion can be just as stylish as its fast-fashion counterpart while remaining socially and environmentally responsible.”

Queensland designer Kerrie Richards, of Merino Country Australia, launched her new active-wear range, MOVEin-Merino, alongside her very successful Merino wool underwear range, Wundies.

“We’re excited to be involved and showcase the versatility of Merino wool with our Australian lifestyle collection,” she said.

“Our fabrics and garments are all made locally, grown and sewn in Australia, which allows us to respond very quickly to market demands.”

The event attracted US ethical designer Jeff Garner, who has dressed several famous musicians including Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus.

Mr Garner’s Prophetik label capped off the event with the grand finale runway parade making a lasting impression and an environmentally sound footprint on the fashion conscious.

Local Fremantle designer Azulant Akora, whose label has become synonymous with natural Australian Merino wool, said organic fashion had become socially acceptable as more and more people cared about what was happening to the planet.

Japanese designer Hiroaki Tanaka took his Australian alpaca fibre fashion design inspiration from Noongar culture with a visit to the Swan River immersed with a Dreamtime story from William Hayward, a keeper of native spiritual knowledge.

Indian designer Shravan Kummar summed up eco fashion, saying his native countrymen and women were seeking purity in their clothing of choice.

EFWA organisers plan to move the global event to different locations around Australia each year.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails