Life Instyle hits Sydney on 21-24 Feb 2019 and is the biggest boutique trade show in Australia – showcasing brands and makers from across the country. With the 2019 theme being ‘A Conscious Community’, Life Instyle features a handpicked collection of sustainable, ethical and mindful brands for the consumer with a conscience. As the event moves ever closer, we caught up with Tracey Hocking, from fair trade brand (and Life Instyle exhibitor) Lazybones, on why sustainability’s so important to her.
How did Lazybones come about?
I’d been asked to design a print for a shirt for a friend’s label and it worked so well she encouraged me to continue. I caught the bug and started making oversized shirts as sleepwear – I used to hand-print them and pack them in pizza boxes. They really took off and I haven’t stopped since! I chose the name Lazybones as the products were all sleepwear, then but we gradually added in bedding, then women’s apparel and now hair-wraps, candles, lip balms and more. I’m working on a small range of hand printed scarves at the moment, which brings me back full circle.
Where do you draw your style inspiration from?
I’m endlessly fascinated by fashions and designs from the past. I particularly love the 20s and 30s – oh and the 40s, 50s and 60s too, and I do love the 70s as well, and the Edwardian and Victorian era too. So maybe most of the 20th century is the correct answer!
What kinds of fabrics do you use, and how do you produce your garments?
We use organic cottons mostly produced in India, although we’ve just started using both woven and knitted organic cottons in Indonesia as well. We’re also working with one factory in India to develop a sustainable viscose, which is milled in Europe and finished locally in India. Our knitwear is all made from organic cotton yarn and is produced in India, and our new sheets are made in China from organic cotton as well.
Can you tell us about the sustainability practices involved in your production?
Our main factory in India uses yarn grown by the Chetna Project, which assists farmers to grow organically and then guarantees them fair prices for their crops. All fabrics are dyed with organic dyes, and they treat all their waste water before releasing it back into the local system. They have Fairtrade certification, which is wonderful. We use alternatives to plastic bags with most items – I’m still trying to find ones big enough for our quilts, but that’s definitely a work in progress. We look at every aspect of production and figure out how to make it sustainable.
Why is sustainability important to you?
Making sure that as many steps as possible are sustainable for the environment and the humans involved in production is an essential part of the business. We know the planet cannot sustain the levels of chemical use, over-farming and general over-consumption that we live with now. We want to continue making lovely things for our wonderful customers, but need to ensure what we make is thoughtfully and carefully produced. We feel a very strong responsibility to not contribute to the slow death of our beautiful planet.
What do you love most about what you do?
Many, many things – I love working with my small team of hardworking, caring, kind and creative women. I love being able to make the clothes I want to wear – that’s pretty amazing. I love seeing our creations out there in the world, being used and loved by so many people, and I love being able to make my ideas become reality.
What are your plans for the future?
To keep things simple, to look after the people I work with – from the office to the factories – and to continue to make thoughtful, gentle clothing and bedding that’s lovely to wear or use and has the lightest footprint possible.
Lazybones will be exhibiting in the Conscious Community at Life Instyle in Sydney from 21 to 24 February – register now at lifeinstyle.com.au/register