Designer, Hannah Parris, creates clothing using sustainable design, ecologically sustainable fabrics and production processes, and sustainable business practices.
Audrey Blue uses organic and fairtrade cotton certified under international standards and relies on ethical supply chains. The label is the first, and so far only, women’s fashion label to be certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard.
The garments suit professional women in the 30+ age bracket. These ‘green leaders’ are materialistically oriented while aspiring to be sustainable in their beliefs and purchases. They love to shop and try new things but want value-for-money without compromising on personal values. As a result, Audrey Blue fashion is sold at reasonable prices, not ‘designer prices’.
Q. Thinking back on 2013, what goals have you achieved that you are most proud of?
I am proud that, in 2013, we released the world’s first collection of certified organic and fairtrade business shirts for women. Our strategy of benchmarking the retail price to that of mainstream brands means that eco-fashion is a real and affordable choice for women. Our diversity of styles and sizes suit every body shape—a key feature of this current collection.
Q. What is on the agenda for Audrey Blue in 2014?
Re-defining the concept of an ‘ethical business wardrobe’ is the centre of our agenda. You’ll have to come to see our collection at FASHFEST on May 2 to be the first to see how.
We will also focus on upscaling eco-fashion from its current niche market status to something that is affordable and attractive to mainstream customers. We started Audrey Blue because we want business to provide a commercially viable solution to the major ecological and social damage created by the fashion industry. The solutions already exist—they are just waiting for a market to sell to. Going mainstream is key to achieving this.
Q. What does it mean to you to be participating as a designer in FASHFEST 2014?
I love FASHFEST because of the focus shared by Clint and Andrea Hutchinson and their team, which is to celebrate the creativity and vibrancy of Canberra. FASHFEST truly is part of the ‘coming of age’ for our city.
It is exciting and an honour to be part of this and, through Fashfest, show case what Audrey Blue is about. FASHFEST is a great platform for promoting my passionate about ecofashion.
A few just for fun:
Q. I would love to travel to the Antarctic because it is our planet’s last great wilderness area. Also, I love New York City, so another visit there would be great.
Q. My heaven on earth is Sunday afternoon on my couch with a good book and a cup of (real) Chai tea. Either that or hiking in the Patagonian Andes with my husband.
Q. If I could have one thing in the whole world it would be for people to commit to purchasing an organic and fairtrade cotton piece of clothing this year. Why? I’ve personally I’ve seen what a positive difference this can makes in the lives of people who grow cotton and manufacture garments.
Q. My favourite designer is Diane Von Furstenburg because she creates elegant accessible fashion that suits real women’s bodies and lifestyles. This is what we aspire to at Audrey Blue.
Q. The greatest risk I ever took was when I started Audrey Blue! But I don’t regret it for a moment.
The Audrey Blue label is sold online through the company’s website and stocked by Birdsnest in Cooma (www.birdsnest.com.au).