**This post is sponsored by Pure Pod as part of my Brand Partnership Program. Please note that, as an ethical creative, all thoughts and opinions always have and always will be entirely my own.
If you’re looking for sustainable and consciously made clothing based in Australia, Pure Pod is an absolute go-to.
Well known as one of the pioneering brands of sustainable fashion in Australia, Pure Pod has been educating about the impact of mainstream fashion and demonstrating the potential of sustainable fashion for over a decade (since 2006!).
I’ve known of Pure Pod since I entered into the ethical fashion world in 2017.
I remember saving a picture of one of their tunic dresses with a gorgeous flower print to my conscious clothing Pinterest board a year or two ago. At this stage, I knew Pure Pod was creating clothing responsibly and assumed that the brand was made up of a large team of designers and departments working towards a more ethical fashion industry.
Oh, how off my assumptions were – in two ways:
1. I had no idea just how much consideration is put into Pure Pod pieces. More than I had ever assumed!
2. Little did I know that Pure Pod is a small business that makes a huge impact on the life of the brand’s Founder and all of those who Pure Pod works with.
Pure Pod Beginnings
Based in Canberra, Pure Pod is run by Kelli Donovan and is founded on the pillars of people, planet, and passion.
In the 90s and early 00s, Kelli worked as a designer for several large companies designing children’s clothing, menswear, licensed product, and freelance fashion computer art.
Note: I recently shared from photos on my Instagram from my childhood. It was a beautiful coincidence to find out from Kelli that she likely designed some of the clothing that I was wearing in those pictures!
After reading a Greenpeace article about clothing, textiles, and toxic chemicals (you can read a similar article here!) and feeling the toll of the fashion industry, Kelli left her job and ventured to Byron Bay to study yoga.
“I was completely mentally and physically burnt out by my industry at that stage and had to heal myself.”– Kelli Donovan, Pure Pod
It was after her experience studying yoga that Kelli combined her love of fashion with her passion for health and wellbeing, launching Pure Pod into the world on an organic macadamia farm in the lush sub-tropical hills of Byron Bay.
Powering Through the Pandemic
Since their Byron Bay beginnings, Pure Pod has relocated to Canberra and has celebrated 14 birthdays as of the end of 2020 – now that’s sustainable business!
This year, and the COVID-19 pandemic, have been a tough experience for many small businesses – especially those in the ethical and sustainable space. I applaud Kelli for pivoting her work and offering creative solutions during this time.
In 2020, Pure Pod has not only released a new collection but also has released a range of masks and even started a Scrubs with Love initiative to create medical scrubs for our frontline health workers, proving just how vital heart-centred business is during this time.
Pure Pod Ethics + Sustainability
Pure Pod’s holistic view on ethics and sustainability makes it a rare brand to come across. The focus is on more than just the textiles but the entire supply chain, the people and makers involved in the manufacturing process, and the health and wellbeing of the wearer.
A quick rundown of a few things Pure Pod does for people and planet:
– Sustainable business model
– Animal friendly (predominantly use plant-based fibres)
– Environmentally friendly materials
– Mostly organically grown materials
– Actively reduce, reuse, and recycle waste
– Use green energy to power their studio
– Most of their fabrics are GOTS certified, which means that they meet strict standards to reduce pollution, manage chemicals, and improve water efficiency
– Teamed up with Carbon Click and Offsert to offer carbon offsetting options
– Work with both traditional artisans (provide a fair and living wage for their workers) in India and local tailors in Sydney and Canberra (set their own hourly pay rates at a livable wage standard)
– Can ensure the ethics of the majority of their supply chain and are helpful with any questions you want to ask as a buyer
– Support creators, ambassadors and influencers by paying for work done (paying me for my work!)
Pure Pod has a REALLY impressive list of actions aligned with their ethics and sustainability but it’s only the beginning.
Social Ethics + Sustainability
With the garment industry as the second most predominant sector driving modern slavery (Global Slavery Index, 2018) and with the majority of fashion brands still not disclosing who made their clothes and how well they treat their makers (Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Report, 2019), social ethics in the fashion industry are imperative to achieving global social justice.
Labels must start paying a fair and living wage and taking responsibility over safe working conditions for all.
This type of fair and ethical trade is important to Pure Pod. While they partner with some local Australian tailors, most of the Pure Pod range is manufactured in India with a mixture of Fairtrade certified (FLOCERT) suppliers and smaller makers, and incorporate artisanal skills in their range, including hand-looming, natural or low impact dyes, and hand block printing to keep traditions alive.
You can learn more about Pure Pod’s makers on their website here.
Environmental Ethics + Sustainability
Pure Pod is conscious of the amount of clothing and textile waste in the world – did you know that the average Australian discards 23kg of textiles a year? Many of these pieces are also made from synthetic fabrics that will never break down. It’s a major issue.
Pure Pod pieces are predominantly made out of plant-based and biodegradable fibres, most of their pieces are vegan, and occasional pieces are made from deadstock (leftover) fabric that would otherwise be destined to go to landfill. Pure Pod also reuses or recycles any plastic received at their workshop (which is powered by green energy!) and sends orders in home compostable bags.
While textile waste is bad enough, the toxic chemicals used to dye fast-fashion pieces leach into the environment and causes massive harm to ecosystems. Instead of supporting this toxic side of the fashion industry, Pure Pod uses vegetable-dyed fabrics, dyes without heavy metals, and low impact dyes, including digital printing with non-toxic ink.
Toxic chemicals aren’t just a problem in the dyeing stage of garment manufacturing – the average fast fashion supply chain is riddled with hazardous chemicals from seed to sale. While wearing natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen, is often better than synthetic fabrics, most natural fabrics will have been grown with the use of pesticides and chemicals unless grown according to the guidelines of organic farming. At this stage, all Pure Pod pieces are made from organic fabric and most pieces are regulated by GOTS and FLOCERT certifications, meaning that you can trust they are toxic-chemical free.
“It’s no longer about just the textiles and the wearer; it’s so much more. Over our 14 years in business, we have a stronger voice as pioneers and ethical change makers. It’s exciting to see the major stores and buyers around the globe looking at their supply chains and talking about it to make positive changes.”– Kelli Donovan, Interviewed in The Retailer Magazine, May 2020
The Summer Solstice Collection
I had the pleasure of receiving some pieces from Pure Pod’s new collection to photograph. All of the pieces I worked with (and pictured in this article) are made from organic cotton or linen. Some fabrics were also hand-loomed and dyed using Ayurvedic medicinal plants, which is truly something special!
I love the earthy tones and natural textures of Pure Pod’s Summer Solstice collection, as well as the versatile designs of the pieces. After all, a sustainable wardrobe is one with clothes that are made to be worn time and time again and to last.
Working with a brand like Pure Pod was everything that I was envisioning earlier this year when I was crafting my new approach to ambassadorship through my Brand Partnership Program.
It’s so clear that Kelli’s ethos and compassion for people and the planet is at the forefront of her work, and I wish Kelli and Pure Pod a wildly successful 2021 and beyond!
You can find Pure Pod at:
Website – https://purepod.com.au/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/purepod
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/purepod_studio/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/purepod
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com.au/purepod/
In a time when we need compassion and care more than ever, let your actions reflect a world you want to see – support conscious fashion ♡
P.S. You can get 15% off Pure Pod’s Summer Solstice and Christmas Ideas collections with FREE Australia-wide shipping until Christmas 2020. Use the code ‘FARAI-2020’ at checkout. Please note that this discount doesn’t apply to garments that have to be handmade and cut in Australia.