I’ve always been in love with the surreal – from the outlandish characters of Dr Seuss, vast strangeness of The Never Ending Story, the moving otherworldly beauty of Shaun Tan and of course my very own imagination…just to name a few. The world is FULL of quirky inspiration and I’ve recently been captivated by the fantastical artwork of my dear friend Rosell Flately!
So I really wanted to see what I could find in fashion and design that combined sustainability with a dreamlike aesthetic. I was a little dismayed at how difficult it was to track down pieces that were aesthetically whimsical and socially and environmentally ethical.
Here’s what I uncovered after much digging 🙂
Graffiti Print Leggings by HoverStuff – These crazy drip-tastic pants have been handmade from organic cotton plus 5% elastan. I think they’d suit a Dr Seuss character very well indeed 🙂
Ocean Ambassadors Tee from Leisure Activist Group – Super quirky and definitely eco, this tee is made from 100% recycled PET bottles. Proceeds also go toward efforts to clean up our oceans!
Tribe Dragons Cropped Sweater by Dream Nation -I’m loving the combination of the dragonesque motif of the Mayan deity Kukulkan, with fantastically vibrant colour palette! Made from 95% organic cotton
Tempest Light Shade by InHouse Space – The wonderful dreamy soft swirls of this chic light shade are made from 100% recycled plastics. Turn it on to illuminate your next creative endeavour
Brass Tentacle Pendant by Leafy Natural Couture – Delightfully eccentric, each pendant is individually hand-casted by artisans in Peru under fair trade conditions
Brick Red Hooded Scarf by Malam – I adore this whimsical hooded scarf handmade from brick red checkered vintage wool
Bear Top by Rapanui – It definitely feels like this image should be connected with a surreal and moving story! This 100% organic cotton tee was made in an ethically accredited, wind-powered factory
Garden Jumpsuit by ALAS – I feel like looking at this print is a little like gazing at clouds…you can see all sorts of weird and wonderful things 🙂 Made from 100% certified organic cotton and hand-printed using AZO and formaldehyde free inks
Sky Planters from Design For Use – How unbelievably cool is this?! Made from recycled polypropylene, these unique planters designed by Patrick Morris save space, use 80% less water than conventional planters and look amazing
Eyelash Fringe Catch-All from Indego Africa – Colourful and strange, this container reminds me of the strange and beautiful creatures in movies such as The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth. Made from locally grown and hand-woven sweetgrass, all profits fund educational training programs for the female artisans
Gold Wasp Studded Clutch from FashionKind – Off-putting yet completely alluring, this wasp encrusted clutch is not only vegan, but its creation also generates fair wages and dignified work to male artisans in Lucknow, India
Giant Reindeer Bib from Little Frenchy -Such a striking and distinctive reindeer design on this 100% certified organic cotton bib for kids aged 2 to 4
Mariposa Two Piece by Reformation – Wear these breathtaking crashing waves and feel close to the mysterious element of water. Lovingly made from deadstock materials in Los Angeles
Transglass Cut Vase from State of Green – I love it when ordinary objects are transformed into something extraordinary! This eye-catching vase is hand-crafted from recycled post-consumer wine bottles thanks to skilled artisans in Guatemala
Dare More Tee by Uni-T – There’s something about dragons that really captures the imagination 🙂 This hand-printed top, with it’s message to be brave, is made from a combination of bamboo and organic cotton
Map Skirt Alden Skirts – Do you know those fantasy books set in imaginary lands where the author has created a map and placed it at the start of the story? Well this skirt reminds me of those 🙂 Particularly Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Quartet! Each of these skirts is created by a single mother working at home, with portion of the profits going to a non-profit organization providing health care for children in Central America and the Caribbean
Blue Anika Brooch by Scoops Design – I’m really drawn to the dream-like quality of this bright design! Definitely another one that reminds me of the beloved Dr Seuss illustrations 😉 Handmade in Sydney, this pretty piece of jewellery is crafted from recycled plywood
I hope you enjoyed that 🙂 If you’ve come across any fabulous items that combine whimsy and ethics, please do share them in the comments below!