Based on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, Sinerji is a designer clothing label creatively balancing a caring ethos with a distinctive aesthetic. Sinerji is the brainchild of designers Alice Jones and Louise Visser, and it’s my pleasure to share with you my interview with the inspiring Alice.
Q. What inspired you to create Sinerji?
Louise and I wanted to create a label that produced stylish & fun clothing, that was also flattering, comfortable and that could be worn to work and play…sounds simple enough right? BUT it also had to be produced with ethical, sustainable principles and absolute transparency.
After having worked in mainstream fashion and seen the lack of ethical accountability that was standard practice, we wanted to shine a light on that aspect of things at the same time as creating beautiful, wearable collections.
Q. How would you describe the design aesthetic of Sinerji?
We are definitely classic gals, and Sinerji is all about feminine lines and clothing that accentuates your good bits. There is dose of 1950’s and 60’s structure; we have found those shapes really work for our customers and the varied body shapes of the modern woman. Having said that, we are inspired by modern themes and trends, and our natural environment too.
Q. What makes Sinerji a great choice for conscious fashionistas?
Sinerji is a fabulous choice for the conscious fashionista; we created our core principles when ‘eco-fashion’ was just a blip on the horizon, and nearly 6 years on, we have seen the fashion world embrace the change toward eco and ethical the way no other industry can! We strive to go over and above our customers and our own expectations at every turn.
To that end, we use only sustainably farmed, organic fibres, natural based dyes, and our production is not just fair trade, but we work directly with every individual in our supply chain…from farmer to sewer. Even our tags are printed on hemp using vegetable based inks.
Our designs are unique and I think we have created a strong signature using those beautiful, soft, cool organic fibres but the Sinerji story really sets us apart from the mainstream. We believe we are showing how to make a positive difference through fashion.
Q. Which ethical designers are inspiring you right now?
Vivienne Westwood has always been an inspiring woman, but her more recent eco offerings have been great. There are some amazing Australian eco labels; One Colour, and Pure Pod, are both doing wonderful things, as is our gorgeous friend, eco model Amanda Rootsey. But we are inspired by the people we work with more than anything; particularly the women who weave and dye our fabric in Thailand. They are funny, strong, intelligent and so positive about life and community…all while juggling children and hard work. A few days spent with them is truly inspiring!
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the artisans you work with?
We work with two different groups; in Thailand we work with a small permaculture village where the organic cotton is grown, loomed, and dyed with natural dyes in the traditional method (meaning no nasty chemicals).
And in India we work with another group who have access to some incredible eco fibres, and who are G.O.T.S and Oeko Tex Certified. Both groups are Fair Trade, and the most important thing to us is that everyone is paid well, is safe and is able to grow and strengthen their family and community through working with us.
So far we have seen some beautiful, positive changes in the communities we work with, like children going to school and university, and the establishment of a Community Bank, so that is very rewarding. We are able to see a positive environmental impact also, which makes us very happy!
Q. What’s your advice for young people interested in making a career out of ethical fashion and design?
My advice is to ask lots of questions, keep an open mind, follow your heart, and don’t be afraid to ask for help, or to question something that you think could be done better.
Your choices shape who you are as a person, in business, and who you are as a designer, and all of these things create the signature of your label…which you want to stand out from the crowd. You won’t achieve this by following the pack!
Q. What does the future hold for Sinerji?
We hope to spread our message as far as possible; that beauty and fashion are more than just trends and marketing. That fashion can be the catalyst for truly magnificent, positive change in our world. True beauty comes from how we carry ourselves through the world, and how we relate to those in our immediate community, and in our global community. The positive flow on effect from the choices we make everyday are infinite.