If you live in London, you’ve probably noticed that London Fashion Week is currently ongoing. It’s a busy time and there’s a lot of interesting things going on, but for me I’ve loved learning more about Avila, an ethical fashion brand based out of Australia. Ashleigh, founder and designer, was chosen to showcase Avila’s beautiful clothes at an Indie Faces pop up store for February 18th and 19th. So today I headed down to the store at 70 Berwick Street, Soho, to see and learn more.
These kinds of pop ups are always some of my favourites to visit. The space is buzzing with a variety of ideas and creative expressions, and I love to both see and support the emerging talents and innovators who are the future of creative industries. With so many designs and concepts around us, it’s great to see ethical brands like Avila taking their rightful place as brands that perfectly balance luxury with sustainable, kind practises.
But who are Avila? Well, they’re an Australian lifestyle label produced in Melbourne, mixing luxury quality and elegance with everyday needs and a natural, holistic approach. It was when working in fashion that Ashleigh saw first hand the issues of the industry, including its huge negative impact on people and the environment. She became convinced that there was a better way to produce clothing and, after a little time to gain confidence, she started her own label that incorporated all the values she found herself caring strongly about. She became passionate about creating a label that people would feel comfortable buying, knowing that the environment is being cared for and that nobody is exploited to provide their clothes. And so Avila was born. The brand uses a variety of ethical and sustainable fabrics (more on their ethical practices below!) whilst their design focuses on classic shapes and textures that flatter any body shape or size. Their casual daywear range creates pieces that are easy to wear, minimal and timeless, aka all of my favourite things.
Seriously stunning right?! But that’s not all, Avila also has a sports range, aptly titled ‘Athleisure’. Where the daywear designs aim to infuse comfort into everyday luxury, athleisure brings luxe to active wear, combining clothes that we use for leisure, comfort or physical intensity with the ability to still feel good about how we look. It may sound strange, but this makes such a difference for me. I don’t know if other dancers have this, but what I’m wearing totally impacts on how comfortable I feel in a class or trying to be creative, and Avila’s ability to effortlessly breathe elegance and empowerment into their active wear makes me very excited! It also makes these guys a pretty ideal brand, as the two ranges complement each other and work together seamlessly to provide ethical, beautiful and functional solutions to an array of fashion needs for a variety of women. What a dream.
So how are these guys ethical? In many ways, it turns out. I loved getting more information from Ashleigh on this; talking to the mind behind a brand is an amazing way to see just how possible sustainable options are if we look for them, and it’s great to see a company committed both to its practices and its transparency on them. Let me tell you my favourites parts of their ethos…
Avila use a multitude of sustainable fabrics including organic cotton, tencel, bamboo and linen. Their tags are created using recycled cardboard, their labels are made using eco friendly cotton fibres and their packaging is either recycled or biodegradable. They also try to reuse all fabrics scraps, and any pieces that they can’t find a purpose for they donate to local art groups.
Avila supports local industries through both local production, with good working conditions and pay rates, and sourcing locally. Both of these enable Avila to follow their supply chains easily and continually ensure all workers are treated fairly and appropriately. They work with manufacturers that are certified by ethical clothing Australia (ECA) and all factories and workers are inspected regularly. They source the majority of their fabric from a local Mill in Melbourne who use natural fibres to produce their fabrics, and they are almost at the stage where all fabric will be sourced from Australia and New Zealand, with only 10% being currently sourced overseas.
Avila strongly believes in the highest standard of production to ensure longevity of garments, so they can be worn season after season instead of fast fashion style, meaning design and production is always carried out with this in mind. Their accessories are also made from high quality materials. They are sustainable whenever possible, however there are limited options when it comes to eco zips and fastenings, therefore they focus on using the highest possible quality so that garments last as long as possible, which in itself contributes to sustainability.
Seriously, what’s not to love? Sometimes it can seem like ethical and sustainable practises are out of reach, but then I find a brand like Avila and I find a whole lot of hope once again. And then on top of that their ranges fit so many needs, both aesthetically and practically. I cannot wait to be back in Melbourne to see more of what’s to come from these guys! If you live in London, make sure to head to 70 Berwick Street in Soho to catch their work in the flesh, the pop up is open until 8pm on Sunday February 19th, or you can find Avila online here or on Instagram here. I’m thoroughly besotted by this brand, (seriously who needs Valentines when you find dreamy companies like this?) and I hope you will be too.
Until next time, stay magic y’all.
This post was created in collaboration with Avila.