Emily Whishaw designs clothing with mums in mind. Her label Isle of Summer has been a project in the making since she was inspired to create comfortable clothing during her second pregnancy.
“At eight months pregnant with my second baby I started my first business, Mummy Couture, and launched my first kimono range,” Whishaw says.
“I loved wearing kimonos in my pregnancy and found them to be a handy breastfeeding cover so I thought other mums would love these too.
“Mummy Couture quickly grew and demand was huge, but the more I learned about the world of fast fashion and it’s enormous impact on people and planet, the more I wanted to make some serious changes to my business.”
At that point, Whishaw pivoted the brand and started Isle of Summer. She found herself a new factory that was producing clothing ethically and has since worked closely with them to produce her summer-inspired clothing.
“I come up with the ideas and vision, and work with Australian pattern makers and fabric designers to create the unique and beautiful prints,” she says.
These designs are crafted with utility for women at their core – they’re loose, flowy, bend over-proof and feeding accessible. Importantly, they’re designed to be worn during a hot, Queensland summer.
The Isle of Summer clothes are made in Bali in a factory that pays their garment makers a living wage, provides a safe and happy environment, and treats their staff as family.
“I wanted to work with a factory who allowed me to visit and meet all the people making my clothing,” Whishaw says.
“I love to share photos from behind the scenes so my customers can feel connected and informed as well.”
When it comes to choosing textiles for her collections, Whishaw says they use a rayon fabric made from recycled tree pulp that is locally produced in Indonesia.
She says she chose the fabric for its silk-like feel, how it drapes beautifully over the body, is low wrinkle and breathable.
“It also uses half the energy to produce than cotton. Reducing our footprint on our planet is important to us,” she says.
To reduce waste in the collections, Whishaw keeps unusable Isle of Summer fabrics to make seconds and sells them at a discount or uses it to make samples for her future designs.
They also use the smaller scrap fabric to make scrunchies and sell them as a three-pack. They donate $5 from each pack sold to Share the Dignity.
For the packaging, Whishaw uses compostable garment and postage bags.
She says Isle of Summer has adapted into a brand for women at all stages of life who love to wear feminine pieces, with colour and pattern.
“The designs are inspired by our relaxed casual lifestyle in Australia and I’m always creating with the warmer places in mind, because I’m from Brisbane and it’s just so hot here.”
Find out more and shop the Isle of Summer collection here.