Adelaide designer Lauren Crago is championing slow fashion and sustainability through her print-focused label Solomon Street. Here, she shares what inspired her to start the label, how she’s supporting other female entrepreneurs and what she does to ensure the environmental impact of her brand is minimal.
What inspired you to start Solomon Street?
I founded Solomon Street in 2017 after finishing Graphic Design at Uni SA. I always had a passion for drawing so when I found that you could put drawings on fabric, it kind of all fell into place. I started out small by hand making and selling sketchbooks and cards at local markets in Adelaide but the goal was always to grow into a clothing focused business, which hero-ed ethical manufacturing and sustainable materials.
On the other hand, I felt this immense calling to re-assess the direction of my life and what I really wanted to use it to accomplish. I wanted to create something that filled a gap in a market (eco fashion with bold prints) while redirecting consumerism to do good in society and help create a better world. We now use our profit to support female entrepreneurs in developing countries out of poverty through a micro-lending fund.
Where are the Solomon Street clothes made?
At Solomon Street, All our garments are Australian made. We have two talented ladies who create, cut and sew our cotton and linen garments by hand in our retail and workshop space here in Adelaide. Our swim and leisure wear are made by an Ethical Clothing Australian accredited manufacturer. All of our garments are made using ethical processes and the environment at the forefront of our business and minds.
What kind of textiles do you use and why did you choose them?
Our current, summer linen range uses a cotton/linen blend of fabric. We choose to use these textiles as both cotton and linen are natural fibres that break down over time, causing little to no harm to the environment, which we love! They are also great fabrics to wear as being naturally derived fibre, the fabric is breathable and wears beautifully. Cotton and linen are both durable which means they will last customers for seasons and years to come.
Our swim and leisure wear ranges use organic cotton jersey, and Econyl. With the exception to a plastic free business, the Econyl fabric (recycled nylon) we use is a circular economy synthetic made from old fishing nets. It is amazing quality and is rated to the same colour fastness as your standard non-recycled swim fabrics.
We also have a range of tees which are printed in Melbourne and made with hemp. Using hemp to make fabric is super beneficial for our environment as it is fast growing and uses significantly less water than other fibres, is naturally pest resistant and fast growing.
Do you do anything to reduce waste in the production of the clothing?
Sustainability is a part of our general business activity and is a huge priority for our team. We believe that even the changes that just one person or one business makes contribute majorly to the health of our world. We are mindful during our cutting processes with how much waste we are creating and spend time making sure we maximise our fabrics. We cut each piece individually which means we can maximise the fabric use and significantly reduce offcuts. All of our large offcuts are used to make our topknots, and we collect all of our smaller offcuts and send them away to be recycled and broken down to be remade into fabrics.
Who is Solomon Street for?
Our main customer is conscious of the impact they leave on their world and others around them. They have a strong sense of social justice and do whatever they can to contribute positively back to society and help those less privileged than them. Solomon Street has an incredible community around us, our customers are more friends than customers as we all share the same values and appreciate fun clothes!