Sadly, The Gently Unfurling Sneak is no longer trading as a fashion label. Find out more about the artist here

They say you never know if you don’t try, and for Melbourne-based Anika Cook this was enough motivation to start a clothing label. Her curiosity for screen printing and eye for design inspired her to buy a screen printer in 2006, when she taught herself how to print her illustrations on various fabrics. Once she nailed the process, she started selling t-shirts at markets, which led to her label aptly named The Gently Unfurling Sneak.

10+ years on and Anika’s label is a popular brand for conscious consumers around Australia, producing a range of unique printed clothing featuring Anika’s designs as well as some lush knitwear.

As the garments are often print-based, Anika says she chooses fabrics based on how the print will work on them (eg. digital is better on silk most of the time) and the cut of the garment.

“For the Lollipop knitwear collection The Gently Unfurling Sneak uses 100% extra fine merino wool,” she says.

“We also use cotton, silk, linen and viscose throughout our collections – the majority of which are environmentally friendly fabrics.”

To reduce waste, Anika says she has a few tricks that she uses in laying out prints so that all the fabric can be used with hardly any wastage. The brand also uses small amounts of leftover fabric to make one-off cushions that are sold in the Melbourne studio shop, and if there’s leftover fabric they’ll do a limited second run in that style.

The Gently Unfurling Sneak

Originally, 100% of the production of The Gently Unfurling Sneak’s collections took place in Australia. But Anika says rising manufacturing prices meant that after 10 years of producing on shore, it was no longer sustainable to keep 100% of the manufacturing here. For this reason she teamed up with an ethically-run Indonesian fashion manufacturer who they’ve worked with for the last two years for selected collections.

“The Gently Unfurling Sneak’s clothes are now made in either Melbourne or Bali,” Anika says.

“This season’s knitwear was made in a small Melbourne factory from Australian-grown merino wool, and finished by hand in the studio.”

The brand is still committed to ethical production no matter where the clothes are made. This, coupled with its environmentally friendly fabrics and positive approach to reducing waste, makes it a great option for ethically and sustainably produced fashion.

In terms of the brand’s commitment to style, Anika says that her customer “tends to like things that are a little different, doesn’t follow trends, and seeks good quality garments that they will wear for many years.”

You can read about the The Gently Unfurling Sneak’s manufacturers on its website here, and why the brand moved some of its production off shore here. Find out more about The Gently Unfurling Sneak here.