Tri Colour Federation: Denim designer finds the best fit without the footprint

Designer and creative director Joshua Norbury is on the pathway to creating a denim company with big ambitions. And small amphibians. But more about that later.

“I grew up in a design orientated household with both parents being creatives, this nurtured my passion for something more,” Josh says.

After starting concepts in 2016, he launched the Tri Colour Foundation brand in 2018 with a mission of creating denim products that left minimal impact on the planet.

The label aims to push the boundaries of design and manufacturing innovations to ensure that every product will be more ethically sustainable than the last.

To do so, Tri Colour Federation has teamed up with ISKO – a denim manufacturer based in Turkey focused on creating a denim product with minimal environmental impact. The various denim blends are made from a range of certified organic cotton, recycled PET and elastane, and the factory actively manages and reduces its use of water, chemical and energy to reduce environmental impact.

Josh says it took him about a year to find, but the partnership is integral to the message and output of the brand.

“We’re not setting out to say that we’re sustainable, because we’re not. But we’re doing as much as we can to reduce our impact,” he says.

“Our aim is to produce a low impact denim product that’s different, timeless in design, highly wearable and inspires a new way of thinking.”

Tri Colour Federation denim

The Tri Colour Federation jeans have another benefit too. The brand has created a unique pattern which is designed to fit a variety of men’s and women’s body shapes. The women’s jean utilises contoured waistbands to ensure the perfect fit. No more gaping in the back waistband and the perfect fit around the bottom.

The brand also uses trademarked reform technology meaning that the denim doesn’t bag out like traditional blends with stretch tend to, triggering people to wash their jeans to restore the fit.

This technology helps to save water and energy by reducing the amount of washing required and prolonging the life of the jeans.

The product itself is dyed and assembled in Australia, which gives Josh and his team the flexibility to oversee manufacturing, optimise design, and quickly bring products to market, while reducing the carbon footprint of the individual garments.

The jeans not only possess a bespoke fit, but are detailed with quirky designs, printed pockets and contrast rivets, a design that appeals to a certain customer according to Josh.

“You can tell when someone is wearing a Tri Colour Federation jean because of the engineered fit and unique design,” Josh says.

“I wanted to design something that wasn’t on the market. For that reason, we don’t expect or want our designs to be for everyone. Our customers are individuals and free thinkers.”

There was something that was really important to Josh, and that was that customers were getting maximum value. Value means timeless design, superior fabrics and fit for comfort, to save their customers money in the long run.

“Because we’re working with materials that are traceable and we’re paying fair wages throughout our supply chain – our fabric costs substantially more than denim produced with conventional cotton, but we don’t want that to be a burden or barrier for our customers,” he says.

“For us it’s all about delivering value. We’re not making the same margins that bigger companies are but that means we can sell our indigo blue jean for around $250, many other brands for an equivalent fabrication quality retail at $400.”

The Tri Colour Federation designs are uniquely Australian, with the colours inspired by the Australia landscape. The brand’s logo features the Australian Corroboree Frog – one in a long list of threatened amphibians that is on the critically endangered list.

Josh says the logo serves as a constant reminder to the fragility between humanity and the natural world.

“It reinforces our determination and resolve to extinguish the divide whilst contributing towards a sustainable future,” he says.

“As a final sentiment, our logo embodies beauty, colour, design and the will to survive.”

Tri Colour Federation donates a part of its profits towards programs working to protect the Australian native creature.

Find out more and shop Tri Colour Federation here.

This article was produced in partnership with Tri Colour Federation.

About Author

Brittanie Dreghorn

Brittanie Dreghorn is the founder and editor of Britt's List, and an advocate for sustainable and Australian fashion.

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