Australia-based eco|mono offers a sustainable capsule wardrobe for eco-conscious shoppers. Samantha Leigh tells us how she got started.
How did you come up with the name of your company?
Many people ask me this, most people can’t even pronounce it! The inspiration behind our online store’s name – eco|mono is, we are selling clothes that are cruelty-free, sustainable, eco-friendly etc…hence the “eco”.
Then, whilst on my own sustainable journey, I created a minimal capsule wardrobe collection that consisted of mainly black, white and grey clothes BUT I could make so many outfits because I could mix and match and everything paired perfectly together. So, the “Mono” is because at eco|mono we sell black, white and grey pieces so our customers can build their own sustainable capsule wardrobe of monochrome pieces.
What inspired you to start a sustainable fashion brand?
My ethical fashion journey started rather organically. In March 2015, I was made redundant from my full-time role working in the events industry. Whilst searching for other job opportunities I decided to write a fashion blog as a hobby. As I started to research topics to discuss on the blog, I began to realise just how horrifying the ethics are in the fashion industry and the negative impact the industry has on our environment. I felt as though I had been extremely naive up until this point.
A few people recommended that I watch The True Cost Documentary, it really inspired me and I decided to change the angle of my blog and focus on positive ethical fashion.
Over the next 18 months, I spent a lot of my time replying to emails, messages, and comments advising my readers and follower where to shop and why, along with offering style advice. I then decided to add an online shop to my blog – a one stop shop for the brand I am a huge advocate for. The eco|mono store was born.
What is something you wish people knew about sustainable fashion?
I wish to change the everyday consumers’ perception of sustainable fashion, that being, it’s hippy, hemp, brown and boring, it’s expensive and they don’t really know where to start.
At eco|mono we aim to provide sustainable style, showcasing brands who are designing and manufacturing beautiful clothes that are investment pieces. You can also shop based on your personal values, we have 10 values you can choose from and you can shop the brands aligned with those values. Because guess what – nothing is 100% sustainable! We don’t want people to put up their own barriers by thinking they need to be 100% sustainable.
Is there someone who inspires you and why?
My biggest inspiration is my mum. My mum was brought up in a household that did not have much money or luxuries. She was also brought up in a disadvantaged area with a lot of crime and young families living off the government with no ambition to change their situation. My mum was the black sheep, I think of her as Cinderella, except, she didn’t wait for a man to help her out of this cycle. At 22 years old she worked three jobs and went to university all whilst having a newborn baby…me. She graduated as an Occupational Therapist. Fast forward 27 years and she now runs a very successful Case Management business in the UK, helping people who have suffered from brain injury and their families try to live a normal life. I think she turned from Cinderella into the fairy godmother. I love and respect her more than she will ever know.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you or your company?
At eco|mono we work collectively with our brands to bring our customers clothing and accessories that don’t harm people or the planet. Each brand is doing their bit for fair fashion and we love telling their inspiring stories so our customers can really connect with the pieces they are buying.
It is important for our customers to know that we are on this journey with them, we are not preaching to them about eco-friendly, zero waste; more guiding them. Like a best friend would do. We understand it’s hard shopping online, so we are waiting on the other end of a message, email, comment to offer personal styling advice to help customers make a purchase we know they will be happy with.
eco|mono mainly focuses on Black, white and grey items, which allows our customers to mix and match our monochrome pieces to create their own sustainable capsule wardrobe.
Just For Fun
What’s your favorite lunch?
Sushi or Vermicelli Salad – Sometimes both at the same time!