The spotlight is shinning on Tara the label this week, a talented woman specialising in crochet knitting. Tara creates made to order garments and accessories from natural fibres. Crocheting is extremely time consuming and some might say a forgotten skill but Tara's beautifully knit garments are sure to be your next show stopping outfit. Follow her journey below.
How has ethical fashion become important to you and your brand?
How have you/do you improve on sustainability as the sustainability movement shifts and grows?
I was raised by two eco warriors and have always made my own clothes since I was a young teen. These two things married themselves together into a love for ethical fashion when I was at uni and I did my grad project researching the effects and problems with the fashion industry.
Having a small brand is always a work in progress, at the moment I have been trying to develop products that encourage the repurposing of old clothing such as patches for mending which I just released. Also working on creating content to teach people skills to make their own clothing rather than just buying it, I believe if people start to understand the time and effort it takes to go into each garment by learning to make one and the satisfaction that comes along with it, that they would never treat clothes to be as disposable as so much of the world do. Obviously I am still in the early phases of this but it is definitely something I’m moving to focus on.
What inspired you to build a brand based around natural fibres?
So much of the clothing in the world now is basically plastic which has a massively harmful effect in the world not to mention the bodies that wear it. Natural fibres, though are not perfect as they still use resources such as water to create are a better alternative in my opinion. I would love to be doing more with recycled fibres as well as natural fibres as I believe recycling fibres could be a very good option but with a business my size I have not found a way to incorporate that very well yet.
I think a general misconception around sustainable fashion however is that buying clothes from a “sustainable” fashion brand means they are sustainable. Sustainable fashion is only as sustainable as the person who wears it. If you buy a sustainable item but still only wear it once or twice and dispose of it, this is still not sustainable.
What are some misconceptions around ethics or sustainability within your business?
I think because my business is predominantly crochet at the moment, I find many people have a misconception of the amount of time that goes into a single garment and that is why they struggle with the price tag. Unlike industrial knitting which they use in large brands to make jumpers and things, there is no such thing as an industrial crochet machine, there is no way to make it faster, so every piece of crochet in the world has been hand stitched by someone somewhere, now that crochet is becoming super on trend and out in a lot of fast fashion brand at cheap prices I think the understanding of that amount of time each garment takes has gotten a lost.
How do you ensure circularity?
This is hard as my brand is quite new and none of my creations have really reached the end of their life yet. But in my personal wardrobe I wear clothes quite literally to the bone and mend and mend them till they can’t be mended anymore. As I said in a previous answer I have just released iron on patches as my first step to try encourage people to learn to mend their clothing rather than buy more. Also in my own wardrobe if I find I am not getting wear out of something anymore, I try and find another use for it, just last week I turned an old crochet top I made that I didn’t wear anymore into a hot water bottle cover! These are things I would like to introduce more into the brand not just my personal wardrobe but am still working on how to make it scaleable.