Sustainable Spotlight featuring Written in Sunlight – Binks

Sustainable Spotlight featuring Written in Sunlight

This week on our Sustainable Spotlight we chat to Adria from Written in Sunlight. Written in Sunlight is an inspiring clothing brand, proving to consumers that if you look, you can see beauty in any material which can transform into a stunning and wearable garment.  An example of this is their Twiggy Jacket, which is currently sold out!

The Twiggy jacket is crafted from old NZ wool blankets and are lined with reclaimed fabric. These gorgeous up-cycled jackets are customisable and made to order. Each jacket is uniquely coloured due using blankets, no two jackets will be the same! You can even provide your own wool blanket to secure a cheaper price. If you have any old wool blankets laying around at home this is the perfect way to repurpose them at an accessible price. Be sure to check their instagram for updates as these babies sell fast!

"Written in Sunlight focuses on crafting tasteful, ethical, and authentic clothing pieces inspired by a creative desire for a timeless and elegant style. Established in Mount Maunganui, Written in Sunlight was built with the intent to provide ethical and sustainable styles without the exorbitant pricing or the compromise of quality. Our clothing is handmade with you in mind.

 We aspire to provide fabrics comprising of natural fibres which are responsibly sourced. This fact does not limit our ability to design and create beautiful clothing for every occasion. We pride ourselves on being able to create garments that are not limited to singular functions. The practicality and beauty of our designs provide you with many opportunities to wear your slow fashion pieces. Our pieces are made for adventuring in, dancing in, eating divine food in and relaxing in. We want you to feel comfortable and empowered in what you wear, without the presence of guilt that accompanies fast fashion."

Adria from Written in Sunlight answers our questions around sustainability:

What does sustainability mean to your brand?

Our primary focus is sustainability. It is the reason I started this brand! Fast fashion has a catastrophic impact on our environment, and we want to do anything we can to change that. Our main priorities are using natural or repurposed fibres, as well as creating these pieces in an ethical environment. 

How have you/do you improve on your sustainability as the sustainability movement shifts and grows? 
From the beginning, I think we've been pretty great at making sustainability the main focus of our brand. Although, over the past year I've made an effort to use more reclaimed/recycled fabrics to make our garments. At the moment, I'd say that 90% of the fabrics we use are repurposed, which I'm pretty proud of! 

What inspired you to build a sustainable brand?
I come from a generation that idolises the idea of fast fashion. We see clothing as something temporary, and readily exchangeable when the newest trend comes along. The clothing I was exposed to was not timeless; not things that would stay in fashion for a substantial amount of time. What do you do with a piece of clothing that isn't in fashion? Not wear it. What do you do with something you don't wear? Get rid of it! Upon realising that the majority of the clothing I had access to (with regards to my income and age) was made of synthetic fibres, I began to see the throwing out of clothing as throwing out the plastic. It all begins to mount up!

Before I began this brand, I had a growing interest in both sewing and design. I always had a somewhat eccentric style of dress, and I saw this as an opportunity to bring about my more creative side. I have been passionate about the environment for as long as I can remember. As an 18-year-old, there was not a lot of ethical/sustainable options for one with a limited budget for one to access. The majority of clothing/brands that fell into these categories came at high price points that arent exactly reachable for high school/university students. The easiest option was to thrift, which is not always successful.

I wanted to educate people in my age group whether or not decided to buy from me. If I could play any part in the changing of their mindsets, I would be happy!

What is the most challenging thing about running a sustainable business?
I think being a sustainable business makes everything more difficult. I want to be mindful of EVERY aspect of our practices. Operating without these ideas in mind would make everything a lot less expensive as well as easier! I think dealing with waste is a big one though. We cut out our garments in a way that assures minimal waste, but the question remains with what do we do with that waste? It would be so easy to just send our small fabric offcuts and threads to the landfill, but we repurpose them in any way we can. We end up giving it away to locals who use it in their crafts and stuff pillows and pouffes with.

Has the pandemic accelerated or shifted your sustainability goals? If so, how?
I guess before the pandemic, Written in Sunlight was more of a hobby than a 'real' business. I had a lot more time on my hands so I started to pursue this more seriously. My vision was and has always been focused on sustainability.

Do you think the niche of sustainability will breakthrough as being mainstream? Will this affect your brand?
I feel that it already has broken through to being mainstream. I've previously talked about how consumers need to remember the businesses that have prioritised sustainability from the beginning. As more mainstream businesses move towards sustainability they aren't adopting it as a niche, but more because it's a social responsibility/expectation. More of the population is adopting a sustainable mindset and as this number increases, more businesses have to shift their focus. I don't feel threatened by this, and overall, it's a good thing! The fact that more businesses are being forced into this mindset will have an extremely positive impact on our future.

How do you ensure circularity?
We are currently using a lot of reclaimed/recycled fibres. The fabric used to make our Twiggy Jackets are all made from recycled materials. We design our garments in a way that minimises fabric wastage and any offcuts are either donated to other local creatives or used in-house for other projects. None of our "waste" is sent to landfills.