Sunday, June 8, 2014


I am super excited to announce that I am now the Editor-in-Chief and Fashion Director of a new Melbourne-based independent fashion magazine, HESSIAN. 

HESSIAN strives to bring sustainability to the forefront of Australian youth fashion without compromising aesthetics or insisting upon radical practices. We’re not your average ‘green magazine’; we don’t preach complicated and extreme lifestyle changes or beat you into submission with tales of eco-gloom. Instead, we provide a new perspective - we deliver you ecofriendly content with a new look because we’re here to show you sustainable living doesn’t have to be f**king boring.

HESSIAN is seeking out sustainable youth fashion that is contemporary; we are breaking free of the nostalgia for a past we never lived, instead looking to the future we want to save.

To contribute, get involved or for other queries, please contact:

Like HESSIAN on Facebook: 

Visit HESSIAN for more details:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


 Photo by Vanessa Jackman for MOON Magazine

MOON Magazine is a beautiful new magazine from London, UK. Here is a little Q&A I did with the Creative Director of MOON, Verity Pemberton. 

Could you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind MOON and what you wanted achieve?

MOON came about as I previously did my own fanzine called Don't Know Yet from about the age of 16 and MOON was originally going to be another version of that, but I built up such a large collection of work and collaborations that I just wanted to show all the work in the best possible light so that's how it turned into MOON. I wanted a new start and to print something really beautiful in full colour that people would want to display as well as read.

You have quite a remarkable resume! Working with Rookie Magazine, Florence Welch, Urban Outfitters, Orla Kiely, among many others... How has your work as a freelance stylist and designer led you to being the Creative Director of MOON?  

I just love working on lots of different projects and being busy and because MOON is my own magazine it is the perfect creative outlet for me and all my ideas.

What have you loved most about creating your own magazine?

That it serves as a great excuse to meet new people and interview those who inspire me. It is also the most satisfying thing to hold something you created.

It is such a quaint, lovely little publication! Do you feel that it is a reflection of your own taste/style?

Yes if I were to turn into a magazine I would be MOON.

The styling in the editorial ‘Marli’ has a slight Moonrise Kingdom feel to it. Did you reference Wes Anderson?

Slightly - although it was also the case that I had just slowly built up this massive collection of vintage scout themed clothes and wanted to use all the great props I had, but Wes is definitely a great inspiration just generally. I recently saw the Grand Budapest Hotel which I loved - am thinking I may need to have a Wes Anderson themed party soon!

How did you come to work with photographer Vanessa Jackson?

I first contacted her when I was writing the Alice Temperley blog and wanted to interview her. She then asked if she could photograph me for Italian Grazia so came over to my house and we just got on really well. I absolutely love her photographs and working with her is always so much fun - we have a really great team - me, Vanessa and Jessica Mejia on make-up. 

There are so many fashion publications around these days, many of which are online. Why did you choose to make MOON a print publication?

Because I have to be on a computer a lot for my job as a designer and it's nice to hold something and not be looking at a screen. It also makes MOON feel more real and like a proper publication, something that was really important to me. 

Thanks Verity!

P.S You can buy the first issue of MOON here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Photo: The Clean Cut team with Founder/Editor of Peppermint Magazine Kelly Sheenan, me (Siggi McCarthy) and my colleague at Ethical Clothing Australia Rebekka Carey-Smith. 

The Clean Cut Designer Showcase was part of this year's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney. You can read more about the sustainable fashion event here. Below is an interview I did with one of the lovely Clean Cut founders, Carlie Ballard.  

Could you please give me a little background on the Clean Cut team? What brought the girls together?

The 4 of us who started Clean Cut are all Sydney-based and really felt the void of a sustainable presence in the Australian fashion scene. We could see what was happening in the industry locally and globally and soon realised that we needed to create a meeting point and a presence to celebrate the work of sustainable designers here in Australia. It quickly became apparent that it was actually up to us to make this happen. I (Carlie Ballard) called on 3 girls I had worked with over the past few years - Kelly Elkin from ALAS the label, Lisa Heinze Author of newly published book Sustainability with Style and Yatu Widders-Hunt published eco writer, blogger at Thinking Fashion and media and communications expert. After our first meeting there was no turning back and we were planning the vision for our organisation from day 1.

What criteria did you consider when selecting designers to showcase at the event?

For the event we had a fairly strong idea of the labels we wanted to represent. We knew we needed to showcase the labels with a strong brand experience. And we also wanted to ensure we represented many of the different mediums sustainable designers are working with in this space. The Clean Cut showcase is about celebrating the steps designers are taking toward a fairer and more sustainable fashion future so we didn’t want to be purist with our choices.

Our industry has many bodies including Fair Trade Labelling Organisation (FLO), GOTS Certification, Made-By and Ethical Clothing Australia to name the major ones, so we sought a few labels with these credentials. But for many grassroots companies (which this industry has many) this is too costly, so it comes back to understanding their business model, the task at hand, such as ensuring fair labour rights, sustainable and ecological fabric choices and manufacturing, low and no waste pattern-making and empowering co-operatives to harness the beauty of traditional crafts and sustaining livelihoods through business.  

What makes Clean Cut different from other sustainable fashion runway shows? 

From Day 1, we knew that if we (sustainable fashion) were going to create waves and be included in the wider fashion community there could be no compromise on aesthetic, quality or style. We also knew that we needed to promote sustainable fashion outside of the sustainable fashion bubble, and be inclusive to the wider fashion industry. We saw this as the only option to make real change. We had to put on a production that was MBFW ready. The best models, beautiful space, leading stylists to ensure sustainable fashion stood tall next to the other MBFW shows during the week.

You are developing an online directory that will eventually act as a ‘guide to the sustainable fashion world.’ Could you please explain this in a bit more detail?  

Yes, we’re really excited about this. We are calling it a ‘Style Guide’. It’s basically a go to directory so consumers can easily find the labels across the globe that are actively working in this space. This is where much of the problem lies, the outlets for many sustainable designers are limited and hard for consumers to get their hands on. So this will be great for consumers to shop based on their values. Our mission is to bring back the value in clothing, start getting people to make more considered fashion purchases, buy quality not quantity. Our clothing choices are very defining so it’s important that the social and environmental impact behind their manufacture are taken into consideration too.

What are your thoughts on the current Australian fashion landscape, with regard to the sustainable design sector?

I’m excited! Changing the face of the fashion industry was and is never going to be a speedy task. When I started in this space back in 2007 everything that I entered into Google lead me to the northern hemisphere. There were definitely brands working in this space in Australia but they were limited. Today there are new design led brands popping up all the time that are working with beautiful natural fibres and harnessing the talents of artisans and importantly ensuring that fair working conditions are ingrained into the core of the business. It’s definitely exciting to see well known labels such as Ginger and Smart, Scanlan Theodore and Manning Cartell become Ethical Clothing Australia accredited. Sustainable fashion is growing, and pressure is definitely building for all labels to start to take steps in the right direction. It’s the future of the fashion industry so it’s only a matter of time.

How do you think we can promote further sustainable and ethical design within the local industry?

Definitely by having the Clean Cut Designer Showcase each year to celebrate exciting labels in this space, but we also have lots of plans to educate at the grassroots level. Students are completely aware of sustainability now, so it’s really important that the emerging designers are incorporating sustainable and ethical practices into their businesses. Also, Clean Cut is excited to be an industry body to make change and assist designers with creating a more sustainable and transparent supply chain.

Thank you Carlie! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Mary by Harry Were for Charta Magazine

Images VIA

Tuesday, April 22, 2014



Rachael Cassar 



Rachael Cassar 


Ovna Ovich

Rachael Cassar


Sydney’s Mercedes Benz FashionWeek (MBFW) has finally embraced ethical fashion this year, with its first sustainable fashion event - the Clean Cut Designer Showcase. Held at The Hughes Gallery in Surry Hills, the event proved that sustainable fashion is not only for fringe shows aimed at a niche audience. The exquisitely styled and curated showcase challenged the stigma often attached to ethical fashion and highlighted that it can and should be embraced by the broader fashion community.  

All from diverse backgrounds and with varied expertise, the four Sydney-based women behind Clean Cut came together with a shared vision. Managing Director and Head Curator Carlie Ballard says, ‘We knew that if we (sustainable fashion) were going to create waves and be included in the wider fashion community, there could be no compromise on aesthetic, quality or style. We also knew that we needed to promote sustainable fashion outside of the sustainable fashion bubble, and be inclusive to the wider fashion industry.’

The brands were ultimately chosen for their stunning aesthetic alongside their strong ethical production. Those showcased were Rachael Cassar (Sydney), Bhalo (Perth), Desert Designs (Sydney), Kowtow (NZ), Lalesso (Kenya), Goodone (UK), The Social Studio (Melbourne), and Ovna Ovich (NZ).

By curating such a beautiful show, Clean Cut demonstrated that ethical practice could co-exist with good design and fine craftsmanship. These three elements were blended so seamlessly that you could be excused for forgetting that it was a sustainable fashion event! Every element of the show had been carefully considered. From the clothing and the styling to the models and the venue, Clean Cut was a breath of fresh air.

Sydney-based designer Rachael Cassar opened the event with intricate, handmade gowns made entirely from recycled materials. Sourced from pretty much everywhere you could possibly imagine, including antique auction houses and deceased estates, Cassar has truly mastered the art of upcycling. Reinventing and extending everything in a garment's remains, Cassar believes that, ‘if aesthetic and sustainability can co-exist together then we’ve got an equally appealing product.’ 

Bhalo was also a standout; a Perth-based label that creates limited edition garments using natural hand woven textiles, printing and embroidery. The brand prides itself on being transparent and working with and supporting exceptionally talented rural producers and artisans in Bangladesh. Jessica Priemus, co-owner/director of Bhalo emphasised, ‘I don’t want to create a sympathy product where people feel like they have to buy it because they feel sorry for the people who made it. I really want it to be something that people desire.’

Ethical and transparent supply chains were also promoted at a local level, with Ethical Clothing Australia accredited label The Social Studio demonstrating that local manufacturing is not only still possible, but that it can be an integral part of a successful and innovative fashion label. The Melbourne-based social enterprise, which designs and manufactures everything on-site at their Collingwood retail space, sent bold and vibrant streetwear down the runway - made from reclaimed and up-cycled materials gathered from the local fashion industry.

New Zealand label Kowtow was a classic collection of easy, ready to wear looks. The effortlessly chic pieces, which are  certified fair trade organic and made from cotton grown and produced sustainably and ethically, were reminiscent of my hometown's understated aesthetic. They were also styled beautifully with Kuwaii shoes that are made in Melbourne. In this interview with W Concept, Kowtow Founder Gosia Piatek says she is passionate about ensuring her label has integrity. She says, 'It's a goal of mine to show other companies that it's possible to run a profitable business that is ethically conscious.'

The most exciting thing about Clean Cut is that it is more than just a designer showcase. The fashion advocacy group is working towards a more transparent and ethical fashion industry by celebrating sustainable fashion and making it more accessible. They are currently developing an online directory, the Clean Cut Style Guide, which will act as a guide to the sustainable fashion world. ‘It’s basically a go to directory so consumers can easily find the labels across the globe that are actively working in this space. This is where much of the problem lies - the outlets for many sustainable designers are limited and hard for consumers to get their hands on. So this will be great for consumers to shop based on their values’, says Ballard.

It was always going to be a challenge proving to the industry that sustainable fashion should be taken seriously and given an ongoing slot in the MBFW official schedule. That said, Clean Cut’s debut was received with open arms. Encouraged by the event’s success, Carlie Ballard says she is excited by the current Australian fashion landscape and is looking forward to seeing the sustainable fashion movement evolve - ‘Sustainable fashion is growing, and pressure is definitely building for all labels to start to take steps in the right direction. It’s the future of the fashion industry so it’s only a matter of time.’


Rachael Cassar (Sydney)
Bhalo (Perth)
Desert Designs (Sydney) 
Kowtow (NZ)
Lalesso (Kenya)
Goodone (UK)
The Social Studio (Melbourne)
Ovna Ovich (NZ)


- Carlie Ballard from fashion label Carlie Ballard and online sustainable fashion platform Indigo Bazaar.
- Kelly Elkin from organic sleepwear label ALAS.
- Lisa Heinze author of newly published book Sustainability with Style.
 - Yatu Widders-Hunt published eco writer, blogger at Thinking Fashion and media & communications expert. 

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