Friday, 9 May 2014

Kindness by Review: Moonbird

Sydney-based label Moonbird sprung from the creative mind of Rachel Pines, who previously trained in Costume at Wimbledon School of Art and has worked on film costumes for the likes of Harry Potter and Star Wars. Rachel explains, "I truly believe fashion should be fun, beautiful and ethical. I don’t think you should have to choose between these things; you should be able to have it all. But I couldn’t find it, so Moonbird was born."

Rachel Pines

Thanks to Moonbird's unique combination of vibrant designs, luxurious organic fabrics and impeccable ethics, you'll be feeling gorgeous inside and out when you don their pyjamas! Their entire range of sleepwear is made:

  • From GOTS certified organic cotton
  • In a certified fair trade production facility in Jaipur, India
  • With AZO free dyes using traditional screen printing methods by artisans from rural India
  • With love and respect for its workers and the environment

It was such a pleasure for me to receive some beautiful Moonbird pieces to review - including the brand new Dahlia classic style pyjamas

As soon as I put these on I felt completely luxurious, as if I was about to be treated at a 5-star spa retreat! It's quite funny to be wearing pyjamas yet feeling like you've just 'dressed up' ;-) 

The 100% organic cotton fabric with its satin finish felt so lovely and soft on my skin. I was intrigued that the material could feel so light and airy and yet substantial enough to keep me feeling cozy in the autumn chill. 

On close inspection it was clear to me how well-crafted both the top and bottom pieces were - and I loved the coconut shell buttons, such a pretty (and sustainable) detail! The distinctive dahlia flower pattern has been hand screen printed in Jaipur, India in a Fair Trade accredited facility

Photo: Moonbird
I was also thrilled to review Moonbird's vibrant Desert Sun pyjamas, with their invigorating palette reminiscent of the bright orange soil found in the Australian outback. According to my fiancé and intrepid photographer, Ryan Collins, these pyjamas were so funky I could almost get away with wearing them out and about town!!!

I have serious issues getting out of bed in the morning so I was instantly attracted to the zest of this design and colour scheme! The top also has a hidden support layer, which I personally don't look for in my PJs, however it certainly didn't detract from my comfort in any way :)

One last detail I really appreciated was the special Moonbird drawstring bag that all of their sleepwear comes in. Each bag is 100% organic cotton and has been produced in a Fairtrade cooperative in Kolkata, India. The cooperative gives women trapped in the sex trade freedom, skills, access to healthcare and education. On the swing tag it says: "This product is more than just a stitched piece of fabric, it tells a story of freedom". 

Now for some incredibly cool news...Moonbird is generously giving Kindness by Design reader's the chance to *win* their very own pair of dahlia classic style pyjamas! Perfect for yourself or as a super special bonus Mother's Day gift. 

To enter you must leave a comment on this post telling me which of Moonbird's four designs (Sylvie, Sea Leaf, Desert Sun and Dahlia) most suit YOUR personality and why? The competition will run until 10:00 am (AEST) on Monday 12th May 2014, and is open to readers worldwide. To be in with a chance of winning and to access additional options for more entries take part via the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can also connect with Moonbird via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

After Fashion Revolution Day - The Beginning of a New Fashion Future

The first ever Fashion Revolution Day (FRD) has now come and gone, but the fight for a fairer future for fashion has only just begun! The driving force behind FRD has been a desire to use the power of fashion to catalyse change and reconnect the broken links in the supply chain. As with any type of purchase, whether it's food, fashion or furniture - it can be difficult to feel a sense of that item's full history and the imprint its creation has had on both people and planet. Our lack of knowledge can mean that our purchasing decisions can lead us to become unwitting accomplices to human rights violations and environmental degradation. 

The great thing about FRD is that it was never about making us as consumers feel guilty and helpless but to empower us all to take control of our choices, to be curious, find out more and take simple but effective action. To kickstart this process the world was asked to make a statement by wearing an item of clothing inside-out and asking the brand on the label - who made your clothes? 

As a member of the FRD working committee for Australia and New Zealand I was delighted by the amazing response we received leading up to and on the day itself. People from a wide variety of backgrounds and of vastly different ages joined FRD in saying 'enough is enough' - it's time to face up to the consequences of fast and unethical fashion. It was so inspiring to see people showing a true desire to follow the thread linking the garment to the machinists who sewed it, all the way down to the farmer who grew the cotton. 

Rather than slowing down after the actual FRD on 24th April, it feels like momentum is continuing to build on the topic of making fashion fair for all. Last Friday our amazing Country Coordinator for FRD in Australia and New Zealand, Mel Tually, joined a panel discussion on cheap and dirty fashion hosted by Oxfam's 3 Things Project.  The panel also included Simon McRae from Ethical Clothing Australia, Lisa Heinze of Clean Cut Fashion and Nishan David from Bloodless

The key messages I gained from this insightful discussion were: if you care, be persistent when asking brands for information about their supply chain; never assume anything, for instance if a brand has a charitable foundation that's great but it doesn't necessarily mean they pay their workers a living wage; and when in doubt, the best thing you can do is buy less and cherish what you already have!

So what now? For starters I'll be continuing to bring you the latest developments in fair fashion here on Kindness by Design. In the meantime you can also take one or more of these simple actions:

1. Invest in the future of Fashion Revolution Day by supporting their campaign here on Indigogo and nab yourself some stunning ethical fashion perks at the same time! Talk about win-win :)

2. Purchase an official Who Made Your Clothes tee designed by Michael Stars and produced by Under the Canopy with 65% of the proceeds going to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund. These limited edition tees were made in a geothermal/solar powered factory, using certified organic cotton and patented chemical-free, seaweed-based dyes. You can grab yours here.

3.  The FRD site has a wealth of fantastic resources and links to connect you to more information about ethical and sustainable fashion. Check them out here

4. If you're in Australia or New Zealand you can follow all the FRD news and events on Facebook and Twitter. From somewhere else? No worries! Find your local groups here.
 Photo credit: Matt Hoggett