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In a world of throwaway fashion and fleeting trends, it is rare to see a start-up label that is deliberate and conscientious about its growth. Yet for Liar and a Thief, this slow and thorough approach to expansion is central to the brand’s integrity and philosophy.

The ethical label launched in 2013 after its two designers, Nisha and Alex, were inspired by the beauty of sea turtles at a sanctuary in Kosgoda, Sri Lanka. Nisha describes her experience as surreal, and she was moved by what she saw, “we connected with their beauty instantly and spent hours just watching the new hatchlings zooming around. Their shells are absolutely stunning, and the colours and patterns are so distinct and unique from what I imagined they would be!’ 

The natural beauty of the turtles and the charitable works of the volunteers who care for them tie in perfectly with Liar and a Thief’s mission: to bring on-trend and ethical fashion to the forefront of the industry. Turning to the sea turtles for inspiration, Liar and a Thief create designs that are not only beautiful and unique, but that also represent their beliefs. Nisha is adamant when it comes to upholding their ethos too, “it is a must to be ethical in fashion now. We are getting to a stage where fast, cheap fashion must come to an end, as it is having a damaging impact on people’s lives, to the environment and to the amount of waste the industry generates.”  Nisha knows all too well the impact fast fashion has on the environment, and it’s the reason that many of these sea turtles have ended up at Kosgoda Turtle Care in the first place.

‘Ethical fashion’ has been a buzzword in the industry for a number of years, yet despite numerous labels trying to pave the way for a more sustainable fashion industry, ethical dressing has never truly caught on. Nisha is realistic yet confident about combating the issue, “most consumers care about these issues but don’t really have time to start working it into their lifestyle. There isn’t enough ethical fashion ‘on trend’, but we’re hoping to change that and ensure our garments are on trend in colour, print and style without focusing too heavily on how it was made and what it was made from.’

By blurring the lines between mainstream fashion and ethical fashion, Liar and a Thief aim to make sustainable clothing more appealing to the everyday shopper, even if she doesn’t have much of an environmental conscience. By doing this, the label is creating an industry that sees ethical fashion as the norm, opposed to solely being a statement.

The garments that Liar and a Thief create are definitely on trend and reflective of the designers’ own style, a look which they refer to as ‘Bohemian Tomboy’. Practical but sexy, this style is all about a relaxed, beachy look with shorts, bikinis and slouchy tees. Nisha describes a bohemian tomboy as, “the girl who is the life of the party because of her happy, wild vibes, but she is also strong in her views of the world and she’s conscious of the environment. She’ll rock up to a party, work, or a festival in the most down played outfit but effortlessly styles it to perfection. Her attitude to life is refreshing and new . . . Always unknowingly ahead of the trend.”

In a bid to ensure that their designs have this ready-and-wearable feel, Nisha and Alex use their own clothing choices as inspiration in an attempt to “improve on what we already wear and create pieces that you’d be happy to keep for years; lasting seasonal pieces.” 

In terms of expanding their line, Nisha and Alex are taking things one step at a time, explaining that, “we are slow fashion, so we don’t want to rush if we’re not 100% happy with a product. We also do not want to over-make and keep adding to the problem of clothing waste.”

This doctrine of slow fashion is the cornerstone of the work done by Liar and a Thief and it is this attitude and the designers’ passion for sustainable, ethical fashion that makes them pioneers in a world where fashion is fast and customers are impatient.

As their business starts to grow, Nisha and Alex hope to take on more charitable projects close to their hearts, using their love of fashion to promote different causes. And despite being relatively new to the scene, their line is already evolving into a stylish, relaxed label that marries mainstream fashion and ethical fashion in a way that so many others have failed to achieve. 

The Fashion Advocate x

The Fashion Advocate Australian made fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, Melbourne fashion blogger

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