I believe that fashion should be consciously made with people and the planet prioritised over profits, and I believe our fashion addictions can co-exist with morals without compromising on style. Good fashion should make you feel good, inside and out, but not at the expense of the maker, and this is exactly what Brooke Da Cruz advocates for too.
Brooke Da Cruz is an Australian born designer who brings life to a unique but timeless aesthetic with a passionate focus on quality. Her namesake label, Brooke Da Cruz, is synonymous with luxury, and each piece adheres to strong sustainable and ethical values with an emphasis on refined design.
The foundations of Brooke Da Cruz are simple; high-quality staple wardrobe pieces that will live on for a lifetime.
Brooke cares about the people involved in the production of her ethical and sustainable label, and she's the first to raise her hand on the topic of purpose, passion and fashion...
Why are you passionate about ethical fashion?
Well, firstly I was passionate about what fashion can do for people states, their confidence and their expression of self. Then I discovered the impact of fashion on the world and I saw the opportunity of change that we can bring to the industry. So many of the issues that we have in the world from climate change to exploitation of people can be fixed with fashion, and I realised that this is where I can personally be a part of that change. If I can create something that improves the lives of everyone along the supply chain and the life of the person wearing that creation, then I am happy. Design is what I love to do and if I can combine that with another issue that I have grown to become extremely passionate about then I can’t imagine what else I would focus my efforts on.
Why are you passionate about sustainability in the fashion industry?
It’s pretty simple. We only have one earth and I absolutely love to travel and see all of its wonders and I want that to be able to continue. Fashion is a huge contributor to the deterioration of our planet but we can change it. The human impact of fashion was my first step towards sustainability; I could most closely relate to the people in the industry and was baffled by the suffering I saw.
I wanted to change that or at least ensure that my label had no part in the suffering of anyone. Sustainability was the next logical step for me – a lot of the suffering was not just from low wages, but from the chemicals, fertilisers and toxic processes used throughout the industry. The effects of this are not only felt by the garment workers but also the entire communities where some of these chemicals are used and it's just not ok.
Overall I came to realise we are linked to every part of our planet and if someone or something is suffering, we are all suffering and it will affect us all and our futures if we choose to be ignorant to it.
Why do you do what you do?
I wanted to do something I love and I also wanted it to mean something.
I want to make clothing that empowers everyone who plays a part in it. The person wearing one of my pieces should feel supported, confident and joyous and this is what first lead me to design. I’m a designer first and I want to create unique but timeless pieces that can bring this joy in a sustainable way. Design can be a long-lasting style whilst having a point of difference. A label can’t be a sustainable business or tool for change without being a great product first. I also believe a piece of clothing can’t be a tool of empowerment to the wearer if it came from disempowerment somewhere in the supply chain and hence each of my pieces adhere to strong ethical and sustainable practices.
What steps do you take to ensure a sustainable and ethical supply chain?
I personally visit each supplier or partner and work with them on their premises after first checking their fair trade credentials. It’s obvious in facilities I have chosen to work with that everyone is treated fairly and equally – I’m actually moving to India this year and will work at and alongside my main manufacturer to help them with communication and translation of designs from western designers. It’s such a nice environment – all of the machinists sing along to the radio as they sew.
What are you most committed to changing in the fashion industry and why?
One of the main things we need to change is the fast and mindless consumption of things we may only use one and throw away – I feel like that is one of the main culprits of a destructive industry. Yes changing the fabrics we use to a more sustainable option is great but really we need to be buying less in general. So I aim to create pieces that will stand the test of time, that people will absolutely love and will feel great in and will want to wear them over and over again. I think this can move mountains or hopefully reduce mountains and mountains of landfill.
Support sustainable luxury and shop the Brooke Da Cruz range here.
The Fashion Advocate x