If you're like me and you grew up in the 90s, you were probably just as surprised when the scrunchie trend surfaced last year. There are quite a few 'naughties' trends better left at the bottom of the wardrobe like puffy taffeta sleeves and fanny packs, but somehow scrunchies have survived over three decades in generations of drawers.
I had mixed emotions about scrunchies when they first made their comeback; fond memories of my mum in her classic 'mum jeans', flashbacks of my favourite movie Clueless, and the joy of my preschool days wearing turtlenecks, pinafores, scrunchies and frilly socks.
While the idea of stepping back into my childhood style and wearing a scrunchie as a now-30-something woman didn't excite me initially, the trend has grown on me, and there's a lot more to a scrunchie than 90s nostalgia.
Scrunchies have become a sustainable, zero-waste statement for fashion brands and a practical way to minimise fabric offcuts and waste. They're softer on your hair than elastic hair ties, so they help to reduce breakage, and when they're made with natural fabrics, they're a sustainable alternative to polyester-based hair ties. Scrunchies are also a lot harder to lose than hair ties. Entire packs of those little black slippery elastic suckers seem to magically disappear every few months - so they're wasteful.
Tame your mane sustainably with my pick of the bunch for Australian designed, ethical and sustainable scrunchies...
The Fashion Advocate
The Fashion Advocate's range of scrunchies and hair accessories are ethically and sustainably made by Australian and New Zealand designers, using offcuts and scraps from their main fashion ranges. By using offcuts for their scrunchies, our designers divert waste from landfill and create everyday hair accessories sustainably.
If you're blessed with a curly mop or you have a head of thick hair to work with, Damn Gina's silk scrunchies are a soft solution. Damn Gina takes the 'bigger is better' approach to life - big hair, big hoops, big butt, big scrunchie - and the G Scrunchie is made with 100% silk offcuts to save landfill waste too.
Indigo Luna's plant-dyed eucalyptus TENCEL scrunchies dial the sustainability stakes up a few notches. They're ethically made with leftover fabric offcuts from the Indigo Luna clothing range and they're naturally plant-dyed with luscious planet-friendly ingredients like mango and indigo.
If you're not shy when it comes to a pop of colour, Seagrass Design's bright and bubbly scrunchies are handmade in Tasmania from cotton, bamboo and TENCEL fabric samples and offcuts. They're a colourful and fun fabric scrunchie for your fro, and they're ethically made by hand too.
Forsoul The Label
Forsoul's boho and beachy scrunchies are ethical, sustainable and super cute. They're consciously designed in Australia, ethically made in Bali, and they embody the brand's transparent values and earth-friendly approach to fashion. Forsoul's scrunchies are made with remnant fabric helping to reduce waste, and their signature prints are available in headbands too.
HARA The Label
HARA's Malala Scrunchies are made from the offcuts of their OEKO-TEX 100 approved organic bamboo fabric and they're dyed with natural plant-based dyes too (in a nutshell, they're super earth-friendly). Profits from Malala Scrunchie sales also go to the Malala Fund, an organisation dedicated to giving young girls access to free, safe and quality education.
ELOÏSE PANETTA's scrunchies are consciously handcrafted to order in Sydney and made with 100% pure silk. Each piece of silk goes through a slow dyeing process with Australian botanicals like eucalyptus leaves, flower petals and berries, which are wrapped in the silk and then steamed to create soft, subtle colours and unique patterns.
Carlie Ballard's earthy-toned collection is made with handwoven, fair trade and ethical fabrics, and the offcuts are far too precious to waste. Carlie makes use of her leftover material by re-fashioning it into ethical, sustainable and soft-to-the-touch scrunchies.
Want to learn more about ethical and sustainable fashion? Start here.