• Fashion

Why we can’t get enough of Courtney Holm’s A.BCH

This ethical fashion designer has closing the loop on her mind

BY ALEXA COETSEE

We love discovering brands with a conscious here at g+S HQ, and one in particular that keeps popping into our Insta feeds is Melbourne-based ethical fashion label A.BCH. With principles ”centred around working towards a circular economy, ensuring everyone in the supply chain from farmer to sewer has fair work conditions”, and that focus on the merits of repairing and re-wearing old clothing, they also happen to be accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. Here’s our chat with founder and designer Courtney Holm on the eve of her latest campaign shoot in Austin, Texas.

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU LAUNCH A.BCH?

We launched at the start of 2017 after basically I was fed up with (fashion) industry habits that didn’t align with my personal values.

YOU SOURCE AND PRODUCE YOUR MATERIALS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, HOW DOES THAT WORK?

Our organic cotton threads are grown in Egypt and spun in Holland, our corozo buttons are harvested and turned in Panama, our organic linens are grown in Northern France and milled in Belgium, our organic cotton jerseys are grown in India and then knitted in Melbourne, and the list goes on. We take pride in sourcing from suppliers that have similar values and are willing to take a chance on us by being transparent with us too.

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IS IT TRUE YOU ARE CREATING A RANGE FROM EUCALYPTUS FIBRE?

Yes! The fibre is Lenzing Tencel’s latest innovation, which feels like silk, is stronger than cotton and can be machine washed. It is fully traceable and has a significantly lower environmental impact than the world’s primary fibre sources like cotton, polyester and viscose. Cotton, for example, uses 100 times more water to produce than this does. The new pieces are luxuriously silky, breathable, hypo-allergenic and are fully compostable too. Stay tuned!

WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR SHOPPING ETHICALLY?

You don’t need to buy expensive clothing to make ethical fashion choices. I can’t remember the last time I bought a new item for myself! There are other ways to participate – thrifting is one, repairing and up-cycling current clothing is another, clothes swaps and borrowing from friends is a great choice and totally fun, or clothing rental is the next big thing. A.BCH is intentionally sold at wholesale prices direct to the customer to help make responsible fashion more accessible for all.

DOES BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE WARDROBE MEAN I SHOULD DITCH MY NOT-SO-ETHICALLY PRODUCED EXISTING GARMENTS?

No way! Building a sustainable wardrobe is about curating what you have, and changing the way future purchases are made.

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