Simplifying Sustainable Fashion in Brisbane
Sundholm Style is an online sustainable fashion destination founded by Caitlin Bennett.
She dreams up ideas for her sustainable fashion label and blog from her home studio in Brisbane. Passionate about simplifying sustainable living, she creates thoughtful designs and helpful online content. After recognising that positive change starts locally – Sundholm Style was born.
ILMA by Sundholm Style is a timeless collection of mix and match linen fashion designs, while her blog shares practical sustainable fashion tips.
“ILMA is a Finnish word that translates to air and the name Sundholm is a celebration of my mother, who showed immense strength of spirit throughout her lifetime. Her modest elegance and grace inspire me every day and I design for women just like her. The ILMA woman is strong with a tender heart. She is a natural beauty who appreciates refined simplicity and ease in design.
I design and produce my sustainable fashion label in Brisbane, Australia to promote ethical industry engagement and reduce the environmental costs of transportation. I also use natural fibres so my garments will break down at the end of their life, rather than sitting in landfill. Every piece is designed with longevity in mind, to be enjoyed season after season.
I am passionate about making sustainable living achievable, so that we can all carve out a brighter future.“
Sustainable Design Values
First of all, treating the people I work with respectfully is important to me. That’s why my first fashion collection was produced with a local pattern maker from the Gold Coast and a machinist from Toowoomba. By working with local makers, I have been able to ensure that ethical standards and fair wages have been met throughout production. They also shared so much wisdom and were instrumental in getting my label off the ground.
I have recently begun to sew garments myself, so that I can have a mixture of in stock and made to order garments. This allows me to respond to sustainable fashion demand in Brisbane quickly and continuously dream up new alterations and designs.
Fabrics are a major consideration for sustainable design. As a result of being produced in mass, they have a huge impact on our environment. Therefore, I like to work with biodegradable fabrics that use minimal resources to grow. I choose to work predominantly with linen because it is a high-yield, productive crop with many uses. It is durable, won’t clog up landfill and is great to wear in our Queensland heat. Linen also uses very little water and pesticides to grow.
My linen is sourced from Fern Textiles. I am also currently exploring new eco-textiles (like hemp!) and GOTS certifications.
Design for Longevity
I do not believe in planned obsolescence or throwaway fashion. Products should be made to last and bring value to your life. Therefore, I strive to create beautiful modern classics, that can be worn for many years to come. I avoid following trends so that you can feel comfortable and confident every time you slip into a Sundholm Style design.
Normally the left over pieces of fabric cut off from fashion garments go to waste on the cutting room floor. As you can imagine, the production of fabric from the crop, to harvesting, milling and dying is intensive. It’s a shame to see any fabric go to waste. That’s why I salvage my fabric off cuts and find ways to re-purpose them. My linen accessories are often made from left over pieces of fabric.
As of August 2018, I began donating 1% of every sale to the Australian Marine Conservation Society. Oceans are our lifeblood. They bring so much beauty to our lives and are essential for our survival. Did you know that the ocean produces more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere and absorbs most of the carbon? Likewise, half of the world’s population lives in a coastal zone – so both the economy and our environment depend on it.
Sadly, ocean pollution is often out of site, out of mind. Over harvesting, plastic pollution and dramatic reductions in biodiversity have been going on for too long. That’s why I support AMCS in their continuous fight to protect the oceans. Make sure you have a look at their website to learn more about their campaigns!