Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth? Visible from space, it is home to over 600 types of soft and hard coral. Facts like these drive home the incredible value of the landmark and the blessing we have lying on our front porch, yet for me, the reef seemed like an abstract idea until I flew over to Heron Island to experience it for myself.
Home to countless nesting wild birds and two types of turtles, this coral cay has had a chequered past. Thankfully, the island has now been transformed into an eco-resort with a reef research facility and a thriving population of wildlife—when I say thriving, picture diving into the water straight from the shore and getting lost among many types of reef sharks, sting rays, fish and colourful coral.
My 11-year old-daughter tagged along for the ride and she quickly disappeared into the ocean, not returning until she was hungry. The incredible variety and richness of life on and around this island was spectacular, yet the news that north of here up to two thirds of the reef had gone through a massive bleaching event was dishearteningly sombre.
Global warming may be just a concept to many, but it is a growing reality for the reef whose sensitivity to temperature changes makes it an easy victim. The threat became painful as I imagined Heron Island barren of all the beauty that makes it so special, so I wanted to create a story that celebrates sustainable labels leading the way for a new paradigm in the way we approach the business of fashion.
Exclusive to Australia, this Tiffany & Co wave necklace is part of a limited edition collection that uses 100 per cent of profits to support the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef. A Grecian inspired Jacinta James dress and Maria Farro sandals complete this timeless holiday outfit.
It was all yellow
Vibrant and comfortable, this Nagnata look utilises upcycled and sustainable fabrics and would look equally good in the gym paired with fair-trade French label Veja’s sneakers, or dressed up with heels. My KitX bag was created with organic cotton and natural dyes for longevity and practicality–I use it religiously.
Traditionally, swimwear was one of the worst offenders in fashion as its use of plastic and oil throughout the course of production made for a damaging business model—but times are changing. Labels are attempting to recycle materials or use recycled plastics instead, and this Tigerlily swimsuit is a part of said change. Tigerlily is on its way to making its brand 100 per cent sustainable and is taking great strides in not just transparency and ethical sourcing, but reducing toxic chemicals used in their production.
While Kit X’s organic linen keeps your body cool, the brand's environmental policies will keep your heart warm with the glow of one of the most stringent policies around renewable fabrics, eco-production and transparency. The company’s designer Kit Willow is an inspiration who doesn’t compromise on design, quality or eco-credentials.
Easy does it
Relaxing by the beach has never felt better than in Kow Tow’s range of timeless, sustainable basics and swimwear. Pair with an Avenue the Label vegan leather, 100 per cent recyclable scrunchie.
I am obsessed with Maggie Marylin tailoring and the label’s clean yet detailed lines. Nomadic State of Mind have been making their rope sandals from upcycled sail cloth and hemp, and Avenue the Label’s silk scrunchie is just as eco as it is fancy.
Assisted by: Coco Pavlovic
With thanks to Heron Island resort and the Gladstone tourism board