Accessories, Clothing, Fashion and Clothing, Footwear, Sponsored Content
This is a sponsored article from Sustainable Choice verified member Matilda Life.
Matilda Life is an Australian lifestyle brand that launched with womenswear, shoes, and fragrance in November 2021, and is introducing sleepwear and menswear in September 2022. There are very few lifestyle brands that are genuinely made in Australia, and we are passionate about local manufacturing and keeping local talent and skills.
Matilda Life was founded on 4 key principles that will not be compromised. Our product is all made in Australia, we use quality craftsmen and materials, we are sustainable, and you will pay a fair price for the quality you receive.
Sustainable work practices are at the core of our brand, and we couldn’t be more passionate about finding ways to reduce any negative impact on our planet due to the fashion industry. Every little bit helps, and Matilda Life will continue to improve our work practices to ensure we are eco-friendly and sustainable. Our clothing and footwear are timeless pieces, made with natural fibres, that you will want to keep. We use Australian made shipping boxes, stationary, the leather for our shoes is from Queensland, and where we can even our fabrics are knitted in Australia. This way we support local business and know that our products have been made by manufacturers who comply with Australian regulatory bodies in terms of salary and safety standards.
Some of the things we are doing to ensure we are sustainable:
We have been in the fashion retail business for a long time and have travelled to manufacturers in China, India, and Vietnam. Some of the conditions where people are working are upsetting with poor cleanliness, cramped space, no air conditioning, long hours, and very low salary rates. Making shoes and clothing is skilled and labour-intensive work. Fast fashion and ridiculously cheap products propagate the notion of disposable clothing – that it’s okay to wear things once or twice and throw them out. It is not okay on many levels. To see the conditions in some of these factories is an eye opener and enough to put anyone off supporting the unrealistic pricing in much of the fashion world. By making all products in Australia we know that the laws and regulations require fair pay and conditions.
One of our biggest frustrations is the overuse of plastic and packaging in. While in many industries, such a food, plastic is essential, in many retail sectors the overpackaging is unacceptable. When you order a product online it often arrives in a heavy-duty outer plastic bag with strong adhesive, meaning you can never re-use, and then the product is in another plastic bag inside. There are plastic swing tags and that is the minimum! A trip to the supermarket reinforces the issues we have, with every piece of fruit barcoded with a sticker, broccolini tied together with 3 heavy duty elastic bands plus a plastic barcode, and meat often vacuum packed in plastic as heavy-duty as a lithium battery!
Matilda Life will not use plastic within our packaging at all – it is not necessary. Instead, we will ship our product in compostable boxes – with minimal packaging and our swing tag clips made from cornflour and organic cotton. We will continue to find ways of improving our packaging to minimise waste.
We are not fancy – because honestly even a nice box normally ends up in landfill and is often coated with plastic for protection. Sometimes the packaging that comes with products (the cosmetic industry should have a good look at itself) is worth more than the product inside. Now when I buy products that come in expensive non-sustainable packaging, I request not to have the bag or box – every little bit helps, and I would otherwise end up throwing it out. Such a waste.
We are proud of what is inside our shipping boxes and know that you will either recycle or compost our packaging. We have used simple brown kraft boxes – they are good quality and will protect your products.
We use natural fibres on all products and are using organic materials on most (some of our products such as denim are not organic). We want to consider both the production process but also the end of life of our products. Matilda Life products are high quality, are timeless, and we hope customers will keep them for a long time or give away to a friend. However, if they were to end up in landfill (God forbid!) natural fibres are particularly important as they typically biodegrade in less than a year whereas synthetic fibres can take between 30-200 years.
We are making 100% of our product in Australia. We therefore have a reduced carbon footprint because we have much shorter distances for our goods to travel.
We also ask our customers to think carefully about their purchase to avoid unnecessary back and forth. We willingly accept returns but do not encourage back-forth by courier which ends up using precious resources – given the products are travelling either by air or road, we hope to minimise the distance each item has to travel to minimise damage to the environment.
Matilda Life is not perfect, and we welcome ideas and suggestions. Sustainable business will not be compromised, and our strategy is continually evolving. Sustainable high quality is at our core and making timeless essentials locally is what sets us apart.