What a way to start our day! Finding the Monsoon Blooms Samadhi Bralette named in House of Citrine's favourite products of January. Sitting between hand-knitted alpaca yarn slippers from Peru, and wild pine pollen hand-harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas, we feel very honoured indeed.
See the full list HERE
8 years ago, writer, activist and certified organic farm owner, Jennifer Nini started Eco Warrior Princess, an environmental lifestyle website that has grown into a discerning community of intelligent and fashion forward individuals working towards a common good.
Covering topics like sustainable fashion, conscious business, green politics, and green technology, Nini and her team of contributors dismantle ethical elitism and bring the media that matters.
Often listed amongst the best eco websites on the web, we were honoured to share the story of Monsoon Blooms with Eco Warrior Princess, and happy as always to see word spreading about the ancient art of Ayurvedic plant dyeing.
View the full story HERE.
THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED BY THE URBAN LIST
The slow fashion movement is showing no signs of plateauing. At long last, the industry squirming with questionable principles is morphing into something that is both beautiful and respectable. Oh, how we rejoice! The guilt has been stripped from our guiltiest pleasure and we can finally dust off the credit card and dive back into decadent dressing.
As new brands emerge that rival fast fashion on all fronts, the excuses for shopping unethically are rapidly dwindling. Though the trail blazing conscious consumers have been casting their no vote upon toxic and unethical clothing for donkeys, it’s only now that it’s becoming mainstream, and easily accessible.
Whether you’re a seasoned ethical shopper or dabbling your foot for the first time, these five Australian labels are sure to inspire your inner slow-shopper.
Dyed in a forest in the South Indian state of Kerala, Monsoon Blooms uses India’s ancient natural medicine system of Ayurveda to dye a delicate collection of underwear and loungewear. Harnessing the powers of plants like neem, holy basil and sandalwood, these Fairtrade organic cotton pieces see your skin soaking up a natural pharmacy of Indian herbs known for their infinite healing powers—not a toxic chemical in site. Offering up their entire ‘farm to front door’ process on their website, shoppers are free to assess their ethics to microscopic detail. Paying their tailors 315% more than required by state law, it’s hard to refute their dedication to ethical fashion.
Gone are the days when buying hemp clothes meant being forced into a t-shirt with ‘legalise marijuana’ embroidered into it. The raw and earthly pieces by Hemp Temple slip effortlessly into any wardrobe. Their ethics and sustainability page speaks with soul of friendships formed and chai sipping with a small collective of sewers. Ethiopian woven sandals, ethereal wrap tops, men’s jackets, baby harem pants—there’s a whole banquet of feel good garb on their site and in their Byron store. A ‘sold out’ slash across many of their items means these aren’t pieces to ponder for long.
This week we had the honour of sharing the love story and lessons of Monsoon Blooms with Collective Hub, an Australian print magazine with a vision to vision to uplift and empower people to live their lives to the fullest....
FOUR LESSONS I’VE LEARNT SINCE STARTING MY ETHICAL FASHION LABEL
The co-founder of Monsoon Blooms bares all.
Being pregnant is a complex labyrinth of decision making and maturing. What pram will I buy? What parenting techniques will I adapt? What position will I push in?
In December of 2015 I found out I was pregnant whilst lying in a hospital bed in India, thinking I was suffering an acute bout of alcohol poisoning. Propelled into a series of heartbreaking visa enquiries with my Indian husband, I soon realised we wouldn’t have the luxury of oohing and ahhing over baby room décor; our 9-months would be spent battling the all-consuming questions of, “Where should we live?” and “How can we live where we want to live?”
Determined to keep this tiny human connected to both his Australian and Indian heritage no matter where bureaucracy threw us, we found ourselves in the forests of Kerala watching vats of medicinal plants colouring piles of Fairtrade organic cotton – an ancient Ayurvedic technique known as Ayurvastra.
About six months after our son was born, we brought Monsoon Blooms into the world – both welcomings taking longer than expected, and both knotting me into uncensored disarray. Ask me how to raise a baby and I’ll throw my hands in the air: every decision still feels fraught with uncertainty. But on the ethics of the fashion game and the complexities of doing business in a foreign country, I’m beginning to speak with increasing certainty.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON COLLECTIVE HUB
Big thank you to Amanda Jane McKay for featuring Monsoon Blooms in her carefully considered list of Yoga mats for Earth lovers. What an honour!
"You come to the yoga mat to feel… As you lay in savasana (corpse pose) and surrender into mother earth the last thing you would think to be worried about is the crazy amount of chemicals you are coming into contact with on your mat - things like toxic foaming agents, PVC and plasticizers.
For me, the yoga mat is a sacred space where I am able to appreciate my body, go within, deepen the breath, quieten the mind, and be at peace with who I am. At the same time deepening my connection to the earth. So when I invest in a yoga mat I want it to be of high vibration....." READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.
WORDS: CAMILLE SOULOS-RAMSAY
Part of the excitement of travelling the world is experiencing the distinct aesthetics and visual style of different cultures. And colour is often at the heart of this cultural expression, particularly in the beautiful clothing worn in different parts of the world.
People have been wearing colours proudly for thousands of years. From social status to artistic statements, clothing colour has had a depth of meaning we probably don’t think about when we shift through the bursting racks of fast fashion chain stores. The synthetic dyes used to make most of our fabrics colourful now are poisoning waterways and causing serious health problems for workers around the world.
Before the invention of synthetic colours, clothing dyes were sourced from nature and applied through slowly cultivated traditional techniques- gentler on the environment, the makers and the wearers. So maybe it’s time we take a look around the world at some of the kinder ways to give our clothing that pop of colour we love.
Mali - Bogolan Mud Dyeing
‘Bogolan’ means ‘made from mud’ in Mali’s main language, Bambara. The base cloth is usually dyed deep reds or yellows by boiling bark and leaves. Then, using mud which has undergone a special fermentation process, distinct patterns are painted onto the fabric using sticks, brushes or reeds. The cloth then is soaked in natural solutions which bind the colour left behind by the mud to the fabric.
Once dried, each piece of fabric becomes a totally unique work of art, in hues of red, brown, yellow, black and white, and patterns with a distinct regional aesthetic.
WORDS: CAMILLE SOULOS-RAMSAY
Did you realise your underwear could be healthy? No, before I found out about Monsoon Blooms, neither did I.
Having recently settled in India to start a life with their newborn son Cypress, husband and wife Krishna and Samantha Kamala wanted to build a business with purpose. But to proudly call that business their own, they would need it to be both ethical and sustainable, and to connect their new family with Krishna’s Indian heritage.
It was from their dedication and commitment to these ideals that Monsoon Blooms came into fruition. Crafted by their workers in Southern India, who are paid enough to ‘thrive, not survive’, Monsoon Blooms’ 100% organic cotton underwear line is coloured with ancient Ayurvedic medicinal plant dyes, which are as good for the planet as they are for you.
I spoke with Samantha and Krishna about their journey to becoming Ayurvedic underwear connoisseurs.
WORDS & PHOTOS: SAMANTHA KAMALA
It's the pride and joy of the Monsoon Blooms operation; a few wooden houses amidst the forests of Kerala dedicated to growing medicinal plants, dyeing fabrics and weaving cotton by traditional handloom. When asked how long they've been using plants to dye cloth, the owners tell us simply, "over 10,000 years. This was the work of our forefathers." Their knowledge and passion is simply unimaginable, and these photos don't nearly do it justice.