16 February 2017

The Australian fashion scene is changing fast and some iconic brands like David Lawrence and Marcs are no more. While it’s never good to see businesses fail, these times of change and uncertainty also allow for more innovative businesses that prioritise sustainability and values to enter the market. There are some new brands in Australia that demonstrate this new approach.

One of these brands is Kusaga Athletic creating fitness wear. Kusaga was founded by Graham Ross, an avid marathon runner, who was motivated to create more sustainable running gear, after witnessing the countless t-shirts that are thrown on the ground after a marathon. Ross has developed his own range of sustainable materials, working with textile mills and factories in Asia to disrupt their traditional way of producing fibres. It has taken two years for Ross to bring these new fabrics to market, and with no background in fashion or textile technology, it’s a great achievement. One of the fabrics Eco Lite, he calls an ‘environmental warrior’ as it’s biodegradable and 100% natural. The label has also been certified by B Corporation, that promotes socially-conscious businesses. Kusaga’s friends in the sportswear marketplace are brands such as Puma and Nike, who are leading the field in sustainability initiatives. But this is a wholly independent, Australian-owned company with huge potential to capture some of that market.

Existing fashion supply chains are based on a take-make-waste model and trying to do things differently to this system can be a great challenge. Kusaga Athletics shows that a focus on doing things sustainably can also create a fantastic brand story and business model with huge potential for the Australian and global market.