#youareKINGDOM2k16: Basic tops champions.

We have our BASIC TOPS CHAMPIONS: Bon Label, Vege Threads, FME ApparelJacob & Esau and Liminal Apparel! (So many champs!)

Bon Label

Born from the impossible quest to find the perfect white tee, our knight in shining white t-shirt, Linda Smyth, created Bon Label - the answer to all our basic apparel problems. With tees at the heart of the label, Bon Label has grown to produce a range of luxe basics with a Parisian sensibility.

For those of us who studied any French throughout school, you'd at least remember that bon is French for 'good' (you'd also remember how to say that you went to the cinema or pool with your friends.. every weekend). In Bon Label's case, both their pieces and values are bon. Smyth explains, "The French element represents the Parisian influence on our aesthetic, style and design. We are about effortless, elegant and easy dressing - a signature style rather than a trend. The word 'good' encompasses our product and business ethos."

Want to hear something even better? The ENTIRE Bon production process is ethical and sustainable! This includes, "100% GOTS certified organic cotton; a fully ACO certified dye-house, factory and knitters; and ethical manufacturing here in Australia." Plus, Bon Label is also Ethical Clothing Australia accredited. The end result is luxe basics which are good for people and good for the environment. What's not to love?

It doesn't just stop at incredible white tees either - it gets even better, "Along with a base range of essential tees and tanks available year round, we create 4 collections per year.  Our range includes thoughtfully designed, easy to wear, Parisian influenced dresses, tops, tees, tanks and skirts, all using organic cotton jersey in a variety of weights and styles. Vintage black, white, marle grey and a black + white breton stripe are our base colourways, and each season we create a one-off custom yardage print and a placement print to supplement our staple colours." 

Aside from their online boutique, Bon Label has about 30 wholesale accounts throughout Australia, in NZ and the US., so if you're after your very own Bon goods, you won't have to look very far! Smyth shares, "Every season our distribution grows both online and through our independent boutique stockists - it's an exciting time!"

We love everything about Bon Label and can't wait to see how much they continue to grow! Thank you for being genuinely bon!

Bon Label | Instagram | Facebook |
Ethical Clothing Australia certified
Manufactured in country of origin
Local ✓
Transparent supply chain/production

100% GOTS certified organic cotton
Fully ACO certified dye-house, factory and knitters 

Vege Threads

Do things starting in 'vege-' still get a bad rap? Maybe that logic only pertains to children and carnivores.. Either way, all is well with the world because Vege Threads has come to change every stereotype you'd have about eco and sustainable fashion. They are bringing sustainability and slow living to the fore without compromising design quality or style.

From a basic consumer perspective, I bought a Vege Threads t-shirt earlier this year and I've more or less lived in it since then. It's the perfect cut to wear casually with jeans and a cap, but also structured and quality enough to dress up with a pair of silky gauchos and leather sandals. Plus, my tee has also become softer and more comfortable over time, which is a win in anyone's book! And for that, we have the 100% GOTS certified organic cotton to thank!

In addition to the goodness of GOTS certified organic cotton, all Vege Threads pieces are knitted and dyed in Australia using ACO dyes, including their modal items. Vege Threads state, "The focus on sustainability for Vege Threads is priority, and the shift towards Australian production is important to the brand, using local processes, dyes and fabrics and smaller freight runs.. It's important to remember that every cent we spend is making a statement about our values and shapes what world we want to be living in."

We love this declaration of values and commitment to doing the right thing. Vege Threads' SS16 collection sees the sustainable label move toward 100% Australian production, which means that all of their products are now made onshore in their hood, (R)Adelaide, South Australia. Plus, if you didn't already have enough reasons to love this crew, they also donate a percentage of their online sales profits to their sponsor foundation in Northern Bali!

Y'all are true champs.

Vege Threads | Instagram | Facebook
Ethical Clothing Australia certified
Manufactured in country of origin
Local ✓

Slow fashion
Transparent supply chain/production

100% GOTS certified organic cotton
Use of ACO-certified dyes 

FME Apparel

Whenever my friends visit Melbourne from overseas, they always make comments about the way that Melbournians dress. Some suggest that we wear too much black (no such thing), some say that we all look mega normcore, some say that literally everyone is well-dressed all the time, and others suggest that we all look like graphic designers.

In my own opinion, I think that Melbournians as a whole have a refined sense of style. However, our style isn't centred on a particular trend or look; rather, it is centred around quality and individuality. That is to say, we like to put our own spin on things, but we like to do it well.

Therefore, Melbourne-based, designed and made brand, FME, gets our vote as basic tops champs, fo sho. The brand describes their focus as creating locally made "refined comfort-wear", which is exactly what they bless us with. If you ever wanted to dress like a Melbournian, this is how you do it.

Similar to our other basic top champs, FME's current collection revolves around a classic colour palette of black, white, grey, stripes, and navy. Their pieces range from tees to dresses to pants, so rejoice, KINGDOM. fam - you can adorn your entire body with FME goodness! Every detail is perfected to create pieces that are wearable, very versatile, and extremely comfortable. Plus, each collection is produced in "small, thoughtful runs with a strong emphasis on high-quality and organic fabrics."

Join the cool kids and get some FME on your body, stat!

FME Apparel | Instagram | Facebook
Organic materials
Manufactured in country of origin
Local ✓
Small scale production

Jacob & Esau

Huzzah! A champion that does clothes for both guys AND gals - and awesome clothes at that!

Jacob & Esau are the real deal. If you've ever had the privilege of talking to the Jacob & Esau team, you'll know straight away that they're serious about using their business to make the world a better place. As we know, there are many ways to be ethical, and Jacob & Esau have focused on the production of their clothing. They are committed to "providing fair wages, working conditions and above all, genuine relationships with the skilled makers of each garment."

By teaming up with Kholil and Wiwik, a husband-and-wife team of local garment makers in Bali, Jacob & Esau have allowed them to start their own business from home, which allows them flexible hours to also be able to raise their family at the same time. You can find out more about the makers of your garments here, and also by entering your unique tracking code found on your swing tag. Super cool, huh?

From a design perspective, Jacob & Esau create basics with just enough detailing to keep them from being run-of-the-mill, and just enough detailing to assure that every piece is flattering. That's not an easy feat, but Jacob & Esau have got it well and truly covered.

You can read more about Jacob & Esau here in an interview that we did with them a little while ago!

Jacob & Esau | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr
Small scale production
Supporting local businesses ✓
Transparent supply chain/production ✓

Has a social impact ✓

Liminal Apparel

For all your custom needs, look no further than Liminal Apparel. Not only are all of their products fair trade and 100% GOTS certified organic, but they also produce 95% of their products through Freeset Global. Freeset is in the business of restoring the lives of hundreds of women who have experienced the horror of being trapped in human trafficking and bonded labour. They provide women with new skills and a job in order to help them regain control of their lives, whilst providing them with a caring community - "To her friends and neighbours among the thousands still trapped in the sex trade, she is a symbol of hope."

Organisations, youth groups, sporting teams, mates going on a Euro tour - hit up Liminal for all your customised gear. Help your groups to wear something great and tell them the story of where your garments came from.

Liminal Apparel | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Fair trade
100% GOTS certified organic ✓
Transparent supply chain/production

Profits to philanthropy ✓
Has a social impact ✓

#youareKINGDOM2k16: Activewear champions.

 

We have ACTIVEWEAR CHAMPIONS: Pink PunkDharma Bums & Positive Pants!

Meet the champions!

Pink Punk

Pink Punk has entered our lives at a good time. Regardless of being less than 12-months old, Pink Punk is providing the activewear market with a much needed injection of fun. They're showing all the other teams how it's done, and we have Tarah to thank.

Hailing from the Gold Coast, Tarah in the brains, heart and hands of Pink Punk. Born from a passion for dance, fitness and health, the mother of two learnt how to design and sew activewear for herself, and out of that hobby grew a new local business.

Pink Punk garments are designed to fit bodies like a glove, but not just some bodies - Pink Punk welcomes ALL bodies. Real bodies. As well as offering ladies sizes up to size 26, they also offer maternity options, and kids sizes for sports, dance, gymnastics gear. Tarah shares, "We proudly showcase that variety in our marketing. We want to disrupt the narrow minded vibe that the fashion industry can be known for. All women (and little women) should feel connected to the brand and our ethics. We're here for the customers, not to put on a show."

Moreover, Pink Punk activewear is made from high performance sports fabric which is versatile enough to be used well beyond fitness wear, including water sports, and casual wear. With "unapologetically vibrant and quirky [prints], each piece is a talking point" - and might I add, worth showing off as much as possible.

As we described on Instagram, Pink Punk is the equivalent of a home-cooked meal. All of the fabric is sourced and printed locally, and then everything is cut and sewn in Australia too. In fact, much of the hands-on work is done by Tarah herself. We here at KINGDOM. love the community effort! We give a big thumbs up to Australian businesses helping out other Aussie businesses! What's also amazing is the price point. Even though our local champions are competing with the 'big guys', their price point is still lower than most brands who import mass produced garments.

At the end of the day, Pink Punk have got their priorities straight, as Tarah explains, "Those of us in the industry know that what's behind a truly ethical garment vs a mass produced garment is something very different. Bringing awareness to the ethics, the positive economic impact we promote, and of course the passion and back stories behind the garments/brand/designer/maker is a constant agenda."

Pink Punk | Instagram | Facebook
Local
Manufactured in country of origin
Small scale production ✓

Dharma Bums

There is something to be said about companies that make their ethics, policies, and values so widely accessible and evident. When I come across brands that do this, I immediately become 1000 times more interested in who they are and what they do. Dharma Bums are these kind o' folks - the good kind.

If one were to look at Dharma Bums at face value, one thing would be strikingly obvious: their products are freaking cool. As a "yogi" and "dancer", I want to at least appear cool even though I'm mostly uncoordinated and can't actually do any of the poses or moves properly. Whether you're wanting to look pretty, artsy, whimsical, athletic, or like a optical illusion, Dharma Bums has got you covered.

More importantly though, their ethics are at the core of their company, and it starts from the very first step. Upon emailing the team at Dharma Bums to enquire further out their ethics, we received a response that warmed our hearts, "The key values behind our company are to ensure that everyone involved with Dharma Bums as a supplier or worker are: treated with respect, paid fairly, work in safety, face no harassment, and are of legal working age."

Those are some pretty high standards to adhere to though, and they are often some of the hardest of which to be accountable. However, Dharma Bums aim for transparency, and this is reflected in their choice to make onshore in Australia, "We have very close relationships with all the supply chain and work with ️️Ethical Clothing Australia to ensure all policies set out by ECA are adhered to. We want to empower people through Dharma Bums not oppress them. This means having a strong and reinforced code of conduct."

So far, we are loving what we see AND hear. As you should know well, the KINGDOM. fam is a massive fan of integrity, and we love that Dharma Bums have integrity written all over them.

Dharma Bums | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Ethical Clothing Australia certified
Manufactured in country of origin
Local ✓
Transparent supply chain/production

Positive Pants

Has anyone else heard about the concept of 'happy pants'? That is, pants that make you feel happy when you wear them? I'm not sure if it's a real thing or whether I conjured it up in a dream once upon a time, but I'm pretty sure that 'happy' and 'pants' are two words that could go together. Either way, it doesn't matter because REAL LIFE HAPPY PANTS ACTUALLY EXIST - except they're called 'Positive Pants' (because the social enterprise wasn't named by a 5-year-old).

Positive Pants is a Melbourne-based social enterprise that aims to help those less fortunate, but also provide encouragement to those who engage with their mission. Inside your Positive Pants, you will find an uplifting and motivational message printed there to help keep you positive all day long. I don't know about you, but this immediately reminds me of superhero attire, and in so many ways, this is very true of Positive Pants.

Aside from being ethically made in Australia by Ethical Clothing Australia accredited sewers, Positive Pants have another initiative that cements their place in the 'doing the right thing' category even further. Their 'One For One' initiative sees every pair of Positive Pants purchased resulting in a subsequent donation to a woman in need. That is to say, every time a pair of Positive Pants is sold, another pair is donated to someone who may not be able to afford clean or new underwear.

Have you ever considered how fortunate you are to be able to put on a pair of clean, let alone any underwear everyday? Not only does that benefit your general comfort, but it also benefits your health. Positive Pants understand that basics shouldn't be taken for granted, and through their organisation, more people are gaining access to basics that all people need, yet not all people can acquire. The heart behind the Positive Pants mission is something that we all need to champion and support! We applaud founder, Shel, for all her hard work and for doing her part to make life a more positive experience for all.

It's good to know that happy pants really do exist.

Positive Pants | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Has a social impact
Profits to philanthropy
Local
Manufactured in country of origin
Made by Ethical Clothing Australia accredited sewers ✓

#youareKINGDOM2k16: Swimwear champion.

We have a SWIMWEAR CHAMPION: Kuwaii's Microcosm Rash Top and Microcosm Bikini Bottom!

Made in Melbourne powerhouse Kuwaii are consistently killing the game each season with their dynamic balance between classic and on trend colour palettes, architectural shapes, strategic design surprises, and high quality textiles. Whilst swimwear isn't Kuwaii's main man, we can still be assured that their swimwear collections will be just as great as everything else that they create. This past summer's collection proved our point ten times over.

We are in love with the versatility of the rash top, as it can be worn as a regular top in addition to its swimwear purposes. Plus, the triangular cut-out at the back stops the top from being too similar to those truly daggy rashies that we all wore when we were younger (fluoro pink turtlenecks, anyone?). The length is perfect for keeping the top flattering ("EVERYONE, PLEASE NOTICE THAT I HAVE A WAIST"), yet sun-safe at the same time. Same goes for the sleeves - long enough to both cover awkward tan lines AND avoid creating new ones. Mannnnnn, the Kuwaii gals done good!

(Side note: for those of us who work with children, this top is ideal for swimming, trips to the beach, school camps, or any occasion whereby you have to be particularly sun-safe AND child-safe. In these types of situations, this top helpfully announces that you are both responsible and not lame - perfect for working with young people! You're welcome.)

The high-waisted bikini bottoms are the perfect partner for the champion rashie as it follows on from the flattering silhouette of the top, whilst showing the perfect amount of skin in between pieces. People will no doubt speculate from afar - 'Is it a one-piece? Are they separates?' Who cares - you look rad and that's worthy of a high-five.

Kuwaii, you are the champion.

Kuwaii | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Vimeo
Local
Manufactured in country of origin
Small scale production ✓