Kelli Donovan and Sean Watson, of Pure Pod sustainable clothing, have been nominated for an award at the Fashion Group International gala ball in Sydney on Friday.
Kelli Donovan and Sean Watson, of Pure Pod sustainable clothing, have been nominated for an award at the Fashion Group International gala ball in Sydney on Friday. Kristen Clarke

'Green' clothes hit the racks

CLOTHING designer Kelli Donovan, a committed environmentalist, was caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

She loved the fashion industry, but despaired about the damage it caused to the environment through dumping potentially dangerous dyes and excessive waste.

Her solution was a simple one – set up her own label that minimised the environmental damage.

Pure Pod was born three years ago, with Ms Donovan designing the ‘sustainable’ clothing and partner Sean Watson in the chief executive and marketing role.

“It is something I’d always wanted to do since I finished TAFE,” Ms Donovan said.

After about 15 years in the rag trade, she realised her dream.

“I was always frustrated by the way the industry operated with the imports containing heaps of chemicals and the sweat shop conditions for (manufacturing) staff,” she said.

The clothing industry, which uses heavy metal chemicals, is one of the most environmentally damaging global industries.

“With more people becoming concerned about climate change, it seemed the perfect time to start the business,” Ms Donovan said.

This Friday, the founders of Pure Pod will attend the Fashion Group International gala ball in Sydney, where they are one of three finalists for the environmentally sustainable business award.

The fabrics for its range of clothing are made of hemp, bamboo and organic cotton.

Ms Donovan said no heavy chemicals or pesticides were used in the process, unlike many big name brands.

The use of plastics and metals in trims and buttons is also kept to a minimum.

The clothing, manufactured locally, as well as in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, has proved popular with customers.

Ms Donovan said part of the reason was because people, who often developed allergic rashes to chemicals contained in other clothing, could wear her company’s range in comfort.

Pure Pod will be showing at the Mullumbimby Christmas Designer Market being held at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall tomorrow night.



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