Allow us to introduce you to HunterMade, your new favourite fashion label. Ethical, sustainable and local, each unique garment is plant-dyed by creator of the label, Phoebe Hunter.
Phoebe says she’s always had an affinity for her creative side; “I first started making textiles quite young, my mother kept a huge variety of vintage fabrics from my great grandmother and sometimes I was allowed to use them.” Phoebe’s early exposure to these fabrics still impacts her work to this day; “those materials were made to last, something that I want to carry forward with my practice.”
After high school Phoebe pursued her love of creating through study of Visual Arts. “I did most of my classes in glass blowing, painting, ceramics and one in natural dye,” she says. HunterMade is not only zero-waste, but uses only natural dye in the creation process. Phoebe explains, “there was one day in particular at the end of 2016 when I was sitting outside, looking at the beautiful natural world around me, when something shifted – I had a realisation that I couldn’t use synthetic colour anymore.” Phoebe states that this choice was incredibly liberating, allowing her to rejuvenate her practice by dyeing textiles without causing any environmental harm.
The practice of natural dyeing itself is very old, though has made a resurgence in recent years as awareness surrounding sustainability has gained traction. The process involves “the extraction of organic colour from a multitude of differing flowers, leaves, roots, berries and/or minerals on natural fabrics”. Phoebe initially primarily worked with Australian native plants such as eucalyptus, but has since branched out and now uses “a huge array of natural matter such as avocado pits and skins, exotic flowers like bougainvillea and geraniums, native hibiscus and kangaroo paw, rose petals; the list truly does go on and I continue to learn.”
The core philosophy underpinning Phoebe’s work is connection; connecting people to nature and working with, rather than against, the environment. “HunterMade works with slow living, minimalism, sustainability and buying with intention and necessity.” Phoebe states that she is constantly inspired by the unique and organic world of nature, and that no two HunterMade garments are the same - “that’s what makes the environment so beautiful, it’s not repetitive, and so my work can’t be either…the environment teaches me imperfection and how important that is in all aspects of life.”
Phoebe’s passion for her practice continues to grow, and she has some exciting things coming up this year; she will be entering an exhibition of zero-waste wood pieces into SALA 2018, and is working on a completely vegan collection for HunterMade. However, Phoebe shares that her biggest goal is to simply continue to express gratitude; “(I’m) grateful that I can produce the work I do.”
All images supplied by Phoebe Hunter.