Each month Cocktail Revolution features a new or emerging fashion designer. This month we feature Lauren Crago from Adelaide. Lauren’s ethical leisure wear label Solomon Street is Australian made from recylced fabric and natural fibres. It supports women out of poverty by providing funds to start their own businesses.
When did your fashion journey start and how?
My fashion journey started only very recently. After reading the book ‘Chapter One’ by the brand Thankyou, the appeal of starting a business with a significant social impact drew me towards the business model of a ‘social enterprise’. Working up until this point as a graphic designer, my fashion journey coincided with the beginning of Solomon Street. I have always enjoyed sewing. It has been such a fun journey of intense learning for me.
I studied graphic design at UniSA until 2015, with a year focused on illustration. I have always wanted to run my own business. I just wasn’t sure in what area. Even with a creative background, I’ve discovered that the business aspect of operations is something that comes quite easily.
What did you feel was not being addressed in the fashion industry that you could deliver with a new label?
For a long period, businesses in the fashion industry have been driven by profit without consideration for their social and environmental impacts. We exist for a purpose. We are an eco-fashion label making bold prints with a difference. Being a sustainable and ethical business means we are conscious of things such as which fabrics we use in our garments and who we choose to manufacture our line. As for the social aspect, we are providing funds for a micro lending scheme that gives financial assistance to small businesses and causes in developing countries. Solomon Street is really just a facilitator of change. We also conveniently make cool clothes.
Where does the name “Solomon Street” come from?
The namesake of Solomon Street is a cool little row of drinkeries in the Adelaide CBD, where I was working when I started the label. I was surrounded by such a beautiful group of people who lived with such love and compassion, which was an obvious but revolutionary idea for me as a 22 year old. I thought: “I need to create something that spreads this (love and compassion) all over the world.”
Ethos behind the brand?
Our motto is ‘Clothes with Impact’. They have impact through the original and vibrant prints that I create, but also create impact with our micro-lending scheme. The same dollar helps an infinite number of people. As a Social business, Solomon Street supports female entrepreneurs out of poverty through micro loans funded by eco-fashion. So far we have supported 17 women who have businesses in various industries.
Who is the Solomon Street client?
Our customers are conscious of the impact they leave on their world and others around them. They have a strong sense of social justice and do whatever they can to contribute positively back to society and help those less privileged than them. Solomon Street has an incredible community around us. Our customers are more friends than customers as we all share the same values and appreciate fun clothes!
How do people find out about your label?
Most of our interstate customers find out about Solomon Street through social media. In Adelaide, it has generally been through word of mouth. I’ve heard from numerous people at markets say that they heard about Solomon Street through a friend or a post shared through social media.
What’s the single most important thing people should know about your label.
Clothes that help people. Helping the wearer of our garments look and feel good, and also helping those who need a little extra support.
We’re looking towards our next collection, which will be launched on the 8th of September this year. I am currently experimenting with interesting natural fibres and brand new prints! Stay tuned on our website and social media channels for further updates closer to the date.