Repost from The Courier Mail
Work in the trade and service industry? Desperate for workwear that is comfortable, robust, stylish and eco-friendly? Meet the Brisbane designer ticking all the boxes.
Meet the Newstead boutique owner on a mission to turn waste items into stylish workwear.
Brooke Jones, 33
Sonder Place boutique owner & clothing manufacturer
What’s new with you?
I’ve just launched BeauTex Designs, a collection of eco workwear staples for people who work in trade and service industries like hair, beauty, hospitality, construction and health. It started out two years ago as Beautique Designs – a range of bleach-proof and hair-repellent clothing for hairdressers – and has evolved with the launch of our workwear shoes made from recycled plastic water bottles and rubber.
So you are into sustainable fashion?
Definitely. On my manufacturing journey I have learned more and more about the huge waste problem we have globally and the environmental impact of the textile industry. We are on a mission to improve and tidy up the industry through recycling and turning waste into functional fashion.
What else keeps you busy?
In addition to BeauTex Designs I also design and manufacture a brand called Little Tanning Dress, a range of stylish dresses to wear after you get a spray tan so that you can go about your day without ruining your clothes or your tan. I also have a women’s fashion boutique in Gasworks Plaza, Newstead, called Sonder Place, stocking only Australian designers with a focus on affordable, sustainable and ethical fashion for sizes 8-22.
Why fashion and design?
I am very project driven and I really love designing and providing solutions for people’s problems. When I started to delve into this passion, that’s when my brand began to flourish and grow. I am always listening to the market and have learnt to keep evolving with designs for what the industry needs and wants.
Australian label Kinney because they do flattering shapes and prints at a really great price point. Another favourite is by a local Brisbane artist, Llani Creative, with her collection of clutches made from recycled tyre tubes. They are showstoppers and her message aligns with my passion for supporting artists and creatives turning waste into wearable fashion. Australian label Elms & King is another winner with their beautiful printed linens and flattering shapes, and of course Noosa label Zephyr Loungewear whose pieces are all made ethically in Noosa and Vietnam.
What inspires you?
Travel. The more I travel the less I realise I know – there’s just so much out there to learn and experience! I love the sensory overload when I am working offshore with my suppliers and learning about the cultures and creative ways of the world. I have to be on a plane at least every 8-10 weeks to keep the inspiration going and I’m very lucky with my business that I have the opportunity to do that.
To eat, definitely Zero Fox and Fat Dumpling. To shop, I would have to say designer pop-up markets. There’s a few of them around and I love that you can find some really unique pieces. And for play, I can’t go past Mrs Brown’s Bar & Kitchen or the Range Brewery, both in Newstead.
Any new year’s resolutions?
Gee, that’s a tough one! But if I had to say one thing it would probably be to know when I have made a mistake, acknowledge it and treat it as a great learning experience. Oh, and roller derby. Hopefully that won’t be the mistake I need to learn from!
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