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Moss and Heart – The Recipe for Sustainability

Mount Lawley fashion student Emily Porter is determined to shake up the sustainable fashion industry.

“When I started fashion, I noticed the fashion industry is such a wasteful industry. So, since I began Elsie the Label, I’ve always tried to make it my mission to not introduce sustainability, but practice sustainability where possible.”

Emily’s label Elsie is named after her Yaya (grandmother) who was pivotal in solidifying her love of design by teaching her how to sew from a young age.

Emily Porter’s latest collection – Photography by William Jackson

This connection between two generations sparked inspiration for Emily’s final TAFE collection, linking her designs with personal memories of her family.

“Since the brand is named after my Yaya, it’s very close to my heart. Each of my designs I really connect to and think through and I try to bring them back to my family as much as I can.”

In this latest collection Emily implements the crafting technique of tufting, which involves shooting yarn onto a wooden frame with monks cloth stretched onto it, and cites her travels through Wales as another strong inspiration.

Emily Porter’s latest collection – Photography by William Jackson

“I went to Wales and was going to lots of castles that were there. I found it really interesting how the ancient ruins had moss growing up them.

I really liked the organic lines of the moss challenging the harsh brick. This collection is exploring those influences.”

The moss in Emily’s intricate designs, is replicated in merino wool. The wool itself a key demonstration of sustainability in action. It’s biodegradable, renewable and cannot damage natural environments when discarded.

“Moss is kind of gross, well at least I think it is. The wool gives the idea of it being moss in the feeling of it but it’s not as slimy. I think the texture I’ve created is quite similar and I’m quite happy with it.”

Emily Porter’s latest collection – Photography by William Jackson

Emily will show this collection as part of STN 22, the final showcase from the graduating fashion students from South Metropolitan TAFE. She says her teachers ensured each student will display something unique.

“Our teachers made a point to make sure that we were each telling a different story in each of our collections, with something that really resonates with and is personal to us.”

Emily wants her elevated daywear collection to show off the meaningful connection fashion and the environment can have.

STN 22 is on November 10 at the Fremantle Town Hall.