Allie Cameron - Hara The Label
A bit about yourself
- Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hamilton, New Zealand
- Favourite place in the world?
From the places I have been the two that impacted me the most and I think about them nearly everyday is New York and India. The energy that runs through both of those places allows my mind to fly. I like to be around people and in places that make me feel like anything is possible that we are limitless and both of these places made me feel that way.
- Who inspires you?
Out of everything nature inspires me the most. Every moment in nature is like a beautiful work of art and it ceases to amaze me. In nature truth comes to form and I can feel my centre/my core/my truth. Watching other people thrive and seeing them living from their ultimate truth inspires me, being around empowered people inspires me. One of the turning points for me that gave me the energy to truly start Hara was watching my friend work on her business, and the passion she held for what she was creating inspired me (@retreatyourself_box).
- What is your spirit animal and why?
My spirit animal is a brown grizzly bear because I had a crystal healing session and went into my past lives and sat in the sun with my spirit animal which happened to come out as a grizzly bear (true story). The grizzly bear is about standing strong in your truths and that is a belief I live by. By living form my place of truth I have a deep trust with life that all challenges are lessons to push me to grow into my higher self.
About the brand
- Why and when did Hara start?
1 was officially started November 2016 but for me HARA has been a work in process since as early as 2013. When I was at high school I was really into finding vintage and secondhand pieces to wear. It actually turned into a small business where I would resell online pieces I had found. It was at this point I really began thinking about how what we wear actually matters and impacts the society and environment that we live in. After leaving school, dropping out of Uni, I would say 2013 was the year where HARA was implanted in my mind. Back then I didn't know what it would be called or what exactly I would be selling but I knew the values behind it would be to help the earth regain its power. From that point, the manifestation of “HARA” took me to all places in the world. Melbourne, India,New York, back to Melbourne and eventually to Bali where I would finally put into practice all my learnings, research, teachings and growth from the past 4 years.
- Where do you get your design inspiration from?
My designs are inspired by how the body moves. Being able to create an item that allows the body to move with comfort and is minimal but supportive. I like the pieces to have a playful, easy going look, carefree. Japanese fashion and the 90s inspires me.
- What do you think the biggest challenge is when designing with sustainability in mind?
The limited resources available that are actually sustainable. It’s about figuring out what is the most sustainable materials/resources and then going okay how are we going to work with this. We had to create our own natural dye house so that we could dye our fabric sustainability. A lot of the time, designing with sustainability in mind ends up meaning creating the materials yourself as a lot of it hasn't been done before. That’s what is so exciting about sustainable fashion, there is so much innovation and new technology that is being incorporated into it. It allows us to get creative with how we think, to know that because it hasn't been done before doesn't mean it can't be done.
- Why have you chosen to make your products from bamboo fabrics and natural Dyes?
In this moment that is what I believe is the most sustainable way to produce clothing (behind second hand clothing). I wouldn’t have started the label if natural dyes wasn’t possible as synthetic dyes harm the environment, harm our health and therefore in no way sustainable.
We only source our bamboo fabrics from suppliers that can provide organic certifications for the growing of the raw bamboo and OEKO-TEX 100 certifications which proves that no harmful chemicals were used throughout the various stages of the process and no harmful chemicals are present at all on the final product.
Bamboo is most sustainable raw material on earth. You chop it about a foot from the ground and then it starts growing even faster and more thick. No replanting at all needed. No pesticides, insecticides or fertilisers are used in the growing and uses only rainwater to grow compared to cotton which uses up to 2700 litres of water for a single T-shirt.
Also, in a 2011 Greenpeace report titled "Dirty Laundry", an investigation into toxic water pollution caused by the hazardous chemicals used in the Chinese textiles industry, stated that, hazardous and persistent chemicals with hormone-disrupting properties were found in samples conducted at textile facilities with major relationships with well known brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike, H&M, Adidas and other large brands.
For far too long big brands have taken a "blind-eye" approach to the ongoing within their own supply chains and have allowed the health of communities and the planet to diminish at absolutely no consequence.
- Why should more brands in the design space look into being more sustainable and ethical?
The fashion industry is damaging the planet. There is no planet B. We are at this powerful moment in life where we can turn this around. If the fashion industry can change dramatically then the world can. I believe freshwater shortages, food shortages, poverty, depletion of natural resources, can be revoked through collective awareness.
- Is there a colour you have in mind for your next collection?
Red, blue and yellow are colours I have in mind.
- What’s next for Hara?
To create a platform of change, abundance, support, growth, rejuvenation, love and healing. To create a platform that inspires other labels to follow suit. To have a supply chain that has taken into account humans and environmental factors when created.
To move awareness to a point where the environmental impact is considered and acknowledged every step of the way from seed to store. That sustainability becomes the top priority.
To be a voice for those that feel suppressed, to be an inspiration for those that have dreams/visions for a better world, to speak up and speak out and continue the fight for this earth.
You can shop Hara here