Brooke was graduated from the The West Australian Institute of Fashion in 2010 with and Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design & Technology. After graduation, she travelled quite extensively and became more aware of the ethics and impact that fashion has on our world. She also personally became more interested in the philosophy of yoga & the psychology behind dressing ourselves. “The philosophy of yoga is a message of oneness between all things. This has become a major part of the ethos behind the label and is reflected in the fabrics chosen as well as the studios and factories I choose to work with” –she says.
The garments made by Brooke Da Cruz are engineered to be visually striking, yet easy to wear: with practical details that go easily from day to night and sometimes metamorphose within themselves. Each style is wear-tested to guarantee a flattering, comfortable fit and sturdy construction, ensuring that these un-basic pieces will be wardrobe staples for years to come.
The brand is still in very early stages, having just released its second collection this April. “In terms of sustainability I am very glad so say I waited those few extra years to start up the label as it was during those years of planning and personal growth that I became aware of the impact of the industry. It changed my approach by adding the sustainability side to the business. I think it has given our brand and my work so much more meaning – catering for not only our customer but the entire supply chain and the planet. Deciding to be as sustainable and transparent as possible was (and still continues to be) a huge task to set up a satisfactory supply chain. In the beginning this consumed a large portion of my time and efforts. Now, I get to focus a bit more time on distribution and getting our brand out there so that we can build a sustainable business” –she explains us.
The second collection made by Brooke Da Cruz stems from the exploration of likeness between all things.”In our most simple form all -people, nature and things- are one and the same. The vastness to which pure energy expresses itself intrigues me. I played with this concept while designing Kindred Two”. In this collection, Brooke collaborated with graphic designer Joanna Green to create a custom print, which was inspired by the union between cultures. Most of her designing have touches of different cultures throughout as travel is a huge part of her life. “Each piece give just the right amount of support and practicality mixed with just the right amount of playfulness and design interest”–she underlines. In alignment with the brand values, the fabrics used in the collection include Organic Cotton, Hemp, Non-Violence Organic Silks & Tencel.
Being a small & sustainable company with the strict sustainability requirements for the fabrics means finding the perfect fabrics that adhere to these requirements. “We also must look for extremely high quality, work well with the designs, be loyal to the collection/brand aesthetics, be practical for the wearer, have suitable fabric care, be not too crazy on price… It is not easy, also if we speak about meeting the minimums of the supplier. It is quite a challenge” – Brooke says.
Talking about sustainable fashion, Brooke confesses us she is a big fan of Ryan Roche, Maiyet and also a swimwear label called Baiia. “I’m loving their wrap swimsuits at the moment! To be honest I do a lot of op-shopping and mix that in with my sustainable luxury pieces”.
Livia Firth, Safia Minney, Vandana Shiva, Emma Watson, Rick Ridgeway, Kit Willow, Mara Hoffman, Kate Bosworth, Prakash Chandra (of Cocccon silks), Nina Farren and Kestrel Jenkins are some of the persons who inspire the days of Brooke.
“My main rule would be quality over quantity – I purchase products very consciously making sure if I am buying something new it is something I absolutely love and will use for years to come. My diet and choice of skincare products reflect the same values that are upheld within my brand. I avoid animal products as much as possible and opt for organic products if they are available. I’m definitely not perfect but I try to be mindful of the products I use everyday and opt for the eco friendly or re-usable over disposable products”.
Brooke is also a regular listener of Ketsrel Jenkins podcast “Conscious Chatter” which I find super informative and inspiring. “Hearing what other brands are able to achieve as well the large number of people who are dedicated to changing the industry is super motivating and encouraging -Love it!”.
There are sooo many good health food stops in Perth now! We asked Brooke to name just a few which makes her happy! “There is a little shop of plenty, Manna Wholefoods, Dunn & Walton and The Raw Kitchen, which also has it’s zero waste store”.
In terms of fashion and lifestyle stores there is a new little store called Atelier on George in East Fremantle. “It is opening soon and I know will be my new favourite shopping spot as they will have a beautiful selection of locally or sustainably made brands (I got to have a little sneak preview of some of what they will be stocking <3)”.
We also wanted to know some online shops Brooke uses to check: “I love FashionKind.com and 69bboutique.com. Another new store that will be stocking an incredible range of sustainable and cruelty free fashion is Takavi.com.