Cute ethical womenswear | Bilboa | Ethical Made Easy
Bilboa

Bilboa

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Location

Australia

Price

$$

Values

  • Artisan Artisan
  • Fair Fair
  • Gender Equality Gender Equality
  • Made Locally Made Locally
  • Minimal Waste Minimal Waste
  • Natural Fibres Natural Fibres
  • Repurpose Repurpose
  • Transparent Transparent

If you like being complimented, Bilboa is a brand to look at. They’re fun, but flattering- in Bilboa’s own words, ‘elegant yet quirky’. We can all but guarantee these clothes will draw appreciative attention. Which is perfect, because when your Bilboa threads are ultimately met with, ‘Oh I LOVE your (top/dress/jumpsuit), where did you get it?!’, you can excitedly tell your ethical-fashion proselyte all about its sustainable origins.

Bilboa is designed and created by Osha in Byron Bay, NSW. Unlike big fashion houses, who design and then find the fabric to match, Bilboa designs for the fabric they have available. Why is this important? There’s no point designing a garment that needs the drape of silk georgette if you can’t source a silk georgette ethically.

Every piece is handmade in small runs. If a Bilboa design is made from deadstock fabric- meaning that the fabric was discarded by a bigger label and would have ended up in landfill- then the run will match the amount of fabric they have. But even if you’ve purchased a piece made from one of their other sustainable fabrics; linen, hemp, or organic cotton, a conscious effort is always made to minimise waste by working around imperfections and shaping patterns to fit the fabric. If you’re lucky, and they have enough fabric, you can request to have an item custom made to your perfect size. That’s what we call slow fashion.

What makes linen, hemp & organic cotton sustainable choices? They’re all natural fibres that break down in soil, rather than lasting forever as microplastic. Linen and Hemp grow quickly and even in poor quality soil, with almost no need for pesticides that damage our ecosystems. They’re light on water-usage, and they’re durable. Organic Cotton is equally as durable, and uses no pesticides or harsh chemicals in the growing process, which protects the land and the farmer’s wellbeing. A larger focus is placed on soil fertility and water management than with typical cotton farms.

You’ll notice that Bilboa garments feature a gorgeous array of prints. Never fear, they’re hand-dyed using earth-friendly inks.

Osha wanted her designs to be used and loved for a long time. This, of course, is at the heart of ethical fashion. What is harsher on our world than overconsumption and the resultant waste? If you buy a Bilboa piece, it will be as comfortable and practical as it is beautiful and timeless, meaning you will want to wear it over and over. They even put together a (realistic!) care guide here, so you can get the most out of your garment.

So go ahead and shop the collection with a clear conscience, safe in the knowledge that your purchase will be posted out to you using a carbon-offset courier.

Want to know where Bilboa sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.

Want to know more about the founder’s journey?
Read our interview.

“I’ve always only worn natural fibres myself, so working with them when I started Bilboa was a no brainer. Their gorgeous hand feel, breathability and environmental impact all added to that”.

Osha Shealey

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