Pinky & Kamal - Sustainable Bamboo And Cotton Activewear

Pinky and Kamal

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Location

Australia

Made In

Indonesia

Values

One day there will be no such thing as conscious brands, there will just be brands. And labels like Pinky and Kamal will be the pioneers leading the way. Why? Because Pinky and Kamal creates yoga wear to help people move freely, live simply and stay comfortable; being ethical and sustainable is simply a given—that’s the way of the future.

With a background in fashion design, Natalie Carusi has created a label so cool you won’t want to wear anything else during a workout again. But that’s not the only thing that makes Pinky and Kamal so coveted—she’s also created a brand with strong environmental values, while being a positive voice in the fashion industry to promote change within ethical areas. For Natalie, that didn’t mean screaming it from the rooftops in order to make sales, instead she created Pinky and Kamal with the following values: authenticity, freedom, flow, joy and giving back. By following these five values that are naturally aligned with the practice of yoga, she has not only been able to bring beautiful yoga gear to the world, but she’s done so with the environment, people and common good in mind.

Natalie was originally inspired by her yoga own personal practice and her desire to wear yoga gear that was organic and comfortable (and not shiny, synthetic and poor quality like many brands out there). She figured she mustn’t be the only person out there who craved that from their workout gear, and so Pinky and Kamal was born.

“My vision was to create clothing that was so damn comfortable that it would be the first thing you wanted to put on in the morning and the last thing you wanted to take off at night. The fabrics had to be sustainable and my practices would have to be planet friendly,” says Natalie.

All of Pinky and Kamal’s pieces are made from 90% Global Organic Textile Standard Certified cotton and 10% elastane for that desired stretch. Both EME and Pinky and Kamal acknowledge that cotton isn’t a perfect crop when it comes to water usage but it’s a far better alternative than normal cotton that’s sprayed with pesticides, not to mention synthetic fabrics of any kind. Bonus: by removing toxins from the crop, there is less harm caused to the farmers, workers, consumers, and the entire ecosystem, making it an ethical and environmental choice.

Pinky and Kamal’s ethical commitments don’t stop there. A transparent supply chain is another no-brainer for Natalie. In fact, she’s on first name basis with all of her makers. Pinky and Kamal’s head of production is a beautiful Indonesian mother of two who not only keeps her household running smoothly but all of the production for the brand as well, including quality control. Ismal is Pinky and Kamal’s pattern-maker and grader based in Canggu, Bali and he hand-makes all of the brand’s patterns. The team also includes Bayu, a hand dyer and printer based in Denpasar, Bali. Finally, you have Natalie who takes care of every other step, from design to running the business. A small team like this ensures everyone is in constant communication and the supply chain is ethical. Natalie’s biggest goal for the future is to be able to visit her team on a more frequent basis to be more hands-on in the manufacturing process (and we don’t blame her, Bali seems lovely this time of year).

If that wasn’t enough, Pinky and Kamal have also joined forces with One Tree Planted to plant one tree for each Pinky and Kamal sale to regenerate Australia’s fire ravaged areas.

From charity to an ethical supply chain to sustainable fabrics, Pinky and Kamal are making conscious choices in pretty much every area of their business, which, to owner Natalie is just common sense. So let’s make the common sense decision and support conscious brands like Pinky and Kamal (that hopefully one day we’ll be able to just call a brand).

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

Behind the Brand

“We each all create in our own unique and different ways. I believe it looks different for everyone. Whether that be cooking up an absolute masterpiece in the kitchen or having an addiction to the Facebook marketplace, scouring for them vintage finds, we each have something that we love to bring to life and that we let breathe through us”.

Natalie Carusi

Pinky & Kamal Founder

What made you start Pinky and Kamal?

I started Pinky & Kamal (named after two of my Bangladeshi friends), because of the need I felt to bring women yoga wear that was not made out 100% synthetic, shiny material, but to give them a more organic and comfortable experience on and off the mat. My vision was to create clothing that was so damn comfortable that it would be the first thing you wanted to put on in the morning and the last thing you wanted to take off at night. The fabrics had to be sustainable and my practices would have to be planet-friendly.

Do you have a morning routine? If so what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?

Well… I was very much a strict morning routine kind of gal, and it really did set me up for a great day ahead. I would get up, practise yoga and meditate.

These days it looks a little different, as I have just had a baby (Bobby Blue) and I am slowly getting back into feeling like me again, however, I do know that I will not be able to achieve this old routine for quite a while.

My morning routine now looks like, feeding the bub and putting him back to sleep, then I will jump up, shower, get my self ready for the day, make a coffee and journal for about 15 minutes.

What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?

The biggest barrier I would say would be not being able to be there in person to communicate and work with the team over in Indonesia. I have my production manager, Yuke who is an absolute godsend and I trust her greatly, but it would be really wonderful if one day I can get over there more frequently to be more hands-on in the manufacturing process. It is my goal.

Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Pinky and Kamal, who made the things you sell? Can you tell us a bit about them?

Firstly I would love to say that I LOVE doing business with the people I work with.

1. Yuke, she is our number one. An Indonesian mother of two beautiful children. She does it all, from being the boss lady of her household to helping the PK production progress run smoothly. From connecting with our pattern maker to ensuring the dyes are correct. To quality controlling, sending the samples and all things production. Plus many many more things. She works for herself, which we love.

2. Ismal, is our pattern maker and grader. He has a shop just out of Canggu, Bali where the production is run. All hand-made patterns and grading techniques are used. He works with us to create our desired pieces.

3. Bayu, he is our favourite dye man. He runs a space out of Denpasar, Bali. He specialises in motif printing and screen printing all by hand.

4. Oh, and me. I am Nat, I design the garments from fit, to fabric design, print and colours. I run all of our socials, website and newsletters. I pack the orders and am your customer service gal too.

Why did you pick the fabrics you have chosen to work with?

When I started the brand, I could not stand what was out there for activewear/yoga wear at the time. It was all synthetic, shiny, and just completely not my style. I found that there was a bit of a gap in the market to produce something more natural with a more unique style. I personally fell in love with wearing natural fabrics like cotton and bamboo to practice yoga, so I thought if this was made more available to others maybe they would love it as much as I would.

I have a background in fashion design and I have strong environmental values, so it was paramount that the brand must be as environmentally friendly as possible, and that PK could be a positive voice in the fashion industry to promote change within the environmental and ethical areas.

Best piece of advice you have ever received?

“If we don’t create, we die”

We each all create in our own unique and different ways. I believe it looks different for everyone. Whether that be cooking up an absolute masterpiece in the kitchen or having an addiction to the Facebook marketplace, scouring for them vintage finds, we each have something that we love to bring to life and that we let breathe through us.

I wish to live creatively in my personal and work life. To be able to bring my creations to life and share them with the world is what it’s about for me.

What’s next for you and Pinky and Kamal?

I am glad you asked… many, many things!!!

1. We will be working on building up a core range of your favourite styles in some block colours that will be available most of the time! Plus a fun print or style each range to throw into the works!

2. We will be collaborating with people who love to create movement and mindfulness practices, whether that be through yoga, dance or meditation. This will be available on our IGTV and some other platforms (keep your eyes peeled and your body and minds ready for some nourishing practices!!!)

3. Deeper delves into the behind the scenes world of PK from a design perspective to the manufacturing and sourcing that happens in Indonesia.

One book and/or documentary everyone should read/watch? Why?

Book: ‘Earth is Hiring’ by Peta Kelly. Absolute favourite book and is so light-hearted and fun. She brings to light our purpose here on planet earth as millennials and how we can change our internal and external environments to be better and brighter places for ourselves and the generations ahead.

Podcast: Lacy Philips – To be Magnetic
If you have not heard of this lady, she is an absolute genius! (Currently also partaking in her work). She discusses and teaches you how to manifest your goals and desires. She focuses on the neuroplasticity of the brain to help get rid of our self-limiting and ‘looping’ thoughts that we have grown up with. She is THE BEST!

Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?

I am deeply motivated by people around me and other ethical and sustainable brands that just go out and start living their purpose or dream that they are aiming to create (inc LOADS of the brands Ethically made easy feature). I think it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there and honestly, why the hell not if that’s what you’re truly wanting to bring to the world.

Specific names of women that have inspired me:
– Peta Kelly (as mentioned above)
– Lacy Philips (as mentioned above)
– Gabrielle Bernstein
– Melissa Ambrosini
– Marie Forleo

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