We chat with Jackie Galleghan, founder of (incredible) Australian ethical fashion label, madre natura.
Meaning “Mother Nature” in Italian, madre natura was born from a desire to respect the earth, as well as “with the belief that love and respect for the environment are equally important as self-love and respect for the people around us.” madre's founder, Jackie Galleghan, is doing precisely what she set out to.
Meaning “Mother Nature” in Italian, madre natura was born from a desire to respect the earth, as well as “with the belief that love and respect for the environment are equally important as self-love and respect for the people around us.” madre’s founder, Jackie Galleghan, is doing precisely what she set out to.
What made you start your madre natura?
While I was growing up I was always inspired by the beauty and the feeling that fashion gave, being inspired by nostalgia came from my late Grandparents from both sides as they had a strong sense of style and love of craftsmanship. I was taught to sew from my Mother who used to stay home Friday nights in the 1970s to make her outfits for Saturday nights going out.
It’s been a dream of mine since I can remember, and I knew if I started something it had to be purpose-driven. As my love for nature and people are a part of my DNA.
I had been sourcing and collecting dead-stock fabrics and created the idea in 2017 while I was working full time, I couldn’t seem to work on madre natura until a series of unfortunate events like losing my job, the covid pandemic and the loss of my late Grandmother Mary Galleghan that inspired me to the start.
I have spent several years researching and studying extensively sustainable, circular and ethical practices, suppliers, partners and processes.
Do you have a morning routine? If so what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
I am an early bird, I wake up between 5.30-6 pm start every day with exercise, I walk or run every day and Pilates every second day, then breakfast and coffee. Then I start my working day between 8-8.30am. I always have planned what I need to do the day/week before.
I always break for an hour for lunch and try and finish my dinner and work by 8 pm to be in bed by 9.30 pm. I meditate, read and journal write before I fall to sleep by 10 pm.
Some evenings I do have to stay up late for International zoom/phone meetings with suppliers and wholesalers.
Exercise and mediation are the key for my focus and motivation as running a small start-up business and studying takes up all of my time. So being meticulous is very important and spending time to reflect on what works what does not, planning and being prepared and setting goals.
I prepare my week ahead with my ICAL calendar and block my duties/tasks/meetings/study with colours and work on the most urgent, challenging work first thing in the morning. I have two meetings a week blocked out with myself to plan for example Sunday night I plan my week, then Friday night I plan my weekend work/relax. I usually work 7 days but recently I have started having Sundays off. I love spending my spare time in nature, hiking, swimming and cooking and spending quality time with family and good friends.
What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?
Being a start up/ small, new business.
Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of madre natura, who made your garments? Can you tell us a bit about them?
Our design and production team consist of a small team here in Sydney:
I am the designer (fabric, trim developer).
Alicia; Pattern Maker.
Ida; Sample Machinist.
I am the hand Sample Cutter.
Carlos; Garment Production Cutter.
Marzia; Garment Grader, Digitiser.
Pauline; runs a small production team that consists of machinists, pressers. Pauline manufactures most of the Sydney – ‘Australian Made’ Designers collections.
See our mn_Makers story on our website.
Why did you pick the fabrics you have chosen to work with?
Our approach to sourcing always is with the impact to the environment at the forefront of our minds.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
Focus on the things you can control and forget about the rest.
What’s next for you and madre natura?
Design and development of our part 2 collection and launching on per order this year. Launching on International, Australian wholesalers, retailers, stores this year. Launch own retail store/space, and focus on direct to consumer approach. Developing and growing and launching our Climate Positive programs.
Continue to create a positive change in the fashion industry.
One book and/or documentary everyone should read/watch? Why?
Simon Sinek – Start With Why
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?
1. Clare Press – Listen to The Wardrobe Crisis Podcasts and sign up to her website for such great information for sustainable fashion and now she has launched a course, so great! Spread the education for a positive future.
2. Buy yourself a Guppyfriend® washing bag to collect your poly fibres when washing polyester fabrics. Think about how many times you wash your gym clothes, eek. A scientifically proven solution against micro-plastic pollution caused by washing synthetic garments.
3. Educate yourself on the current climate crisis and live a more sustainable life: Using reusables, ditching single-use plastics, washing your clothes less, use only biodegradable cleaning/washing products, not using your dryer, switching to clean energy, eating less meat, walk more and offset your carbon emissions for your travels, these some small changes that can be made to create a positive impact.