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Entrepreneurs have many different reasons for starting their own business. For some, it’s money, and for others it’s passion. A holiday to Sri Lanka, witnessing firsthand the negative impact pollution and other human influences were having on the marine environment, was all the motivation Nisha Abey needed to start her dream eco-fashion label, Liar.
Liar the Label is an Australian made fashion, swimwear and accessories label based in the beautiful Byron Bay. Designed and run by Nisha, with some help behind the scenes from her boyfriend, the label prides itself on being made entirely from sustainable and recycled materials, as well as Fairtrade compliant. Having researched the environmental impact of clothing production at university, Nisha was already interested in ethical fashion and starting her own label upon graduating her degree, and after working with such names as Auguste, Stitch and Hide and Adidas, a 2013 holiday set Liar’s wheels in motion.
“I’d wanted to start a label and had been figuring out a way to make it ethical and to change the perception on how it doesn’t need to be hippy or hempy,” says Nisha. “The initial spark that became Liar started in Sri Lanka on a holiday in 2013. That morning we visited a turtle sanctuary and were taught about how sea turtles were at such a risk from human influence.” Feeling inspired by the hard work of the family who ran the turtle sanctuary, Nisha returned home determined to not only realise her dream job, but to shine a spotlight on unsustainable manufacturing processes in the fashion industry that were contributing to the endangerment of turtles and other marine species. You can find out more about the environmental and ethical cost of fast fashion on Nisha’s website.
Working in the fashion industry for 10 years, 4 of those in sourcing, testing and developing new fabrics and prints, means Nisha has the upper hand when finding innovative, organic and sustainable materials for her garments – these include econyl, a recycled polyester made from plastic bottles and fishing nets, and organic cotton, from which a soon to be released t-shirt line is made. “I love researching and coming up with new trends,” Nisha says of where she finds inspiration for her designs, adding that the people, events, and environment around her all have an effect on Liar’s style.
Nisha also enjoys being able to support local factories and garment workers in Australia while educating consumers on what it means to be an ethical fashion label. “As a small brand, I have to say it is easier to monitor fair conditions in Australia as there is regulation already in place for all Australian workers,” says Nisha. “I love supporting local manufacturers and creatives in Australia – they do what they love and I want to support and help grow that side before it’s gone. ”
10% of the profits from Liar’s Exoskeleton collection are donated to Sri Lankan turtle sanctuary that Nisha visited on holiday, and while she hasn’t yet made it back for a return trip, the sanctuary sends photos and feedback of what those proceeds have been able to achieve. Nisha intends for future collections to promote and support local marine conservation in Australia. View the full Liar range at liarthelabel.com.au or find Nisha at the Byron Bay markets (1st Sunday of every month) and Bangalow markets (4th Sunday of every month).