I'm a fashion editor who can't stop wearing this ethical Australian label

Faithfull the Brand
(Image credit: Faithfull the Brand)

I've made no secret of my love of Australian fashion brands, and one I always go back to, summer after summer, is Faithfull the Brand. I have some designs in my wardrobe that date back to when I first started at Marie Claire years ago, a true testament to their lasting power.

Not only do Faithfull, created by Sarah-Jane Abrahams and Helle Them-Enger, create timeless as well as more trend-led pieces, they focus on quality, the foundation of any capsule wardrobe. Each piece is designed, sourced and produced in Bali, and Faithfull are a certified B Corporation, thanks to their ethical business practices.

Being a Faithfull girl at heart, I sat down with Sarah-Jane and Helle to delve into the history of the label.

Talk us through the origins of Faithfull the Brand, how did it all start? Faithfull the Brand was born out of a mutual affection for travel and vintage garments and prints, that stretch across decades of inspiration. We were both living in Bali, as neighbours funnily enough, and quickly realised we had the same vision for a brand with a sense of summer that brought together relaxed and effortless silhouettes back with a soft femininity and nostalgia. 

What is the inspiration behind your collections? 

We find inspiration for each of our collections through our daily life – whether it be the places we travel to, the muses we admire, the people we meet or the art and culture we consume. We’re also constantly pulling and sharing vintage-inspired references from the 60s, 70s and 90s, be it Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birken or Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy

For example, we collaborated on our first joint collection with Monikh Dale last year, which was a natural evolution of our long standing relationship. We have long admired and worked with Monikh and together we created a capsule collection that was reflective of both Monikh’s signature style and the Balearic Islands, her favourite spot to visit. 

In our most recent Spring 2024 collection, Roma, we paid homage to the ‘Eternal City’ and their rich history, culture and architecture by mixing a palette of warm, neutral hues with a 70s undertone. We even worked with an English-Italian artist, Chiara Perano, to create an exclusive hand-drawn print (available in March). 

Faithfull the Brand

Faithfull founders Sarah-Jane and Helle

(Image credit: Faithfull the Brand)

In my opinion, no one does resort wear like Australia. How would you define Australian fashion? 

Australian fashion is relaxed and effortless, but still put-together. A button-up shirt you can wear to the office, but also over swimwear. A slip dress that translates from day to night. We think this largely comes from the relaxed lifestyle in Australia. 

Sustainability is at the core of your label, is it possible for fashion to become fully sustainable? 

There will always be something new to learn when it comes to sustainability, but we do not think that a fashion brand can be truly sustainable. It is a topic that will continue to grow and evolve, particularly as we continue to educate ourselves and encourage more brands to adopt more conscious and ethical practices. 

How do you apply this to your business? 

Faithfull the Brand are extremely proud to be a certified B Corporation, based on our commitment to our community, our conscious business practices, and our pledge to be a force for good. 

These has been core values of our brand since its very inception.

We have always been focused on implementing a transparent chain of production – working with local manufacturers and artisans in Bali, Indonesia and beyond, and implementing ethical and responsible practices across the business. We design purposefully and responsibly with longevity at the forefront of everything we do, with a key focus on sustainable and responsibly-sourced fabrics. 

What is the biggest business lesson you've learned? 

We are constantly learning new lessons, particularly in the ever-changing landscape of the fashion industry and running a business. It is important to be flexible and adapt to new waves and trends, but in saying that you always want to remain true to your ethos and core values. 

Faithfull the Brand

(Image credit: Faithfull the Brand)

Have there been any challenges being female business owners, and what advice would you give future female entrepreneurs? 

This might sound very cliche, but believe in yourself and your vision, follow your gut feeling and intuition, learn from your mistakes because there are going to be plenty of them, and lastly do not give up. It is all about surrounding yourself with the right team and the right people – those you can trust and rely on to bring your vision to life and reflect what it is that Faithfull the Brand stands for. 

What excites you the most about your job now? 

This is an exciting time at Faithfull the Brand as we are seeing growth across all areas of our brand and collaborating with a range of different creatives, from designers to content creators, as well as new retailers. A curated selection of Faithfull the Brand pieces, including an exclusive new season style, is set to launch for the first time on MATCHES. Not to mention, we are also planning to celebrate our 10th anniversary next year. 

What's next for Faithfull? 

At the end of last year we welcomed a new Head of Design into the fold. While our core values remain the same, Summer 2024 will be introducing new silhouettes, luxury handcrafting, artisanal details and unique fabrications. 

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.