We interviewed Ambra Maddalena, founder of Australian brand Ambra Maddalena. The brand is about falling in love, summer romances, femininity, creativity, expression of your true self. She wants her girls to be conscious consumer without compromising their style aesthetic.

My name is Ambra Maddalena, I was raised in Western Australia by an Italian father and Australian mother. We traveled the world and since then I have taken inspirations from my summer holidays abroad and poured them into my designs.

What motivated you towards sustainable fashion and choosing our ECONYL® yarn?

This was a no brainer for us. We didn’t want to create just another swim brand. When we started, it was just a choice we made because we thought it would help us sleep better at night. Now we see the impact it has on the consumer and we shout it from the roof tops!

Is there a difference between the Australian market and the rest of the world when it comes to people’s acceptance of sustainability/sustainably produced fashion? If so, why?

Australians live and die by our love for the ocean. We have some of the most pristine oceans and beaches in the world. When I go on a (seaside) holiday, I honestly wonder what the fuss is about the destination, Australian beaches, or West Australian beaches at that are so magical. Our beaches have been used for global commercials and have been named the clearest oceans and whitest sand in the world.

To imagine those beached littered with rubbish is heart breaking. People who don’t get to experience what we do possibly can’t imagine its potential beauty. Rubbish on the beach is normal in some parts of the world. We just won’t accept it!  We see sustainability as the most efficient way to help our world!

Is there a specific Australian style in swimwear?

We want it to be unique. We want it to be versatile so we can surf, beach walk or sun tan. I think in general, we love simplistic, classic cuts with fantastic details. That’s why we created Ambra Maddalena. We weren’t inspired by what we were seeing on the shelf. We thought ‘if we want this, other people must want it to. Now we are debuting at Australian Fashion Week 7 months after Launching! We couldn’t be prouder.

How do you communicate sustainability?

We have to tell people that it has a great hand feel and that Nylon has a never-ending life cycle. Sometimes we forget that it’s one of our selling points because people love the designs so much. When people say that our prices are more expense, we remind the consumer that we are doing our part for the world and that each step of our production is as sustainable as possible.

Where do you find inspiration for new collections? How do you fuel creativity?

When I meditate some great ideas come to me. Although I have to dial it back a bit as there is fine line between being creative and making sales!

Sometimes a whole collection can come from one small aspect for example a feeling, a color, or just a passing moment that evokes memories.

What would you say are the upcoming trends in swimwear?

I would say anything high cut – not the traditional 50s/60’s high waisted style that we are used to seeing but a modern take on that. We did a style that was high cut and cheeky at the back – we are seeing this everywhere now. People realize that hips are sexy!

We always incorporate some sort of gingham colorway in our collection but for 2019 we are going pastel. The collection is called “A Pocket full of Posies”…. so, let your imagination think what it likes!

What is the revolution you are hoping for in the fashion industry?

A move away from cheap brands that pump out fast fashion.

What’s next for your brand?

At the moment we are focusing on MBFW and are selling our 2019 collection. We have some big buying appointments so we will see what happens after that! We are just so proud. We can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Do you have any social or environmental initiative running?

Yes, we donate 30% of all sales that use the code “BRINKLEY” at our e-store to her Balu Blue foundation.

Which are the most interesting sources of info on sustainable fashion in Australia?

I think people can get bogged down and overwhelmed with big essays about world pollution. I think they best way is to show people the good they can do. To be honest Facebook and its videos has shown me a lot in terms of the good that people can do. We also work with one of our ambassadors, Brinkley Davies, who is a marine biologist and ocean activist. She helps us spread the word with her Balu Blue foundation.

What are the most important events in Australia for sustainable fashion?

We are seeing a constant increase in the interest and acceptance of sustainable fashion. Next week (Monday 14th) we are debuting at MBFW 2018 and have already booked up our day with appointments for buyers and media all interested the sustainable aspect of our brand.

What are the most conscious VIP people or influencers to follow in Australia?

We love girl and AM ambassador Brinkley Davies (@brinkley_davies), She is so passionate about the environment. Her foundation Balu Blue, helps marine life and fauna rehabilitate to their natural habitat.

Do influencers and VIP have a role to play to encourage sustainable choice in fashion?

Yes absolutely. I think it is just a bonus if people love the designs and know that it is sustainable at the same time. This is the conscious consumer movement that we are trying create.

Do you have a favorite piece of garment that has been with you for very long time? What is it and what is the story behind it? Why you care about it?

We have this burgundy red off the shoulder top that has been in my family for 3 generations. It initially belonged to my grandmother. It had matching pants and she had it in emerald green also.

It is so beautiful. It is boned with ribbon embroidery and tapered at the waist and sleeves.

Where are your products available in the world?

Australia and Bali. Please see our stockiest page at AmbraMaddalena.com for all our stockiest. We hope to be stocked in more stores after MBFW!


An extract of this interview was included in this Medium article.