This year, to celebrate Mother’s Day, we asked mothers that pioneered impactful enterprises and are part of our Ethical Lifestyle Hub Directory, what is driving them to lead a business with purpose. Those we highlight are mothers of strength, compassion, and resilience - working toward betting the world around them as well as being a mother. This blog highlights Louise Visser of Sinerji
Sinerji is an eco-label designed in Australia and made using organic natural fibres, and non-toxic dyes, with fair trade partnerships. With production teams in Northern Thailand and India, Sinerji produce patterns in Australia and works personally with the farmers who grow the organic cotton, and the tailors who sew the garments.
Tell us about you (get personal here) and why you started your organisation
I founded Sinerji organic clothing in 2007 in the hope that I would be able to address social and environmental issues within the fashion industry.
My clothing label and the Fairtrade aspect of my business allowed me to pursue my interests in both. I had always been interested in art and design, but also in people and sociology. I’d had mixed messages such as the cliché “you can never make money out of artwork” and also the concept that to be giving and thoughtful towards others in business meant that you would not succeed. I wanted to challenge this theory while making pieces I loved. I knew that the clothing I had designed for myself that had so much love behind the designs, had become pieces that I cherished. The clothing that I loved never became a waste. I wanted to give people pieces of practical art in the form of clothing that they could cherish until their end of life and then return to the earth when they were finished.
Did motherhood encourage you to set up an impactful business? Why?
Yes. Motherhood played a big part in why I started my business. I was a young single mother at the time. Balancing motherhood and work-life meant I had limited time to pursue a passion and a career. I decided that starting a business that involved my passions would allow me to do both. I wanted my children to know that dreaming, following your passions and making the world a better place in whatever little way you can are possible. Also that this can be done while doing your best to lift others and work with your community. My belief is that children learn by example, and I wanted to provide an example of positive change.
What impact do you hope to achieve through your business (or are achieving already)?
The collective efforts of many fair trade fashion brands have bought stronger awareness of the improvements needed within the fashion industry. I believe collectively we have shown that fair trade fashion is not only viable but necessary. The general public is asking more questions about fast fashion brands than ever. This is inherently changing lives for those whose conditions within the industry are better. I also know the thought and passion that goes into every Sinerji piece in achieving the goal that was set. Customers are continuously coming into our store wearing pieces from our early collections (10-15 years later). They tell me many stories of the places they have been and what our designs mean to them. Our pieces have good long lives and are not pieces of waste. This to me is the true art of real fashion.
What legacy do you want to leave behind as a mother to your children?
I want them to know that they can follow their dreams and have a social conscience. I want them to know that humanity is a team they are part of and it’s possible to work within that team and help create positive change. They are now 19 & 22 and both are beautiful young men with a social conscience (and a good eye for quality fabric).