SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Brittany Reuskers is making the venture into developing sustainable fashion after noticing a gap in the market and a chance to save the environment.
Ms Reukers created her brand Sterk&Mooi, meaning strong and beautiful in Dutch, after noticing a gap in the market for sustainably made activewear.
“I was trying to find activewear suitable to do my cheerleading training in,” she said.
“I looked into most well-known activewear brands and found they had a devastatingly large carbon footprint on our planet.”
Sterk&Mooi’s activewear is made from cotton for the stitching and Sustainable Spandex; a material made from plastic water bottles that have been collected from beaches, broken down and then remade into usable spandex.
Ms Reukers, of Wallan, said although the garments were made from plastic bottles, they were still soft and extremely comfortable.
Ms Reukers designs all of the clothing, including the dimensions for the brand and then sends them overseas to get made.
“I then send my designs to my manufacturer is Pakistan,” Miss Reukers said.
“They oblige by all fair-trade rules and restrictions. They are also very environmentally aware.”
Sterk&Mooi’s activewear line consists of clothing suitable for all sports and includes supportive crop tops, tracksuits and comfort sets.
Sizes will also range from a children’s size four to an adult extra-large.
Still completing year 11 while developing and running a business has presented its challenges for Ms Reukers.
“[It] has been super difficult as I do cheerleading at an international level so I travel and train heaps,” she said.
“Balancing school with work and cheer has been very hard but I love it because I am always busy, and I have an amazing support network.
“I usually work on my business on a Saturday morning and most lunchtimes.
“My mum has been an amazing help and none of this would be possible without her.”
Ms Reukers has been working on developing the business for more than a year.
“I’ve had countless samples tests and come back a failure,” she said.
“This was where it was tricky because I’d then have to continue to redesign it until it was perfect and comfortable.
“I then had to do all the legal and government registrations to start up the business.”
The final step was developing the website and preparing for the launch date on June 6.
The website is currently not yet published but an Instagram page has been created and can be found at @sterkandmooi.
Ms Reukers said those interested in the clothing line should follow the page to keep up to date.
“I will keep everyone up to date with launching dates, sales, deals, promocodes and everything we are doing to make this brand awesome,” she said.
People wanting to get in contact with the business, can message the Instagram page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.