Fashion, New Collection

REVIEW: KITX Collection No. 3 – Australian Eco Luxury on the Rise

I have enjoyed watching Kit Willow Podgornik’s triumphant return to Australian fashion. It’s been 2 years since she was unceremoniously dumped from her namesake label, Willow, which was bought out by The Apparel Group (owners of Australian high-street retailers  Saba, Sportscraft and JAG) in 2011. But now she’s back with a new label, KITX, and a new focus – a slow fashion business that is mindful of its impact (environmentally, socially and economically) on the world.

As she said to Wallpaper mag:

“KitX is the direction I wanted to take Willow in; to create beautiful clothes that have a deeper meaning,’ said Podgornik, who spent much of that break reseraching fashion’s environmental accountability. ‘I never realised the effect that the materials used in fashion have on the planet – even just the packaging,’ she continues. ‘It made my blood boil. I realised that fashion industry is the second biggest polluting industry in the world; many cotton farmers don’t live past the age of 45 because they die of cancers caused by all the chemicals they’re exposed to, which in turn pollute water supplies for villages. I had space to look around and think about what to do next, what women want and need, and it was so clear to me that the way forward was a brand with no negative effects on the planet or its people, right down to having happy salespeople.”

Despite the slow fashion mantra, success is coming quickly – she is stocking at many boutiques and department stores including David Jones, is about to launch her third collection with a lookbook shot in Paris and has just opened a flagship store in Paddington, around the corner from the Willow boutique. How’s that for a comeback?

About the clothes: Collection No. 3 riffs on much the same themes as her previous two collections. There are the tropes you expect from an ethical fashion label: knobbly textured fabrics, neutral pallet, bohemian details (fringing and tassels).  But it is anchored by a point of view that is both down-to-earth and coolly modern. The de-constructed layers, roomy day dresses and laid-back peasant blouses speak to the current 70s revival, but are not trend-driven. They promise versatility with an artistic hook – it’s extremely wearable luxury for women who think for themselves.

Care Factor: Specific supply chain/fabrication details aren’t available for her latest collection – but if it’s like her previous work we will see a lot of organic cotton and maybe an interesting eco-fabric like raffia made from repurposed cotton linter. The product page on her e-commerce store features a section titled “Impact” which has some information of the product’s fabrication. Rather disappointingly, there is no Country of Origin provided and no information on the factories where her products are manufactured. While Podgornik talks a big game about the brand’s ethos and the importance of “consciously sourcing materials that minimise harm to our planet’s precious resources”, the current shopping experience (for e-commerce customers, anyway) doesn’t provide enough information to make informed decisions. Hopefully she will become more transparent with her supply chains and begin celebrating the makers of her products.

Still, definitely one to watch and lust over.  My favourites from Collection no. 3 below:







View the full collection here. 


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