Redefining Australiana – with Amanda Healy
This is an exciting month for us as we celebrate the brand new addition of clothing to our range with Dusty Road Apparel! We’re all about adventures and taking roads less travelled so when we met the Dusty Road Apparel team and discovered their eco-friendly & adventurous outlook it just made complete sense to make them a part of Puggle Post. Dusty Road Apparel is a kids clothing brand that represents everything we love about Australia and Australiana!
We love to get to know the talented creatives behind our beautiful products. Keen to learn more about the inspiration for Dusty Road’s funky range of kids wear, we talked to co-founder, Amanda Healy, about childhood memories, clothing design and the conscious consumer movement.
Team Dusty Road – Amanda and Bessie – rocking their local market
Where did you grow up? And what’s one of your most treasured childhood memories?
We grew up in a small coastal town call Moruya on the NSW South Coast. One of my most treasured childhood memories – I would have been a young child aged around 5 when we went for a family trip in the boat. There are many national parks down in the South Coast of NSW and Durras is one of the most amazing and beautiful places to go if you get chance. As these water ways are protected it means there are lots of fish and the water is pristine. On this particular day, we had a school of the most massive manta rays came up under our boat. They were so huge that their wings were lipping up under both sides of the boat as they flew underneath. They were so incredibly majestic. We had to cut the motor off whilst they came up to check us out which allowed us the time to see just how amazing they were through the crystal waters.
What is the story behind your business name Dusty Road Apparel?
As children living on rural land, the only access to our properties was through a long dusty road. The name seemed to resonate for us both. Bessie lived on a long road winding up through the mountains along the local towns drinking water supply called the Deua River. Amanda lived on a semi-rural block in a small tourism area called Mogo, their driveway to access the house was a long step winding dusty road.
We can see from your designs you have an obvious love of nature, what’s your favourite Australian animal and why?
Oh that’s a hard one, Australian Animals are so unique and cool, they are full of character and I can relate to each animal on a personal level. My favourite would have to be the frilled neck lizard, he’s feisty and fierce and full of spunk, being able to get up on his hind legs and run like the wind reminds me of myself as a child.
Why did you particularly decide to create Australia inspired designs?
Australian design done right is something that we felt was missing in children’s fashion. I’m amazed at how little people of both older and younger generations actually know about our Australian native plants and animals. We feel it’s important to connect and educate our Australian children about how cool our Australian native flora and fauna just are. Adding a whimsical touch of character to each design that helps children to connect and related to each design.
Finish this sentence: “I believe kids should be…………”
In love with the outdoors! Most children spend too much time inside missing out on the wonders of our beautiful nature. It’s time to get outside in the fresh air and see how beautiful things really are here in Australia.
What’s the most important thing to consider when designing clothing for children?
We focus on many factors, colour, softness and Organic cotton. The most important would have to be engagement. Clothing that kids want to wear and feel good in.
There’s a real “conscious consumer” movement taking place at the moment. Why is this important to you and how have you gone about producing ethically & sustainably made products?
I totally agree, people are certainly more engaged in making sustainable choices for their family and the environment these days. When choosing fabric, organic cotton was the only option for us for more than one reason. Firstly, organic farmers are more likely to retain a higher proportion of the money when selling their product to factories, this means that the farmers are not doing most of the work for the least amount of profit. More money is being held within these communities means longevity for the farmer and their ability to support their family/community. Secondly Organic cotton is grown without the use of Pesticides and herbicides meaning that not only the land and waterways are being protected but also the clothing itself does not hold the residual of these by-products post production meaning a healthier product touching your child’s skin.
If you were to pack the kids up and go on a month-long family road trip where would you go?
I’d love to take them to the Northern Territory, bypassing Northern QLD. The land is so beautiful up there and the animals so different to Southern NSW. My husband has never seen the size of a real-life Salt Water Croc and I know it would just blow his mind.
And finally, what does “Modern Australiana” mean to you?
Modern Australia means to me to be more eco aware, it’s really surprising to me here in Sydney the amount of rubbish still being left in our sea waters, bush land and beaches. Coming from an area where it was drilled into you to leave the space as you find it and to respect mother earth, I feel there are certainly parts of Australia which still just take where we live for granted. It’s time we all embraced just how special this place we live really is, respecting our land and her animals and the simple changes we can make to ensure her sustainability. Making better choices about packaging, disposal is just the start.
For those of you that grew up in rural Australia, a dusty road just like this is a familiar image.See all Dusty Road products
Competition closes midnight 31 July 2017. Winners to be notified by email 1 August. Voucher is for $50 off total purchase value (ie. products + shipping).