Shit You Should Care About… Designs by Niche
“Groovy and sustainable garments for funky gurls and guys” is what Nisha Goldsworthy has in mind when creating up-cycled pieces for her label ‘Designs by Niche’, and she NEVER misses the mark.
The 21 year old sells THE grooviest clothing around, bringing an element of fun and a pop of colour into the wardrobes of many people around the country, all with an environmental conscience. Every item is designed, sewn and marketed entirely by Nisha herself. Even her patterns are made from scratch, guaranteeing a unique and authentically funky outcome with each creation.
An outdoorsy upbringing sparked Nisha’s interest in the environment, but her passion caught fire when she began studying at Victoria University in 2016. She delved into subjects such as marine biology, ecology, biodiversity and climate change, where she not only learned about the magnificence and mystery of the world, but also the terrifying reality of its fragility and devastating impact humans have on the planet. This was a key motivation for starting a label focused on sourcing unwanted and drab materials and making them into something new and exciting.
This process is called ‘up-cycling’, a tool used to combat the waste poured into the Earth by the fashion industry. Instead of purchasing brand-new material, Nisha utilises the potential of any natural fabric she can get her hands on, from secondhand duvet covers to table cloths and anything in-between. Thinking sustainably when revamping your wardrobe is of ever growing importance as the fashion industry is one of the most resource intensive industries in the world. The facts and figures are breath taking - and not in a good way.
5.8 MILLION tonnes of textiles are discarded every year in Europe alone, and only 26% of this waste is being recycled.
The US is estimated to waste 9.5 MILLION tonnes
China has 20 MILLION tonnes reaching landfill. 20 MILLION TONNES.
The rise of fast fashion means that these figures are increasing at a terrifying rate. Brands such as Glassons, Zara and H&M create their clothes to be TEMPORARY in order to make more money. Although we all like to feel fresh and well dressed, a lot can be done by prioritising the Earth over looking like our instagram feed, and small changes can make a massive difference. Nisha feels that it is up to us to abolish the wasteful foundations of fast fashion by finding an alternate, more ethical route when it comes to styling ourselves.
Here are Nisha’s Top Tips for creating a sustainable wardrobe:
Buy clothes made from natural fabrics. Synthetic fabrics shed micro-plastics in the wash, which get transported in to the oceans where they are consumed by sea creatures. It can build up in their bodies and cause lots of problems with fertility, deformities etc.
Only buy something if you really love it, buy less, and buy from quality, ethical brands
Donate the things you don’t love anymore – so other people can enjoy them!
Not only are Nisha’s clothes wonderfully sustainable, they are also fucking cool. Everything from nature, architecture, cultures, colours and shapes take part in forming the aesthetic of Designs by Niche, but Nisha’s main source of inspiration is the the unique style people rock in day-to-day life. She soaks up the beautiful quirks and differences of those around her in order to rework them into something completely new. Making things has been hardwired into Nisha since she was a kid. When those around her were obsessing over Nintendo's and Tamagochi’s, she was painting, drawing, sculpting or even embroidering to pass the time. The creativity involved in Designs by Niche allows Nisha’s mind to be constantly challenged, and she states that nothing is more rewarding than seeing people wearing her creations.
Nisha managed to combine her passion for sustainability, and her love for creativity into one funky as fuck label. She urges everyone to chase what they actually WANT to be doing instead of living in an endless cycle of doing shit they hate when they could be doing the shit they love. Nisha has left us with some advice for doing just this:
Don’t be afraid of failure or judgement
Nothing will happen if you do nothing
Go out there and DO IT - believe in your lovely self!
Nisha is taking her passion for all things sustainable to the next level by moving to Australia to study marine biology at a postgraduate level. Because she’ll be busy saving the planet, she has to take a wee break from designing but is hoping to re-open the brand once she is settled. But in the mean time give @designs_by_niche a follow to keep up with Nisha and her groovy garments.