Bringing sustainability and social responsibility to the forefront of the style conscious, Australia's newest online retail platform, able2online, has launched to offer a carefully curated collection of fashion forward brands with an ethical edge across beauty, jewellery, apparel and home.
After long discussing the lack of a single store, online or otherwise, that sold a large range of sustainable and chic products, Melbourne-based founders Dee Peters and Kerry Hodge discovered a gap in the market for an online destination selling brands who care about sustainability, and were mindful about producing in a beautiful and considered way.
With Dee the self-confessed brand hunter and lover of all things minimalistic and chic, and Kerry the look maker, more strategic, pragmatic, earthy one, the pair were passionate about reducing their impact on the planet without sacrificing good style or functionality, and so able2online was born.
Applying their combined 25 years of expertise in the brand and marketing industries, their pursuit of the finest possible products that are ethical, sustainable and oozing with style has culminated in a digital platform that gives unprecedented access to a carefully selected array of the world's most forward-thinking niche brands, mindfully and consciously created with heart and soul.
"We have been so energised finding brands across Australia and the world, with people behind the helm that really have their stuff together and are producing some of the amazing products that will last beyond the throw away cycle," says Peters.
"These are brands that really represent something other than buy, buy, buy and are thinking outside the square; that are challenging conventions whilst being chic, minimalist, fashion forward and contemporary."
With many labels exclusively available in Australia on able2online only, including Reverie, Heretic Parfum and Kayu Bags, and host to over 30 other independent and household brands covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle, the online shop offers a place where conscious consumers can make an informed purchase and feel positive about it.
"These are the brands that are going to stand the test of time because they are made with integrity, purpose and love. We want people to feel good about themselves and what they are purchasing, simply because it's good to be able 2 choose," says Hodge.
Having attracted over 1500 subscribers during its soft launch in November 2018, able2online aims to add new mindful products regularly.
"We want you to feel good not guilty and be able to discover a staple of brands across jewellery, home, apparel and beauty that you may not have heard of but soon will," says Peters.
Paired with Sendle, Australia's only carbon neutral courier, able2online also ensure packages are as environmentally conscious as the beautiful products they contain.
See what all the fuss is about at: www.able2online.com.
Question: What is able2online?
Dee Peters and Kerry Hodge: Able2online is Australia's newest online retail platform offering a carefully curated collection of fashion forward, minimalist brands with an ethical edge across beauty, jewellery, apparel and home.
Question: What inspired able2online?
Dee Peters and Kerry Hodge: The seed that eventually bloomed into able2online began when the two developed a desire to move in a simpler, more paired back direction, after radically altering their view on consumption and mass production in recent years. Despite their desire to consume in a more mindful way, we could not seem to find a healthy middle, where mindfulness and sustainability were held in equal esteem to style and quality – and just like that, able2online was born.
Question: Why was it crucial to you to create an online marketplace of mindful brands with social and environmental sustainability at their core?
Dee Peters and Kerry Hodge: It just makes sense to us to know about what you are buying. Able2online is a destination whereby people can make an informed choice, that what you are purchasing stacks up and is made with care, mindfulness and thought.
Question: Can you tell us about these brands?
Dee Peters and Kerry Hodge: All of the brands we have curated are all born out of a desire to do better and make positive change. Our brands not only think about what they make, but what they make it from and who makes it. For example, Soko Jewerly which is handmade by artisans in Kenya. Soko work with artisan entrepreneurs to build their businesses, improve production and sustainability and increase their income on average of 5x. Likewise KAYU Bags who are committed to paying artisans a fair, living wage and also ensure they are working in a safe, comfortable and clean working environment. They use locally-sourced and eco-friendly materials including natural straw, sustainably sourced shell and recycled wood.
Question: What did these specific brands offer in-line with the able2online ethos?
Dee Peters and Kerry Hodge: All of the brands we stock we personally use and have selected very stringently. We carefully curate brands who share our values, ethics and aesthetics, that being they are always mindfully made using the best possible sustainable materials, ingredients and practices. Also importantly that they share a positive and inspirational outlook from business idea to fruition with a genuine desire to do better and always think outside the box.
Question: Why did you choose to pair with Sendle?
Dee Peters and Kerry Hodge: Sendle is Australia's first 100% carbon-neutral delivery service. Sendle has partnered with South Pole Group to offset the emissions of every parcel that is picked up and delivered with Sendle. They also support projects like Myamyn Conservation Australia and Breathing Space. In addition to using Sendle, we only use recycled packaging and post in Better Packaging Co "biodegradable dirt bags".
Question: How can Australians become more conscious consumers?
Dee Peters and Kerry Hodge: Think before you buy - where is this made, how is this produced, is there a better alternative? Am I going to get at least 30 wears out of this? Is the packaging or product biodegradable? We can all do more, but every bit helps if everyone can at least make a start.
Question: What is critical to look for when shopping for mindful brands that are environmentally sustainable?
Dee Peters and Kerry Hodge: Take a moment to read the ingredients, materials used and where it is made. Jump on-line and do a quick google search - do their claims stack up? Also how is it packaged? Do they pay a fair wage?
Interview by Brooke Hunter