Interview with Lauren Crago – founder of Solomon Street
We recently sat down with Solomon Street founder – Lauren Crago and had a chat about how she started her sustainable athleisure brand in 2017. After finishing her graphic design degree, Lauren discovered her passion for social enterprise which led her to build her own brand and community that is Solomon Street. Not only does Lauren have a positive mindset, but her values are focused on sustainability and bettering our environment. Solomon Street is proudly Australia’s most sustainable activewear, with a focus on inclusivity and ethical production. Lauren’s drive to exclusively use natural fibres and recycled synthetic materials are set to change the game when it comes to how products are manufactured and enjoyed by the consumer.
Not only is Solomon Street great for our environment, but Lauren has also created beautiful prints and designs that focus on showcasing the natural beauty of local flora, fauna and fruits. Taking inspiration through simple walks, going down to the beach, or even cooking, natural beauty is recognisable anywhere. “Even adding weeds to my designs is special, because I want people to acknowledge that even though they aren’t particularly desired, they’re still beautiful.”
Lauren’s core values of community, sustainability, inclusivity and perseverance are parallel to the values that we live by here at Align health Solutions which is why we wanted to share a little about her journey. Read our Q&A with Lauren below
What inspired you to create Solomon Street?
Definitely my passion for the environment and graphic design. I loved drawing and creating illustrations, but I never knew what to do with them. I would draw fruits and leaves, then I saw someone put them on the material. I thought, if they could do it, I can too. I guess when that happened, I asked myself, what could I do with the material now?
How did your German heritage inspire you?
Mum. My mother always encouraged me to focus on sustainability and the natural beauty of the environment. She taught me how to reduce waste from an extremely young age in a humble way and to always be considerate of other people’s circumstances. I was taught to purchase higher quality things and not harm the environment.
What inspired you to focus on athleisure?
The manufacturer I’ve partnered with is actually a dancewear company, so they focus on stretchy fabrics fit for activewear and underwear. I’m going to focus strictly on athleisure and underwear by releasing new prints.
The importance of inclusivity
Inclusivity and diversity are always what Solomon Street strive for. By focusing on athleisure and stretchy materials, the less structured pieces offer more inclusivity. Obviously adding any shaping to the material is going to limit the range of women who can wear the piece. Our crop tops and bralettes are extremely flexible that can fit smaller and larger busts. By creating pockets, people can add their own cups to adjust the size if they desire.
People with larger chests are also supported through Solomon Street as the thicker straps provided have more elastic for extra support
Diversity is a goal we’re working towards. It is vital for people to be able to see themselves represented in everyday life, people to aspire to and belong in the community. My goal for the near future is to improve and add more diversity to our website and branding.
What are the biggest challenges when it comes to being a sustainable brand?
I’d say obviously, higher manufacturing costs, my own personal goals and the variation of being sustainable in business and personally. There are also limitations in which we can’t control, such as, manufacturing procedures and technological limitations.
It is also extremely difficult to compete with higher brands who support fast fashion who do not support the health of the environment and their employees. It is vital to ensure that our products are made by happy people to only help our environment, not ruin it over time.
How are your materials, packaging and postage sustainable?
We use hemp organic cotton with 5% elastane which is made in a solar-powered factory. Hemp is a strong sustainable fibre with contains anti-microbial properties. This means our pieces are long-wearing, don’t hold odour and you don’t need to wash them as frequently, which saves water.
Our postage is carbon neutral and placed in a reusable wash bag which people can use to wash their products in or use as a market or shopping bag. The labels and shipping bags we use are also compostable, so you don’t have to hassle about anything when you receive the package, they can go straight into the compost or recycling. Another sustainable feature is that Solomon Street provide seeded tags with every purchase, so you can plant your swing tag straight into the ground and with the right care, it will take three weeks to grow!
Head to the website to view their collections and exclusive pieces. Lauren’s favourite is the midnight design as well as the Lantana. There are multiple beautiful and unique prints to choose from!