30 November 2021

Lauren Crago Founder & Director of Solomon Street

Lauren Crago

Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)

When Lauren Crago named her budding clothing label after Adelaide’s Solomon Street – the address of a café she was a barista at during her Bachelor of Design – little did she know the name would come to embody so much more and eventually represent the community she has built around the ethical products she creates now.

Solomon Street is as well known for its bold and bright prints of fruit and flora that adorn its activewear, jumpsuits and underwear, as it is its dedication to care for the earth and sustainable practices in every aspect of the company.

The brand was born with sustainability in mind and a strong ethos to leave the world a better place than it was found. It has been an opportunity to meld two of Lauren’s great passions – sustainability and illustration.

Sustainable activewear designs
While Lauren loves everything about running a business, her heart has always laid in the print design of her iconic fabrics

Since founding Solomon Street, Lauren has found more beautiful coincidental meanings in ‘Solomon Street’, like the Hebrew origin of the name meaning ‘peace’, and the fact that Sol, in Latin, means sun. The nourishing presence of the sun has been a bedrock of the products Lauren produces – activewear and intimates – all made from the ‘wonder-fibre’ Hemp.

The sun feeds the quickly regenerated Hemp plants and powers the solar powered fabric mill where her products come to life. The team like to think of the little golden rays of sun happily being woven into the hemp fabric.

The sustainable leisurewear business is very quickly making the transition from Sunday market stall to a thriving female-founded enterprise, joining the ranks of the many strong force in the South Australian Fashion Industry driving economic growth for our state.

Samples of active wear in fruity/floral designs
All of Solomon Street’s products are made out of hemp fibres as they are a reliable renewable resource.

In fact, Solomon Street has gone from strength to strength over its past four years of operation, most notably showcasing their first range at Austin (yes, Texas) Fashion Week.

Having trialled many different product lines, Lauren has settled on producing hemp activewear and underwear.

“I felt that I could make the most impact with these types of products,” Lauren says. “Activewear is hugely popular at the moment and most of it is made from plastic. The small amount that isn’t, is made from cotton, which doesn’t support healthy ecosystems and uses a huge amount of pesticides and water.”

Solomon Street’s range consists of underwear (high and low waisted), a body shape inclusive bralette, yoga-style leggings, shorts (coming soon) and a crop top that you can wear back-to-front.

Lauren illustrates each of her prints by hand
Lauren illustrates each of her prints by hand

“Designing for sustainability means constantly asking why – pushing the boundaries of what has been done in the past and what is possible,” Lauren says. “The current technological advancements in fabrics are astounding. Nature is being harnessed to create fabrics that we could only otherwise have make synthetically.”

While Lauren acknowledges that there are so many considerations when it comes to ensuring your clothing is truly sustainable, a great place to start if you’re new to sustainable clothing, is to be aware of the fabric.

After testing out different fibres, Lauren settled on using Hemp as the business’s primary fibre. The Hemp plants Solomon Street use for their fabric actively improve the earth they grow in; they support the ecosystem living around them and actively sequester carbon into the soil.

“It makes the most difference if you can choose a fabric that is sustainable, meaning a fibre that is made from plants and is quickly regenerated, and uses minimal chemicals in growing and in processing.”

Lauren is intimately involved in the sustainable design, manufacturing and distribution of all her Solomon Street products.
Lauren is intimately involved in the sustainable design, manufacturing and distribution of all her Solomon Street products.

Solomon Street ensures sustainability through their entire supply chain through various certifications. They ensure their fabric supplier is a member of the Amfori Business Social Compliance Initiative, that fabric printing inks are OEKO-TEX100 certified, the producers are certified through Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production, that labels are printed directly onto the inside of their clothes, and all their packaging is compostable or re-useable too. Phew!

The next year is set to be an exciting one as well. Solomon Street is scaling into wholesale and changing their production chain to suit the new model, working with new sustainable producers. The team also has a new range of prints they will be debuting, plus there’s a coveted collaboration on the horizon.

From Graphic Design graduate to driving sustainable fashion innovation in South Australia, we expect that we are yet to see Lauren Crago hit her peak, in fact, we can see the glass ceiling shattering in her wake.

Visit the website here for more on Solomon Street.

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