How hard is it to be sustainable with activewear? “To mix sustainability and activewear was almost impossible when I was starting out. With every product we develop, there are different avenues of sustainability you can take. For example, with knitwear from the Movement collection I was like, ‘I don’t want to waste any raw materials, I want to use organic fibres,’ so there are no pesticides or herbicides used. “There are so many elements that went into getting the fabrication perfect and not using too many synthetics, which you need to give stretch. I plate the synthetics [with organic cotton], so none of those yarns touch the skin. All the dyes are non-toxic. I’ve been in design for 15 years. I care about what I wear, I love clothes and I love contemporary design. I never wanted Nagnata to look hippy.” What lessons have you learned from working for other brands? “A key lessonwas keeping close control over every aspect of the business. I’ve watched designers bring investors in and lose control, or bring too many people in and just lose contact with what’s really going on. So for these first few years [of Nagnata], which are so integral, I’ve been doing everything. I’m designing, marketing, attending every sales appointment, I’m with every major retailer, I’m going to stores. “I worked closely with [Australian designer] Alice McCall and what I admired about her was her level of uniqueness. She wasn’t one of those designers who just researches what everyone else is doing. I also worked with [surfwear brand] Insight and [denim label] Ksubi, and that is where I learned how to build a brand. There was so much culture, creativity – a really authentic kind of lifestyle and art all built into the brand, which resonated with me. It felt like a big family of artists making cool stuff. It wasn’t just about building collections and making heaps of money.” Nagnata was one of 12 runners-up in Lane Crawford’s Creative Callout Australia awards last year. What has that meant for you? “It’s learning about what works for the Hong Kong and China markets, because it is so different to what our customers in Australia, the United States or Europe want. It’s opened all these doors to those markets, which otherwise we wouldn’t have had.” What advice do you have for wannabe fashion entrepreneurs? “The key advice is innovation and originality, and to spend a lot of time creating a concept that is personal to you, that you believe in. I barely look at fashion shows now, especially when I’m in the creative space. I find inspiration from obscure places that speak to me and I let that channel through a collection. As long as you have your unique aesthetic and have that solidified at the start, the rest happens organically.” Stockists include Net-a-Porter, Selfridges and Lane Crawford, where Nagnata has launched a capsule collection in collaboration with Woolmark.