Mel Lechte is on a mission to deliver durable, luxury products, without compromising the health of the planet.
After spending years in the corporate industry, Organic Crew’s founder, Mel, became aware of just how damaging fast-fashion and consumerism can be. Now her Mornington-based business is tapping into the growing number of people asking the question of ‘who actually made my clothes?’
Organic Crew was born out of a desire to provide ethically made, sustainable and comfy apparel that’s designed to last. And they’re a welcome addition to Mornington’s retail scene.
With garments made from 100% certified organic cotton and sourced from the Kolkata region in India, Mel has ventured far and wide to source materials that cause minimal harm to both us and the environment. She remains passionate in her mission to ‘track products from seed to store’ – visiting the vast Indian cotton fields on numerous occasions and chatting with friendly locals over steaming bowls of curry.
Accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia and Fair-Trade Certified, Organic Crew is dedicated to the individuals involved in all aspects of the production process. They are proudly associated with Chetna Organic, implementing ethical practices which enable farmers and workers to build sustainable businesses and lives.
Mel is clearly passionate about what she does. “I’m not hurting the planet in the process. I’m not taking resources without thought… And that feels great,” she adds with a chuckle.
Taking the ‘feel good, look good’ motto to another level, the clothes are designed to be worn as ‘elevated loungewear’; they’re worn just as easily dressed up to go out or on a cosy night in. The minimalist store offers items like the double-cuffed crew pants – Mel’s favourite – light-weight ‘love’ tees, and logo sweats.
Also featured in-store are Veja shoes– stylish, vegan friendly and sustainably made sneakers– handmade incense, and an array of body care. Organic Crew just released their new Jersey Cotton PJ Sets, and Mel hints that homewares – think pure organic cotton bedding – could be up next.
Mel’s mission is simple: to help people make conscious, ethical decisions, acting with kindness and care for our world.
“We need to be empowered with our choices as a consumer,” Mel says, as she discusses the impacts of the fast-fashion industry. While admitting “competing with big brands with big budgets” hasn’t been easy, Mel remains confident that as more people start to ask the right questions, the movement will continue to grow.
“When you buy a product, you are voting with your purchase. You are making either a positive difference, or a negative one.”