The Melbourne designer creating fashion from the forgotten sleeping bags of our past adventures, and pushing the boundaries of fashion as we know it.

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As humans, we like to look good, and if you’re reading this article, you probably like to look really good. Many of us also like to care for the environment, but probably don’t always connect the two concepts. Melbourne-based designer Cadia Belante has gone above and beyond merely looking damn fine 24/7, but is saving the planet while she does it. She’s probably one of the best looking eco-warriors we have ever seen.

Cadia (left) in action!

Most of us have probably never given another thought to those sleeping bags of slumber parties and camping trips past (although hopefully we are all still having slumber parties and camping trips because let’s face it, who really wants to be a grown-up?). Cadia has not only one-upped us by remembering them, but she has created super slick and stylish garments that would make any person (or sleeping bag) pretty damn jealous.

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“My journey began when I was studying in my final year at RMIT,” says Cadia, “being inspired by the op-shop I began to look at it in a new way. I commenced noting down the items that never seem to leave the op-shop.”

We love Cadia’s passion: to create a sustainable fashion labelling, reimaging items which would otherwise go to waste.

The first time I tried on some of Cadia’s creations, I was amazed and impressed at just how cool and comfortable they were to wear.

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DSM Reporter Samantha Kennett-Ny wearing one of Cadia’s creations, shot by Masanori Udagawa

Let me tell you, they made me feel super cool too.  At times, eco-fashion has seemed a little behind or not quite in tune with current styles. Cadia has thrown that stereotype out the window, with items that not only look awesome, but look individual enough to draw just the right amount of attention and gain some serious street cred points. I could not believe it when I was told that the jacket, shorts and bag I was wearing all used to be sleeping bags! Gone are the days ‘eco-trendy’ only consisting of wearing hemp clothes and rubber sandals made of tyres (which we love too!). Cadia creates everything from jackets to pants to dresses, catering for everyone who loves beautiful clothes!

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Here at DSM we love people who follow their passion and make a difference. Cadia says that when times get tough or things get a bit difficult, the drive to start a sustainable fashion revolution is what keeps her going! We think that’s a stellar motivation and admire Cadia for her drive to do good things for the world and the environment!

When asked what advice Cadia could share with other people who want to pursue their passion for a living, Cadia says to do good work and stay true to what you believe in.

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“Productivity comes from positivity. Never make compromises, and don’t worry about being successful or making money.”

From someone as inspired, hardworking and creative as her, this is definitely some advice to take to heart.

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Cadia Belante is making a dynamic statement about fashion and fashion design, “blurring the lines between art and fashion.” Cadia embodies what DSM is all about; getting out there and doing what you believe in!

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You can acquire your own Cadia Belante works of art with extra street cred online on her website, or at stockists in Victoria, Australia.

Cadia Belante on the web, insta & fb!

Cadia is also looking for New Zealand stockists.

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