Melbourne brand Dominique Healy is ethical, sustainable, elegant and ageless

Elegant, seasonless, and ageless, the work of Melbourne based designer Dominique Healy has a built up a dedicated fan base of customers since she launched her eponymous brand in 2017. 

With 10 years as a fabric wholesaler in both Australia and New Zealand, if there’s one thing the designer is known for, it is high quality, beautiful fabrics. It was this background that was the impetus for the launch of the brand as the designer began stashing and storing the materials she came across. 

Alongside her love for fabric, Healy was also committed to creating clothing that support and promoted local and ethical clothing production, as she writes on her website. The brand’s mission statement clearly shows the designer’s focus: “Trans-seasonal pieces. Released slowly. Made in-house in our Melbourne studio.”

“Each garment is carefully considered and constructed locally from high-quality fabrics, all made to stand the test of time,” states the website.

Elegant, seasonless, ageless

The Dominique Healy aesthetic is a mix of classic shapes like wide-leg pants, pencil skirts, and blouses with textured fabrics and more fashion-forward proportions. She does a spectacular poet-style sleeve. 

It’s also interesting that the designer uses an older fit model front and center in her shoots and lookbooks, clearly welcoming the dollar of the more mature buyer. Equally interesting is that the exact same pieces are shown on both the older, and younger models; again showing a more inclusive attitude. 

While the natural tones of the fabrics – think white, cream, black – give off a somewhat Scandianivan furniture vibe, the slightly bulky fabrics create a rounded, soft texture to the brand’s pieces. 

Healy’s most recent collection was all about matching sets that have the comfortable feel of a sweatsuit but the elegance of a traditional suit due to the use of thick cotton fabrics and classic cuts. 

Ethical and Sustainable Production

The majority of the Dominique Healy garments are made in her Melbourne studio, while the rest is produced at an Melbourne factory that is ethically accredited. 

Healy strongly believes that production needs to be kept local in order to not only support the Australian fashion industry, but she also feels that otherwise, “a part of the magic of the fashion industry could be lost altogether”.

An added benefit of keeping production local is the ability to produce short runs per style, reducing waste, and to also move to a ‘made to order’ model after the initial garments are sold, again ensure there is little to no wasted stock.

The garment patterns are also designed in such a way as to reduce fabric wastage. The brand’s popular Bella Blouse uses 95% of the fabric allowance to make, and Healy continues to work on ways to decrease fabric wastage with all her patterns.

Another way the designer works to be more sustainable, is to use a majority of deadstock fabrics sourced from Japan, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand, where her previous life as a fabric wholesales comes in handy.

Linen used for the brand’s classics range is produced by mills that are OEKO-TEX certified, meaning they meet a set of international regulations for the responsible use of chemicals. 

While Healy has obviously created a fashion business that already follows a number of ethical and sustainable processes, the designer states that she will continue to incorporate “more sustainable and earth friendly materials into her collections”.

You can buy Dominique Healy online at dominiquehealy.com, and follow the brand on Instagram at @dominique_healy.

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