Growing up on a cane farm in Ingham, Jenna Fighera admits she has always had an admiration for small business and the land.
“Watching my parents run their farm and sharing such a passion for our land with my father, I have always had a deep appreciation of nature as well as farmers and small business owners,” says Jenna.
As the owner and founder of sustainable fashion brand, Feather & Fig, Jenna was determined to build a business that merged her love for fashion and sustainability; something she says is ingrained in her DNA.
“My grandmother was a seamstress,” says Jenna, who is still based out of Ingham.
“When I was a young girl, I would sit and watch her sew, which is where my interest in fashion first developed.”
After working in the education sector for many years, Jenna began building Feather & Fig two years ago when pregnant with her first child.
“I had been studying fashion externally and after a conversation with my husband, it made me realise, if not now, then when? So, I dived headfirst into bringing my dreams to life,” continues Jenna.
“It took close to 18 months to get it off the ground. During this time, Covid hit and sent the world into a frenzy, including my suppliers and manufacturers.”
Despite the delay, Jenna finally launched Feather & Fig in February of this year but acknowledges that the world of business is something she is still learning to navigate.
“The most challenging aspect has been the juggle of being a small business owner and wearing all the hats!” she says.
“Marketing has also been a big learning as it really is everything when it comes to getting brand awareness, and trying to find and appeal to my niche market, whilst launching at a time where retail spending seems to be down, proved to be challenging also.”
Locating manufacturers that adhered to ethical and safety standards, as well as sourcing sustainably made fabrics, is something Jenna feels passionately about and invested time in exploring the supply chain processes associated with garment production before launching the label.
“Farmers are needed to grow the material required to produce the fibres, artisans are needed to turn those fibres into fabrics as well as ultimately turn those fabrics into garments,” says Jenna.
“I am really conscious of where all of these processes originate from to ensure they are ethical and sustainable to not only the environment but the people.”
As more consumers continue to look for ways they can reduce their global footprint, Jenna says having sustainability at the forefront of her business is not only ethically, the right thing to do, but also a smart business strategy.
“Sustainable fashion encompasses an awareness and approach in which people are beginning to question – how was my clothing made?” says Jenna.
“Having this as a top priority when creating our pieces is important to myself but more so, our customers. Consumers are now starting to make purchasing decisions based around sustainability.”
Jenna has also started making scrunchies using leftover fabrics from her garments, as part of her new zero-waste initiative. She is continuing to look for ways to reduce her carbon impact and has plans to expand the brand into the areas of swimwear and sleepwear over the coming year.
“From little things, big things grow, and I have some really big goals and dreams for this label,” adds Jenna.
“I’m looking forward for what is to come. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day!”