About

Every day, we eat and we dress. We have become conscious of our food, it is time to become more conscious of our clothing.

Textile Beat is a social enterprise inspiring a creative approach to the way we dress, through slow clothing. We believe in ethical, sustainable choices that don’t harm people or the planet. We want to know the story about where clothing comes from and we believe in care and repair, refashion and restyle of existing clothing using old-fashioned home-sewing skills. 

We encourage you to slow down, take stock and consider the substance, not just the style of the clothes you choose to wear. Become conscious of your wardrobe: buy less, choose natural fibres, mend what you have, value story, love second-hand and vintage, refuse cheap fashion, avoid toxic dyes, read labels, restyle what you have, share and swap, or buy ethical brands. If it suits you to do so, be empowered to sew, restyle and refashion clothing already in circulation.

Jane Milburn established Textile Beat in 2013 at Brisbane Australia to embrace natural fibres and upcycle existing natural-fibre garments for pleasure, reward and sustainability.

Jane MilburnJane Milburn: Sustainability consultant, speaker, upcycler, and agricultural scientist leading The Slow Clothing Project.

Introducing Jane Milburn of Textile Beat                           Jane Milburn CV January 2016

Fresh from Australian rural leadership study, Jane embarked on the 365-day Sew it Again campaign throughout 2014 to bring together her wide-ranging career and life experiences in a meaningful way. As with the rising interest in home cooking and food growing for health and wellbeing, Jane believes there is a pressing need to rethink our approach to clothing for sustainability. Jane’s model includes empowering individuals to reimagine and recreate their own wardrobe collection by resewing at home. Jane is part of the Fashion Revolution bringing awareness to where clothes come from and the resources from which they are made.

Textile Beat is guided by a Council of Minds

Ele CookEle Cook: Organic beef producer and community advocate

As an organic beef producer who lives holistically on a property in central western New South Wales, Ele’s journey of life on the land and enterprising business skills in rural communities has led her to forge a pathway for inspiring and motivating positive change. Ele grew up in a large family home full of enterprising women. Wearing hand-me-downs was just the norm. Ele feels comfortable wearing secondhand clothes and can appreciate beauty and a bargain. When receiving a compliment on what she is wearing, Ele has a wonderful sense of achievement that it has been re-created or revived. Ele believes nurturing her creative side is natural and the Textile Beat initiative is a part of living and leading true to your values.

Barb GreyBarb Grey: Dedicated farmer, tea connoisseur and champagne lover.

Barb enjoys a rich life, combining management of the farm business with off-farm cotton industry participation. Her second-career phase of professional and personal accomplishments includes a Master of Business Administration (2013), graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (2009) and recipient of the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award (2011). After encountering breast cancer in 2014, Barb moved into the slow lane from where she is appreciating a different pace and perspective while taking the opportunity to carefully reflect before saying ‘yes’!

Georgie Somerset: beef producer, vice-president AgForce Queensland

Georgie SomersetGeorgie is a regional strategist and rural leader with experience in agribusiness, rural tourism and regional development. Her work involves identifying opportunities, resolving issues and creating linkages and networks across rural sectors. Actively involved in the family-owned beef property in Queensland’s South Burnett and mother of three children, Georgie also has a number of board roles including as vice-president of AgForce Queensland. She was recognised in the 2014 Westpac Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence and was awarded Outstanding Contributor to Rural Australia in the inaugural Women in Australian Agribusiness 100. Georgie is a fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (2010) and believes in lifelong learning and education.

Sharon DownesSharon Downes: Biologist, radio DJ, opshop enthusiast, and ‘slow living’ crusader

Sharon’s day job as a scientist with CSIRO’s Agriculture Flagship involves working with the cotton industry on integrated pest management to thwart a caterpillar species which threatens their sustainability. Outside of professional work, Sharon lives slowly from an urban block that she has purposefully designed to provide her food, water, and energy needs. Sharon promotes independent music during a weekly DJ stint on community radio, and aspires never to purchase a brand new item of clothing – so far, so good!

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Through their connections with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award, and James Cook University leadership studies, Textile Beat’s council of minds works to:

  • utilise creativity through purposeful and resourceful socially-conscious activity
  • contribute to sustainability by influencing society to reuse, reduce and recycle
  • empower receptive individuals by engaging them and passing on knowledge
  • inspire others to utilise and value the beauty of natural fibre
  • connect with nature, natural resources and those who care about them

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Jane Milburn grew up surrounded by women who knew how to sew, stitch, and live simply on their sheep farm at Owaka in the South Island of New Zealand. With food predominantly home-grown and home-cooked on the farm, clothing was often similarly hand-created, modified or mended by generations of women including Jane’s mother Elizabeth, a university-educated home economics teacher, grandma Garth and great-grandma Mary, traditional homemakers. In this environment, natural resources such as wool, linen, cotton, fur, wood and water were valued and used in accordance with the ‘waste not want not’ philosophy which was the norm for generations past.

In between being named as Little Miss Owaka, studying agricultural science at The University of Queensland, working as a rural reporter and being judged 2010 Queensland runner-up in the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award, Jane lost her mother and grandmother to cancer, and has herself overcome early-stage breast cancer. These experiences led Jane to follow her heart on a creative journey, reconnecting to her past and building a future based on upcycling natural fibres in a way that provides purpose, relaxation, satisfaction and sharing.

Jane sees life through the prism of health and wellbeing. Health is nurtured by eating fresh home-cooked natural food and maintaining an active lifestyle. Wellbeing comes from creatively reusing precious natural fibres, empowering and inspiring others to do likewise in a ways that are good for the soul and the planet. See attached for Jane Milburn CV January 2016

Ele Cook grew up in a large family home full of enterprising women. Wearing hand-me-downs was just the norm. Ele feels comfortable wearing secondhand clothes and can appreciate beauty and a bargain. Loving the fact, after receiving a compliment on an outfit she’s wearing, secretly has a wonderful sense of achievement that it has been re-created or revived.

Ele regularly held social gatherings where friends would be together to complete a craft. Nurturing her creative side is natural, as Ele strives to live holistically.  As a partner in an organic beef property in central New South Wales brings together all concerns regarding living sustainably.  The Textile Beat initiative is a part of living and leading true to your values.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. Dylan Elkman

    Hi Jane,
    My name is Dylan Elkman. Ive recently graduated from RMIT with the BA fashion (design and technology) and am about to embark on further study at Kangan in fashion design and merchandising. I am in the process of developing a range of clothing with a big focus on up-cycled and recycled textiles. However it proving to be quite a difficult process especially trying to source these fabrics locally…. I have had some success finding some suppliers that specialize in recycled polyesters and nylons with the majority of the fibers derived from used plastic bottles. Ive also looked in to Tencel and recycled superfine merino wool which seems like a really appropriate alternative to the very thirsty cotton and up-cycled wools that use old garments.
    I was just wondering if you had any contacts, that may be able help get in contact with local producers of any of these products, or any suggestions in helping me.
    Love what your doing, Kind regards.
    Dylan Elkman

  2. Jane

    Hi Dylan, thanks for your inquiry and great that you are seeking to be sustainable with your clothing initiative. I’ve sent you an email with a few suggestions. Regards Jane

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