Ana Fernanda Covarrubias.

“I want to make women feel comfortable in their own skin, while focusing on sustainable and ethically made fashion.” We hear from Mexican Eco-Fashion Designer, Ana Fernanda Covarrubias who now calls Geelong home.

Ana and partner Noe Mondragon, came to Australia 5 years ago under the Skilled Worker VISA scheme and as part of this visa requirement, lived in Dubbo NSW, for 3 years before moving to our beautiful region of the world. They love our proximity to Melbourne and our stunning beaches. They’re thrilled to be permanent residents who will be applying for Australian citizenship soon.

Ana is extremely grateful to be living here, she wants to connect with community and give back. This led her to running ‘The Second Start’ program which were workshops based on fashion sustainability, recycling and styling for refugees. These workshops were supported by Diversitat, Barwon, Child, Youth & Family (BCYF) and Sister Works in Melbourne. While last year put a stop to these, Ana plans to run them again in the future.

“There are many ways to approach a more sustainable fashion world – you can be fashionable and look amazing while being sustainable. I use deadstock cotton and recycled clothing to create a truly unique, upcycled Couture.

“Why follow trends when you can create your own style.

“When I studied fashion, I thought it was just about looking good but we have to be very conscious of the process involved and we need to think of people working in the fashion industry in developing countries. That’s when my journey as a human rights and sustainable fashion advocate began.

“We have to think about the effect the fast fashion industry has on the environment. Did you know that on average Australians discard 23 kg of textiles per person per year? We are just ahead of the US regarding textile consumption, it’s shocking when you see the numbers. I want to create change.”

If you are looking for truly unique, sustainable pieces, then Fernanda Covarrubias’s pieces are for you.

You can find Ana online at She also has a few pieces in Berserk, Shop 106 Pakington St, which is unique in that it only stocks Australian made.

Story: Jacqui Bennett. Photos supplied.