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2002 - Rachel starts Slingfings, whilst based in a sustainable grassroots community in the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, using two small solar panels and a couple of old car batteries.
2003 - Slingfings is nominated as a Lovemark and then featured in ‘The Lovemarks Effect’ book published 2004. The Lovemark initiative was started by Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi International.
2004 - Slingfings is recognised as Australia’s first climate neutral business. Rachel did a life cycle analysis of the carbon costs for the entire business. The carbon impact through from freight of raw materials, manufacture, operations and delivery of finished goods was calculated so that they could green their carbon emissions by funding projects that slow global warming. This was done by purchasing renewable energy - in wind farms and UV solar plants.
2006 - Bird launches, and writes 20 new accounts within 6 months.
- Powerhouse Museum interviews Rachel and initiates procurement of garments from both Slingfings and Bird Textiles for the permanent collections at the museum.
2007 - Bird Textiles selected by Austrade to represent Australia in New York at G’Day USA.
- Time Magazine feature Bird Textiles as one of three significant sustainable fashion brands in Australasia.
- Bird Textiles awarded a stand at the new ‘green’ section of Designers and Agents fashion tradefair in Los Angeles and launches Bird in the U.S.
- Bird Textiles featured in ‘Cool Hunting Green’ book, published internationally.
- curators at the Powerhouse Museum nominate Rachel Bending for a Powerhouse Wizard Award, recognizing emerging leaders in Australian innovation and achievement.
2008 - Rachel invited to exhibit at the renowned Artisan Gallery (formerly Craft QLD) as part of their ‘Unleashed’ group exhibition of exceptional craft and design.
- Bird Textiles commissions a mill in India to weave fabrics to their spec in SKAL certified organic cottons, and moves the entire range across to organics. This completes their three fold sustainable vision of using organic or renewable materials, 100% renewable energy in production and 100% climate neutral business practice.
- Bird Textiles Emporium flagship store opens in Surry Hills, Sydney.
- Rachel awarded highly commended at the annual Powerhouse Wizard Award, Powerhouse Museum, recognizing emerging leaders in Australian innovation and achievement.
- Rachel invited to speak at the Fashion Educators Forum at QUT.
- House and Garden magazine recognize Bird Textiles as Fabric Designer of the Year in their 2008 Style Awards.
2009 - Rachel invited to be panel member of ‘Eco Young Guns’ at Eat Green Design, Powerhouse Museum part of Sydney Design Festival.
- Rachel invited to speak at TCF Forum for TAFE NSW.
- Rachel invited to judge ‘Fashion Less Waste’ competition at Australian Museum.
- Rachel invited to speak at Fashioning Now Industry Symposium at UTS, Sydney.
- Bird Textiles awarded $50k grant from OzIndustry.
- Bird Textiles invited to show at Estethica, London Fashion Week.
- Fashion Group International select Bird as winner of the Sustainable Product category of the FGI Sydney Awards for Excellence 2009.
(FGI is a global, non-profit organisation for professionasl in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries, and was established in New York in 1930 by founding members including Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubenstein, Edith Head and Eleanor Roosevelt. Today the advisory board of FGI New York includes executives from Burberry, Vogue, Diane Von Furstenberg and Estee Lauder to name a few.)
2010 - Rachel finishes building her sustainable straw bale home.
- Rachel invited to show as part of ‘State Respond’ at Object Gallery, Sydney.
- Rachel takes some time out to have her baby daughter, Quincy.
2011 - Rachel launches Little Bird, Little Bird bespoke and limited edition organic childrenswear.