Byron Bay Bound: Summer Packing Tips from Spell's Founders
Preparing for a summer getaway in Byron Bay is more than just packing a suitcase; it's an opportunity to embrace the spirit of this iconic coastal destination where sun, surf, and a carefree coastal spirit converge. We chat to the founders of the renowned Spell brand, Elizabeth Abegg and Isabella Pennefeather, about the ultimate guide to packing for a summer holiday in Byron.
Q: As founders of the iconic Spell brand, you've created a unique style that perfectly embodies the spirit of Byron Bay. How would you describe the Spell aesthetic, and what inspires your designs?
A: We always consider this when thinking about our garments: could you find this in a vintage store? We always were inspired by Byron Bay of the 70's from the early days of the brand, and the carefree essence that people seem to think is synonymous with the town. We love anyone who has a piece of Spell to feel they have a piece of Byron coming with them, wherever they are in the world!
Q: Byron Bay is synonymous with sun, surf, and a laid-back coastal vibe. How does this influence the way you approach summer fashion and the garments you create?
A: It heavily influences this (we sometimes joke it is summer year-long in design, or the holiday state of mind - though we love a statement jacket or knit, too!). Generally, our pieces are designed with a holiday in mind, and of course, our surroundings and where our HQ is based are part of the inspiration!
Q: When packing for a summer getaway in Byron Bay, what are the key essentials that every fashion-savvy traveller should include in their suitcase?
A: We absolutely love being able to save space with items that are multi-wear, so definitely a travel scarf that can be worn as a sarong over swim, a top with jeans, a scarf if it's chilly at night or a head wrap for a bad hair day!
Q: We all love a good trend. What are some of your favourite summer fashion trends that we can expect to see in Byron Bay this season? And how can our readers incorporate these trends into their wardrobe?
A: The best part about Byron is every brand has its own signature vibe and it's not necessarily about the trends! For us, we don't necessarily design to trends but what is true to our own vibes. We have to say though, we've seen the maxi skirt (especially white ones!) coming back during fashion week and on the streets around the globe, and we're excited to see one back in our collection this summer.
Q: Sustainability is a core value at Crystalbrook. How does Spell support this ethos in its design and production processes? Are there any specific sustainability practices or partnerships that you would like to highlight?
A: We are so excited to have recently achieved two milestones on our People + Planet journey - after five years of working towards B Corp certification we have finally achieved this status. Around the same time, we also received our carbon-neutral certification. Our People and Planet journey is something we've been working on for nine years now and we hold ourselves accountable with third-party auditing, so our customers don't just have to take our word for it. This transparency is a core part of our brand ethos.
Q: In addition to clothing, what other items should travellers consider packing to enhance their summer experience in Byron Bay? Any fashion-forward accessories or beauty products that you personally swear by?
A: We would say - try not to pack much and enjoy the local stores and wares if you can spoil yourself, there are so many epic local products, accessories, and artisans to find here! Of course, a hat and sunscreen are essential, but you can find them here.
Q: Byron Bay is renowned for its stunning beaches, lush rainforest, and a plethora of outdoor activities. How does Spell's aesthetic cater to the needs of adventurous souls while still maintaining a sense of style and luxury?
A: We love to think we are covering everyone's holiday needs from day to night by feeling super comfortable, and super gorgeous!
Q: In a destination like Byron Bay, where the natural beauty is so abundant, what advice do you have for our readers on selecting outfits that complement and highlight the breathtaking surroundings?
A: We think it's about dressing for comfort and your style! Our palettes are always inspired by nature so you could choose those colours to suit your surroundings too (turquoise dress on a turquoise ocean beach?) or perhaps go bold and wear a crisp white piece and stand out.
Q: As fashion influencers and founders of a renowned brand, what advice do you have for aspiring fashion entrepreneurs who wish to infuse their creations with sustainability and environmental consciousness?
A: We have always created from the heart, what we love, led by heart and gut instinct, and I think this is how we have fostered a community of like-minded people. We like to take our customers on a journey whether it be for a collection or for sustainability.
Q: Can you share with us any collaborations or partnerships that Spell has forged with sustainable organizations in Byron Bay?
A: We have excitingly been supporting a local First Nations-owned organisation called Bunjum over the last two years we've been able to donate $148,000 including support during the Northern Rivers flood disaster. When it comes to sustainable organisations, we've been sharing knowledge with friends at Flow Hive and Stone & Wood around our B Corp certification, we love coming together as businesses to strengthen the common goal of operating responsibly.
Q: As travellers seek immersive and authentic experiences, fashion has become a means of self-expression. How does Spell empower individuals to create their own unique style while also supporting sustainably produced garments?
A: What we love seeing in our community is the use of older collections - our customer really loves to style old with new, and new with vintage. We love to see everyone's unique way of styling their pieces, or how they have kept pieces from 8 years ago and brought them back out to wear again and again! Our pieces are made to be worn throughout so many life stages and even be passed on, so we hope anyone picking up something on travels to Byron is not just picking up a piece of clothing, but a little souvenir of that moment in time and bring that memory or feeling along with them when they wear it at home.
Q: Byron Bay is not only a haven for beachgoers but also a hub for wellness and rejuvenation. How does Spell's line of clothing contribute to the overall wellness experience?
A: We often think about wellness as the intersection between this and sustainability, particularly our selection around the fibre process. We seek to create our products from preferred fibres, which are fabrications that do less harm to the planet in production and emissions. The person who is conscious of wellness for their own body is usually also conscious of the 'wellness' of the planet, or people who make their clothes, too, so we hope these two mindsets interchange. We also think we make a pretty great post-yoga dress in terms of being light and effortless - just throw it on and go!
Q: Finally, what exciting projects or collaborations can we expect from Spell in the near future? Any exclusive hints or sneak peeks for our readers?
A: We've always got a few things on the go, and we're really excited about our upcoming collections. We've got some fun things planned for our store for the summer too, so hopefully anyone visiting at Crystalbrook gets the chance to take part!