Behind The Seams: Natalie Triglone Collis, Mineraleir
Time spent in London and Copenhagen fuelled Mineraleir founder Natalie Triglone Collis’ interest in the business of fashion, but it was starting a family that ended up being the catalyst to launching her thoughtful, sustainable jewellery brand.
We go Behind The Seams with the founder and designer to discuss an honest reflection of what it really means to be a sustainable brand, her tightly-edited capsule wardrobe essentials, the beauty in chaos that inspired the latest collection, and the rejuvenating power of the ocean.
When it comes to brands (and figures) walking the talk when it comes to sustainability, we loved Natalie’s considered answers about the everyday challenges. It’s further proof that practice is better than perfection, and we’re all on a journey of progress together.
1. Tell us the story of how Mineraleir came to life. You’ve said the inspiration or idea for the brand actually came after starting a family. How did it change what you wanted from life/work?
I always knew I would run my own business and build my own brand at some juncture.
I suppose all my experiences formed tiny puzzle pieces leading to that point; I first studied economics at university, which was then followed by a suite of creative jobs. Back in the pre-IG days I was consumed by Danish and Swedish style websites as well as British street style. Eventually I found myself living between London and Copenhagen working for a jewellery brand and this really cemented my understanding of and appreciation for northern European style sentiments. So a creative fashion based business seemed to be on the cards…
Starting a family was the final catalyst, mainly because I wanted freedom to construct my own working environment and needed a really great reason to be taking time away from my girl/s.
2. Sustainability runs deep through your business like it does ours. Why is it so important to you and what have been the biggest challenges you have faced with this?
It runs deep in the business because it does so in our daily family life. Facilitating an unconscious business operation would be in complete discord with having children because whatever output we generate has a direct impact on their future and wellbeing.
I really don’t like to hinge our brand identity on sustainability at all though, as it should be recognised as an expectation in today’s business landscape rather than a marketing pillar.
Sustainability has also become quite a subjective term. If I were to truly adhere to what I believe to be ‘sustainable’ it would be subsistence living: completely off grid with nearly no eco-footprint. Yes, Mineraleir is incredibly environmentally conscious but there are still elements of the business that breeds internal dilemmas for me, e.g product packaging. The market demands it and yet most people discard it so that is a big one we are working through at the moment.
Shipping is another one; we are still only small so our carbon impact is virtually non-existent but I can see how huge it must be for bigger brands. I would really like to launch bricks and mortar in the future so we can connect to customers face to face and build a loyal customer base that is localised. That is why stores like After Eight are important to us! They are focused on serving their local clientele, offering a personalised service leaving women with items they love and wear forever.
Finally, I think we as people and as businesses can make the best efforts to be green but at the end of the day a lot of us are still producing products that are not essentially ‘essential’. Food, water, air, love - that is essential.
3. Your resort collection is stunning. Where did you draw inspiration from and how/where do you envision it being worn?
Resort was created during Australia’s long winter lockdown period. I was very much drawn to candlelit dinners with our family each night, cooking, finding beauty in chaos, tending to our vegetable patch, lots of warmth and love.
I’m not big on layering jewellery so I think one or two Mineraleir pieces max does the job.
4. When it comes to fashion inspiration do you have a style icon? What or who influences your purchases and how you dress?
I’ve always had a strong sense of personal style so no, I wouldn’t say I’ve ever had an icon or muse per se.
From a young age I would always save until I could afford to buy the thing I loved, rather than buying 10 things that were cheaper but I didn’t like as much…
I’ve also always been resourceful and scoured consignment store racks. Living in Europe was amazing for this as I was often able to trade garments on the spot, handing over the jacket off my back for a vintage Chloé coat etc… The thrill of finding something special was so much more enjoyable for me.
5. Let’s talk about other designers who, in your opinion, are setting a high standard and leading the charge in the sustainability space. Who are you watching/admiring?
I know the women behind Worn live a genuinely authentic, sustainable life and I trust this flows through to all of their business decisions. It makes it an easy place to shop for me.
I also love that Vivienne Westwood is so unapologetically impolite about people who remain indifferent about climate change and their personal impact (and to be clear, I feel she is referring to the privileged who can afford to make the right decision).
She promotes anti-consumerism and probably often to her own detriment. Just stop shopping so much she says, whether it’s a ‘sustainable’ garment or not…
“There is a real connection between culture and climate change. We all have a part to play and if you engage with life, you will get a new set of values, get off the consumer treadmill, and start to think, and it is these great thinkers who will rescue the planet.”
6. Taking a closer look at your personal wardrobe - what are the top five favourite pieces in your wardrobe that you can’t live without (can also include jewellery)?
I have a very lean wardrobe and I don’t purchase often at all. I just counted 20 hangers total in my closet (not including drawers obviously). I’ll buy very infrequently but buy well when I do. To name the key pieces:
- Re/Done jeans (3 colours in rotation)
- Toteme slides
- Vintage blouses - I genuinely love vintage or consignment pieces as I know I wont see my outfit walking into the same restaurant.
- 1 simple Mineraleir earring (right now it’s preferably a Porto style)
- Worn dress
This goes for my daughters also - they currently share 1 dresser. They have lovely clothes in limited quantities.
7. What’s your top tip for investing in beautiful jewellery pieces you’ll love and wear beyond just a season?
I think jewellery is deeply personal so acquiring new pieces is entirely at the discretion of our beautiful customers but I tend toward styles that are solid, bold and timeless. Keep it simple.
I also feel silver is incredibly underrated by the mass market - gold sells 10 to 1 from our online store. I am such a silver girl (plus it requires a much lower level of maintenance).
8. We often talk at After Eight about slowing down, so, we’d love to hear what you do to slow down in this fast-paced world we live in? What would we find you doing after 8pm?
Since running my own business I do experience some serious anxiety that I never had before.
I really like to get underwater; diving down into a pool or the ocean. Is there anything more peaceful? I stay under for as long as I can, come up for air and then dive back down. It really helps with my breathing, relaxation and restoring perspective.
It is also nostalgic of all those childhood memories with hours spent playing mermaids.
9. What are you reading/listening to/watching?
- The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (ironically about the women who live on a small Korean island and work each day diving underwater)
- Monocle Magazine
- Vintage issues of Architectural Digest
- British crime dramas (other favourites include The Crown and Succession)