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Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks


Elle Roseby is someone who has probably influenced your life without you even knowing it. She has spent over thirty years in the Australian fashion industry, moving from Cherry Lane to Myer and Sportsgirl before finally landing her current job of Managing Director at Country Road. She spent close to a decade in each workplace – longevity that’s unheard of in this day and age!

Since starting at Country Road, Elle has seen the industry she’s help to shape go through a seismic shift towards sustainability, and it has been her responsibility to drive the company into the age of the conscious consumer. That means exciting new partnerships, community initiatives and goals to establish Country Road as a leader in the responsible retailing space.

So, what is involved in transitioning one of the biggest retailers in the country towards ambitious new sustainability standards? And how exactly DO you guide a whole team through a global pandemic?

Elle answers all this and more, in this podcast conversation with host, Lucy Feagins.

23rd July, 2021

One of Country Road’s big pushes has been around working closely with Australian farmers to source 100% Australian cotton. They also work with local manufacturers to create their re-issued 90s heritage sweat. Have a look at their blog post that details these relationships here. Photo – Courtesy of Country Road.

At Country Road HQ the team work together on product design and ‘leaving the logo in a better place’ (the staff motto!). Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

In 2019 Country Road re-opened its Chadstone flagship in August 2019 with a 5 Star Green Star Design Review rating by the Green Building Council of Australia. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Friday 23rd July 2021

Elle Roseby has been in the Australian fashion industry for over three decades, from junior buying for Myer’s Miss Shop, to a 16-year stint at Sportsgirl, 5 of which she was the CEO. She’s seen many trend cycles come and go, but in recent years these have given way to much more long-term thinking.

Since Elle moved to the Country Road Group in 2018, as Managing Director, the global focus on improving retail’s sustainability credentials has sharpened. Consumers want more transparency and accountability from brands, and at Country Road, Elle and her team are responding to these demands with ambitious goals, and important new initiatives.

Under Elle’s leadership, Country Road re-opened its Chadstone flagship in August 2019 with a 5 Star Green Star Design Review rating by the Green Building Council of Australia; they’ve  established partnerships with Oritain to ensure 100% fibre traceability, and Landcare Australia, to support the Australian agricultural industry; and they’ve partnered with Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation to provide ongoing support to the National Indigenous Fashion Awards and Country to Couture. This year, Country Road are also the proud sponsor of the Sustainability category in our very own The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2021 for the second year in a row!

Hear all about it in this episode of TDF Talks!

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.