Sarah-Jane Clarke on living simply and her journey into slow fashion


When Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton departed their label sass & bide in 2014, the best friends walked into the unknown together; with a yearning for creativity, travel and freedom. 

After 15 years of designing with a distinctly bold sass & bide aesthetic that garnered a worldwide following, Sarah-Jane Clarke has re-emerged in the fashion landscape with a thoughtful, considered label under her namesake. 

Informed by Clarke’s love of discovering the world, the approach is a considered one, where natural fabrications and well-crafted pieces find their edge in hints of drama.  

Clarke’s designs find purpose in trans-seasonal pieces and luxurious resort wear, realised through twice yearly capsule collections inspired by the renewed energy we find in explorations beyond our everyday lives.

Travel heavily influences the aesthetic, as does her affinity for the dusty, the sun bleached, and the faded. 

Born from a desire to produce pieces that hold worth beyond a hand full of wears, Clarke’s focus is on considering past collections when designing for the future; creating pieces that can be paired with those from seasons past for a sustainable future of fashion and consumption. 

With her love of the ocean and summer days, Sarah-Jane Clarke is in many ways quintessentially Australian. Couple that with her impressive career on the international fashion stage, and you have the welcome re-emergence of one of the country’s most discerning and creative eyes. 

Here, a wise and intelligent Clarke waxes lyrical on the importance of self-care, her journey into slow fashion, and why living simply means living well. 

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“Living well is living simply.
Enjoying the small things and
being humble and grateful for
all that I have.”
- Sarah-Jane Clarke

What does your perfect day look like?

Blue skies, 28 degrees, sea, family and friends.

How do you get into a great creative headspace?

I feel most creative when I am mentally happy with myself and content with life. That means taking care of myself, and focusing on what matters. Spending time in nature always brings me back to what is important. 

How would you describe your philosophy on living well?

Living well is living simply. Enjoying the small things and being humble and grateful for all that I have.  

Tell us about your journey to begin your latest venture?

My latest creative project is inspired by my love of travel. It is a collection of objects and things that I find on my travels and pieces that I want to wear on my travels.  Natural fibres such as linen and silks, and the perfect sun-bleached colour palette. 

My new venture is apart of the slow fashion movement - two seasons a year, small capsule collections. I like the idea of many purposes for one piece. Each piece is designed to be matched back with past seasons and current season. 

The philosophy behind the brand is to slow down consumption, use fabrics that are kind to the planet and produce in small runs so there is no excess products that end up in landfills. It is all made in Australia.

What are your self-care rituals?

  • Morning Celery juice and a clean diet

  • Regular facials ta Karparti skin care

  • Acupuncture

  • Massage every 2 weeks

  • Exercising - a mix between SPIN and yoga

  • Being in nature

As a working mother how do you create a sense of order and calm in your life?

I’ve learnt how important it is to ensure that I make time for myself, whether that is to exercise or to have massage. As a mother and wife it is easy to put others first, however I find if mother is happy, the family is happy!

What is your favourite meal to share with family and friends?

I love the Mediterranean way of eating – clean, fresh and lots of share plates. 

What advice do you give to your children?

Raising teenage boys I’m always giving out advice! From the importance of taking care of their body, mind, and soul , to how to conduct themselves and how to read a bank statement.

What about the future excites you the most?  

Travelling to new cultures.

Where are your favourite places to escape to:

I have an even love for both beach and bush. Its depends on what type of mood I’m in… if I am stressed l like to be alone with the trees and birds. If I’m feeling up for some fun then I head to the beach with family and friends.

 What’s currently on your reading list?

I read a lot of books on health and wellbeing.

My latest reads:

Alcohol Explained by William Porter

Medial Medium Liver Rescue – by Anthony William 

What words do you live by?

Simple life - good life.

Introduction by Lucinda McKimm
Interview by Anna White
Photography by Jo Yeldham