Connect with The Nature Exchange and Enjoy Reciprocity at its Best


Connect with The Nature Exchange and Enjoy Reciprocity at its Best

An interview with a Hero of Mother Nature and how to get your hands on truly comfortable t-shirts with impeccable ethics!

Disclaimer: I receive no financial or other material benefit from writing about this business. The views expressed are my own and contain no conflict of interest. Clicking on the links in this article will bring me no financial or other benefit unless explicitly stated.

Buying a comfortable t-shirt from this business results in a tree being planted in Victoria, Australia to help re-establish habitat for endangered animals! Winning!

My most comfortable t-shirt purchased from The Nature Exchange, ethical AND comfortable AND I love the design! Selfie by Author.

The t-shirts I have bought from The Nature Exchange are ethically sourced, contribute to improving our environment and are super comfortable. It’s a pleasure to wear them for all the right reasons. In fact, the only time I don’t reach for them first is when they are in the dirty washing basket!

Did you know that a major contributor to plastic pollution in our oceans is microfibres from laundering synthetic fabrics? It’s a great reason to start phasing out synthetic fabrics and buying natural fibres. These t-shirts are 100% organic cotton.

The Nature Exchange is a small business run by Gabrielle, who is, in her own words, “an artist, a conservationist and a mindful daydreamer”. With every purchase from her online store, she makes a donation to projects that replenish our forests and restore natural ecosystems. She really is one of Mother Nature’s heroes!

I conducted an email interview with Gabrielle to get more insight into her business of making a difference to the natural world.

Her journey began with adversity, as these stories often do. After gaining tertiary qualifications in Conservation, she discovered that it was difficult to get jobs in the industry. Rather than turn away from her passion, she conceptualised The Nature Exchange and began building a brand that didn’t just serve her business. The Nature Exchange also serves conservation interests, with profits going to planting trees and protecting endangered species.

This satisfied Gabrielle’s desire to raise awareness about “the destruction of our old-growth forests, and the ramifications for the wildlife that call them home”.

She wanted to start conversations and call people to action. As someone who wears her t-shirts, I can attest to their power to start conversations!

Gabrielle hopes that these products will contribute to mitigation of threats to our environment like “land clearing, logging, and climate-induced bushfires”. Australia doesn’t have a great record with the environment right now. In fact, when the World Wildlife Fund released its deforestation fronts in January 2021, Australia was the only OECD country in the list of 24¹.

Do I believe it?

While fact checkers say that the data is difficult to confirm or deny due to availability of reliable sources, I do believe it.

The evidence can be viewed from the car as I drive to and from work. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t see a new patch of forest, clear-felled and preparing for housing developments.

That’s why it’s important to start supporting businesses like The Nature Exchange. Raising awareness and getting people “on board” is a step in the right direction if we want to slow the deforestation trend.

A Tree Planting Party run by The Nature Exchange. Photo by The Nature Exchange and used with permission.

“Heartwarming, humbling and absolutely wonderful”

This is how Gabrielle describes the greatest achievement of her business. Over a number of days, Gabrielle and a crowd of volunteers planted trees in Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve to support dwindling populations of the endangered Helmeted Honeyeater and the Leadbeater Possum. She called these planting days: “tree parties”. Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful event to be a part of!?

Products from The Nature Exchange come beautifully wrapped in recycled paper and compostable packing bags. Photo by Author


The Nature Exchange products aren’t just about comfortable t-shirts, beautiful tea towels and lovely greeting cards. Those t-shirts are also 100% organic cotton and the product of a carefully monitored ethical production chain that strives to be carbon neutral. This aspiration travels through the entire process including recycled paper and compostable packaging for postage.

The Habitat Tree and Rewilding designs were created by a local artist which links beautifully to Gabrielle’s notion of “connecting community with environment”.

You can find her products in-store by clicking here.

Each of these products contributes to Conservation groups as detailed below.

Habitat Tree, Plant Powered, Tree of Life, Be the Change, Word Tree, Peace Tree and Mountain Mandala all contribute $2 for each product sold to TreeProject.

My personal favourite of the designs, Rewilding, contributes $2 to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy for each sale.

The “Word Tree” T-shirt designs. There is also a lovely range of colours for women with the same design. Photo by The Nature Exchange and used with permission.

A favourite product

When asked about her favourite product, Gabrielle expresses a familiar bewilderment that seems to afflict the Heroes of Mother Nature. She loves all her designs and has a special place for “Rewilding” and “Habitat Tree”, but her greatest thrill came from her very first product. She still remembers the excitement of “Word Tree” t-shirts arriving and a certainty that she had chosen the right product to launch her business because “it reflects all the things that are important to me”!

Bushfires in the Summer of 2019/2020 devastated large areas of bushland in Eastern Australia. Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash

A series of challenges

Gabrielle’s business is no stranger to challenges. Since its 2018 beginnings, her home in the Australian state of Victoria, has endured not only catastrophic bushfires but more than 200 days of COVID19 lockdowns in its capital city, Melbourne. At the time of writing the area is in lockdown again.

This has not only restricted the tree planting activities of The Nature Exchange but also Gabrielle’s ability to get out into the natural areas she loves.

“… there is also the mental health side of this pandemic for everyone, and I have certainly felt my motivation wane a bit. Being out in nature with friends and like-minded people keeps me inspired and excited about spreading the message that is the cornerstone of the Nature Exchange, so to not be able to do that for many months this year has been difficult.”

The Wirra Willa Rainforest Walk in Toolangi. Photos by Gabrielle Bradley and used with permission.

Moments of Wonder

This is another difficult question for a Hero of Mother Nature to answer.

She talks about one of her favourite wilderness haunts:

“One of my very favourite places to visit is the Wirra Willa rainforest walk in Toolangi, in the Central Victorian highlands. A remnant of Gondwanan cool temperate rainforest, it is full of ancient Myrtle Beech, Sassafras, mosses and ferns, along with a good dose of magic! A truly wondrous place…”

Gabrielle talks about wondering at the resilience of native plants, surviving and thriving despite the “plethora” of invasive weeds that fill the Dandenong Ranges that she calls home.

She works tirelessly to rehabilitate her bush property and has made some “wonderful finds” as well as the revelation that she (and we) “can take a lesson from their perseverance under difficult conditions”.

Graphic by Author. Trademark used with permission.

The future of The Nature Exchange

“After a very challenging 2020/21, enduring several lockdowns and dealing with a big health scare earlier this year, I feel like I have the opportunity to reset and renew in 2022.

I want to continue my focus on protecting our precious forests and wildlife, by looking for new ways to grow my business and connect with other like-minded people.

The tree planting days will be back, and I have lots of ideas for new t-shirt designs, as well as a couple of other things that I’ll keep under my hat for now.”

I, for one, can’t wait to see what else Gabrielle comes up with for The Nature Exchange in 2022! If you’d like to be one of the first to know what she’s keeping under her hat, check out her website (linked below) and join the mailing list or find her on Instagram. Unfortunately, The Nature Exchange doesn’t ship internationally yet, but the Instagram page is a joy all on its own and can be viewed all over the world!

The Nature Exchange®
The Nature Exchange® is committed to raising awareness of the ecological, social and economic importance and value of…

This story was originally published by the same author in Tea with Mother Nature.

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