Choosing to remain small, many independent Melbourne fashion labels punch above their weight reaching for ethical manufacturing heights for their businesses, skilfully juggling conscience and pay-packet. 80 makers were plucked from a rich vein of local producers and compiled into an excellent guide by Greta Lukavic for Slattery Media @slatterymedia.
The delightful Greta sat in each of our workshops, garages, spare-rooms and factories, with a notebook in hand, listening and watching us dart around picking up products, remnants, materials, sketches and tools as we revealed our individual label journey and the passion each of us feel towards sustainable fashion.
We live in a wasteful world and the fashion industry is a notorious culprit of waste. It takes just the tiniest amount of inconvenience to reduce day to day waste and the upside is more than the obvious reduction of bin and land filling it’s the wondrous journey you go on researching and ultimately sourcing a local manufacturer that you can meet and discuss the product and purchase. No one is more passionate and educated about a product than the person who individually conceives and makes (or grows) the item. Learning about the rabbit warren lengths a maker has undertaken sourcing ethical materials and manufacturing processes to ensure the piece is transparently and enthusiastically ethical through and through makes the purchase even sweeter.
It is a whopping challenge as a maker to construct items that will withstand regular wear. We’re tough on garments and jewellery (don’t get me started on wearing a gold ring while lifting weights or paving down the side of the house) and the makers listed in this guide have durability in the forefront of their minds because it fills a good portion of the sustainability dance card. We want things to last, which means we’re agelessly fashionable and not discardable. Our items are lovingly hand washed and hung on the good wooden hangers in our closets.
Thank you, Greta for including me in this fabulously interesting guide to ethical local makers, you’re a star for shining light on a whole lot of hardworking and creative busy bees (slowly) making very good fashion.