I have been reflecting on and asking myself what the vision for my brand is for quite some time now, knowing it was time to evolve and step boldly into the next chapter. Aside from the cultural and creative pleasure I receive from creating the label and beautiful clothes, I have known that I didn’t want the brand to grow in a way that I felt was adding to the over consumption problem we are facing today. I want to create more value and adoration for my pieces heading out into the world than I’ve EVER. DONE. BEFORE.
I also knew that I didn't want to grow the brand to a point where I needed to hire a large team. I want this business to remain a one woman show with the artisans that I co-create with.
Because I want to simplify how things are done. I don’t want to busy myself with unnecessary work and stress. - Mass consumption driven schedules are not sustainable. Life is a balance, and having just recovered from Post Natal Depletion I’m making this call for myself, my family, my community and women. Trying to do all the things sent me to an unhealthy, and to be honest, dark place. These conversations need to be had, and trying to keep all the balls in the air became extremely unhealthy for me. Sustainability starts with me.
I started in the conscious fashion space with a business called Indigo Bazaar in 2012. It was an online store selling ethical brands combining ethics and aesthetics. I scoured the globe for brands I would wear, fashion pieces. These are some of the brands I stocked, some no longer exist, or their designers have evolved into new and inspiring ways, and some have taken the world by storm! YES!! Good One (UK), Lalesso (South Africa), ALAS ( Australia), Kowtow (NZ), Bonlabel (Australia), Bachhara (Australia), Raven and Lilly (USA), Choolips (Ghana), Studio Jux (The Netherlands). I adored working with these brands, they were at the forefront of what this movement meant for me. You have to remember in 2012 we were still explaining to people that ethical fashion wasn’t a hemp sack. Thankfully we no longer need to have that conversation! I encourage you to search these brands, read about what they were doing long before ethical fashion was ‘cool’.
Then in 2014 I launched my very first collection of 4 pieces at Finders Keepers market in Sydney. It was a ‘test the waters’ market for me to see if there was, in fact, interest in what I had created. Sure enough handwoven ikat caused a queue and I had almost sold out of everything I took to that market. I had bright eyes and a bushy tail and wanted to be a full service brand offering wholesale, online, campaign imagery on a shoestring budget with no financial backing. It was stressful to say the least. But I felt I needed to step into this space to prove a point that a brand who wanted a triple bottom line can in fact belong in this space.
I knew what I was creating had lasting and incredible value, but I began to feel I was still part of the problem working to a business model the fashion industry adopted in the early 80's that changed how fashion was experienced, purchased and valued for the next 30 years and counting. It felt out of control, and even in my very small business, choosing to go into production on pieces I ‘thought’ would be bestsellers, that were not, was such a waste of resources on people and planet. More on this when I discuss de-growth in the future.
7 years on we are now seeing such incredible changes in the landscape of fashion, conversations and explanations are no longer required to communicate what ethics means in this industry. It’s still rife with fast fashion and greenwashing, yes, but the groundswell for change is putting immense pressure on the old ways, and ultimately money talks, so buying what fits with your values is the key to change. Power to the people!.
These leaps and bounds in the industry have allowed me to change the way I do business for good. For our next chapter I am going deeper, taking value to a new place and I know you are just the women who want to join me on this new direction.