Fashion Revolution Week has been and gone, but there is nothing that stops us from making industry changes year round. An important point in the Fashion Revolution is that although a product can be ethical made, what about the whole process behind the making of it?
This question was raised to me by ethical lifestyle blogger Be Kind Coco and I realised I haven’t shared too much information about the supply chain behind my designs. So what a better time to start than during Fashion Revolution Week!
I definitely believe that staying small in my business (for me) is my superpower. I get to have the real, heartfelt connection with my customer and be in control of my brand from start to finish. It definitely has its limitations though, and this is something that I shared a little info on in my interview with Be Kind Coco.
When sourcing fabrics, it can be hard as such a small business as at this point I couldn’t afford to meet the large MOQ (minimum order quantities) requirements that many fabric suppliers have. My buying ability is further limited in that being made to order, I want to have my fabrics on hand to make once they are ordered, but I don’t want to have huge quantities sitting around unused as it does go against the values I am endeavouring to uphold. To be honest, it was a struggle in the beginning to find the right people to work with. It took a lot of research on my behalf of communicating with businesses and testing their products to see if they could work with my business. I am now lucky to have a few suppliers that I work with closely and are so integral to Lazy Girl. Without them I simply would not be able to create my designs!
I work with a few key small businesses that are flexible in their arrangements with me. These relationships honestly just take time to build. My laces are something I am proud of, in my opinion they are the perfect mix between soft, comfortable and strong and I buy these in small quantities so that I can use what I have but not contribute to waste by having too much. Some other fabrics like tulle and mesh are dead stock fabrics meaning that larger brands sell off their excess fabric for the season and they can on sell that to me. I love this, as it means I can make use of something that otherwise would have been discarded. As mentioned before, this has it’s limitations like eventually I will run out of these fabrics and might have to find another alternative. But perhaps the exclusivity of the fabric makes it special - who doesn’t love something that you won’t see too many of in the world? This limited edition space is something I am really interested in making more use of in the future. Elastics, finishings and trims I source from small Australian companies as with my garment labels. Although I sometimes pay a higher price for these items by not buying huge amounts, it brings me joy to know I am supporting their business just like others support mine.
My plans for the future have sustainability firmly planted in them. I have been asking myself questions like how can I design products that minimise waste, where is my waste going and how can I make better use of it? Also, what fabrics can I transition to using that are more environmentally friendly?
That’s all from me today! One question for thought - when wearing your clothes, do you think about the materials that they are made from?