Being made in Australia was one of the very first decisions we made together about the future of the brand. Having both worked with small and large companies we were well aware of the ins and outs of what local and offshore manufacturing may look like. There is absolutely no denying that the skills and machinery available in offshore production are endless but why wouldn’t we be part of keeping our local manufacturing industry alive and well? Investing in existing local talent and working out how we bring new talent through.
We have both had extensive hands on experience in the Fashion Industry which means we have been able to nurture, gather and grow our manufacturing and made it one of our super powers. First and foremost the commitment started with ensuring that we had the best in-house development team possible. My (Leina) career started in Pattern Making and mastering the ideal fit in all garments and all sizes is where the passion for starting the label began. This in itself has been a huge journey of trial and error with collecting a dream team of experts.
Even more sliding door moments with connecting with our Pattern & Production Manager, Graham. Graham and I had studied Fashion & Textiles together at Wellington Polytech (let’s just say we were not quite as studious and committed as we are now...) and we then lost contact, before social media!! Fleur studied the year after us and then 10years later was hiring Graham as she was MD at Sacha Drake. When Fleur and I joined forces she suggested approaching Graham in various roles and finally we convinced him to come on board.
We have now added two more to our dream team; Lynne (Pattern Master) and Maria (Sample Machinist Master). Collectively our experience literally covers just about every aspect of development and if you come into the studio you can hear discussions about millimetre adjustments and new methods of make-up to constantly evolve our craft… skills, knowledge, passion and a total excitement about our Industry, awesome.
So much of how we operate has remained the same yet simply evolved. We have always developed in house and owned our unique approach to grading (this is how we adjust a base size to cover all sizes), in our books you don’t just offer an inclusive size range… you make a commitment to make sure that every garment in every size elevates and amplifies the woman who is wearing the garment, every time. Through a commitment to fit, quality fabrics and finish.
As we have grown we have been able to connect with a number of local manufacturers to ensure that we are able to deliver beautiful new products each week. This was always part of our business model, being able to create work for talented manufacturers on a regular basis rather than the traditional seasonal overload. Our manufacturers range from fully equipped factories to individual crafts people who take quality finish to the same level of commitment and detail as we do.
“The only way is up, baby!” Right in the midst of lockdowns and craziness we were successful with the Manufacturing Modernisation Assisted Grant. Meaning that we are given a part portion towards having automated cutting in-house and next level fabric inspection machinery. Yes this is firmly sitting in improving in efficiency but more than that it takes our quality up yet another notch!
The Automatic Cutter is currently being built in Victoria by Australian Owned and Designed Pathfinder. We are crossing our fingers and toes we will hopefully be able to receive towards the end of the year… Melbourne our hearts are with you!! The suction bed and laser cutter means the accuracy is within millimeters and we can reduce our waste by at least 10%.
After that? We would love a small in-house production team of quality crafts people creating every day so that we can have the very best offering continuing. Still working with our incredible manufacturers but also being able to make sure that when things sell out quickly we can add sizes where possible. We are also hoping that we can build that team with a wonderful diversity that amplifies and elevates our company ethos of creating positive change.