Local production, we are back in action!

Written by Sarah Garrett-Hodoniczky


Posted on April 17 2020

Well crazy time indeed for all of us worldwide but yesterday here at the Sustainable Fashion Studio we returned to some sort of normal. Yes... we are back in production after a month of nothing!

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We usually slowly produce our garments here in Brisbane, always having something happening so our trusty makers have a regular income. With the uncertainty of the current situation we needed to sit tight for a month and see how it all unfolded. 

All except one of our retail stores we used to wholesale to, have closed, so that half of our business has disappeared. But thanks to our amazing customers we have been ticking over nicely online in the past couple of weeks and keeping our heads above water. We are super appreciative of the support we have had and can see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

We thought it was a perfect opportunity to write a few more blog stories as well as Instagram to show you what we are up to, what is in production and how a small 'hyper local' label works. As you know, we make ALL our garments and accessories in Australia. This includes most of our fabrics too. 

The Leanne top from our latest collection -RUBY has mostly sold out and we had a small roll of ruby left and some black bamboo fabric, so a recut of this style was first to go into production. 

australian made clothes, womens clothes online, ethical fashion store, australian made womens fashion, boutique online store australiaThe recut will be limited due to the fabric available, so email us if you would like to preorder one for yourself.

To get a production order ready we work out the quantities we can make from the fabric we have, write up a production order and collect all the haberdashery needed. Below we have the Rasant threads for the ruby coloured tops and the recycled cardboard hangers that we use for the finished garments. 

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Here at our studio we all multitask and it's essential that we can all help when a job needs doing. Dakotah does many jobs here, mostly computer ones and checking/tagging stock and lately I have been getting him to do a few pattern making jobs for me. We are doing a small recut of the Bamboo Nellie pants only in sizes M/L/XL as we have very limited fabric available to use. It's a 350 gsm weight which is nice and heavyweight for pants but not as heavy as the new 390gsm one we have used in the new Fortuna pants. 

We also had some of the black stretch Merino wool fabric that we make the Wool Nellie pants in, so there will be a few available in sizes, M & L only. 

Below is Dakotah (my son) doing an adjustment to the cardboard pattern pieces, adding 5cm onto the length of our Nellie pants pattern as we felt it could do with a few more cms. It's been really nice having my son work with us over the past 2 years. Seeing him most days is great and being able to show him some of the tricks of the trade is satisfying. None of us ever thought that he would work in the family business, but it sort of happened and works really well. 

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The Leanne top and Nellie Pants cardboard patterns are then loaded into the RANT van along with the fabric, haberdashery and hangers, then driven to our makers on the Southside of Brisbane. They will then cut, sew and press the garments before Jay returns to pick them up. 

Below is Jay loading the van ready for his short trip to the makers. 

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 Both of these styles don't require pre-washing, so when they're returned to us they will only need snipping and checking before adding the swing tags. 

As our garments are made here in Brisbane they don't need any packaging up in plastic, plus they don't need shipping thousands of miles, both so important for true sustainability. 

I hope you found this little insight into our production interesting? 

The new fabric we ordered a few months ago is on it's way to us, so i will share that process in my next update.






  • Comment author

    Hi Bobbi,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment on my story.
    I am so glad that we are supported by great customers and people who appreciate our ethics and local production.
    I think people may have had a bit of a reality check with the current situation and realise that we need to produce things within our own country and that you have the power to support this by choosing to buy Australian made.
    I will also continue to use an age diverse selection of models, especially when I have the option now to do photo shoots with beautiful people like Wilhelmina. She’s such a beautiful energy to be around and makes being 76 look so much fun, very inspiring.
    I like getting customer suggestions too, even if I’m not putting those types of styles into a collection immediately, I have them in the back of my mind as I dream uo new styles. Maybe this summer you will see a lightweight sleeved dress,

    Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2020
  • Comment author

    PS: So nice to see older models, too.

    Posted by Bobbie Oliver | April 19, 2020
  • Comment author

    I’m so glad you’re able to continue in business. I hate going to stores and seeing everything with “Made in China” labels and so many synthetic fabrics. One thing I hope comes out of this crisis, is more support for Australian-made clothing. In the future I’d like to see you make some “shirt-maker style dresses” and maxis with sleeves and collars. I don’t wear strappy clothes and t-shirts under dresses are too hot in the WA summer. Thanks for considering. Bobbie

    Posted by Bobbie Oliver | April 19, 2020
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