What does it mean to be an ethically accredited label?

What does it mean to be an ethically accredited label?

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 in Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Industry Trends | 0 comments

When creating your new label from the ground up, there are many aspects to take into consideration in order to shape your label into a business that represents who and what you stand for. From sustainability, to the locality of the materials sourced, you, the designer, have the artistic freedom to structure a label how they choose according to their values.  Ethical accreditation might be something you have heard before… but what does it really mean to be an ethically accredited label? Sample Room is proudly an ethically accredited company, working alongside our good friends at Ethical Clothing Australia, seeking to create a safe and fair workplace for all our staff. The process Sample Room has taken to embody ECA accreditation: Sample Room first completed in-depth documentation provided by ECA, where we gained a detailed understanding regarding our legal obligations.Through the process we needed to detail step by step our operation’s supply chain, outlining each stage from cut, make and trim (including all value-adding processes) to ensure it is up to ECA standards.ECA has a formal audit process which then commenced once the paperwork was deemed compliant. This audit was carried out by third-party compliance audit body TCF Union (TCFUA). Our application was then forwarded through to ECA committee of management for final approval.Once Sample Room’s ECA accreditation was approved we continue to practice and uphold the ECA values. Practising our outlined workflow to our supply chain. Sample Room regularly works closely with Ethical Clothing Australia to ensure industry standards are continuously met. Who are Ethical Clothing Australia?ECA is an accreditation body that works alongside local fashion, textile and manufacturing businesses to ensure supply chains are fully- transparent and legally compliant. Workers within the TCF (Textile, Clothing and Footwear) industry can often fall vulnerable to unregulated workflow, unrealistic deadlines and occupational health and safety issues. ECA exists to protect workers against such variations and hold business accountable.  “Show That You Value The People Who Make Your Products” There are a range of benefits that come with being ethically accredited. Collections within the TCF industry that are ethically accredited possess a clear competitive edge, whilst showing your customers what you value, and contributing to a stronger more ethical industry in...

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Mentee’s Launch: The Feather Bird

Mentee’s Launch: The Feather Bird

Posted by on Jul 5, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Mentee | 0 comments

Our Mentee:Felicity Barras owner of The Feather BirdAfter finding a gap in them market, our past mentee Felicity Barras designed a range of gorgeous gender neautral children’s wear. Here is more about Felicity’s new label ‘The Feather Bird’ and time spent as part of Sample Room’s Fashion Label Launch Pad Program.What is your range about? The Feather Bird is a Melbourne based gender neutral children’s clothing label offering a range of fun and playful basics that can be worn by all kids. We are passionate about gender equality and the importance of facilitating this in children from birth. We believe that allowing kids to wear and play with whatever they want is an important step towards creating a more equal future for our children.The idea for The Feather Bird came about after we identified a gap in the market. We noticed that gender neutral children’s clothing typically falls within one of two categories: ranges using whites, greys and earthy tones, and the other featuring bright patterned t-shirts with feminist slogans and prints. Both of which we love, but we hadn’t been able to find a range of high quality basics that are comfortable, practical and encourage all genders to wear bright pastels…so we decided to make them!Who is it for? Our first range covers sizes 0-4. Made from organic cotton, not only will our clothes look great and feel soft on your young ones skin, but they are also gentle on the environment. We hope to see many young boys rocking our pastel pink and purple garments!  What did you do for a career before you started your label? Before starting the label I was (and still am) an Occupational Therapist working in brain injury rehabilitation. I am currently on maternity leave from this position and launched The Feather Bird just in time before the baby’s impending arrival! What is the biggest thing you learnt whilst working through the development process? The biggest thing that I have learnt is that there is just so much involved in starting a fashion label, and that’s where Sample Room has been invaluable. They make sure that nothing is forgotten and walk you through each step of the process. There is definitely no way that I would have been able to develop a range and launch without the support and guidance from Sample Room. What would you do differently if you did it all over again? I think the main thing that I would do differently is to back myself a little more, and just be more confident in my ability to design, launch a range and bring my dream to life. I was lucky that I had the encouragement of Julia and the team at Sample Room backing me and making up for my lack of confidence!  How can people buy your product? Online at www.thefeatherbird.com What is some advice you would give someone else...

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Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Mai

Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Mai

Posted by on Apr 30, 2019 in Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Lifestyle, Manufacturer | 0 comments

In honour of Fashion Revolution Week we would like to introduce Mai, one of our valued sample machinists. Originally from Vietnam, Mai has lived in Australia since 1995 after closing a tailoring shop she ran for 15 years.Mai was recommended from a family member to take the big leap and move to Australia with the promise of good working conditions and pay.Once in Australia, Mai commenced working at a large fashion factory, and stayed loyal to this position for 16 years. This was a huge contrast to her small business in Vietnam, where clothes were measured from a body and then cut. In this 100+ employee factory, Mai learnt about technical elements of producing samples and manufacturing to Australian standards. Mai sees herself as very lucky, as once made redundant from her long time employment, she walked straight into a position at Sample Room. Julia recognised her experience and expertise quickly and hired Mai straight away. Now with Sample Room for over 2 years, Mai says the main difference between Sample Room and per previous position is that at Sample Room everything is done under one roof, where previously elements of development where shipped off-shore. This increased during her time there, when she started her first job in Australia the factory had 100+ employees, when she was made redundant this was halved.Here at Sample Room, we are huge supporters of Fashion Revolution Week and are glad we could share a snippet of Mai’s story. Our founder, Julia Van der Sommen cut her teeth in the fashion industry on the factory floor herself. So has a deep understanding of the importance of respecting the knowledge of her staff, regardless of the job they are...

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Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Sharon

Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Sharon

Posted by on Apr 30, 2019 in Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Lifestyle, Manufacturer | 0 comments

Here at Sample Room we are proudly ethically accredited and value the importance of a safe and fair workplace. We have staff from all over the world including people local to Melbourne, creating a diverse and experienced team. Julia’s (founder of Sample Room) ethical practices are founded by the passion to respect the knowledge and skills people have. Coming from years of experience on the factory floor herself, she really understands the depth of knowledge and expertise the Sample Room team possess.We are very flattered to have been referred to as the “utopia of pattern development” by a number of people and work hard to keep this alive in our workplace.In honour of Fashion Revolution Week we have interviewed a valued member of our team, Sharon our Fabric Cutter.Introducing Sharon WickramarathneSharon has worked at Sample Room for almost one year, starting with us six months after arriving in Australia from Sri Lanka. Following the completion of a textile diploma in Pattern Making, he commenced his textile career in 1998 as a trainee Pattern Maker in a small factory where the main focus was school wear. This suburban factory had about 20 employees, and three short months after starting the traineeship his trainer went on maternity leave, which left Sharon to take the reins. The factory had strong safety processes, if a needle broke the staff would be required to return each piece of the needle or they would not be given a new needle to work with.From here Sharon moved to larger factories, where the buyers enforced approved conditions, keeping the factories to a satisfactory standard.Sharon noted that in Sri Lanka the textile industry is huge and there are also a large number of people to fill the jobs which can push the wages down, making it challenging to make enough money to support a family.The journey to Australia came with its challenges, mainly around language and also an expectation from employees to have local experience. So he was reliant on someone willing to give him a chance to build that sought after local experience. Six months into his job hunt, Sharon secured a job at Sample Room. With different systems and processes to what Sharon was accustomed to, his job role changed and developed shaping around the areas he excelled at.When asked what Sharon values the most about Sample Room his answer was “everything, it’s...

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9 Steps To Be Manufacturer Ready

9 Steps To Be Manufacturer Ready

Posted by on Apr 24, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Established Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Manufacturer | 0 comments

Here at Sample Room, we have a number of meticulous steps in place to ensure the highest quality patterns and samples, ultimately providing you with the best chance to create the perfect garment with your manufacturer.Read on to see the 9 steps we take to ensure you are manufacturer ready and on your way to creating an amazing collection!1. Design the style When we are creating patterns for our clients there are a variety of ways they communicate their design ideas. Some might come to us with sketches that have been developed by a graphic designer, others with physical examples. Communicating your design ideas can be challenging. In our Fashion Label Launchpad course this is where we start guiding new designers through the process. From here, we flesh out the design as the building block to make the pattern from.2. A pattern is made Our expert pattern makers use a digital system called CAD. Using a system like this allows us to make patterns quickly and efficiently. Where altering and adjusting of patterns is needed, working from a digital software allows us to make edits much quicker than if the pattern was on card. This ultimately reduces time and money for all our clients.3. A toile is sewn A toile is a type of garment we create in order to test the pattern. The toile is often made from inexpensive material that holds the same characteristics of your sample fabric. This stage aims to test the fit, length, proportions and other important aspects of your design. Think of the toile as the perfect prototype to test your design and to gain a complete overview. This stage is very important. If your pattern does not work on a toile, then it is likely it wont work when creating a sample from your desired, more expensive fabric.4. Fitting We fit the toile to a model to ensure sizing, design and proportions are correct.5. Changes are made We pay attention to any specifications or changes that are needing to be made before moving on to create the sample. These initial processes are one of the many ways we test efficiency and accuracy in each garment. The toile process allows the designer to play with their design prior to the finalising stages. If any changes are made during the toile/ fitting process, this is then translated back to the pattern and altered.6. A sample is sewn Once the toile is correct, a sample garment will be sewn out of the desired fabric.7. Sample is fitted Final fitting takes place to correct and finalise any required changes Image: AvanturProcess is repeated for perfection The processes are carried out until the client is happy with their garments, and no further edits are needing to be made.8. Graded into other sizes Where grading is required, our expert pattern makers will grade each pattern. Our highly skilled...

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Sourcing Ethical Materials: Understanding the origin of your fabric

Sourcing Ethical Materials: Understanding the origin of your fabric

Posted by on Mar 8, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Lifestyle | 0 comments

 Choosing eco-friendly fabrics can be an imperative factor in determining whether your label can withstand the constant evolution towards a greener industry. But even when making conscious decisions about your material choices, it’s hard to know what the most sustainable choice can be. Here’s our short list of mighty materials leading the way in eco-fashion! CottonWhat is probably the most durable, versatile and widely used textiles, cotton is actually the most damaging to our ecosystems and natural resources! In its production, a substantial amount of dyes and pesticides can be added, plus it can be a hard task in determining the conditions that the cotton has been harvested in. However, organic cotton is a great alternative that can ensure transparency in the harvesting of the material. Read more here on the production of organic cotton.  LyocellHave you heard of lyocell? This nifty fabric might just be the way of the future! Lyocell is an environmentally friendly material made from wood pulp. The fibre can be more expensive than other materials, however is proven to have fantastic results being both 100% biodegradable and uncompromising with quality and comfort. Read more here on the game changing benefits of lyocell here.  (via Simplifi Fabric) HempOne of nature’s wonders, hemp is a material bursting at the seams (pun intended!) with environmental benefits. This crop has the potential to clean up soil pollution and maybe most impressively, only requires half the amount of water to produce into a textile than cotton. Major brand Patagonia says “[it] has a wonderful drape, comparable to linen.”Read more here on the benefits of hemp in fashion and society at large.  BambooBamboo is a fast growing, naturally produced material that has become a popular textile choice in sustainable fashion. The textile is naturally super soft, UV repellent, odorless and antibacterial. The downside to the widespread use of bamboo can arise in the use of chemicals and pesticides when processing the material- i.e – turning Bamboo into a useable material. Viscose rayon is a common form of a bamboo based material, however can often be treated with unnatural solutions at the time of processing. Bamboo Lyocell is even the next best step for the conscious consumer. Read more here on how it is produced. Common forms of textile production (via Green Hub Online/ Chic Vegan) LinenSimilar to cotton or bamboo, Linen is a natural fibre produced via extraction from the stalk of a flax plant. The flax plant is SO versatile! Flax can produce a wide range of products from textiles to linoleum flooring, and even providing the natural health benefits of flaxseed oil. As a textile, linen is extremely durable, hypoallergenic and breathable. Consumers are not compromised for quality, and sources say linen clothing only gets better with each wear!Read more here on the benefits of the flax plant and linen. (via Life Giving Linen) For more information, education and direction, get in contact with...

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