As of today, we are changing the fashion industry forever…

Posted by on Jun 6, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Established Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How | 0 comments

 It has been five long years.PATTERNROOM.COM has been a dream of mine for a long time now. And there is a good reason why nobody has ever launched anything like Pattern Room before. Simply – it was hard.By no means have we been on an easy or smooth sailing road to lead us to launch Pattern Room today. I have lost count of how many servers we have moved to and then needed to upgrade once again, let alone website platforms that just couldn’t handle the mass that is Pattern Room. BUT we are there.PATTERNROOM.COM is live, housing 10,000’s of commercial-use-ready clothing patterns that myself and my team have individually designed, tested and perfected ensuring they fit a western size. We couldn’t be more proud of this feat.I really look forward to being able to facilitate new and established fashion labels to develop their range at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. For some, this will change their business model completely. For others, it will mean they can actually follow their dreams and launch a fashion label that they thought they were unable to fund.PATTERNROOM.COM is allowing me to also feed an inner passion to do something that matters. Something that has a positive effect on the environment, protecting this planet we all live on. I know first hand how much fabric is wasted in creating toiles and samples for custom developed patterns. From the fabric used in the garment to the offcuts. It adds up. So thanks to PATTERNROOM.COM one pattern can be sampled and perfected and then used multiple times without the need to be resampled.Furthermore – garments created from our patterns will actually fit a western sized figure. Meaning, clothes are far less likely to be purchased and then discarded due to a bad fit. And labels are more likely to sell their full production, again decreasing what ends up in the landfill.The ethical clothing movement has grown considerably over the last couple of years. And as our patterns are created by our ethically accredited fashion development house, Sample Room, labels using Pattern Room patterns have the opportunity to obtain their accreditation.So what is PATTTERNROOM.COM really all about? Here’s the rundown:An online catalogue housing 10,000’s of clothing patternsDownloadable and available in DXF, AI and PDF0-2 weeks lead timePaper and card patterns availableSample making availableWe have tried and tested the patterns for Western fit One question I have been asked is whether there is an issue of other labels having the same pattern. Think about it this way; we have over 10,000 variations of a t-shirt pattern. So not taking into consideration your fabric and design choices, it is VERY unlikely you will be able to identify another company using the same pattern as you.So whether you are a new or established fashion label, custom sporting wear or apparel business browse PATTERNROOM.COM and increase your profit...

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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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Market Research 101

Market Research 101

Posted by on Jan 9, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Industry Know How, Marketing, Mentee | 0 comments

When launching a new label into the current landscape of the fashion industry, you can never do too much research! Knowledge is power, and a thorough understanding of where your brand sits alongside your competitors is something that will help in shaping the personality of your brand.Each month our Fashion Label Launch Pad students participate in a hosted group call to discuss queries and questions they are experiencing in the journey of starting up new fashion labels. Last month we discussed what to consider when carrying out market research and how to implement your findings to better your label as a whole. Here are our top considerations!SWOT AnalysisAnalysing your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is the first step in helping to determine where your label fits against your competitors in the marketplace you are appealing to, plus the wider fashion marketplace at large.What are your strengths? Is it the team you have behind you? Or is it the technology you have at your fingertips to create your unique garments? What is going to give your business a leg up in this industry and how do you stand out from the crowd?Your weaknesses can be evaluated alongside unexpected threats. Knowing your label’s disadvantages early on will help in staying well prepared for anything that comes your way, therefore being able to problem solve quickly and effectively.Business Plan/ MarketingWhat do you want the next 3-5 years of your business to look like? In the early stages of your label never underestimate the power of goal setting. Set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there!Think of your budget. What costs are going to be involved? How much and how frequently? What about unexpected costs, how are you placed to deal with them?Know your expenses vs your income and use your market research to help in formulating your tailored business plan.Important Considerations and ToolsWhat is the size of the marketplace/ or segment of the marketplace you want to operate in? What are the current trends? Does this segment need another label and how can you position yours to succeed?What is the price point for your product? How does this fit into your desired marketplace?What other labels are selling similar garments at similar price points? You can observe their social activity, marketing and publicity campaigns to help give some direction on how to conduct your own marketing of your label.Useful toolsEcommerce platformsFashion/ trade magazinesPrint and online industry mediaDiscussions with other like minded brands and labels in your marketplaceUse of focus groupsContact Sample Room today to see how we can guide you in formulating your tailored business plan and assist in the success of your new fashion...

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