Social media is a large part of many new fashion labels marketing strategy. A lot of people will refer to social media as a free tool, as yes, you can open an instagram account for free. But I think this is the wrong way to look at it, as it isn’t really free, it takes TIME which is either yours (which has value!) or you are paying someone to spend the time on it for you. Either way to have any success it takes commitment and investment. There is a lot to cover when it comes to instagram, I know its just pretty pictures and captions. But those additive, engaging posts don’t happen by accident. So we have broken it down into three blogs. The next is all about the admin side of things – setting up your profile for success. But first let’s get the foundations right. Define your brand Before you jump into the platform it is important to really find your brands voice. Is it your voice? Or is it your brands voice? A lot of people struggle with this point. Is your label, YOU, are you the brand, is it YOU specifically that you are selling? Or is it a brand that stands on its own two legs and has its own personality and growth. The answer to this will determine whether you write captions with “I believe that” or for instance “Here at Sample Room we believe” etc. Ok – now we have answered this. What is your brand voice? Give your brand a very clear personality. Really know who your brand is, like it’s a living person of its own! This needs to be developed at the same time as you develop your target market’s personality. Who would your target market respond well too? We will leave defining your target market to another blog. Does your brand use casual or formal language? Are they obsessed with the environment or the latest trends? Cement this now, and keep it handy to refer back to. As having a clear voice throughout your instagram page is important, this is how people connect with you (your brand). Define your visuals/interests Now that we know our tone and language base, what are we talking about? What colours do we love? What is the general style/aesthetic of the brand? What consistency can we have that allows our followers to glance at our feed and know its our account without looking at the name? Are there pictures of the ocean and environmental efforts filtered throughout your feed. Or do your always lean towards warm/pink images. Yes – it’s time to mood board. Firstly, purely for aesthetics, and then secondly for topics. What value can you give? What do you give your follower that keeps them coming back for more? Is it quick facts about...Read More
During our Fashion Label Launch Pad Program our mentees gather for monthly group calls to discuss any niggling questions that have been presented to them on their new fashion journeys. This month’s hot topic in discussion was how to manage and prepare for fabric shrinkage. When choosing fabrics for your collection it is highly important to understand the fibres that the textile are made of and how they react in certain conditions (ie. washing), all to ensure your garments stay in the best shape possible. Fabrics that are made from plant based fibres (linen, bamboo) or animal coats are highly susceptible to shrinkage, whilst some synthetic fabrics do not shrink at all. Denim or dyed garments are especially prone to shrinkage. Just like how every pair of jeans has a different feel and stretch, there isn’t consistency. Even different rolls of the same fabric can possess a different shrinkage to the next. Here at Sample Room, we carry out a meticulous shrinkage testing process to ensure that the end result is perfect. Ultimately saving on time and costs for our clients. Read on to see the steps we implement during this stage. 1. Make pattern based on assuming there is no shrinkage 2. A Sample is made to fit as is (shrinkage is not yet factored in) 3. Alterations are then carried out 4. The garment is measured by Sample Room after it has been made and pressed 5. All measurements are recorded The client can then take the sample to an industrial laundry, or home to wash as they choose. 6. Client brings garment back into Sample Room 7. The garment is then pressed and measured again 8. Using a percentage formula Sample Room determines how much the fabric has shrunk and pattern is scaled accordingly If you are looking to use a denim or dyed fabric for your garment, it is important to let Sample Room know to ensure the process is completed in a timely manner. Denim shrinkage process: Client sends fabric in Metre x metre square is sewn This is done in cotton thread so as not to be washed away Fabric is sent off to be dyed/ washed Fabric comes back to Sample Room to be measured and pattern is scaled up to accommodate the shrinkage. If you would like to learn how to develop and launch your own range. Join our Fashion Label Launchpad. Resources:...Read More
Planning the first photoshoot for your new label? Here are our do’s and don’ts to ensure every shoot is a success!
You’ve spent months upon months pouring blood, sweat and tears into creating the perfect garment for your collection, and soon it will be time to release your product to market! Even though your garment might look a million bucks to hold in your hands, it is imperative that the rest of the world fully understands the look and feel of your brand. Investing in a professional, sleek and captivating photoshoot is just one of the ways to get you there. Read below for our list of helpful pointers when sourcing talent, photographers and locations to ensure that every shoot is a success. Firstly, before any photoshoot you need to have established a strong vision of your brand identity. If you’re at this stage, read an earlier blog of our’s for pointers here. So much subtle information can be derived from the photography that surrounds your brand. Whether through print media, or online across store website or social media, customers can gauge the quality of your product, price point and suitability just off one photo. So let’s make every image count! The subject of your photos is completely up to you. Sourcing a model for a product photoshoot can often be an effective choice. There are a plethora of agencies available to you by simply jumping on the internet, but make sure you do your research! We highly recommend reviewing social media pages and websites for any feedback before selecting an agency. This goes for the selection process for photographers as well. Make sure they specialise in fashion and portraiture too. There is a huge difference between a portrait and landscape photographer! Ensure you are selecting a model that represents the look and feel of your brand. They will be comfortable and practiced in delivering the right look you are searching for. Before booking your model, discuss the possibility of a fitting trial prior to committing to anything. If they are able to come in, meet in person and have a trial, this is another step in ensuring you have made the right choice for your brand. Details, details, details! It is so easy to be swept away in the excitement of your product, but always remember to pay attention to the finer details; outfit choices, styling, props and location. These are further points that need to be ironed out when creating your mood/ vision board. Your photographer, makeup and hair stylists also need to understand your vision prior to the shoot. Do not expect anyone else to understand your brand without clear direction. When you book your photographer, have a clear understanding of their fee structure and what your booking entails. Will you receive all photos taken? Or will you only receive the ones that have been edited? Contracts and filing of all correspondence is recommended to ensure all parties are on the same page prior to the day...Read More
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 Australia. Reference https://ethicalclothingaustralia.org.au/steps-to-accreditation/ https://ethicalclothingaustralia.org.au/about-us/...Read More
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 patterns Downloadable and available in DXF, AI and PDF 0-2 weeks lead time Paper and card patterns available Sample making available We 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...Read More
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...Read More