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
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
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 Wickramarathne Sharon 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...Read More
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! Cotton What 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. Lyocell Have 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) Hemp One 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. Bamboo Bamboo 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) Linen Similar 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...Read More