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 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...

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