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The Many Hands Behind Farn

By Resources

The Many Hands Behind Farn

You can’t miss the bold patterns and vivid colours of Melbourne based screen printed textiles and clothing brand Farn. The brand was founded by fashion buyer turned textile designer Amanda in 2018 after she took a career break to study Textile Design at RMIT. As part of our March focus on the many hands that contribute to the making of an ethical and local garment, we spoke to Amanda to learn more about the brand, to meet the markers and to understand why ECA accreditation is important to her business.

Farn became accredited with ECA in 2020, can you tell us a little about why you sought ECA accreditation and why it is important to you and your business?

The extended lockdown in Melbourne in 2020 was an opportunity for people to slow down, reflect and take pleasure in the world around them. For me it was a chance to think about why I started Farn, what I want the brand to stand for and how to establish those values as the business grows. I was beginning to notice that the words ‘ethical’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘considered’ were being used more frequently by fashion brands but they were not being held accountable to what this really meant. Being accredited by ECA was a way for Farn to establish authenticity around my values on ethical manufacturing. Accreditation meant ‘ethical’ wasn’t just a word used to describe how I preferred to work, it became the foundation of how I work and continue to evolve my business to make better decisions.

ECA Accreditation meant ‘ethical’ wasn’t just a word used to describe how I preferred to work, it became the foundation of how I work and continue to evolve my business to make better decisions.

This month we are spotlighting the many hands that go into making a garment locally and ethically. ECA’s accreditation program maps a business and their supply chain. Can you tell us about the workers in the Farn supply chain from design to dispatch?

I work very closely with everyone who contributes to the production of Farn garments. I treasure every relationship and consider Farn a collaboration with everyone in my supply chain. I design all the garments and prints in Farn ranges and work with a local patternmaker who brings my sketches and ‘specs’ to reality with paper patterns. I used to do all the patternmaking myself in the beginning but through word of mouth I found Helen who has been working with small and large Melbourne businesses for decades.

Me in my studio

In my four years of business, I’ve found the Melbourne creative community to be incredibly open and generous in sharing information, experiences and contacts, I couldn’t imagine my business operating anywhere else!

I generally design prints and products at the same time and during lockdown when everything was closed I had to problem solve how I was going to get my designs on screen. I ended up hand-painting each of my screen separations separately on gaff film, which took a few days to complete but was a great learning experience on manual separations.

My designs are then exposed onto yardage screens using photo sensitive emulsion that reacts to lights that etches your design onto screen. I work closely with Nadia and Jason who print my designs onto fabric.

LONG

My printers studio is just a ten-minute bike ride from my studio so it’s always easy to pop down to check colour strike offs or collect fabric rolls. I cut all samples and production in my studio in Fitzroy and sampling is either handled by myself or one of my two makers who will be making final production. I fit and amend all sampling in-house before I pass the finished patterns to Holly who also has a studio across the road from me, where she works on her own label and helps me out with sizing.

Once fabric is ready and patterns are available in their full-size range, I cut everything before passing to Neroli who works from her studio in Brunswick or I drop the rolls and patterns off to Vanessa who works from her studio in Heidelberg. I generally only cut and produce 2-3 of each size in my first production run, only recutting when sizes have sold through. Luckily, I also work with small makers who don’t have MOQ’s so I can be quite reactive and rarely have stock left over.

How many hands are involved in the making of one Farn garment? Can you explain the process from initial design to final garment?

 I’m going to use the sleeveless midi dress as an example as this sold-out in my first production run and I am about to start the recut. There’s five people who individually contribute to the production of this dress. First the fabric is printed, this dress has four colours, and each colour is printed separately with a different screen. It’s quite a magical process to witness as you slowly see each colour printed and the final print is only revealed with the last screen. The fabric is then heat cured, setting the printing pigment to the fabric. I then take the roll up the road to my studio and begin cutting the dresses. Each dress uses around 3m of fabric so the 20m roll disappears quite quickly!

neroli making dress

The patterns of this dress were made by Helen and the sizes were graded by Holly. Once cut, I bundle each size up along with labels, threads and production sample and take them to Neroli who sews each dress from her studio in Brunswick. 1-2 weeks later I collect the dresses, take them to my studio for a final press before they go online!

Humans are naturally empathetic creatures so if we’re forced to face the harsh reality of these conditions we would (most of the time) be less-likely to support brands that are stripping away the humanity to make room for high volume, low-cost ranges.

Grading dress

ECA is continually educating the general public about the importance of shopping ethically and locally, as a smaller Australian brand why is it important that shoppers consider who made their clothes when purchasing?

Education is so important in knowing where our clothes were made and the conditions they were made in. Humans are naturally empathetic creatures so if we’re forced to face the harsh reality of these conditions we would (most of the time) be less-likely to support brands that are stripping away the humanity to make room for high volume, low-cost ranges. By purchasing locally and from brands accredited by ECA you know you’re supporting businesses that are doing the right thing and by wearing our garments you are an advocate yourself.

I encourage everyone to make one item of clothing to understand the true cost, you’ll be surprised at how much the raw materials cost alone without even considering the time it took you to make it. How much is your time worth?

100% of Farn’s products are proudly made in Australia and accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia.

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Dress final
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ECA’s Guide To Ethical Shopping In Melbourne’s CBD

By Resources

ECA’s Melbourne CBD

Ethical Shopping Itinerary

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Heading into Melbourne this weekend for the final shows of Melbourne Fashion Festival or looking for an excuse to support ethically and locally made fashion? We have created our go-to Ethical Shopping guide in Melbourne’s CBD using ECA’s Digital Shopping Map below!

Stop One

If you have hopped off the train or picked up a coffee from Southbank, we are starting our tour out just up the road from Flinders Street station where you will find Remuse Designs. Stocked at Craft Victoria, Watsons Place.

 Stop Two

Take a short stroll up to Bourke Street and head into Myer Melbourne where you will find Cue, Veronika Maine and Anthea Crawford all in one place!

Stop Three

Cross the road to David Jones Melbourne who stock Perri Cutten, Carla Zampatti and Bianca Spender.

Stop Four

To finish your tour, take a stroll a few blocks over to Emporium Melbourne where you will find Viktoria & Woods and Manning Cartell.

Looking for more ECA accredited businesses in and around Melbourne? Check out our Digital Shopping Map here. We recommend heading out to Fitzroy and Brunswick where you can find brands like Denimsmith, Nobody Denim and Arnsdorf!

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Digital Map Leads To Ethical Destination Shopping

By Projects, Resources, Events

Digital Map Leads To Ethical Destination Shopping

Media Release: The Hon Danny Pearson MP – Assistant Treasurer, Minister For Regulatory Reform, Minister For Government Services, Minister For Creative Industries.

Thursday 11th March 2021

As Melbourne Fashion Festival takes off across the city and beyond, a new digital tool has been launched to help consumers find Australianade, ethically conscious fashion across the nation.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson today launched Ethical Clothing Australia’s (ECA) new online shopping map of accredited Australian ethical retail destinations.

The map shows shoppers where to find ECA-accredited brands at 120 store locations around Victoria, and more than 300 throughout Australia, from any device.

It features trailblazing Victorian brands including Anthea Crawford, Arnsdorf, Clothing The Gap, Denimsmith, Nobody Denim, Remuse, The Ark Clothing Co, The Social Studio, Vege Threads and Viktoria & Woods.

To be ECA accredited, a business’s manufacturing operations are audited from design to dispatch to ensure that local textile, clothing and footwear workers, including any outworkers, are being paid appropriately, receiving all their legal entitlements and working in safe conditions.

The new consumer-focused tool acknowledges that shoppers are increasingly on the lookout for businesses that commit to ethical and onshore production principles. It builds on ECA’s printed ethical shopping guide to Melbourne which was released in 2019.

A recent survey by Ethical Clothing Australia of Australian textile, clothing, and footwear manufacturers, found that 70 percent reported that more customers are asking questions about the labour rights of the people who made their clothes.

Celebrating 21 years in 2021, Ethical Clothing Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that supports Australian workers in the fashion industry, advocating for ethical, fair, and safe work practices across the sector including fair pay and good working conditions.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson  

We know fashion lovers are becoming more conscious consumers. Ethical Clothing Australia has met the moment with a new digital map, making ethical fashion businesses a destination shopping experience.”

“It’s fantastic to see so many ECA-accredited Victorian brands who are focused on local and ethical manufacturing and protecting the workers across their supply chain.”

“We’re proud to partner with ECA as it works to create a fairer, more sustainable future for Victorian fashion businesses and find innovative new ways to bring shoppers to their stores.”

Quote attributable to Angela Bell Manager of Ethical Clothing Australia  

“People are looking to buy ethical fashion and so we’re pleased to be able to give Victorians and shoppers around the country an easy way to map out their shopping via the brands selling local, ethically-accredited fashion.”

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Many Hands: The Making Of A Garment Exhibition

By Resources, Events
Resource

Many Hands: The Making Of A Garment

Have you ever wondered how many hands are involved in the making of an ethical and local garment? As part of Melbourne Fashion Festival 2021 we launched our photographic exhibition Many Hands: The Making of a Garment in collaboration with The Ark Clothing Co and The Social Studio at Collingwood Yards. The exhibition follows the creation of a garment from initial concept to when it lands in store, telling the story of each step in the process and each talented hand that contributes to the garment.

The night was a sold-out success full of insight into the local industry, a discussion on the true cost of a garment and most importantly the many talented hands that are behind the making of our garments. A big thank you to our guest speakers Lyn McPherson – Director, The Ark Clothing Co, Tara Wingate – Production Manager, The Social Studio and Jenny Kruschel – National Secretary, TCF Union for sharing their knowledge on the night.

Our guests also got a behind the scenes tour at The Social Studio’s new space at Collingwood Yards, with a special meet and greet with Dewi Cooke, CEO, The Social Studio. We also collaborated with Denimsmith who kindly provided a denim tote bag for each guest who attended! You can view the digital exhibition below.

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ECA’s Guide To MFF 2021

By Events

ECA's Guide To MFF 2021

Melbourne Fashion Festival 2021 is here! Although it may look a little different we can assure you that this year’s program still packs a punch and we are proud to see ECA accredited businesses in the line-up! Oh, did we mention that we are also hosting our own event in collaboration with The Ark Clothing Co? Check out our guide to MFF 2021 below.

Many Hands: The Making Of A Garment 

Come along and follow the journey of a garment – from creation through to the final product when it’s ready for the runway – or delivery to you! From fabric artists and printers to patternmakers and machinists, this will be a visually compelling story of the many hands that make our clothes. Join us for the launch of Many Hands: The Making of a Garment which will include a discussion about the importance of highlighting the people and the skills behind Australia’s local industry. Expect to meet some other ethical makers at the event, learn more about brands that are made in Melbourne and about the importance of protecting the rights of garment workers. This exhibition is delivered in partnership with The Ark Clothing Co, which has been accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) since 2012. The Ark design and make all their products in Melbourne with their in-house team and their network of valued and trusted longstanding makers.

Get Your Tickets Here

REBORN By HoMie X Nobody Denim Pop-Up

Gathered from the corners of Nobody Denim’s factory and design studio, pre and post-consumer denim ‘seconds’ have been re-routed to HoMie to create a collection of up-cycled, one-off denim pieces, bringing new beginnings to otherwise discarded garments destined for landfill. The collection will be available for purchase on both nobodydenim.com and homie.com.au with all proceeds going towards HoMie to achieve its mission, to support young people affected by homelessness or hardship to equip them with the skills, confidence and experiences to be more work-ready and better prepared for their future. To bring this to life and further provoke conversation, HoMie and Nobody Denim will be hosting an in-store activation showcasing key pieces.


The pop-up be open daily from 10am-5pm daily, 11-20 March 2021 @ Nobody Denim, 396-398 Brunswick Street Fitzroy, VIC, 3065, Australia.

Find Out More Here

Nobody Denim Laundry Tour

Back for another year, Nobody Denim is inviting all local fashion enthusiasts to participate in their intimate Laundry Tour, the site where denim is washed, dyed, and distressed.

Hosted by Co-Founder John Condilis and Senior Wash Developer, Sara Fletcher, this 45-minute tour explores the themes of sustainable and local manufacture, though an immersive hands-on denim experience.

When?

Nobody Denim Factory71 Leicester Street, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065, Australia

This is a free event. Each tour is 45 minutes. Registrations are required, sign-up for tickets via the link below.

Register Here

Runway 1

Runway 1 presents a line-up of quintessentially Melbourne designers who each emphasise quality production and a customised approach to tailored design. This runway features ECA accredited A.BCH and will be an online event.

When?

Register Here

Runway 2

A refined display of cutting edge fashion collections will grace the runway within the majestic surrounds of the Great Hall at the National Gallery of Victoria to create an atmosphere of chic luxury. Featuring ECA accredited Bianca Spender and Carla Zampatti.

When?

National Gallery of Victoria, 180 Saint Kilda Road, Southbank, VIC, 3006, Australia

Get Your Tickets Here (Show 1)

Get Your Tickets Here (Show 2)

Runway 4

Presenting a contemporary line-up of some of Australia’s most prestigious designers, including ECA accredited Arnsdorf and Viktoria & Woods. Runway 4 honours exceptional quality of style and is set amongst the breathtaking backdrop of the State Library Victoria.

When?

State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia

Get Your Tickets Here (Show 1)

Get Your Tickets Here (Show 2)

Art Talk: Stanislava Pinchuk + The Social Studio

Ukrainian-Australian artist Stanislava Pinchuk is one of the most intriguing contemporary artists working today. Pinchuk’s upcoming exhibition Terra Data at Heide Museum of Modern Art will showcase powerful drawings that capture the changing topographies of war through data mapping as well as terrazzo sculptures containing the detritus left behind by conflict—fragments of tiles, shotgun shells, SIM cards, plastics and tar. Pinchuk has collaborated with the The Social Studio to create three elegant scarves based on terrazzo works featured in Terra Data. In celebration of the Melbourne Fashion Festival, join Stanislava Pinchuk and CEO of ECA accredited The Social Studio, Dewi Cooke, for a private preview of the exhibition and a casual conversation around textiles, design, inspirations and collaborations.

When?

Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen, VIC, 3105, Australia

Get Your Tickets Here

Runway 6

Come along for an epic evening of fun and frivolity as we celebrate the final runway of 2021. Taking over the Timber Yard, Runway 6 is styled by leading celebrity stylist and Creative Director Lana Wilkinson and will come alive with a dynamic display of leading designers whose collections exude extraordinary confidence and style. With a focus on innovation and wearability, the runway will come alive with fashion that celebrates boldness, creativity and everlasting spirit. Runway 6 features ECA accredited Manning Cartell.

When?

The Timber Yard, 351 Plummer Street, Port Melbourne, VIC, 3207, Australia.

Get Your Tickets Here (Show 1)

Get Your Tickets Here (Show 2)

The Social Studio presents: Atong Atem x Romance Was Born

The Social Studio will utilise a number of spaces across the Collingwood Yards precinct, transforming its retail shop into an exhibition space featuring Atong’s work. The outdoor and public spaces of the Yards will be used to present the Romance Was Born pieces as well as take the audience into elements of the natural world that Atong drew from in her work.

When?

Collingwood Yards, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood, VIC, 3066, Australia

Get Your Tickets Here

Micilogia Runway

Naarm (Melbourne) based label REMUSE returns to present the third installment of their annual mycology inspired series, MICOLOGIA; an ongoing journey into the realm of fungi communicated through a multisensory experience incorporating audio-visual, light art, music, and movement artists, connecting in symbiosis, marking the release of their collection MICOLOGIA III. Taking place on the Autumnal Equinox, ushering in the fungi season, this show will both entertain and educate through the collective exploration of the themes of connectivity, the cycle of life, death and renewal.

When?

Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street, Footscray, VIC, 3011, Australia

Get Your Tickets Here

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Where To Buy Face Masks Made Ethically & Locally In Australia

By Resources

Where To Buy Face Masks Made Ethically & Locally In Australia

The ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 health pandemic has meant that face masks have become mandatory or highly recommended for use in the community across Australia. ECA accredited businesses have transformed their manufacturing capabilities over the pandemic to produce face masks and we have created a go-to guide on where to shop. Supporting ethical businesses and most importantly Australian garment workers.

Note: The below masks are for community/personal use only.

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A.BCH

The A.BCH mask is 2 ply 100% organic cotton mask, crafted from a thick, naturally moister repelling rib outer and light jersey inner.

Shop Here
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Arnsdorf

Arnsdorf are manufacturing organic cotton face masks for community use. The masks feature three-layer protection which are machine washable.

Shop Here
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Bluegum

Business Orders Only - Bluegum are manufacturing 3ply masks in line with DHHS guidelines that are customisable with your businesses brand or logo. The reusable masks feature three layers including a 100% cotton lining.

Shop Here
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CGR Sportswear

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Engage Athletic

Engage Athletic’s masks feature a three layer design with a breathable, water repellant outer layer. You can also add a custom logo to your mask.

Shop Here
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Fella Hamilton

Fella Hamilton have created a 3 Ply Mask, made from a lightweight fabric. It is lined with a layer of 100% cotton voile and backed with a 100% cotton lining. The three pleats can be extended to give full coverage from nose to chin. This mask can be hot machine washed and dried. They recommend washing mask after wearing.

Shop Here
InterKnit

Interknit

Interknit’s face masks are made from a machine washable blend of poly-cotton, these face masks are a seamless single layer in an interlock stitch construction. The thick single layer face mask allows you to breathe while being able to filter droplets (coughing/sneezing).

Shop Here
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Iole Lingerie

Iole Lingerie’s multi-layer masks come in three sizes and are made from 100% cotton. They also feature an adjustable elastic strap and nose wire for comfort.

Shop Here
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LMB Knitwear / Otto & Spike

Otto and Spike has developed a 100% Cotton knitted breathable, reusable and washable face mask designed to discourage you from touching your face!

Shop Here
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Merino Country

Since pre COVID-19 Merino Country have been manufacturing face masks for community use. The masks are made from three layers of 100% Merino and wick the moisture away, are breathable, machine washable & reusable.

Shop Here
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Next State

In conjunction with local Textile Designers we have created a limited edition run of three-layer Art Masks. Printed by Next State and made in Melbourne.

Shop Here
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Nobody Denim

Nobody Denim have created reversible denim face masks and three-layer cloth face masks for community use. The cloth face masks are designed for comfort and ease of wear without sacrificing on coverage nor breathability. With one single elastic strap around the head, this mask can be put on effortlessly and securely when needed.

Shop Here
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Nya

Nya have created masks using off cuts and fabric scraps from their current collections. The masks are made from a hemp/cotton blend and are washable and reusable.

Shop Here
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Monterry/Jem Designs

Monterry/Jem Designs have created a three layer cotton lycra face mask.

https://www.jemdesigns.com.au/product/face-mask/
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Qualitops

Qualitops are manufacturing Australian made, three layer face masks in various colours. The masks are designed to contour the face and are available for purchase in a pack of five.

Shop Here
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Remuse

Remuse have created the Shibori Face mask crafted form 100% organic cotton and made to order. Featuring a pocket for the addition of a filter if required.

Shop Here
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The Ark/Thread Group

The Ark is selling breathable, reusable, 100% cotton double and three-layered layer masks for women and men made by THREAD Group Australia. For every five pack purchased online, The Ark will donate one mask to Impact for Women to benefit women experiencing domestic violence.

Shop Here
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The Social Studio

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, The Social Studio have redirected their manufacturing efforts towards producing DHHS compliant reusable cloth face masks for the community – at cost price. Restocking at 9am each day the masks are 100% cotton and come in two sizes.

Shop Here
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The Sample Room

The Sample Room face masks are made with three layers to WHO guidelines. This means they are 3-layer, with the outer 2 layers utilising a close weave hydrophobic fabric (either 2 x layers of close weave polyester, or 1 layer of close weave polyester fused with a layer of polypropylene) and an inner layer of soft, hydrophilic, cotton. The masks can be bought individually or in packs, in small kids and adult sizes.

Shop Here
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Vince Clothing

Vince Clothing are manufacturing three layer 100% cotton fabric masks featuring a pocket for filter inserts. You can find out more and shop via contacting Vince at vince@vinceclothing.com.au

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Softmed

The Sample Room face masks are made with three layers to WHO guidelines. The masks can be bought individually or in packs, in small kids and adult sizes.

Shop Here
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Push For Protective Gear Made In Australia

By ECA In The Media

Government urged to manufacture protective workwear in Australia to guarantee supply and safety.

The national body for ethical textile, clothing and footwear manufacturing will today urge the Federal Government to ensure all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is made onshore by ethically-accredited businesses to prevent potential safety and security risks, and to protect workers from exploitation.

Angela Bell, the National Manager of Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA), and ECA committee representatives, will appear at an Inquiry of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to recommend that the same rules applied to the ADF’s standard combat uniform be applied to all PPE sold in Australia.

“We want to see the same commonwealth procurement rules that are in place for the standard combat uniform worn by Australian Defence Force members for PPE in the future to protect essential workers and secure local supply chains,” Ms Bell said.

Ms Bell will also urge the Committee to view ethical supply chains as non-negotiable now and post COVID-19.

“The government should put in place parameters to ensure it is not working with businesses that exploit workers or engage in modern slavery,” said Ms Bell.

“Having these products made locally and by an ECA-accredited manufacturer would minimise any such risks for the government.”

“When the pandemic hit, there were significant shortages of PPE, and we saw products that were not fit for purpose being produced and imported,” Ms Bell said.

“Had the production of these items already been procured onshore by our governments, then the crisis and concern about the supply of PPE would have been a relative non-issue.”

“The fact that Australia was heavily reliant on overseas supply chains to respond to PPE needs presented a significant risk and it will do so in the future if we don’t bring manufacturing of a minimum number of PPE items onshore.”

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The Age: From Fashion to Face Masks, How COVID-19 is Creating Rag Trade Jobs

By ECA In The Media

The demand for locally-made face masks has bolstered Australian clothing manufacturers enabling many to keep their doors open and employ more workers during COVID-19.

Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA), the national accreditation body for the textiles, clothing, and footwear industry, reports that about a quarter of its 100 accredited businesses have changed their manufacturing to include face mask production, to meet local demand.

In a sign of the popularity for local, ethically made face masks, ECA’s website crashed last week due to the high volume of people searching for options. And many local manufacturers have experienced similar scenarios since the Victorian Government announced its mandatory face masks requirement.

ECA-accredited businesses have reported that they’re hiring more people than ever to keep up with orders and demand for locally-made, ethically produced face masks.

“Since the pandemic hit ECA has witnessed how our local industry and its workers have responded with great speed and capability. They have adapted, created new designs and made the products that are been required to protect frontline workers, and now everyday citizens, against COVID-19,” said Angela Bell, National Manager, Ethical Clothing Australia.

“It has shone a spotlight on the need to have these skills and capabilities here – that our local industry is alive and extremely valuable and they want to contribute in the response to the pandemic. It is fortunate that this is leading to greater volumes of work for our local businesses and their workers.”

Ethical Clothing Australia says it is important that workers’ rights are not forgotten during the pandemic, particularly given that the Textiles Clothing and Footwear industry has complex supply chains

“The response from the public that we have seen in the past week shows that consumers want to buy Australian, but they also want to know that the mask was made by workers who are not being exploited or working in unsafe conditions,” said Ms Bell.

You can read the full article here: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/from-fashion-to-face-masks-how-covid-19-is-creating-rag-trade-jobs-20200729-p55gks.html

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20 Year Anniversary and ECA Week Launch Event 2020

By Live Recording, Projects, Resources, Events

Strong commitment to local manufacturing and retaining jobs as industry marks first Ethical Clothing Australia Week

Textile, clothing, and footwear manufacturers remain committed to local manufacturing and retaining jobs in the industry post-COVID-19 according to a survey by Ethical Clothing Australia. The survey of 34 Australian textile, clothing, and footwear manufacturers was conducted in the lead up to Ethical Clothing Australia Week which runs from18-24 October.

One hundred percent of businesses surveyed say they are committed to local manufacturing and retaining local jobs, and more than 70% reported that more customers are asking questions about the labor rights of the people who made their clothes.

And in a rare upside to the COVID-19 pandemic, local garment manufacturers have seen an increase in both new customers and online sales. Almost 60% of survey respondents reported an increase in new customers and 49% have seen an increase in online sales.

Despite the promising responses, the local textile, clothing and footwear industry has felt the effect of COVID-19. While many manufacturers changed operations in a pandemic-inspired pivot to supply vital protective garments and face-masks, many more have needed to suspend operations and close their stores and the survey results revealed that some are uncertain about their future.

Ethical Clothing Australia Manager Angela Bell said the results supported the view that despite these extraordinarily difficult times, there is a rising interest in local and ethical manufacturing.

“There are definite signs of hope such as these are worth celebrating,” said Angela Bell.

“We have received almost double the number of applications for accreditation and we have almost doubled the number of accreditations when compared to this time last year.”

“This means business sees value in being transparent about their supply chains and they see value in the ethical treatment of workers,” she said.

“The ultimate beneficiaries of this work is the workers in the industry as the audits and compliance work undertaken by the Textile, Clothing Footwear Union (TCF Union) as part of this program commonly find breaches across pay, entitlements, and safety that must be rectified”.

“The Union has completed more than 525 compliance checks this year and they have had more than 262 out worker contacts – again exceeding the volume of work undertaken when compared to this time last year.”

This year Ethical Clothing is celebrating 20 years since its beginnings. The organisation was created in response to rising concerns about the exploitation of Australian garment workers, particularly of out workers (otherwise known as homeworkers) in local supply chains.  Businesses that were doing the right thing were being tarnished by the poor practices of other operators and local retailers and manufacturers were seeking a solution to recognise those that were adopting ethical practices. The organisation is a business, employer and union collaboration. To celebrate the 20 years, ECA is launching the first-ever Ethical Clothing Australia Week.

Ethical Clothing Australia Week will be launched by the Hon. Martin Pakula Minister for Industry Support and Recovery at 12 noon today. Ethical Clothing Australia operates with the support of the Victorian Government.
#ECAWeek2020 is the first and only Australian week-long event focused on locally-made, ethically-manufactured clothing, textiles, and footwear. The week will celebrate the brands, the designers, and importantly the skilled workers behind the garments that fashion consumers buy, through events and online activities.

Quote attributable to the Hon. Martin Pakula, Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery

“The success of Ethical Clothing Australia’s accreditation program is a testament to what can happen when business, unions and government collaborate for the good of the industry and the people who work in it.

“I commend the textile, clothing and footwear manufacturers who have voluntarily sought accreditation for adopting ethical employment practices, and I would like to see more manufacturers get on board.”

Quote attributable to Jenny Kruschel, TCF Sector National Secretary of the Manufacturing Division of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union:

“By ensuring Australian textile, clothing and footwear supply chains are fully transparent and legally compliant, Ethical Clothing Australia’s accreditation program gives consumers confidence the garments they buy are made by workers that are being paid Award wages and entitlements.”

Quote attributable to Gary Campbell, Operations Manager, Nobody Denim:

“It is incredibly important to have a level playing field in this industry and for local businesses who are doing the right thing by their workers to get the information and advice that they need to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations – that’s what Ethical Clothing Australia’s accreditation program provides.”

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The Quick Unpick Podcast Launch Event

By Live Recording, Projects, Resources, Events

The Quick Unpick is a podcast series collaboration between Britt’s List & Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA), released to celebrate ECA’s twenty-year anniversary and the launch of the inaugural Ethical Clothing Australia Week (18-24 October 2020).

Over nine episodes, Brisbane based Britt’s List editor Brittanie Dreghorn talks to eight ECA-accredited Australian businesses who are manufacturing locally – helping to support the Australian Textile Clothing & Footwear (TCF) Industry through protecting garment worker rights and safety, and ensuring their garments are made with ethical values.

Labels featured in The Quick Unpick podcast are ABCH, Citizen Wolf, Clothing the Gap, Cue, Jackfruit The Label, Lois Hazel, Nobody Denim, and The Social Studio. The podcast also features an interview with ECA representatives and the stories of two out workers in the local industry.

“Ethical Clothing Australia is excited to partner with Britt’s List to produce this podcast. Despite the extraordinarily difficult times, we find ourselves in because of COVID-19, there is a rising interest in local and ethical manufacturing and this series is going to help spread the word for shoppers and others in the industry wanting to learn more. The businesses featured in the podcast series vary from emerging, smaller labels to household names and it provides a great opportunity to learn more about their values, their makers, and what else goes on behind the scenes.  It is another celebration of ECA accredited brands, designers, and importantly the skilled workers who make up our local, ethically accredited industry because as the podcast reveals there are benefits and challenges that come from making onshore,”

said Angela Bell, National Manager of Ethical Clothing Australia.

For Britt’s List founder and editor Brittanie Dreghorn, the podcast series was a chance for an in-depth look at ethical garment making in Australia as well as the chance to hear directly from the business owners, founders, and representatives.

“Britt’s List strives to educate Australians about the brands that are driving change and leading their industry in environmental sustainability and ethical treatment of people and animals. Listeners of the Quick Unpick podcast will hear from garment workers, the TCF union and Ethical Clothing Australia, as well as fashion businesses who have ECA accreditation. We literally unpick the manufacturing process to give consumers and others in the industry a well-rounded view of how their clothes are made and the importance of making sure that the people who make our clothes are not exploited,”

said Brittanie Dreghorn.