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Ethical Clothing Australia

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Outworker Story: Anh

By Worker stories

Outworker Story: Anh

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We would like to introduce you to Anh, who is a Melbourne-based outworker.

Anh learned how to sew and tailor clothing back home in Vietnam when she was a girl. She moved from Vietnam to Melbourne in 1991 after marrying her husband and started working in a clothing factory in Melbourne. After having her daughter, she decided to become an outworker so that she could look after her daughter at home. 

Anh is a skilled worker and makes high-end fashion garments for women, including dresses, shirts and jackets. She receives the cut fabric in bundles and sews together the garment, which includes everything except for the buttons, buttonholes, pressing and trimming. 

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Working from home meant that Anh was isolated and without support, because she no longer had people at work to talk to. She was put in touch with the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union, and has since received a lot of support and information about outworkers’ rights.  

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Anh is pictured in her home workshop with Nguyet Nguyen, an Outworker Outreach Officer on the compliance team. 

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RAW TO A T event wrap up

By Events

RAW TO A T event wrap up

The Ethical Clothing Australia team had the opportunity to exhibit at RAW TO A T in Melbourne during May. 

Run by RawAssembly, RAW TO A T is a conference and circular sourcing event for the fashion and textiles sectors. 

ECA exhibited on the industry-only days on 24-26 May alongside ECA accredited businesses Knovus (formerly Knit Melbourne), The Social Studio and ABMT Apparel.

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Molly and Patricia from Knovus, a knitting development house.

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Andrew from ABMT Apparel, a specialist textile manufacturer.

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Dewi from The Social Studio, a manufacturing studio, fashion label and retail space.

Amanda Bresnan was also asked to speak at a Collarts panel on one of the consumer-facing days of Raw To A T. 

Amanda panel

Chaired by Sarah Conners (Head of Fashion & Sustainability at Collarts), the panel also included Teslin Doud (Sustainability Specialist for Projects at Country Road Group & David Jones) and Ben Kaminsky (Cofounder of Textile Recycling Australia). 

The panel involved a discussion around whether we value style over substance in fashion, the role that fashion media and education can play in rethinking the value of fashion, and how collaboration can improve the current state of the industry. 

Many thanks to RawAssembly and Collarts for having us!

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Australian Defence Apparel factory tour

By Uncategorised

Australian Defence Apparel
factory tour

The Ethical Clothing Australia team recently had the opportunity to head out on a factory tour to Australian Defence Apparel in Bendigo, Victoria. We were greeted by David Frith and Kerry Hodges, who showed us around the factory and introduced us to some of the workers.

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During the factory tour, we had the opportunity to walk through the different parts of the factory, discuss the functions of the machines and speak to the people who operate them.

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Sue working on a pocketsetter machine.

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Tim, who has been a Patternmaker for 30 years, laying out a pattern for a camouflage coat.

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Some of ADA’s workers on the factory floor.

During our tour, we got to hear Kerry’s story of how she became the Factory Manager at ADA.

She started working at the business as a sewing machinist in 1988 and worked her way up. She has held many different roles at ADA over the years and did work in quality inspecting and supervising before becoming the Factory Manager over 15 years ago.

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This is Australian Defence Apparel’s new embroidery machine that they are currently setting up and about to launch.

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Kerry showing David, Amanda and Jason some fabric for fire resistant garments.

Thank you to Australian Defence Apparel for showing us around your factory!

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RAW TO A T announcement

By Events
Event

RAW TO A T announcement

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We are excited to announce that Ethical Clothing Australia will be exhibiting at ‘RAW TO A T’ in Melbourne next month!

The conference and sourcing event, which is run by RawAssembly, is a regenerative and circular sourcing event for the fashion and textiles sectors. It was created to increase the awareness of sustainable solutions and to drive forward new collaborations and opportunities for a regenerative future facing fashion industry in Australia.

‘RAW TO A T’ brings together a diverse range of stakeholders across the ecosystem to explore how, what and when the fashion industry can transform its current model of production and consumption to a system that better protects people and the planet.

Ethical Clothing Australia will be exhibiting 24-26 May 2022 on the industry-only days.

To learn more, head to the ‘RAW TO A T’ website.

📸 @atongatem (Atong Atem), BETA STH BNK by Hanover House

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Wrap Up Of Paypal Melbourne Fashion Festival 2022

By Events

Wrap Up Of Paypal Melbourne Fashion Festival 2022

The ECA team recently attended a selection of events that were part of PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival, which ran from 3 – 12 March. It was fantastic to see this year’s festival up close and personal! 

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Ethically Made Vs. Ethically Minded Fashion

This was ECA’s panel, which focused on the importance of ethical manufacturing in fashion. The panel included Sarah Sheridan (Clothing the Gaps), Brianna Gaal (Gaal Melbourne) and Elizabeth Macpherson (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union) and was hosted by Amanda Bresnan (National Manager, Ethical Clothing Australia).  

Members of the panel discussed their journey to become an ethically accredited business and they shared stories about how they manufacture ethically, and how they ensure workers’ rights are protected throughout their supply chain. 

MICO22 

This was the fourth instalment of R E M U S E’s mycology-inspired series, which drew inspiration from earth and organic shapes and formations in nature. This event brought together dreamlike music from local band Bumpy with modern dancers. The movements of the bodies emphasised the natural elements of the designs, which featured atypical cuts, tie dyed shades of blue, and flowing ruffles.

Image credit: @Meaty

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Runway 1 

ECA attended Runway 1 as a guest of Creative Victoria. ECA accredited brands Arnsdorf and Bianca Spender featured.

Arnsdorf presented a neutral-inspired runway with black, chocolate and gold hues featuring prominently.

Bianca Spender also presented their new line, which featured feminine draped fabrics and clean-cut tailoring.  

Image credits: @dancastano

Runway 2 

We attended Runway 2 to see accredited brand Viktoria & Woods. The designs combined neutral tones and clean sophisticated lines, with a variety of patterns and block colours on display. 

Image credit: @lucasdawsonphotography

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Runway 4

Runway 4 was a fun-filled and joyful event that saw breakdancers making moves on the runway. We also got the opportunity to see Nobody Denim’s first menswear range, which brought together androgynous designs, white denim, and embroidered bucket hats.

Image credit: @dancastano

Circular Style 

Hosted by The Social Studio and featuring Courtney Holm of accredited brand A.BCH, this panel involved a detailed discussion about zero waste patternmaking and how brands can do more to reduce textile waste. We enjoyed the technical detail of this talk, as it provided everyone in attendance with a deeper understanding of the challenges of zero waste manufacturing. 

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Accredited Manufacturer Spotlight: Jac from five.one.six

By Uncategorised

Accredited Manufacturer Spotlight: Jac from five.one.six

This is a featured post written by Jac at five.one.six, a newly accredited manufacturer.

My name is Jacinta (Jac), and I’ve been running five.one.six for just under a year (it’s still a baby!). I started five.one.six hoping to meet the demand for small scale localised production, as well as to provide access to industrial grade facilities that support the practice of making. It’s been a privilege to facilitate this space and produce work for brands and people that I love. It’s an honour to be a small yet important part of such a conveyor belt and watching this space grow has been the biggest joy. Melbourne has a relentlessly creative pulse – always on the next thing, always feeding itself.

My background is mostly in fashion, though I love to learn and take in as much as I can. My fashion studies were interrupted by the pandemic, which is why I decided to gain back some control and start my own business. It was the best decision I’ve made and at the most unexpected time. This space has allowed me to elevate so much as an artist and assist others to achieve creative and technical outcomes for their own practices as well.

Five.one.six has plans to expand beyond sole trader ownership, so accreditation is important to me. I would love to hire a fabric cutter one day and another technician or machinist to assist with my bookings and production runs. ECA is an integral part of making sure businesses like mine are stipulating industry regulations to make sure workers are being cared for and paid correctly, myself included. It’s all about regulating fair work.

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Worker Story: George from Wilderness Wear

By Worker stories

Worker Story: George from Wilderness Wear

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This is a featured post written by the team at Wilderness Wear, an ECA accredited brand. 

George … Ok, his surname might not be ‘Clooney’, but he looks a bit like the movie star. Actually, to associate our George with any sort of movie star would be incorrect, because he is more like a rock star – of socks (does that make him a sock star?).

As the chief behind the banks of sock knitting machines at Wilderness Wear, George has carved out an interesting career for himself. Initially a law student, he diverted his studies to accept a mechanics apprenticeship where he remained until that business closed after moving its manufacturing offshore. Already known to the management of Wilderness Wear, George quickly moved over to his current role.

Part of George’s skill and value comes his ability to manage machines of all different brands, origins and ages. Some, like the old Bentley Komets from the 1950s, are best serviced with a hammer while the newer equivalents by Sangiacomo from Santoni in Italy are highly sophisticated machines.

There is a political claim to fame within George’s CV, and that is the occasion where he made a pair of socks for the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Paul Keating. A man of known sartorial high standards, the socks were surely a fitting match to his fine Italian suits!

A champion – or pin-up boy, if you like – of the Australian manufacturing sector, George is a valuable player within the Walls of Wilderness Wear and is representative of the drive of like-minded companies to keep these valuable skillsets onshore.

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ECA’s Guide to PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival 2022

By Events
Event

ECA’s Guide to PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival 2022

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PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival is back for 2022! An annual celebration of fashion, arts, ideas and creative endeavours, the 10-day festival will be held on 3 – 12 March 2022. We are excited to see that this year’s program features a number of ECA-accredited businesses. Check out our guide to PMFF 2022 below.

 

Ethically Made Vs. Ethically Minded Fashion

ECA is presenting a free panel that will look at how ethical manufacturing and other ethical initiatives are incorporated into a fashion business’s strategy and how they prioritise making ethically in Australia. This will be a discussion between Sarah Sheridan, Co-Founder of Clothing the Gaps; Bianca Gaal, Owner of Gaal Melbourne; and a representative from the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union.

7pm on Monday 7th March at The Festival Pavilion in Federation Square

 

Gala Runway

Showcasing the best in established and emerging international and Australian fashion, the Gala Runway will feature looks from the 2022 Autumn-Winter season. This runway will feature Bianca Spender, Carla Zampatti and Viktoria & Woods.

7pm on Thursday 3rd March at Queen Victoria Market

REGISTER HERE

 

MICO22

MICO22 is the fourth instalment of REMUSE’s annual mycology-inspired series. The show will feature a music performance choreographed and performed by a local band in concert with models and dancers wearing the brand’s Autumn 2022 collection.

7pm on Thursday 3rd March at Brunswick Mechanics Institute

 

Arnsdorf X RNTR

At this ongoing experience at Arnsdorf’s Fitzroy boutique, shoppers can discover the brand’s rental collection which is powered by Rntr, a clothing rental platform.

Friday 4th – Saturday 12th March at Arnsdorf Fitzroy Store

REGISTER HERE

 

Runway 1

Runway 1 at ACMI will showcase a stable of Australian designers, including ECA-accredited brands Bianca Spender and Arnsdorf. Both brands continue to find international resonance through fashion and this runway will culminate in an engaging snapshot of today’s global woman.

7pm & 8:30pm on Monday 7th March at ACMI, Federation Square

REGISTER HERE

 

Runway 2

Located at at ACMI in Federation Square, Runway 2 looks to be an evening of refined sophistication featuring ECA accredited brand Viktoria & Woods.

7pm & 8:30pm on Tuesday 8th March at ACMI, Federation Square

REGISTER HERE

 

Runway 4 (Menswear)

Runway 4 will showcase an exciting fusion of influences and inspirations within menswear design. This event, which features Nobody Denim, promises to push the boundaries of Australian men’s fashion.

7pm & 8:30pm on Thursday 10th March at ACMI, Federation Square

REGISTER HERE

 

Independent Runway

Taking place in the artistic hub of Collingwood Yards, the Independent Runway showcases independent brands whose work resonates globally. This year’s Independent Runway features The Social Studio.

8pm on Thursday 10th March at Collingwood Yards

REGISTER HERE

 

Circular Talk

Hosted by The Social Studio, audiences will be guided through the design and development of the brand’s collection in their Collingwood Yards manufacturing studio. This will be followed by a panel where design and sustainability experts will discuss industry approaches to reducing textile waste.

1pm on Saturday 12th March at Collingwood Yards

REGISTER HERE

 

Closing Runway

Featuring Carla Zampatti, the Closing Runway will display both ready-to-wear and red carpet looks from Australian designers.

7pm & 8:30pm on Saturday 12th March at (location TBC)

REGISTER HERE

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ECA Funding Announcement

By Uncategorised

ECA Funding Announcement

Media statement reproduced with approval.

A future Albanese Labor Government will inject $2 million annually for Ethical Clothing Australia to accredit businesses in the Australian textile, clothing and footwear industry.

The demand for ethically sourced products is on the rise. Nine in ten consumers want to buy ethically sourced products according to a recent global survey of 27,000 consumers, including from Australia.

But Australian businesses in the industry face difficulties competing with international counterparts that are reliant on low paid and undervalued workforces.

Ethical Clothing Australia is an accreditation body working with local clothing and footwear manufacturers to ensure their supply chains are legally compliant, from design to distribution.

The textile, clothing and footwear sector played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many local small businesses and their supply chains ramping up production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as global supply chains broke down.

‘Australia must be a country that makes things,’ Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation Ed Husic MP said.

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‘We saw the way the textile, clothing and footwear industry responded to the global shortage of PPE including face masks last year.

‘They pivoted seamlessly but not without some challenges.

‘With this commitment, Labor is standing up for Australian jobs and Australian manufacturing.

‘We know that building transparent and ethical supply chains gives local businesses a competitive advantage.

‘It gives them the edge over international competitors, a secret weapon that yields better profits and jobs.’

Women make up around two-thirds of the workforce, which employs 36,500 Australians. The industry also employs many workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

After almost a decade in Government, 4,500 jobs have been lost in the textile, clothing and footwear industry on the Government’s watch.

In 2014, they slashed $1 million in funding to Ethical Clothing Australia – Australia’s only ethical compliance body.

This is despite analysis from the Industry Capability Network that shows for every $1 million dedicated to new or retained business, the sector generates:
• $665,200 of value add
• 8 full-time equivalent jobs
• $88,300 of welfare savings.

A Labor Government will provide $6 million over three years to Ethical Clothing Australia to bring more local businesses into line with best practice.

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Labor will also use its purchasing power to support local jobs and skills, requiring ethical procurement of manufacturers in government contracts.

These commitments are supported by the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, which will build new industries and boost our existing strengths.