Published on 05/12/18
Founder Courtney Holm spent a year preparing to launch her label, A.BCH. Much of that time was spent ensuring her manufacturing matched her values – and that included achieving Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA®) accreditation.
“We launched in 2017; most of the year before that was spent in research and development, working out how to achieve ethical and environmental responsibility across all levels of our supply chain,” says Courtney.
Courtney aims to provide classic wardrobe staples that transcend trends, and instead help wearers build an ‘enduring wardrobe’. To that end, A.BCH doesn’t release new product seasonally or in collections, but releases new items into its collection as they arise.
A.BCH garments must also be completely circular. This means that nothing can go to waste. The innovative label has a policy of full disclosure detailing every aspect of a garment’s resourcing and production, and invites customers to return vintage A.BCH for recycling, research and development.
Courtney is a strong believer that design and making inform each other, and champions local manufacturing.
“If you remove making from the design process…and you don’t have any of those skills or knowledge or equipment or abilities to actually play with the making…you’re not as good a designer as you could be.”
Some of A.BCH’s manufacturing, for example patternmaking and machining, is done in-house, at its studio currently located in North Fitzroy, Melbourne. The remainder is done by a handful of small businesses and factories located nearby.
“We work with factories in Coburg and Sunshine who are ECA accredited. I engage a knitter who uses Japanese equipment to make seamless garments, and we get our screen printing done in Fitzroy.
“The manufacturing industry here is small, and demand is growing. I have focused on building really good relationships. I like to meet face-to-face and explain my manufacturing model, and to learn about the people who are making my product. When design and manufacturing are located close together and can work closely together, I have complete visibility and agility, and that’s really important to me.”