We love clothing that is actually handcrafted, in that people, instead of Terminator-like robots, made it. This value takes handcrafting one step further, by celebrating the traditional skills of ancient communities and the advanced high level training that is required to make these clothes. For a label to meet the requirements of our handcrafted value, a minimum of 50% of each of its’ products must be made using traditional handmade methods, that can only be completed by highly-skilled workers.
We prefer the clothing we wear, you know, directly on our skin, to be free from nasty chemicals. We’re also environmentally conscious – the planet’s pretty great, right? Which is why all labels which meet this value must make at least 80% of their products from sustainable materials. When we talk about ‘sustainable’, we’re not just talking about ‘natural’, either. We’re talking about organic textiles, transition cotton, certified closed loop viscose, recycled polyester and nylon, recycled cotton, and hemp. To meet this value, labels may also be using low-impact dyes or be climate neutral.
If you shop at your local green grocer because you like knowing you’re supporting the little, local, good guys, then this is the value for you. With globalisation, local fashion manufacturers are suffering. For a brand to meet the requirements of this value, 80% of its products must be sewn in the country its business is based.
We want to rest easy in the knowledge that the people who made the clothing we buy have been treated the same way we’re treated: with minimum wages; safe working conditions; voluntary overtime; and freedom of association. In order for a label to meet the requirements of this value, the manufacturer must be accredited with a globally recognised, independent certifier – no dodgy audits here!
On average, every person in Australia throws out 35kg of clothing every year, and the brands which make it can be just as wasteful. Luckily, the brands we value are using new tech to upcycle, recycle, and reduce waste. In order to meet the requirements that we value, 70% of the label’s products have to be made-to-order, made using minimal-waste pattern-making, or made in a process in which the label is actively reducing effluents, and recycling water and electricity. It’s all about minimisation.
The labels who make the products we like to support are trying to make the world a better place for female-identifying people. In order for a label to meet our requirements, it must comply with equal employment rights, anti-discrimination laws, employ female-identifying people in managerial roles, provide equal pay, upskilling, training, and family support. As fiercely independent feminists ourselves, this is something we truly get behind.
When your mates compliment you on the clothing you so stylishly flaunt (which they will do), you will be able to tell them that you can trace your clothing, from the clothing producer right down to the raw materials, because that’s what labels have to be able to do in order to meet the requirements of this value. Dinner party conversation game: strong.