Who made my clothes?
Who made my clothes?
This is a question that is not being asked enough in Australia, or the world. Thankfully, there is a fashion revolution brewing amongst the masses, and we are so stoked to be a part of it.
The fast fashion industry has blitzed the globe. Brands churn out season after season within the season. One collection has barely hit the racks before the sale signs are hung from their tags, and they are pushed aside to make room for the new.
What this means for the world, is that it has become the norm for fashion to move fast. What the individual often fails to recognise, however, is the repercussions of their consumerism.
Competing manufacturers drop their prices, appealing to larger brands. This means a lower wage paid to the people who are actually turning the fabric into an item of clothing.
The fashion industry is the worlds second largest polluting industry, following the oil industry. As a whole we buy too many clothes, at too little cost. (Excerpt from The True Cost)
When you buy a t-shirt from a global chain label for $5, the initial reaction is one of excitement. But that label must still be making a profit, or else the shirt would not be on the racks.
So what price then, is the person who sewed that shirt, being compensated for their time? What conditions are they spending their days in?
Solsoya is working where it can, with what it can, to change this process. Bringing awareness to the fast fashion industry, we are engaged in ethical procedures, which aim to rethink the way we know fashion.
Originally produced in Sydney, we found that the relationship we shared with the manufacturing company wasn’t serving our highest purpose.
There are many links in the chain that bring Solsoya from fabric (and even before that stage) to an item of clothing.
There are layers of relationships; shared with the people we purchase the fabric from, the amazing graphic designer, Tyler Spangler, that makes Solsoya what it is, the people who print our fabric, and the cutters & makers.
We wanted to feel good about all of our relationships, so the search began for a new manufacturer in Australia.
This was not an easy process. Prices are up; people are choosing the cheaper options of overseas. What are left in Australia are companies with high minimum orders, too busy to fit in a still emerging label with lower quantities.
After speaking with as many people as we could, and setting up meetings with various companies, we are stoked to share that we have settled on a new manufacturer.
Moving forward, as Solsoya grows, we will be able to produce larger order quantities. The manufactures are located in between Gold Coast and Brisbane, making it easy for us to check on from Byron Bay.
They have agreed to package the orders in no plastic, another win which can be monitored by keeping things local and a benefit of clear communication. (And perfect since the restock will be arriving here in July, just in time for Plastic Free July)
The manufacturing company comply with Ethical Clothing Australia. We are proud to be supporting an accreditation body working collaboratively with local textile, clothing and footwear companies, ensuring their Australian supply chains are transparent and legally compliant.
Another exiting shift that is happening for Solsoya is that we are making the move to be 100% manufactured using Econyl brand fabric. Previously just half of the collection, consisting of swimsuits and rashguards, were made from the fabric of regenerated fishing net and plastic bottles.
Ghost fishing nets from the oceans floor, predominately in Greece and the Philippines, are collected and then taken to Aquafil in Slovenia, where they are turned into a raw material. From here the material is milled to a fabric, in Italy.
Solsoya then buys this white fabric from an Australia distributer in Brisbane, and starts the fun process of sublimation printing the vibrant patterns that you all know and love.
So that’s where we are at right now, we are excited to be growing in the direction that we dream of. Where the supply chain is transparent, where people think about their purchases.
With the world now consuming a staggering 80billion pieces of clothing each year (up 400% from two decades ago), now is the time to make your voice heard. Buy less and buy better, let your dollar do the talking, support labels that support sustainable fashion.
For more inspiration, check out The True Cost Movie.