You'll (hopefully) see a lot of brands posting about Fashion Revolution this week. It commemorates the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh where 1,134 garment workers lost their lives and 2,500 more were injured in inhumane and unsafe factory working conditions. The brands made in the factory were everyday high street brands that you have probably bought at some point in your life - Benetton, Walmart, Primark, Monsoon and more. It is very sad that an event so tragic had to highlight the inequality between everyday shoppers (like you and me) and the garment workers themselves.
I feel very strongly that as a brand you are what you create and I have done my best to create a product and operate a business that is transparent, ethical and sustainable. Fashion Revolution is an important week in reminding us of how we can be responsible as brands, manufacturers and consumers in what we buy, wear and consume on a day to day level.
One of the things that has shocked me the most about switching career and industry to fashion is the secrecy and lack of transparency around manufacturing and supply chains. I spent a lot of time sourcing manufacturers that I could speak directly with, visit and build a great relationship with. To break the taboo and so you can have full confidence when buying my pieces - here are the two factories making our lingerie.
I make my loungewear pieces (slips, camisoles, playsuit and robes) with The Fashion Production Company in the heart of Sydney. They are a small artisan studio with under 10 employees who do highly skilled work for numerous Australian designer labels including mine. They work with a specialist cutter in Marrickville who I also visit regularly.
I am also currently working with a specialist lingerie factory in Manchester, UK to make a line of knickers - coming soon. Why the UK? Well, I learned early on in setting up my label that Australian manufacturing is set up beautifully for swimwear but not knickers. When I had to look for offshore options it made sense for me to look first at the UK where I am originally from.
Above all, I want to make sure the lingerie I make is exquisitely and ethically made. The best way for me to do this is to be able to build a lasting relationship with the manufacturer and to visit them in person. I sell predominantly in the UK and Australia and it makes sense for me to support industry in the two countries I call home.
The UK and Australia are both well regulated in terms of fair pay and safe working conditions for garment workers. This means that I can sleep easy at night knowing that I am producing lingerie that is respectfully made in regard to people and the planet and more importantly that you can too.
Xx Ms. Kensington
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