Reimagining Local Fashion Manufacturing: A Victorian Perspective

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What is needed to create a thriving Victorian fashion manufacturing industry?

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COVID-19 has put a spotlight on a real need to understand the local manufacturing landscape and the opportunities for the Victorian textile and clothing industries.

Over the last three months we’ve been conducting interviews with fashion industry leaders, designers, and manufacturers to identify what is needed to create a thriving Victorian fashion manufacturing industry.

Join us for a panel discussion to explore the key themes with a designer, manufacturer and industry leader to better understand how the Australian fashion industry can evolve and prosper.

The panel will be facilitated by independent consultant, Alida Milani.

The panel includes:

Amanda McCabe-Phillips, Chief Operating Officer, ELK.

With 30 years’ experience in the fashion industry, across all fashion categories, Amanda recalls a time when local manufacturing in Victoria was prevalent and strong, so she is keen to explore the viability of adding locally made product into future collections.

A pioneer of Australian design, ELK was established in 2004 in Melbourne, Australia. The ELK aesthetic holds a unique place within the international fashion landscape through a highly considered approach by brand founders Marnie and Adam. Their sculptural accessories, hand-made leather and ready-to-wear collections define their artful vision, while their devotion to ethical and sustainable practices has endured them as a leader in the practice of responsible innovation for the fashion industry.

John Condilis, Director, Nobody Denim

John Condilis, Chairman and Co-founder of Nobody denim and board member of the Australian Fashion Council, is passionate about growing & re-establishing the clothing manufacturing industry in Australia. The Nobody story began with a small, family-built denim laundry in the back streets of Melbourne, Australian in 1999. Founded on the belief that, making jeans could be imbued with integrity and creativity, Nobody Denim has continued to go from strength to strength. From fabric sourcing to fit and finish, the Nobody team show a dedication to their craft, a commitment to quality and a genuine understanding of their customer needs.

John is committed to maintaining an ethical and sustainable operational facility, with transparency at the core of Nobody’s business activities. The label is accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia, ensuring everyone involved in making their designs receive fair wages and are provided with safe working conditions.

Thea Speechly, Founder, RawAssembly™

After a successful career in fashion & textile sourcing and product development in Europe, the United States, Hong Kong, and Mainland China, Thea focused her passion and interest towards the growing need for responsible sourcing in the fashion & textile industry.

Having worked with a wide variety of the world's leading brands, largest yarn mills, and manufacturers, Thea’s understanding of a need for change has evolved from extensive experience at the front-end of large-scale manufacturing, fibre development, fast-fashion and its negative consequences on people and the planet.

A combination of this industry experience and recognition of the need for change was the inspiration for Thea to establish RawAssembly™, a global platform that provides responsible sourcing and manufacturing networks for a renewed fashion industry, driven by innovation and a focus on renewable materials.

In addition to her work with RawAssembly™ Thea has presented and facilitated working groups with the Sherman Institute of Culture & Ideas, The Institute of Frontier Materials, and the International Cotton Advisory Committee.

Thea’s core interest lies in promoting regenerative systems and business models that enable next-generation designers to continue to enhance the creative spirit of fashion through the use of safe and renewable materials that give back to both people and the planet.

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