Fashion / Feature

How to support you local designers amid COVID-19

The world as we know it today is a very different place to what it was at the beginning of 2020. We’ve moved through one of Australia’s biggest environmental crisis’ in history with the Australian 2019/2020 bushfires, only to be hit by devastating floods. Once we began picking up the pieces, we were met with a global pandemic of such magnitude that no industry has gone unaffected. The fashion industry is among them. With forced store closures and factories shutting down globally, paired with people spending less due to loss of financial security, small businesses are taking a hit. We spoke to some of our favourite local designers on what we as a community can be doing to best support small businesses in fashion during this time.

 

Christopher Esber

“I think that now more than ever, if you have the means: buy from the Australian brands you love and want to see through to the other side, because a lot of us sadly might not make it through this. If you aren’t in the position to buy, share designers and artists work you love on socials or by word of mouth to show solidarity, so that once we get through this period, we can start to put the pieces back together. At CE we always encourage investing in timeless pieces, so that if you do want to purchase something special during this time, the range has enough depth for versatility and the pieces are meant to be worn over again, enduring seasons and trends. Most of all anything you can do to support designers during this time - big or small - will never go unappreciated, even if it’s sharing our work.”

 

Dale McCarthy, Bondi Born

“Understandably it’s a very difficult time for discretionary spending, but it’s important for people to know what they’re contributing to if they’re in a position to keep shopping and on top of that, feeling good in the face of so much adversity is something fashion can do. Australian fashion is small business. If people stop shopping, the industry will disappear. The Northern hemisphere summer is essentially cancelled and when you make clothes for holidays, you’re in a bit of a pickle. Our apparel is incredibly relaxed and easy to wear, and we’ve been able to continue talking to our audiences by helping them navigate this work from home / loungewear space. But the reality remains that like most Australian fashion businesses, we rely heavily on international wholesale orders to plan and set our business up for the next 12 months. Our retailer partners are facing their own challenges, and we are trying to adapt and support as best we can and keep people employed. Every day is a different story, a different challenge, maybe a different opportunity. But never before has the industry been faced with so much uncertainty and remains so reliant on support.”

 

Michelle Perrett, Matin Studio

“Creativity has never been more necessary and supporting small brands who manufacture locally has never been more critical. While it’s not realistic for most of us to spend and shop to support small Australian brands during this most wild of times, you can support us all by following Matin and the brands you love on Instagram, engage with them, capture images of your favourite Matin piece and share that with us. Reflect. Share ideas. Share love. Stay home. Inspire and be inspired. This dialogue will keep us together and connected, which is what we all need. Peace & love x”

 

Lucinda Taffs, Auteur Studio


 

“I believe in this time more than ever brands and consumers have to support each other. The old way of doing things has sort of gone out the window in this new reality.

For Auteur it's how we can come out of this a better and stronger version while staying true to who we are aesthetically. I think the most important thing we can do is look after our Aussie community while we all navigate through these tough times, supporting each other in any way that we can. Communication is key and as the creative director of Auteur I am personally thinking about what we as a brand can do to become more 'useful'  to our consumers and how we can best support them. We are taking this time to refocus, listening to feedback from our community and doing our best to support them as well as the planet through the ways in which we create for them.”

 

Wynn Hamlyn

 

“We are seeing that the best way to support your favourite local brands is to shop locally (online) + to share the imagery you love from your favourite brands and businesses post on social media! Everybody is putting their best foot forward to keep the conversation moving in a time where many other parts of life are winding down.

As a designer and business owner, it's incredibly warming to see the support from your customers and community, We see every post, which makes us smile!”