Last Wednesday morning at Ginger and Smart’s Paddington boutique, Ethical Clothing Australia held the first of many Meet Your Maker events. As the name suggests, the new campaign focuses on helping Australian consumers to make informed ethical shopping choices. You can be sure that anything boasting the Meet Your Maker label has been manufactured by skilled workers in safe conditions by brands committed to keeping their business local and sustainable.
The Sydney-based design duo behind Ginger and Smart, Genevieve and Alexandria Smart, recently celebrated their one year anniversary of being Ethical Clothing Australia accredited. Continuing to make beautiful garments, they are proving that innovation and creativity in the fashion industry can be executed skillfully, fairly and locally. Drawing a crowd of 50 designers and avid shoppers – including the head of Ethical Clothing Australia, Simon McRae, the campaign launch was a hit. Introducing some of Ginger and Smart’s production team, the event demonstrated the special relationship designers can have with their manufacturers, giving an insight into the development process that us consumers are rarely invited to see.
As the first major effort by Ethical Clothing Australia to engage regular shoppers, the Meet Your Maker events encourage fashion lovers to wear their heart on their sleeve and be loud and proud of Australian ethically produced clothing. McRae recommends we all get involved by asking our favourite retailers who among their labels are accredited, and by buying from those independent brands which are recognised by the organisation.
One of the project’s highlights is a new ‘track and trace’ system which gives the customer an opportunity to literally meet the maker. Look for the ‘e’ trademark stitched inside an accredited garment, visit the Ethical Clothing Australia website and enter the code to find out more about who created your new purchase. You can find out where they work, what they like about their job and even their favourite designers!
Like any good opening, there were frivolities to be had. As Simon McRae commented, “It was a really fun launch, it was nice to do something positive about the textile clothing and footwear industry. There is often so much negative news about what is happening but there is a vibrant industry out there.”