If you're an ethical, sustainable, circular or slow fashion brand, you're in the right place and I'm here to help you. I live, love and breathe slow fashion and I know we can use fashion as a force for good.
I share strategies and solutions to increase your impact and increase your sales, and I'm a big believer in the sharing economy. We need to succeed as a collective of slow fashion businesses if we’re going to change the world, and that means sharing knowledge, offering support, and growing as a community of like-minded labels - together.
It’s what my weekly Instagram LIVE sessions are all about. I speak with incredible guests doing amazing things in the industry and we talk all things fashion, business, sustainability, sales and growth.
This week's Instagram LIVE was with Amber Hodgman and it was such a juicy conversation filled with so much powerful fashion and jewellery wisdom. Amber has had such a colourful career in fashion, from working with fast fashion giants to now heading up ethically sourced Australian jewellery label, Medley Jewellery, and her industry insight is rich.
You can watch the full interview on Instagram here and catch up on the three big takeaways from our chat below.
1. Being sustainable isn't about being perfect. It's about having a plan to strive for the best possible version of 'sustainable' for your business.
Medley is in a unique position; jewellery can be infinitely recycled when it's made with the right materials. Unlike the fashion industry, where we're faced with recycling issues of blended fabrics and equipment shortages to easily facilitate circularity, jewellery can be melted down and recreated again and again and again. Becoming entirely circular is something Medley is working towards, and while they're not perfect now, they aim to be, and they have plans in place to ensure each collection is 'just that little bit more' sustainable. It's about striving for perfection, not being perfect, because there's no such thing.
2. Building an ethical supply chain is hard, but it's worth it.
The fast fashion industry is notorious for slave labour and unethical practices, but the jewellery industry has its own demons too. Choosing to use only conflict-free stones and ethically mined materials is part of Medley's brand DNA, but it wasn't an easy choice to make when there are more unethical suppliers than ethical ones. For Amber, it was a steep learning curve and a confronting journey into the diamond mining world, but she did what she had to do, to make sure the suppliers Medley works with are ethical - because no amount of jewellery is worth human suffering.
3. You have to try a few things to find what really works.
Amber has a theory; when you're building a career in fashion, you're in each role to either 'learn or earn', and some positions make you money while others are an incredible opportunity for personal growth. She believes the same approach can be applied to business, and when you're running a slow fashion or jewellery brand, you have to try a few things to figure out what works and what doesn't. It's about having an open mind and having a thirst for growth, and it's what being in business is all about.
If you're running an ethical, sustainable, circular or slow fashion label and you have a challenge you're trying to overcome, tune in every week on Instagram to watch my LIVE interviews with brands and businesses who have overcome their own challenges - proving that you can too.
You can also reach out to me here.