And I'm back on the LIVE sessions! It's been a huge six months... I moved twice, once interstate, I rebranded The Fashion Advocate, I closed our online store and I'm five months pregnant. So there's been a bit on!
But now, I'm back into the swing of things and The Fashion Advocate is a sustainability-focused education platform for fashion brands and I'm a sustainable fashion mentor. I work with fashion businesses to help them increase their impact and increase their sales, and as a community of sustainable fashion businesses, we're using fashion as a force for good.
And that's exactly what my new weekly LIVE sessions are all about. I'm speaking with incredible brands doing amazing things and we're talking all things fashion, business, sustainability and sales.
To kick off my new weekly LIVE sessions, I spoke with Jane Elliot from Brighter Day, an ethical and sustainable adaptive clothing label. Her label was borne out of her own personal experience through cancer, and now, Jane is passionate about having a positive impact on the lives of those who need it most by serving them with practical and adaptive fashion.
You can watch the full interview on Instagram here, but I also wanted to share the three big lessons Jane has learnt in the first few years of launching and running her ethical and sustainable fashion label.
1. Start small and manufacture locally in the beginning.
Jane started designing and manufacturing in 2021, at the hight of global changes, increased freight costs, and extended manufacturing times. Initially, she'd planned to manufacture in China but the minimum order quantities were high and with little fashion industry experience, it was a big risk. Jane decided to start small and make her debut range locally, which meant she could regularly visit her makers, communicate clearly, and save a lot of time on the too-ing and fro-ing of international freight.
2. Know your customers.
Understanding your customers is key to growth when you're running an ethical, sustainable, circular or slow fashion label, but Jane admits she could have spent more time getting to know who her customers really were - and where they were hiding. She's been testing different marketing methods to reach the right people, but it's been a slow process, and if she was to go back and change anything, it would be to work out her customers from the get go. Understanding your customers is key!
3. Work smarter, not harder, and listen to your body.
Jane hasn't had the luxury of working 14 hour days to build her business; with multiple medical appointments every week and changing energy levels, she has to work when she can and only when she feels up to it. The whole 'hustle hard' approach is unsustainable, unhealthy and dangerous for your mental health, and it's also a really stressful way to run a business. If you're going to love what you do and run a successful and sustainable fashion business, it's important to work smarter not harder, and listen to your body. Break when you need to, rest when you need to, and work when you have the energy.
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!