I live, love and breathe sustainable fashion and I know we can use fashion as a force for good, so I want to share solutions to help you increase your impact and increase your sales. We need to succeed as a community of slow fashion brands if we’re going to change the world, and that means sharing wisdom and sharing strategies to support each other.
It’s what my weekly LIVE sessions are all about! I speak with incredible guests doing amazing things in the fashion industry and we talk about all things fashion, business, sustainability and sales.
Today’s LIVE was with the lovely Kerry Pietrobon, one-half of Australian-made label Harlow, and every day, she gets up to create an industry she knows the world deserves.
You can watch the full interview on Instagram here and you can absorb the three biggest lessons Kerry has learnt below when it comes to building an ethical, sustainable and Australian-made fashion label.
1. If it’s not working, change it.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The fashion industry has changed over the decade that Harlow has existed, and consumer behaviour has changed too. The model that worked for Harlow once upon a time stopped working in the last few years, and Kerry's revenue continued to decline each season. Instead of quitting or burying her head in the sand, Kerry decided it was time to change, and she shifted the Harlow business model from a 'stock on hand' style to a pre-order system. It was the change they needed to make to keep going, and it was a reminder that being open to change in business, especially in fashion, is essential.
2. Take risks.
After being in business for so long, Kerry admits it's easy to have your blinkers on and run through every season releasing the same style in a new colour, or operating with the same strategy because it's comfortable. When Kerry reached her crossroad and started questioning if she could carry the financial weight of running a business moving forward, she decided it was time to take a risk. Kerry had no idea if shifting models would work or if her Harlow community would respond to a pre-order model, but sometimes, you have to take risks. Things might not work - but what if they do?
3. Invest in your customers.
Despite economic and industry changes and shifts in consumer behaviour, Harlow has survived more than a decade in the Australian fashion industry. Being agile and open to new strategies has helped, but Kerry knows that the time she invests in her customers has contributed to Harlow's success too. Your customers are your entire business, and when they feel valued, they're loyal, they buy more, they support you in hard times, and they become advocates.
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.