For the past five years, Fiona McAlpine and Sharna de Lacy proudly fought to change the industry through their social enterprise label, The Fabric Social. Now, after years of slow sales and the gruelling reality of prioritising people and the planet over profits while building a fashion label - they're shutting down.
Fiona and Sharna are unabashed feminists and have made it their mission to support small communities of makers over the years, reviving the art of clothing made with care. What started as a vision to create minimalist apparel with a transparent supply chain, grew to become something much more; and after five years, The Fabric Social successfully set a new standard in ethical and sustainable manufacturing.
Through their partnerships with makers in Lakwa, Mizoram and Myanmar, The Fabric Social gave disadvantaged and isolated women an opportunity to use their skills and crafts to create a better life for themselves through fashion. Fiona and Sharna faced their fair share of setbacks through the process; from floods and landslides to entire missed seasons due to lack of funds or technical problems. The business of fashion is tough at the best of times, and Fiona and Sharna have seen it all.
The Fabric Social operated for five years as a fashion label, creating incredible partnerships and relationships in the process, but social media support and the encouragement from friends and family weren't enough. Despite their deep-rooted desires to simply 'do good', when it comes to fashion, survival is all about the bottom line so this month, The Fabric Social announced the closure of their retail business.
Slow fashion brands need sales to survive, not just moral support and Instagram likes, and this is what happens when consumers choose to buy $10 shirts over ethical and sustainable staples from people who make the world a better place.
The last few pieces are still for sale here. Shop them while they last.
The Fashion Advocate x