Fashion Revolution Week is all about awareness. The #whomademyclothes campaign runs from April 23-29 each year, falling on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse which killed 1138 people in 2013. During Fashion Revolution Week, brands and producers are encouraged to demonstrate transparency in their supply chain, and it’s something we’re more than happy to do at The Fashion Advocate.
The information surrounding ethics can be overwhelming and convoluted, which is why we’ve created The Fashion Advocate Transparency Guide – a series of simple posts to unpack the supply chains of the Australian designers and labels in The Fashion Advocate community. Over Fashion Revolution Week, we'll be sharing the stories behind our labels, and answering questions about manufacturing and ethics, to drive change and push for improvement in the fashion industry.
As a community, we take responsibility for the impact that our industry has on people and the planet. Janette Laver is at the forefront of this revolution, and as the Founder of Why Mary, she’s passionate about ethics.
Janette designs for positive change; Why Mary is for the independent woman, for those who desire to dress with a difference and stand out against mass-produced unethical fashion. Since launching in 2013, Janette has organically grown her brand, and although she started out cutting, sewing and finishing her collections herself, she now enlists the help of a local manufacturer to keep up with it all.
Fashion Revolution Week is all about transparency. Who makes your range?
Sampling and very small runs are done in-house by myself and my assistant. I sometimes outsource to solo manufacturers locally, and DR Manufacturing in Brisbane handles the larger quantities on demand.
Why are ethics important to you as a designer?
As a designer, I have a responsibility to reduce the impact on the environment through continued efforts. As a business owner, I can reduce waste while promoting fair work practices and opportunities for people and their communities. Placing profit over people and the planet is morally and ethically wrong.
Fashion has the power to drive global change. How are you changing the world for the better?
Over the years, Why Mary’s key signature has been our artistic prints, however I am now sourcing more sustainable fibres in block colours that will fuse with limited printed designs moving forward. Up-cycled old stock and fabrics will be used to create exclusive, unique and one-off styles in our future collections. The use of plastic bags has been eliminated in-house too, and all energy is solar powered. Why Mary remains 100% Australian made and encourages equal opportunities, as well as fair and comfortable work practices.
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