Posted on 23 August 2016
We chat with our very first intern Liana Hardy from Her Random Outbursts blog about her experiences in fashion and why Theo was a good fit for her!
(Photo: Ernest Lew of Handcrafted Pictures)
Firstly, a very big WELCOME to the Theo team! You've already contributed a styled shoot seen here so we're looking forward to many more things to come! As part of your personal blog, you do a lot of up cycling for Savers. Can you explain what up cycling is?
Up cycling is the concept of using old items to create something new- whether it be aesthetics or functionality.Yeah, it’s a bit different from just ‘recycling’ isn’t it? Instead of creating a product that is inferior to the original product, ‘up cycling’ aims to add value to the original product in creating the new product. It almost requires more creativity and you’ve done some recent work for Savers lately to do with up cycling?
Up cycling is a recent hobby and outlet which I like to devote my time to. It initially came about when I realized I wasn’t wearing many of my old clothes in my wardrobe, which then lead me to the idea of doing transformations to create something more trendy or suitable for myself! Perks of this is that it’s sustainably friendly AND saves me from going out to shop!
My wardrobe mainly consists of second hand clothes and hand-me-downs, and so doing up cycling for Savers happened to be right up my alley! Being the cautious shopper that I am, I’m mindful of fast fashion domination and this quite often makes it difficult for me to shop. Understanding the importance of sustainable fashion, I want to raise awareness of this through my projects in up cycling.
How would you explain what ‘fast fashion’ is to someone who hasn’t heard that term before?
Fast fashion is the way in which the production of new on-trend clothing is made at a rapid rate most often at the cheapest costs. Businesses such as this have short production and distribution lead times. The clothes are mass produced and delivered to consumers at a very affordable price.
And I suppose it’s the prices that make me feel uneasy with fast fashion! I can’t really fathom how clothing can be sold so cheaply, considering that R.R.P covers the fabric, trims, direct labour (the people making the clothes), indirect labour (for example designers, sales reps, retail assistants) and then still make a profit at the end? Something doesn’t really add up!
So you’re also a current RMIT fashion design student, which is very impressive! Being interested in sustainability, how much emphasis do you feel is placed on the idea of ‘ethical’ or ‘sustainable’ fashion from fellow students, teachers and the curriculum?
I’m very fortunate to study Fashion Design and Technology at RMIT as it’s at the forefront of advanced technology and facilities! This equips us in many fields of design and enables us to make better informed decisions. Making smarter choices with how we approach designing as well as manufacturing is an important step toward producing ethical and sustainable fashion.
From my experience there was very little emphasis on sustainability in the actual curriculum or from the teaching. I don’t mean to criticize anyone for this, rather it shows how new and foreign this idea of being sustainable in fashion is! I’d like to know your honest experience and don’t feel afraid to offend me haha!
I do feel there has been a lack of emphasis on sustainability especially in design. There’s a lot of room for improvement in regards to the technical side of design as well as the construction process and sampling/ toiling procedures.
Thanks for sharing! Lastly, Theo is very lucky to have you on board! Why did you want to work with Theo and what are some key things you’d like to learn or experience along the way?
Having my passion lie in ethical and sustainable fashion, I appreciate emerging labels such as Theo that raise this importance. I love the vision that it stands for, following the motto “PEOPLE, PLANET, PURPOSE”. It’s for this reason that I am working for Theo, and I feel there is a wealth of knowledge and endless opportunities for me to gain from specifically around these ethical and sustainable concepts.
Learning about the supply chain and production management of Theo is a big interest of mine as like many other brands, this is the core determinant of how ethical the label is. This often entails things like social rights of workers, quality assurance, production protocols and sourcing environmentally friendly materials. The good thing about Theo is that it’s transparent with its supply. With this visibility intact it’s taking steps toward preserving the environment a little better, considering human rights a little more and helps spread the word with a little less judgment!
Liana will no doubt be contributing more over the coming months so we look forward to seeing more creative shoots and contributions as time goes on!