Label progress

Clothing pattern pieces on a table

That picture probably doesn’t look like much (esp. given the crappy quality courtesy of my mobile phone’s camera), but it represents a mini-milestone that I thought was worth celebrating – with blog post at least. It’s elements of the first pattern of the first range for the label – for the dress shirt.

I’m sure this will become old hat one day – not even worthy of a blog post – but this being the first is a little victory for me, and one that I think should be celebrated in its own little way 🙂

There are more designs and patterns to come – we’re planning a February launch to wholesalers (for the summer 09/10 season) of around 6 pieces with a few variations for each – but this is the first off the ranks. It’s also the first “tangible” (i.e. “real world”) artifact that’s resulted from the work I’ve been doing on the label. (It’s also further than I ever got before, so it’s nice to be over the first hurdle.)

We’ll be using it to create a fit sample – that is, testing the basic pattern for the cut etc. – and then we’ll be developing patterns for the variations on the piece.

I’ve been speaking to Bronwyn at RiseUp productions about manufacturing. She has been working for some time to develop a Fairtrade/ethical supply chain for manufacturing clothing and textiles, and has really covered all the bases.

So the first samples (dress shirt and t-shirt) will be coming from RiseUp within the next few weeks, Murphy willing. Hopefully I’ll have more to report soon.

The research project is also complete. The final report provided a lot of clarity on where we should focus. Big props to Nat at Red Rollers for doing such an amazing job, and to the 6 research participants who shared just a little of their lives to help us along.

Big props also to Susan Goodwin (who’s designing the range) for guiding me through the process – her generosity of knowledge has been a tremendous help.

In fact, everyone I’ve dealt with so far – Paula from the Fair Trading Co, Nick at Organic Cotton Advantage, Nat, Susan and Bronwyn have all been extremely generous with their time, knowledge and have each been immensely supportive in their own way. It’s been great so far – I hope the positivity continues (although I am sure there’ll be some challenges on the way)…

I’m learning a lot, which has been great (I love learning – one of my favourite things in the world) – but I’ve still got a way to go. I’m doing a short course with RMIT on textiles in August/September which I hope will help me along as well.

Oh, and during the research period I also decided on a label name (i.e. the “Soko Loko” moniker is no more). I’m speaking to some folks at the moment about developing the visual ID, so I’ll announce the name when I’ve got a nice logo to show y’all 😉