Recently we travelled Indonesia to source fabrics, develop new products and check on production of our new collection. There's a lot of talk on where products are manufactured and the conditions provided for its workers. Consumers, rightly so, are concerned about these issues, so with our trip still front of mind, we thought we'd share a bit about our choice of manufacturers along with 'the why' behind it. We hope you like learning more about MILLA + LOTTI and our journey so far.
When we first started MILLA + LOTTI we had hoped to be able to manufacture in Australia. However, after extensive research, we came to the conclusion that to produce an affordable range of clothes, 'Australian made' just wasn't going to be possible for us.
When I first started working in the fashion industry, manufacturing in Australia was abundant! I graduated with 10 other students, all starting careers in textiles working in a thriving industry. Sadly, that dwindled away with the emergence of discount clothing and mass production off-shore. Many companies, including where I started, had to close their doors after decades of success because they could no longer compete. Its such a pity that this previously flourishing, highly skilled industry no longer exists in Australia.
So with the reality of this changed industry, we set about finding the most suitable place to manufacture MILLA + LOTTI off shore. After months of research we stumbled upon our little factory 'No.7' in Indonesia. 'No.7' is everything we need it to be. Its accessible, flexible and produces a beautiful quality product. All achieved in a 'not so fast-paced mass produced' kinda way. The team is warm, friendly and have flexible working hours and options to work from home. Since we've come on board they been able to employ additional staff, so it's a nice, warm fuzzy feeling to know we're part of its growth.
Whilst in some ways, we miss the thriving Aussie manufacturing scene of the past, we love that we contribute to a business giving people, in Indonesia, the opportunity to support their families with fair, flexible family friendly working conditions. We love that every garment we produce is made in a warm environment by staff cutting and stitching with a smile on their face. We're proud of the relationship we have built with 'No7' and its team. It feels right for us and the brand we are creating. Its our ideal for now.
Originally published August 2016