Dale and Sharmaine Cornell are two Melbourne based ethical fashion designers who are making efforts to turn the local fashion industry on its head. Not only are they producing their own accredited ethical fashion label (ethical clothing Australia), but they are also inviting, encouraging and enabling others in the industry to do the same.
Having opened their first store New Model Beauty Queen in Brunswick ten years ago together with a small scale manufacturing and screen printing arm, next week they are unveiling their new Melbourne CBD concept store, The Cause. Not only will this retail ethical fashion hub showcase a range of ethical fashion labels, but will also house a special manufacturing space for local designers to get their creations made. The design duo is enthusiastic about the opportunities The Cause presents for local designers both big and small, ranging from emerging student designers to larger companies. The only proviso for accessing the space, is that they embody a sustainable and ethical ideal. Dale says,
The Cause offers small labels and local brands an ethical and sustainable means to continue to develop their labels, at extremely affordable rates and with full production control. Offshore manufacturing is not only unethical and more often than not, unsustainable, but it also takes far too long and simple garments can take months to turn around. The Cause offers a fast and effective solution, and can reduce the production cycle to a matter of days and weeks.
The manufacturing floor is unique to Melbourne’s CBD. Located in the basement of Causeway House in Little Collins Street, it will house 14 industrial sewing machines which feature knit and woven capabilities, include a sampling production floor, drafting tables and cutting zones. A fashion designer dream space! So what is Sharmaine and Dale’s vision for the future of Australia’s fashion industry?
Our goal is turn around the Australian fashion industry and make sustainable and ethical practices the norm. Sustainable labels shouldn’t be the minority and we’re focused on educating the public about the benefits of ethical production and sustainable practices. Too many people think of sustainable fashion as brown hessian bags or upcycled second hand goods, and whilst these things have their place in the market, our goal is promote the incredible talent we have locally and to introduce the public to the beautiful side of sustainability.
Promoting positive body image amongst their clients is also a high priority for Dale and Sharmaine. They will offer a “no limitation” service, whereby customers can purchase a size 6 – size 18 garments off the rack as standard, or if they wish can order custom made to measure pieces. A big win for all the different shapes and sizes we all come in!
The big launch of The Cause is being held in The Causeway Basement on August 31, 2015, and suitably coincides with the kick off of 2015 Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. Whether you are a designer, an ethically conscious consumer or interested in unique cutting edge avant garde fashion this is a place to check out!
The Cause Unveiling
Monday August 31st, 2015
Causeway House Basement, 306 Little Collins Street, Melbourne