Melbourne label Lois Hazel goes above and beyond to inform consumers of how the garments are made. Her website includes information on the whole manufacturing process including where the clothes were made, where the materials were sourced and who was involved in the process.
We chat to designer Lois McGruer-Fraser about tips for buying ethical fashion, the inspiration behind her latest collection ‘Float’ and when she first started designing. View the beautiful collection below.
I love that with your collection you inform people of the whole manufacturing process. Where the clothes were made, where the materials were sourced and who was involved in the process. Why do you think this is important to share?
I feel people need to know more about where there clothes come from, and I’m hoping that my transparency will get people thinking. Yes my clothes are made here in Melbourne but so many other parts of my pieces come from all over the world. Fashion is such a big picture and there are so many people involved, and we have to make sure that everyone down the supply chain is looked after. I know I’m not perfect, and I know my brand has a long way to go before I can even say i’m doing the right thing, but even for me taking the responsibility of sharing where my pieces come from makes me think. I buy my thread from a Melbourne based company, but I have to keep asking to know where they got that thread from. We have to be responsible for what we purchase and I hope with more transparency like what I’m doing this responsibility will come to light.
How can we make sure the clothes we buy have been made ethically?
Ask questions, download the ‘Good on you’ App and do your research. When trying on a garment check where it was made, think about how much it costs and the type of store you are in. Fast fashion stores are more likely to over produce, meaning more stock heads to landfill when it doesn’t sell and the individuals making your new item might not be working in the best condition or being paid the fairest wage.
What were the inspirations behind the latest collection?
Weaving, Float was inspired from my time in Amsterdam working along side Dutch weaving artist Marianne Kemp (http://horsehairweaving.com) It was when I was sitting down at the loom weaving the fabric, I couldn’t help notice the amazing contrast between the loose warp yarns waiting for be woven and then finished fabric just sitting next to each other. It was the beautiful looseness of the these individual yarns just sitting next to each other next the solid surface of the finished cloth. I remember heading home and grabbing a piece of cloth and pulling out the threads one by one to re-create this same effect. When I returned to Melbourne I knew I wanted to bring this same experience into my garments, and hence the beginning of FLOAT was created.
What was the first piece of clothing you ever designed and made. How old were you?
Year 10, one of my closest friends Hana wanted to do a VET course in Fashion design and I tagged along. It was here that I made my first proper garment, and i’m pretty sure it was a pair of spotted pyjama pants that did get there fair bit of use!