We had the chance to reflect on how “All The Wild Roses” came to be with new mamas & sustainable bloggers, sisters Kirsty & Sarah from Kindreds….
“From their ‘Dare to Dream’ project which provides microloans to help fund women in underprivileged countries to start their own small businesses and to fulfil their dreams of earning a living to support their family and community to their thoughtful upcycling of fabrics, curation of vintage and pre-order system to minimise waste there is a lot to love about All The Wild Roses and it was our pleasure to interview their founder, Hang.
We hope you enjoy the interview and that as a consumer you feel the way we do after speaking with Hang – empowered by the realisation that we are all in this together and that we really can use our buying power for good by choosing our clothes more carefully and supporting brands like this which are driving positive change, giving back to the planet and changing the lives of its people.
Love K & S. xx”
How did All the Wild Roses start? Where did the idea/name come from?
The idea or seed for what eventually became “All The Wild Roses” was first planted when I was 19 years old. I had travelled to my native Vietnam and for the first time saw upfront the issues of developing countries and it made a huge impact on me.
I met a lot of my cousins for the first time, and our family is very much female dominated and I saw how hard their lives were and wanted to find a way for them to be able to thrive as they deserved.
They were working as seamstresses making T-shirts and shorts for fast fashion brands and earning very little and it became clear that they needed to make higher quality garments and work directly for themselves so they could take charge of what they could earn.
So we created All The Wild Roses, a brand founded by women and about creating opportunity and empowering women through design and business.
They’re now very much the creators behind our clothes and vision. I refer to them as the magic makers as it’s incredible to see how they make sketches and ideas come to life.
What a truly inspiring and uplifting backstory behind the creation of your brand. We also loved learning that for you, creating beautiful designs in a thoughtful way, was as much about caring for people as it was about caring for the environment. Can you tell us more about your approach to this in terms of how you source the fabrics for your designs, the benefits of using a pre-order system and curating vintage?
1) How you source the fabrics for your designs?
We have always sourced fabrics through remnant fabric suppliers, so often you hear it referred to as “deadstock” or surplus fabrics. Basically, it’s just leftover fabric from larger fashion brands and fabric producers. Initially, we used it for practical reasons, because as a small brand it was one of the main ways to buy lower volumes of fabric. But as we progressed, we actually started seeking it out as our first preference as it’s more eco-friendly to use the fabric that is already available, rather using more energy and water to create customised virgin fabrics. This is a simple way to be more thoughtful in the way we produce our designs.
2) The benefit of pre-order, roughly how long the wait is and why lovers of fashion should get on board?
The fashion industry operates too much on guesswork and forecast of what sizes/colours/prints will sell and that’s a big issue as this is where a lot of waste creation begins. That’s why there is such a thing as surplus fabrics for us little brands to buy and why you see so much dumping by big companies of excess stock that they can’t even sell on sale – particularly in fast fashion brands.
So one of the ways to be more thoughtful and eco-friendly is to match up what is demanded and what is supplied, basically only making what is ordered.
So by operating with a pre-order process, we make only what is ordered and in this way, we’re doing our bit by reducing waste in our own process of producing our designs.
In our business, it takes 2-4 weeks from time of order to delivery. I think pre-ordering not only helps to reduce waste but from a customer perspective, they are getting a better product in terms of quality and also it’s not mass produced so it’s more unique to them.
Having said that, it’s still very hard to break that habit of instant gratification that we’ve been so conditioned with fast fashion, so it really takes all of us to change how we consume to make some impact on improving the fashion industry.
(We love that you also have a vintage finds section because neither of us has mastered the art of the op shop yet. Can you tell us how you go about finding these treasures and the process which takes place from the initial find to when we can shop for it online?)
Shopping for vintage is the most sustainable fashion option because we’re taking clothes out of what might potentially become landfill! And why not when there are so many hidden gems, however, I totally understand that it’s really taken so much effort and time to curate it.
I’ve been collecting vintage since in my 20’s living in Surry Hills for almost 10 years so I was looking in mornings and afternoons as I walked to and from work in the Sydney CBD, so I always got first dibs at the new deliveries, so my skills in curating vintage has been honed over all those years! The secret to vintage is to know what you like and what you are seeking, so my favs are cotton 70’s pieces so I’m always on the lookout for that. There’s really no easy way to find vintage, it just takes passion so you can put in the time to search for it.
So, when I do find pieces I like, it tends to take 1 week or so till it’s available online, I usually shoot it on myself during days where my two little ones are in school/daycare so that’s why it takes 1 week, otherwise, it should really only take a day.
Thank you for explaining the concept of upcycling and reusing as a fashion concept. We love that we have the opportunity to support brands like yours which go to such lengths to reduce fashion waste. As conscious consumers, however, we feel there is also so much to learn. For those wanting to start creating a more sustainable, compassionate wardrobe and not knowing where to start, what would you recommend?
I’d just give them this pyramid and it says it all….no words necessary!
And finally, a few questions that we always ask:
1. What other brands(s) do you admire in the sustainability space/ who do you think we should interview next?
Great question! I love the sustainable and ethical movement in Australia and am really inspired by Mamamaya Organic (Baby goods); Outland Denim (Denim); Dharma Door (Homewares); LXMI (Beauty); SOKO, I love that these brands are all sustainable social enterprises – good for people + good for the environment.
2. What’s the best piece of advice you would give to people who want to live more sustainable lives and make purchases in line with their values?
In reference to fashion, I would again refer them to them the pyramid above. In other aspects I would say, there are so many conscious options for every product that we use day to day, so it’s super easy to make a change that is more aligned with your values and to make a difference.
Special Thank you to Kirsty and Sarah at Kindreds, please follow & visit them for tips on how to do little thing with big impact for change x