I find it interesting that as a designer, I get so much credit for each collection I create. Granted, every dress, skirt and romper that is sold started as a sketch in my notebook. And while I oversee the entire design and manufacturing process, from fit to fabric selection, I owe so much to the makers who bring each design to life. They do it with love and care and I’m always grateful for their ability to listen to my big vision and create clothes that make you, my customers, feel confident and beautiful.
Fabrik’s pattern makers, seamstresses and embroiderers all work in a sustainable studio in Bali. I chose this studio many years ago after searching for a workshop that ticked all my boxes: clean, comfortable, safe and eco-aware. I wanted to employ craftsmen who prioritised attention to detail, enjoyed coming to work and who were paid well and fair in return. The staff are paid a living wage which is well above minimum wage, they are offered paid sick leave, religious ceremonies are acknowledge and honoured and holidays (the staff are mostly Hindu and therefore, religious holidays are frequent and very, very important) and we offer (but never enforce) paid overtime.
I write this being fully aware that garment making is the second highest at-risk product category for modern slavery. Which begs the question: who made your clothes? And perhaps more importantly: do you feel comfortable wearing clothes made by modern slaves? These are the questions we need to constantly ask ourselves as consumers. And as a designer, I want to give you an honest, feel-good answer.
Your Fabrik garment was made in a sustainable and fair studio buy craftsmen and women who enjoy safe and comfortable working conditions and are paid a living wage for their skills.
I want to be transparent in every aspect of my business because I believe it’s the only way forward in an industry that is having disastrous effects on humanity and the environment. I need to be accountable because I couldn’t do it otherwise. The future of fashion relies on fair and sustainable manufacturing. Frankly, it’s the only way forward.
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From painting beautiful art to raising two wild-eyed girls, Ash Leslie is a woman of many talents. Home to the South Coast, Ash has been a part of the Fabrik family for years, creating beautiful prints for us since we launched our first digitally printed collection in 2020.
Ash has captured our hearts with her story as well as her drive to raise awareness around breast cancer, especially the importance of regular self-checks.