We have some exciting news
From November 2017 Magpie Goose clothing will be 100% Australian made.
But first let us sing the praises of our fabulous tailors in Bali.
We first met Ayu and her cousin's son Made in their workshop in April 2016. They came recommended by a friend, and were instantly fabulous business partners. They understood the value of the fabric, the time and effort it took to screenprint and the special stories depicted on the textiles.
Here's Laura explaining to Ayu and Made how the fabric is made
There were heaps of benefits to starting our business in Bali - we could make up patterns and samples quickly and affordably, we could do smaller production runs, we could test out styles on customers and adjust patterns with feedback, and - it's local! Only 2 hours from Darwin, Bali is much closer than Sydney or Melbourne to get to from the NT (4.5 hours!).
There's also really interesting history with (trepang/sea cucumber!) trade between the Indonesian Macassans and Yolngu people of East Arnhem - the NT and Indonesia have had a thriving trade relationship since way back!
Ayu has a little shop on Jalan Batu Belig, north of Seminyak (just a few doors down from Watercress Cafe - google it, and go and see her for all your tailoring needs!). She works with a network of about 8 tailors all around Denpasar/Kuta/Seminyak- many who work at home alongside their partners, with their kids and elderly parents around them. We visited a few of the crew in April - here's some photos (Jo, Nalte, Taeng and Surani):
Our Bali tailors have been truly fabulous, we can't recommend them highly enough!
The transition to Aussie manufacturing
As our business grows, we need to produce larger quantities in shorter time frames.
Introducing Sphinx Australia.......
Sphinx are an Ethical Clothing Australia accredited manufacturing business. Located in Bankstown, Sydney, Sphinx are the longest operating clothing manufacturer in NSW - when a lot of brands were taking their business offshore, Sphinx remained afloat by making Government uniforms - fire, police, ambulance. They produce over 6000 shirts a week, and have some pretty incredible machines to aid with production - here's a photo of Hassan showing Laura the button hole machine, it is niiiiiiice.
Four years ago some of their core uniform contracts went offshore, and they took on more local fashion labels. With the market slowly slowly turning back to Australian made / slow fashion, they're once again in high demand!!!
Many of the Sphinx sewers have worked with Hassan (who started the business) and Tom (his son who now runs day to day operations) for over 20 years. There's now digital patterns, laser cutters, automatic buttons machines, collar makers, pocket cutters that make the job just a little bit easier!
Checking out the cutting table.
Despite being at maximum capacity, they have taken Magpie Goose under their wing. They love the uniqueness of the textiles, the connection to remote Aboriginal communities, and the idea of creating social impact through fashion. We are so excited to be working with them.
Sealing the deal with Tom
Sphinx are currently producing Magpie Goose clothing - it'll be coming to you in mid-November!