2 minute read
This week I am speed dating the wonderful Lois Hazel. Lois and I met back in 2016 when eco.mono was a blog and I didn't have the shop. I walked into a pop-up she was running in Northcote, Melbourne and we immediately became best friends - jokes - we didn't but we hit it off...now we're best friends - she doesn't know this though so don't tell her.
Over the past 3 years I have had the pleasure of working with Lois and watching her label go from strength to strength, from underground runways to the bright lights of the VAMFF Finale Runway earlier this year. Lois Hazel was even name dropped by the fabulous ethical fashion advocate, movie star and gender equality activist Emma Watson on a recent round up of Australian labels she loves.
So today, you get to learn a little more about Lois, who she is as a person and the passion behind her self named label.
Lois Hazel is a womenswear brand based in Melbourne Australia. We make everything locally, either around the corner from our studio at an incredible family run factory, by our amazing seamstress who is based out in Braybrook or in house, in our Brunswick studio.
Our focus is to create pieces that do as little harm to the world as possible whilst ensuring that all those who make our clothes, fabric and even buttons are paid fairy, treated wonderfully and are able to live a good life. Through breaking down each step of our garment, from who made it, where we sourced our fabric, buttons and even where we got our packaging from, we take responsibility for each step.
Lois Hazel isn't just a brand, it is also a journey. A journey in becoming more sustainable, more ethical whilst providing clothes that don't just hang out for a season but are with their wearers through many stages of their lives.
Lois Hazel officially launched in 2015, with a foundation in creating pieces that were honest, real and responsible. After spending some time a broad, I was lucky enough to work with a range of different brands, from red carpet to conceptual couture, menswear to artisanal womenswear. These experiences helped me see what was involved in running a business, the good, the bad and definitely the ugly. It helped me establish a strong foundation on how I wanted to run my business and what i really wanted to avoid. I wanted to ensure that everyone involved in Lois Hazel was looked after, respected and also could feel that they were apart of the LH journey and the LH family.
Gone are the days of the invisible sewers, fabric weavers and cotton pickers. I want LH to celebrate everyone, and every step involved in making clothes.
Self Doubt and comparison. Letting myself compare and also base my success on how others are doing, as well as allowing myself to feel that I am not doing enough, that I am not growing fast enough, don't have enough Instagram followers to define my success. This can make running a business quite difficult, and really impact you day to day. It takes away your motivation and also can make it difficult to look back and reflect on why you started in the first place. One of the best quotes I heard, and I really hold close to my heart is 'comparison is the thief of joy.' Through letting go of doubt, and taking the time to reflect of my own achievements and also not allowing myself to compare to others, but rather getting excited for other people's success has really helped see LH grow but also myself grow personally.
Proudly right here in Melbourne Australia.
I am so lucky to work with so many incredible, talented and wonderful people on a day to day basis. Recently I have started working with CGT, a family run factory that are based around the corner form my studio. These guys help make my bigger runs of around 40 - 50 units, they cut, make and trim every pieces and deliver it beautifully ironed and pressed to my studio. I also work with Thi, an incredibly talented seamstress, who sews for a number of local brands. She works out of her studio in Braybrook and helps me sew up my medium runs of around 20 - 40 units. I also still make a few of our styles in house, as we are still growing sometimes I am unable to meet the minimums so I turn to my trusty machine and whip them up here with the help fo some incredible interns.
Image: CGT Melbourne
Mainly Fabrics. I can't start designing a collection without knowing what fabrics i'm going to use. I would also say through the making process. I swear by the end of every collection, predominantly when i'm sitting at my photoshoots, I always wonder how on earth I created was see before me. It always seems so chaotic and random what I design but when I see it all together, it's really rewarding and quite exciting, as I never really know what a collection is going to look like until I see it all together before me.
Ensuring that everyone involved in making my pieces are able to enjoy a life that is free and rewarding whilst doing as little harm to the planet as possible.