Fash­ion de­signer launches brand

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Perera

A bud­ding fash­ion de­signer from Syd­ney has cho­sen the Pil­bara as the site to be­gin her first “con­scious cloth­ing” brand, which will be de­vel­oped with lo­cal com­mu­nity in­put.

Emma Wil­liamson, 28, worked in de­sign and pro­duc­tion at Syd­ney fash­ion house Ellery and sup­plier Track­master be­fore she moved to Kar­ratha in De­cem­ber.

The idea of her own brand, called Sturt Pea Con­scious Cloth­ing, was born when she spoke to artists from the Cheed­itha and Ngur­rawaana in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties about screen-print­ing their painted de­signs onto ca­sual cloth­ing.

“They are small com­mu­ni­ties that are artis­tic, and my work is al­ways in con­junc­tion with them and what they want to do,” she said.

“The skills that I have are work­ing with fab­rics and prints, and fa­cil­i­tat­ing that pro­duc­tion cy­cle. They are want­ing to go into that, so that’s where I come in.

“Also it’s about en­cour­ag­ing and fos­ter­ing those com­mu­ni­ties eco­nom­i­cally and ar­tis­ti­cally, and I think it’s good for a com­mu­nity to have skills in it to sup­port it­self.”

Ms Wil­liamson said she wanted her brand to be a move away from the “fast fash­ion” cul­ture she saw in Syd­ney.

“That huge de­mand is re­ally un­healthy be­cause it pushes prices lower and the fash­ion in­dus­try can’t keep up with it,” she said. “It puts a strain on the in­dus­try and a strain on the planet in terms of re­sources.”

Ms Wil­liamson is also bal­anc­ing her de­sign work with teach­ing sewing and pat­tern-mak­ing classes on Satur­days at the Kar­ratha Arts and Learn­ing Cen­tre.

She said al­though her brand was in the early stages, she was en­thu­si­as­tic about start­ing in the Pil­bara.

“It’s ex­cit­ing,” she said. “I feel like I’m do­ing some­thing very new and dif­fer­ent that a lot of peo­ple wouldn’t do.”

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Perera

Sturt Pea Con­scious Cloth­ing de­signer Emma Wil­liamson.

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