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Signature Shirting | Ava wears the Lovers Top

The World is Yours by Annie Carroll | Brand Review

| press

Overproduction is one of the fashion industry’s dirtiest and most confounding issues, and it’s particularly prevalent in the low-cost, mass-manufactured fast fashion sector. Unsold ‘dead stock’ is expensive for retailers to house. Much of it ends up in landfill or, occasionally, incinerated. But this is a practice that extends to the very top of the industry, too. Some may remember the public furore that erupted when Burberry burned off some $50 million worth of unsold stock to avoid potential counterfeiting. These conventions are both morally problematic and environmentally unsound. But, so long as the industry feeds our rapacious hunger for the ‘new’, these methods of disposal are likely to continue.

The slow fashion movement offers a quiet alternative, and Melbourne-based brand Kalaurie is championing it with its timeless aesthetic and made-to-order model. Founded by Kalaurie Karl-Crooks, the brand produces garments by hand from its Melbourne studio, making only what’s purchased. This effectively eliminates unwanted stock from the equation and means textiles are used more resourcefully, as each piece is hand-cut and sewn to order—a process that requires between 1-3 weeks.

Unsurprisingly, this made-to-order model has its own challenges. It’s not easily scaled, and the costs can price some consumers out of opting in to this type of slower consumption. But for those with the time and resources, it encourages a more intimate relationship between the consumer and the clothes; a personal connection that has been lost in our throw-away culture. And it’s in this emotion that Kalaurie has found a following.

Though not showy, Karl-Crooks’s clothes speak in volumes about the Kalaurie woman—private, romantic and self-possessed. Aesthetically, her garments read like tributes to some of Melbourne’s timeless style adages: austere, buttoned-up necklines contrast with playful ruffles. Feminine silhouettes are rendered in classic black and white. David Lynch said, “Just slow things down and it becomes more beautiful.” He may have been talking about music, but as sentiments go, it’s pretty universal—and Kalaurie is making a case for it. -

Excerpt by Annie Carroll from recent article on sustainable fashion on her blog.

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