For a long time ethical fashion had a “fashion” problem.
The lack of platforms for fashionable, minimalist women’s pieces with a conscience was what drove Harrison Sandeman-Strewe and Julia Mylne to create Lagom Studio in May.
“Human beings shouldn’t have to die just so we can buy a T-shirt for $5,” says Mylne.
The collapse of the textile factory in Bangladesh in 2013, which left thousands dead or injured, sparked new global awareness about the poor working conditions in the international textile industry.
“It is impossible to ignore the effects that fast fashion is having on people and the environment,” says Mylne.
Sandeman-Strewe and Mylne work on Lagom Studio outside of their day jobs; at a media agency and as a policy advisor respectively.
“We manage with very little sleep!” says Mylne.
The collection, which currently features labels Kowtow, Bhalo, Penny Sage and Shaina Mote, has a minimalist aesthetic.
Mylne says the pieces chosen for the site are versatile, which “makes it easy to develop a simple wardrobe that has endless possibilities with a few quality garments”.
Depending on the manufacturing processes the labels use, Lagom Studio requires them to meet at least one of the relevant ethical standards they prescribe. These include fair-trade practices, safe working conditions, sustainable practices, hand-crafted products, support for local economies, transparency of supply chain and commitment to equal-opportunity employment.
“Discretion is also applied here,” Myln explains. “We wouldn’t work with a brand that upcycles clothing but doesn’t pay their workers fairly.”
“We make sure we ask a lot of questions to develop a clear understanding of the exact processes and methods used throughout the entire supply chain,” says Mylne.
“We like to ensure that Lagom’s brands are not only committed to sharing our values and ethos, but also create beautiful quality pieces,” Sandeman-Strewe adds.
The duo also plans to stock emerging designers down the track.
“We would like to support lines produced by fashion graduates who utilise superior fabrics and instinctively minimise waste to keep costs down,” says Sandeman -Strewe.