Don’t Do Pretty is a partnership between us and you. Our desire is to educate and empower women to make their own choices about what they wear and why.
There are all sorts of decisions that go into running Don’t Do Pretty, including how we make our clothing. Our top priority is to our customers and so ensuring we are as responsible as possible in our manufacturing process is important. Today, we give you the low-down on how, where and why Don’t Do Pretty clothes are made.
Once Upon a Time
The beginning of the journey for Don’t Do Pretty starts in Australia, in the minds of co-founders and designers Rebel and Eloise. They use mood boards to help them manifest a particular creative vision. They always look for ethical products to use and this can present certain challenges along the way. However, as sustainable and slow fashion movements pick up pace, this goal is becoming more achievable.
Then, the patterns are made. An Australian pattern maker works with the designers to get every detail perfect. At this stage, the pieces are beginning to come to life.
Finally, the item is born when Don’t Do Pretty’s own superstar sample maker creates the first run of product. The pieces are then tested to make sure they stand up to the high-quality of fashion Don’t Do Pretty is known for.
The Production Process
Once the pieces are designed and sampled, the manufacturing process begins. Don’t Do Pretty is now manufactured in both Australia and China. For example, all 100% leather products are made in Australia and other fabric pieces are produced offshore.
Don’t Do Pretty works alongside a production agent in Singapore. These guys make sure that the clothes get made just right - while also maintaining all Don’t Do Pretty’s ethical standards and values.
China’s image has changed a lot over the past few years. Once known for shoddy manufacturing, poor working conditions and low-quality product, brands like Don’t Do Pretty are partnering with responsible Chinese companies to change this perception. One of China’s main industries is manufacturing so the industry standards have risen a lot recently. Don’t Do Pretty’s philosophy is, ‘you get what you give’. When Australian brands invest money into off-shore manufacturing, these factories can afford to pay their workers correctly, adhere to industry standards and produce amazing product.
There are good things and bad things about off-shore manufacturing. Here are some things to keep in mind when making your decisions about where to shop:
- Production in China is more affordable, meaning that Australian designers have a chance to make a mark on the world stage. Plenty of ethical manufactures exist overseas.
- Local Australian manufacturers do not have the capacity to produce large runs and are often booked up.
- Chinese manufacturers have decades of experience and have the skills and technology to produce high-quality garments.
- The Chinese economy is flooded by this industry and it has caused significant issues over the past few decades.
- Using Australian production does support the local economy and encourage growth in that industry.
- Using Australian production can be easier for communication purposes and is more convenient.
We asked Don’t Do Pretty’s co-founder and designer Eloise more around the manufacturing process:
Why does Don’t Do Pretty use off-shore production?
‘It is a tricky topic. While we are big supporters of local industries, the fashion manufacturing industry in Australia simply isn’t big enough. Instead, we choose to produce some of our clothing in China to make sure that people can still afford to buy it. We don't take any moral high-ground on anything we produce, we just make the best choices we can.’
Are all Don’t Do Pretty products made in China?
‘Not at all. All our leather is sourced from Europe. Even though China offers cheaper leather, they don’t guarantee that their tanneries have proper waste management processes, so we source from Europe; we know that Europe is ethical and sustainable in their production process so we spend a bit extra and source it from there. We then import it to Australia and have our leather items made here. there are also specific pieces that we have made here in Australia, if it is only a small run.’
Don’t Do Pretty Values
In everything Don’t Do Pretty does, there are certain values at play. Every decision is made based on what is best for the customer, the world and Don’t Do Pretty’s specific philosophy. As many sustainable products as possible are used where possible within timeframes and budget.
Don't Do Pretty is an innovative brand and is constantly seeking to learn more about the latest technology and production methods. As the brand grows, their ability to choose ethical manufacturing also grows. Don’t Do Pretty is all about making powerful choices where you can. Here are the top three values which Don’t Do Pretty takes into account when producing collections:
All clothing is made to be powerful, creative and highlight personality.
Part of Don’t Do Pretty’s commitment to sustainability means that their clothing is made to be worn for years and doesn’t rely on quick trends or fast fashion. High-quality material is part of this.
Local manufacturers abide by Australian standards for waste management. Bryden Apparel ensures factories adhere to environmental standards of waste management. Don’t Do Pretty also minimises the use of polyester, which is a petroleum based product and instead uses natural fibres and animal products
In today’s fast-paced world, manufacturing is a hotly contested issue. Worker’s rights, environmental concerns, sustainable material, waste management - the list of problems goes on. But, we are all called to make our own decisions according to our values, education and situation. Don’t Do Pretty is all about ‘eating problems for breakfast’ and that is exactly what it seeks to do through constant innovation and change.
Every item of clothing produced by Don’t Do Pretty has had considerable thought put into it. Every item of clothing seeks to be the most ethical, sustainable and responsible product it can be.