It has been our delight to participate in the 2017 Fashion Revolution Week Australia.

Ok, so we’ve been around for 70 years now… making regalia here in Melbourne. We tend to just put our heads down and work, work, work - making regalia for Australians, and now increasingly, making regalia for export too. There’s no doubt we love what we do… but with the launch of our new website late last year, we’ve decided to, shall we say, ‘get out more’ and see what’s going on with the local garment making industry, and to learn more about the current issues and discussions regarding garment making and the textile industry worldwide.

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This is Nuran - Nuran has been with us @georgehlilleyregalia for nearly 10 years now. Nuran is a mother of two and grandmother of four! She is also our specialist garment designer and maker! Love you, Nuran! 

George H. Lilley Regalia attended a presentation and discussion run by Fashion Revolution in Sydney on Thursday 20th April titled ‘The New Normal with Levi’s and Patagonia – Circular Solutions and Responsible Innovation in the Fashion Industry’.

We’ve also taken to posting on our Instagram page various ‘I made your clothes’ pics in an effort to show our support for the wonderful initiatives of this global movement and to also demonstrate our commitment to the overall ethos that Fashion Revolution stands for. Transparency, fairness, an ethical approach…

Fashion Revolution - Sydney on Thursday 20th April - ‘The New Normal with Levi’s and Patagonia – Circular Solutions and Responsible Innovation in the Fashion Industry’.

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Fashion Revolution in Sydney on Thursday 20th April titled ‘The New Normal with Levi’s and Patagonia – Circular Solutions and Responsible Innovation in the Fashion Industry’.

What a fantastic and explosive learning experience it was to listen to Melinda Tually, co-coordinator of Fashion Revolution Australia, conduct discussions with Shannon Bourke, Environmental & Social Initiatives Manager, Patagonia Australia/New Zealand, Manuel Baigorri, Senior Director Global Sustainability, Levi Strauss & Co and Clara Vuletich, designer, researcher, educator, consultant and teacher of sustainable fashion/textiles in the UK and Australia.

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Elephant dung paper, recycled paper pencil and wooden peg gifted to participants at Fashion Revolution

The discussion mainly included insights into the environmental impact of garment making and the textile trade, and working conditions for those employed in the industry worldwide.

Both Shannon and Manuel presented various initiatives of their companies that work toward sustainability, environmental commitment and transparency in the making of their materials and garments. An integral aspect of their methodologies is about educating the consumer about issues to do with textile and garment making worldwide and how the industry takes responsibility and positive action towards improvement.

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The Horrifying Catastrophe at Bangladesh Garment Making Factory

Fashion Revolution propelled as a global response to the horrible loss of life suffered at the Bangladesh Garment Making Factory at Rana Plaza, near the town of Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Though preventable, tragically over 1000 people lost their lives, mainly female garment workers, due to insufficient building conditions and thus work place safety. This is one of the worst industrial accidents to date in the world, and this factory produced garments for many western garment retailers.

This is why Fashion Revolution is so important and why we, as makers and consumers, should be more aware of anything we can do to help prevent anything so tragic happening again and to educate ourselves and the consumer community about where our clothes come from. From the harvesting of natural fibers, the making of synthetic yarns through to machining garments, we all need to raise our awareness of how this really happens. Awareness means we can help change conditions for workers in all areas of the garment making process across the world.

Awareness becomes mindfulness whether you are a maker and purchasing fabric, or whether you are a consumer pondering to spend on an $80 merino t-shirt as opposed to a $10 cotton t-shirt. What do you think the differences are? What do you think the drastic price difference really means? Let’s face it – not all of us can afford the $80 option, but awareness is truly something…

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Lien! Lien has been part of our family and business for 10 years. She's also a proud mother of three who are all studying at universities in Melbourne. You can see why we call Lien our supermodel - she's working on a PhD hood, the colour of which matches her fingernails :) Love you, Lien!

The Staggering Environmental Impacts of the Textile Industry

Did you know that aside from the mining and petroleum industries, the textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world? Did you know that conventionally grown cotton, as opposed to organically grown cotton, is prepared using harmful chemicals once used in making hideous weapons of warfare in World War II? Did you know that microfibers exuded in the laundering of our clothes ultimately end up in our water and oceans, then our food and ultimately our bodies? … and cop this – did you know that it is predicted that there will be more plastic in our oceans by 2050 than fish?

Devastating stuff…

Thank you, Patagonia and Levi Strauss for your pioneering efforts.

You can see more here

http://www.levistrauss.com/sustainability/#introduction

…and here

http://www.patagonia.com/environmentalism.html

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So who made your clothes? In terms of our trade, where was your regalia made?

Who made your graduation gown? Who made your masonic regalia? Who made the Chancellor robe for your university? Who made the mayoral gown and/or mayoral chain that features at your local council ceremonies?

Anyone who knows us here at George H. Lilley Regalia will be well aware that WE LOVE MAKING YOUR GARMENTS!

So, What Do We Care For, What Motivates Us?

  • - We’re very proud to be making garments here in Melbourne.
  • - We are very supportive and enthusiastic for other small businesses & the grassroots local manufacturing community.
  • - Our staff, our family (one & the same!) & the possibility/ability to create jobs.
  • - Happy staff & a positive work environment.
  • - Happy customers.
  • - Our relationships with customers & suppliers, both local & international.
  • - Quality regalia that may be worn with pride and dignity.
  • - We want wearability; we want durability, we want quality fabric & garment construction techniques.
  • - The discerning buyer.
  • - A healthy, positive ethos.
  • - Our history.

...and now, through awareness thanks to Fashion Revolution, we are also motivated by;

  • - Researching recycled fabrics
  • - Becoming more aware of how the locally milled fabrics and locally dyed fabrics we use impacts upon our environment
  • - Reducing water usage in the laundering and pressing of our hire and sale garments
  • - Educating ourselves further about all issues Fashion Revolution stands for
  • - Helping our customers and consumers in general be more aware of the humanitarian and environmental issues to do with textiles and garment making
  • - How we can all contribute to making positive change

 

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At George H. Lilley Regalia, we can offer garments and other products that we feel already harness an environmental and ethical awareness… take for example;

Why buy when you can hire? 

In terms of graduation gowns, academic dress, why buy when you can hire? Less waste!

Refurbishments and Upgrades

Refurbish your regalia! We can do this for you, and have offered this for our 70 years of business! Refurbishments of masonic regalia is one of our main services. Also, masonic regalia can be upgraded for your promotion. We offer recycled badges for change-overs to save on cost and reduce waste. 

Support Local

Support local jobs, buy Australian made! We are proud to have official Australian Made Campaign accreditation. We have laws and industrial practices in place here in our wonderful country that mean Australian garment making workers must have safe and ethical conditions and fair pay.

Care for your garment and quality fabric selection

Care for your garment – quality fabric, and informed garment care. We offer fabric selection and garment care advice on all of your ceremonial garments. This information can either be found on the care label on your garment, or on product pages of our website. Complimentary garment storage bags also come free with any ceremonial gown!

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Meet Christine and Wilbur @georgehlilleyregalia ! Christine is a historian and designer who has worked in manufacturing now for 15 years. Wilbur our golden retriever provides excellent customer service and staff support. As you can see, he is particularly handsome :)

Of course, in our niche industry, ceremonial garments (made by us!) have longevity.

That is, you don’t buy a PhD gown like you would buy a t-shirt. When made by us, ceremonial garments can last and be used for decades – for example, a mayoral chain is designed to be a 30-50 years investment, as is a mayoral robe, and your PhD gown is made to be worn for a life time. This requires, of course, mindful garment care and storage. 

So in many ways we have an advantage in this huge industry of textile and garment making. This is not to assume, though, that we need do nothing more.

Participating in Fashion Revolution has made us think further into ways that we can help make positive change in this industry, even if we are just a small family business… we are committed! Join the Fashion Revolution – now!

http://fashionrevolution.org/country/australia/

http://fashionrevolution.org/

A sincere thank you to Fashion Revolution Australia New Zealand and Fashion Revolution worldwide. Thank you to all garment and textile makers across the world. Thank you to the pioneering large-scale makers making positive change. We are committed to help toward positive change and to raising awareness. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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