Independent fashion movement grows in the wake of Bangladesh tragedy

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Following the outrage over the recent collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh, Melbourne designer fashion boutique Gusto & Élan has been inundated with consumers avoiding large retail chain stores and instead supporting independent fashion designers.

People are showing a lot of interest in this issue right now. As an independent retailer, we have more and more customers coming in to learn about the designs we sell, how the items are made, and where they come.

Following the outrage over the recent collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh, Melbourne designer fashion boutique Gusto & Élan has been inundated with consumers avoiding large retail chain stores and instead supporting independent fashion designers.

“People are showing a lot of interest in this issue right now. As an independent retailer, we have more and more customers coming in to learn about the designs we sell, how the items are made, and where they come,” said co-founder of Gusto & Élan, Katya Baxter.

“In the aftermath of the Bangladeshi building collapse, we have heard a lot of household-name chain stores mentioned in relation to these factories, which has been a shock for many shoppers,” she added.

As a dedicated stockist of independent fashion labels, Gusto & Elan were working closely with designers to promote higher standards for the industry.    

“Author Alecia Simmonds has written a passionate article, outlining the role consumers of mass-produced fashion have played in the resulting conditions faced by low-paid garment workers.

“This issue has plagued the industry worldwide since the rise in demand of so-called disposable fashion – cheap, low-quality clothing that fuels the appetite of the consumer market.

“In the coming weeks, months and even years, there will undoubtedly be repeated calls for these irresponsible practices to be eradicated, and for consumers to change their habits.

“Our store is already noticing this change taking place; we’re seeing consumers reacting now to this issue and we hope it continues.

“This is one of the main reasons we started Gusto & Élan almost two years ago; to bring unique, high-quality fashion to consumers from independent designers who are involved in every step of the production process, from concept to retail.

“At Gusto and Élan we specialise in timeless designs that remain current for more than a season. Not just because they are high-quality, but because they are created by designers who understand the beauty of design, rather than simply churning out the latest trend.”

Gusto & Élan General Manager Sarina Zammit said their independent focus gave fashion lovers more access to exclusive, local designers.

“The global response to this tragedy will hopefully be a tipping point for corporate responsibility and consumer behaviour,” Ms Zammit said.

“People need to understand that the issue stems from their individual purchase decisions. At Gusto & Élan we proudly work with designers who provide exclusive fashion options for the customers who love shopping with us.”

To find out more about the independent fashion movement or to discover an independent designer, visit Gusto & Élan on Brunswick St, Melbourne or head online to http://www.gustoandelan.com.au.

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