Local Designer Dominique Healy On What Ethical Fashion Means To Her

by: Rosie Dalton | 4 months ago | Features

Image: Dominique Healy.

Dominique Healy is a Melbourne-based designer specialising in effortlessly romantic designs. Fairly made in a Minimal Waste supply chain, her dreamy dresses and elegant blouses are crafted from high quality natural fabrications and crafted locally in Dominique’s Melbourne studio. Here, Dominique shares what ethical fashion means to her.

Rosie Dalton: Can you tell us about how your brand first came to be?
Dominique Healy
: It’s always been what I wanted to do. For close to 10 years I worked for a textile company in New Zealand and then in Australia. It was so inspiring being surrounded by fabrics and after a long time of thinking about starting a label and a fabric collection, I finally jumped in and got started 2 years ago.

Rosie: How has the team evolved since then?
: Starting out I was doing everything on my own – the patterns, sampling and production. Last year I finally brought my friend Armeda on board, who helps me with the in-house sewing. And another lovely woman, Zoe has started working with us on production.

Rosie: What does ethical fashion mean to you personally?
: Clothing is something that should be enjoyed, not just for the wearer but also the maker. This relates to the environment in which the clothing is made and also, of course, that the people making our clothing are being paid a fair and living wage.

Rosie: You make everything in Melbourne. Why do you believe it’s so important to support local fashion?
: For me part a big part of what I love about designing clothing is making it. If we don’t support the local industry we will lose it altogether and, for me, this means we’ll lose part of the magic of the fashion industry.

Rosie: Waste is a huge issue in the fashion industry too. How do you try to limit your own waste?
: Something I struggled with starting out was production minimums. Deciding to incorporate in-house production means I can choose to make smaller runs of clothing. Then some of the more special or limited pieces I only make to order. Which means I’m left with very little (if any) stock at the end of a season. I also designed the pattern for the ‘Bella Blouse’ so that it would use about 95% of the fabric when cutting.

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