Interviews

Five Minutes with The Design Republik

June 25, 2015
The-Design-Republik

We’ve become very good at concerning ourselves with the types of foods we eat and whether the fruit we buy is organic and if the moisturiser we lather ourselves in is eco-friendly. However we still don’t seem to live by the same ethos when it comes to the clothes that we wear.

the-design-republik-2I came to this realisation a few years ago, when I began to understand the wastefulness of the fast-fashion industry and how I contributed to this significant issue. Since then I have made small changes to my purchasing decisions but needless to say rebuilding your wardrobe entirely is not an easy or affordable task. So I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to The Design Republik an Australian fashion brand that is shaking up the traditional fashion model and is all about “curated outfitting” with a particular focus on conscious and sustainable design and production.

The concept of The Design Republik was created out of the need for Kate Wallace – Co-Founder of TDR, to find a solution to her own problem “having a wardrobe full of clothing, albeit nothing to wear” she soon realised that this “problem was one many of us face and [she] simply wanted to make it easier for individuals to find those ‘staple, must-have’ pieces.”

the-design-republik-4And so the idea of “curated outfitting” came about, in simple terms it means creating an “interchangeable wardrobe that would work everyday.”  The concept offers both separate basics, as well as the delivery of an entirely new outfit every month at an entry level price of $350, “each outfit released will be styled with careful thought and will always co-ordinate with forthcoming outfits.” If you think $350 is a hefty price tag here is what Outfit 1 (seen above) currently consists of a double breasted wool coat – that alone usually retails for around $300, a silk crepe top – RRP $150 and a pair of panel pants.

The Design Republik’s aesthetic is all about creating timeless and functional pieces with luxurious fabrics, Wallace says “we are firm believers in the poignancy of sartorial simplicity; clean lines, crisp cuts and perfect fits are perpetually powerful.” They approached their choice of colour palette with the same minimal ethos, think rich navies, dark greys, classic blacks and crisp whites, so that their designs would easily compliment any existing wardrobe.

At this stage you must be wondering how The Design Republik deliver a designer level product in aesthetic and quality at a more intrigued level price point, in this very competitive market. Wallace gave me a bit more insight into the process:“We built our business model first and worked on eliminating inefficiencies in the process that would add on additional amounts to the cost of goods. Once these were identified we then could offer the aesthetic and quality we wanted at a price that was highly competitive.”

the-design-republik-3Another thing that really caught my attention about TDR was their socially conscious approach. The fashion industry in general involves considerable waste from the start to the end of the life cycle, from production, transportation and in the disposal into landfill – much of which is preventable. TDR have been very “conscious of this and thus [their] aim was to offer a solution that sees to eliminate not only wastefulness in production and transportation, but also in offering clothing that has a lengthened life cycle in ones wardrobe.” So forget fast-fashion and invest in timeless classics!

TDR also support Kiva, “a not for profit organisation that offers micro business loans, particularly in developing nations. [They] sponsor businesses in Kenya that sell second hand clothing and feel that this too assists in some small way to the prevention of waste, as well as supporting another tier in our industry realise success.”

I personally feel that knowing more about how our clothes are made and the impact they have on both other people and our planet makes it a much easier decision to support a brand.

the essentialist blogPart of TDR basics line is their denim range, which is luxe in feel and made from a lightweight stretch fabric for ultimate comfort. An added bonus is that their factory is “socially and environmentally conscious, and is constantly working on methods to reduce water wastage in the denim process.” If you follow me on Instagram @nadinepougnet you will see that I was lucky enough to road test their slim jeans in Used Blue. It’s hard to find a pair of jeans that actually fit, so when I do, well I wear them to death!the essentialist blog 2the essentialist blog 3 I hope this post has inspired you to make more socially conscious buying decisions, I would love to know what you think of this topic. Be sure to follow @TheDesignRepublik to keep up with all their news!

Product shots courtesy of The Design Republik

Photos of me by Lei Lei from Lei Lady Lei

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