These are the locally-made sweatshirts giving hope to Australian manufacturers and creatives.
Over the course of 12 months and multiple lockdowns (including one complete standstill), 22 businesses have banded together to create a series of sweatshirts produced entirely in Australia.
Using a wholly end-to-end local supply-chain, the garments are manufactured using 100% Australian cotton and on-shore suppliers and services.
The sweatshirts, produced for She Lion, feature the words “Actually, I Can” and “Support Local”.
She Lion founder Kate Dillon said the journey from sample to store has been a powerful example of local resilience.
"We were in the middle of a two-week lockdown in March last year that turned into almost six months," she said of the beginning. "The collective mood across Melbourne was pretty depressing."
Following a positive reaction to a post of herself wearing an empowering slogan tee, Dillion said she realised she could make a real difference by creating the sweatshirts.
"I received so many positive comments and recognised I could create something to support Melbourne makers and offer a pick-me-up to my own customers.
"So, I put out a cold call to Melbourne family-run clothing manufacturer, CGT Australia about the concept and managed to speak with the director, Phillip Skorsis.
"He proceeded to spend hours guiding me through the process, sharing industry knowledge and completely opening his book of local contacts.
"I was floored by the generosity and thrilled with the response," she said.
What followed was a huge collaborative effort between 22 Australian businesses - 20 from Melbourne and two from Sydney - to create the two shirts.
From milling, to PR, to distribution, the cohort of producers came together to truly 'support local.'
"In March 2020 we had to consider how to continue operating through the pandemic," CGT Manufacturing Australia director Phillip Skorsis commented.
"I jumped at the opportunity to help Kate at She Lion to create these sweatshirts because ‘support local’ is more than just a slogan and as a family-owned and run business, it’s personal," he said.
The project was formulated in June 2020 and has taken 12 months to come to fruition.
The shirts are available now on the She Lion website and retail for $179.
Here is a snapshot of the Australian businesses involved in bringing the project to life:
1. Melbourne fabric miller and manufacturer - TopKnit Fabrics Australia
2. Melbourne designer - She Lion Group
3. Melbourne pattern maker - Clothe Creative
4. Melbourne dark room sampler (during lockdown) - Stella Park Design
5. Melbourne grader - William Stanley; Markit Apparel
6. Melbourne garment manufacturer - C.G.T. (AUST)
7. Melbourne label maker - Akie Labels
8. Melbourne dye house - Leading Textiles
9. Melbourne industrial wash house - Richmond Industrial Laundry
10. Melbourne graphic designer - Tess Carpenter
11. Melbourne screen-printer - TShirt Oz
12. Melbourne embroiderer - Fiddes Sport
13. Melbourne photographer - Rufus + Cooper
14. Melbourne growth marketer - Chanie Hyde
15. Melbourne recycled polybag manufacturer - PinPak
16. Melbourne cardboard box manufacturer - Visy
17. Melbourne distribution centre - Direct Mail Corporation
18. Melbourne cartoon infographic artist - Matthew Handley, Highly Visual
19. Melbourne videographer - Visual Domain
20. Melbourne PR - Elise Hendriksen, Shout PR
21. Sydney barcode sticker printer - Fast Printing Group
22. Sydney social media - Maxco