In honour of Fashion Revolution Week 2020 we're sharing the faces behind the Woolerina team. We asked them all a few questions so that you can get to know them too!
This is Delia. Delia has been at Woolerina since 2014 when she came for “just a few days work”…six years later, she’s still here! Delia started her textile career in third class when she received awards for her sewing – some positive reinforcement was an effective tool in keeping her interested! She continued to sew throughout high school and went on to complete a Fashion Teacher’s Certificate at East Sydney Tech. Whilst teaching fashion at TAFE she won Golden Gown awards, got married and had a family AND ran a sewing shop!
Delia enjoys the creativity of getting to design the seasonal collections in collaboration with the close-knit team and working with the lovely fabrics to bring the designs to life. Delia loves the workspace at Woolerina “having a 16 metre table and beautiful natural light streaming through the windows, it has a wonderful feel”. On Fashion Revolution Delia says “I wish that people around the world could see the wonderful conditions we work in at Woolerina at Forbes, they wouldn’t accept the appalling conditions that they work in for very little pay. We need to educate consumers that fast fashion is killing people and the planet. We are so lucky where we work and that we are all valued members of the team.”
When she’s not at Woolerina, Delia is inspired to sew in her home studio where she alters wedding, deb and bridesmaid’s dresses. One of her granddaughters is showing a keen interest in sewing and Delia is loving passing on her knowledge and skills to a younger generation.
Picking a favourite Woolerina piece wasn’t hard for Delia “this year it has to be the oversized pullover in golden yellow as this is my colour! It teams perfectly with my ponte pants and skirt (from our AW19 collection)”.
Hello to Melissa. We’ve been lucky to have Melissa on our team for five years now… although she’s been a sewer for 27 years! Melissa loves the challenge of working out the best way to piece new designs together and the machines that she uses to do this. Melissa is also a big fan of the light, bright workspace and loves working with like-minded people.
Despite spending her days on sewing machines, she is inspired to sew outside of work using different fabrics and by seeing a garment she likes and wanting to know how it goes together. Her children have inspired a lot of her “makes”. In winter you’ll find Melissa by the fire with some knitting, hand sewing or a good book.
Melissa picks her singlet as her favourite Woolerina piece as it makes the best base layer for keeping her warm. Another of her favourites is an “infinity scarf” from 5 years ago as it’s so warm and is a beautiful jade green colour.
For Melissa, Fashion Revolution is about working in a safe environment with job security and in a workplace she’s happy to tell her kids about. Professional sewing does not need to equal a ‘sweat shop’.
Meet Charlene, the newest Woolerina team member who joined us in July last year. It’s been a time of mastering new techniques to learn all the processes involved in garment manufacture and seeing a garment come together in the end is the favourite bit of her job. Charlene takes pride in making quality Australian Made garments for a small, bush-based business. Being able to work in a bright, spacious, well laid out workroom with a view out to the paddocks is a highlight of being at Woolerina and she loves having a 16 metre cutting table to be able to have plenty of room to work when required!
Charlene has been sewing for 20 years and has always been drawn to natural fibre fabrics and the creativity and sustainability aspects of sewing clothing for yourself. Being able to turn a flat piece of fabric into a wearable, practical item that fits well is also highly inspiring.
Charlene is like Melissa and can’t go past her singlet as a wardrobe favourite “it can be worn under a t.shirt in the trans seasonal months or layered with a long sleeve scoop in the cold winter months. I also love the neckwarmer for walking on cold winter mornings”.
Charlene’s hope is that by working in a positive and ethical Australian garment manufacturing facility, it may prompt people to put more conscious thought into their clothing purchases, therefore treating people and the environment with more care.
This is the second article in our Fashion Revolution Week 2020 series. You can also read a little more about Fashion Revolution week and meet our founder, Warwick Rolfe HERE and the girls in the office HERE.