Following the tragic collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh last week, Melbourne designer boutique Gusto & Élan has been abuzz with customers avoiding multi-national retail chain store giants and instead wanting to learn about the independent fashion movement.
“It is a really hot topic in our store right now. As an independent retail boutique, we have noticed an increase in customers wanting to know more about the designs they are buying, how the item was made and where the item comes from,” Gusto & Élan co-founder Katya Baxter said.
“In the aftermath of the Bangladeshi building collapse, we have heard a lot of big-name chain brands listed in relation to these factories, which has been a real eye-opener for many shoppers,” she added.
Ms Baxter said, as the leading retailer of independent fashion, Gusto & Elan were working with designers to promote higher standards for the industry.
“In a thought-provoking article, author Alecia Simmonds highlighted our responsibility as consumers to consider the horrendous conditions low-paid workers are forced to endure as a result of mass fashion production.
“This global problem has escalated since the rise in popularity of so-called disposable clothing – low-cost, poorly made clothing that fuels the demand of the mass market.
“In response to the Bangladesh tragedy, there will no doubt be repeated calls over the coming weeks, months and years for a wide-spread change in consumer behaviour to steer away from these irresponsible practices.
“We’re seeing consumers reacting now; they’re already actively beginning this process of change.
“This is one of the main reasons Gusto & Élan was born almost two years ago; to drive the independent fashion movement and provide customers with unique, high-quality fashion from 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 higher 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 outlook gave fashion conscious individuals greater access to more exclusive, local designers.
“The global outrage that has ensued following this tragedy will be a turning point for corporate and consumer practices,” Ms Zammit said.
“People must begin to realise that the issue stems from their individual purchase decisions. At Gusto & Élan we are proud to partner with designers who provide exclusive fashion options for the customers who love shopping with us.”
To learn more about the independent fashion movement or to find the perfect piece made by an independent designer, visit the Gusto & Élan Brunswick St store or go online to www.gustoandelan.com.au
Gusto & Élan
Gusto & Élan is Melbourne’s leading boutique and retail gallery; the style hub for the fashion conscious and the gateway into the heart of the independent fashion industry.