Melbourne start-up to shake up the 2016 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Offsite Runway Series

On February 13, 2016, The Dress Collective will merge the digital world with the tangible, presenting an interactive runway to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute.

Melbourne based fashion start-up, The Dress Collective, is an innovative e-commerce store that stocks only Australian made fashion and accessories, and in less than six months since launching, the online store has grown to stock more than 30 Australian designers. The Dress Collective Runway will feature the e-boutique’s Australian-made, independent fashion labels, showcasing a unique range of emerging and established designers to highlight the diversity of Australian fashion.

The Dress Collective founders Claire Goldsworthy and Mitchell Dempsey have previously worked between Brisbane and Melbourne under the guise of their former fashion event company Emerge Australia PR, and after years of first hand experience running Claire’s own fashion label, the pair launched The Dress Collective in July 2015 in Melbourne.

Now, with more than 30 labels and new items added weekly, The Dress Collective stocks a unique range of women’s wear, menswear, accessories and jewellery, all of which is manufactured in Australia to high ethical standards, making it the only online store to sell 100% Australian made fashion.

“Our ethos is simple: to create a liberal and dynamic future for Australian fashion. By promoting ‘slow fashion’, Australianmade fashion, and ethically/sustainably created fashion, we’re ensuring a future for our own industries. We want to create a market that our Australian fashion designers can thrive in, instead of struggle in. The fashion industry encompasses professionals in the digital realm, retail, transport, creative services, technology, supply, primary industries – it employs one in six people – so it needs support. We’re also on a mission to educate Australian consumers about ‘slow fashion’ and why it’s so important to shop local and make responsible fashion choices. 67.5 million tonnes of clothing is made and released into the world every single year, and Australia’s contribution to the world’s fast fashion problem is sending over $500 million dollars of clothing to the tip annually. The Dress Collective promotes slow fashion, exclusive one-off pieces, and made to order pieces, and by doing this, we’re combating the fast fashion issue and changing the way shoppers recklessly consume and dispose fashion.” – Claire Goldsworthy.

The Dress Collective Runway will also raise awareness and funds for the Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit organization and world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. Following the loss of Claire’s friend, Courtney Harris, who was the designer behind Australian jewellery label Angle Diamond Dot, it was a natural decision to support a worthy cause in conjunction with the event’s overall message.

“The fashion industry is extremely competitive, and when we’re up against powerful, international fashion conglomerates, it’s a such struggle starting a label and getting your name out there. Besides putting yourself and your design capabilities on show for the world to judge, there’s a whole plethora of responsibilities and pressures; financial strain and daily duties are only a few of the myriad of things stay on top of. It’s not easy running a fashion business or being a designer, so we need to work together to support our Australian fashion community if it’s ever truly going to succeed.” – Claire Goldsworthy.

The Dress Collective Runway tickets are on sale from Monday January 18, at Follow the Facebook event for up to date event news and ticket releases here.

TITLE: The Dress Collective Runway
LOCATION: 524 Flinders, 524 Flinders Street, Melbourne 3000
DATE: February 13, 2016
TIME: 6.30pm