The Awear fashion label is an arm of the Fair Trade focussed online store and advocacy project, Aware: the Social Design Project. Social entrepreneur Yvonne Johnston is passionate about Fair Trade, and determined to prove that fashion can be good for both consumer and producer. On top of the online store, which stocks Fair Trade fashion and accessories from all over the world and features Australian designers of Fair Trade fashion, Aware takes its stall to several markets in the Hunter Valley, where Yvonne is based, and conducts information events for groups wanting to learn more about Fair Trade.
Yvonne came onboard with us in late 2012, to develop a range of dresses for her label. She had been working with a small NGO in India already, getting their poor women members to make a particular dress design as they learned how to sew. This is a rewarding, if slow process and Yvonne wanted to add some more dress designs to her label without confusing things with the NGO. We looked at handloom cottons, which Yvonne particularly wanted to use for their social value as well as their beauty, and decided on a sampling process that would work for her. More recently she has added organic screen-printed cottons into her range.
We’re proud to be a partner of this business so committed to Fair Trade. Our product is only part of the Awear range, however. Yvonne works with several other groups in both India and Africa.