At the beginning of the second year of the world wide pandemic we started a process to change the way our brand offered our intimates, making the product more supreme in quality than it's ever been, and also ensuring the sustainability of our founder and future teams livelihood.
The emotional sustainability of executing a brand and the effect it has on its founders and employees is not often spoken about. While the made to order model we started in 2013 not only ensured we delivered intimates that were creating as little waste as possible, with a very small carbon footprint, and never leaving unwanted stock go to waste on our shelves, it begun to have minor set backs as we started to grow as a brand.
Long time wearers of ACI will remember the wait time for orders growing over the years, as our demand grew it was difficult to find seamstresses with the right machinery to help sew our intimates.
And then in 2019 my Mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer back in my hometown of Perth. I was spending every other week flying over and it became very apparent the brand I had built 5 years prior was now hindering my ability to be with my family when I needed to most. There were many late nights, and every weekend before a flight home getting orders sewn ahead of time, and I was burning out quickly and often.
At this time a colleague and someone who became our manufacturing mentor introduced me to her long time maker in Dongguan, China- Daisy. Daisy owns her factory and is generous in providing much smaller runs for brands than what is usually sighted. From here we spent the next 12 months almost to the day sampling, perfecting, and getting our first 'bulk' order ready to ship. When we use the term bulk, we are referring to the quantity specifically calculated to understand how many pieces we need produced for our community without excess waste.
Working with Daisy meant we were able to use the worlds highest standard in textiles under OEKO-TEX (
fabrics that are certified free of harmful chemicals and are safe for human use). The term organic is outdated in textiles and is considered a poor standard to measure bamboo in especially. We updated trims and hardware to ensure longevity in our pieces. And the level of technical manufacturing in China is the absolute best.
Before starting our work with Daisy, I searched and sampled with countless factories across Australia and other parts of the world for years. A higher output manufacturing model was one I knew I needed to move to for years but was stubborn in not doing it until the quality matched what we were sewing ourselves in house.
We've started our collaborative making relationship with Daisy with our bamboo Bowie range. Our lace and silk pieces are still made in house in Melbourne, and our hope is to be able to deliver these in a slightly quicker manner now.
Working with Daisy has been an incredibly transparent, honest and enjoyable experience. Her help has allowed our brand to grow and ensure we're offering the highest standard, most comfortable, thoughtful and beautiful intimates.