Who made our clothes? And who are they for?

Would you ask us where we made our clothes? We hope you do. 

We believe supporting ethical fashion is important, and it’s more closely related to the cause we fight than you may first think.

 

From 23 to 29 April is Fashion Revolution Week 2018. Fashion companies globally are challenged to tell their consumers who made their clothes. You have the right to know where your clothes came from.
 
Our clothes are made in India, Bangladesh and Turkey. The suppliers we use have been members of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2004.  This means that these companies are regularly audited for social compliance and their programs are monitored to ensure that they meet the standards set by the International Labour Organisation, the Ethical Trading Incentive and other international bodies. It also means they release an annual social report, do not use forced labour, provide a safe and healthy working environment and legal labour contracts, do not discriminate, have reasonable working hours (making sure employees have time with family), and absolutely no child labour.
 
Our suppliers also obtain their materials from organic farming. Organic farming means better health for the farmers and the environment. And while it is true that we haven’t met the farmers and other workers in person yet, we hope that one day our small and humble start will eventually grow enough to enable us to visit them, to get to know them and to hear their stories.
 
Better still; to give opportunities for the most disadvantage a chance to improve their lives by creating more jobs. That’s why we honour our fashion business friends who are more advanced than us and able to do this. We celebrate their success in the fashion industry and hope to follow their steps one day.

 

We screen printed our own t-shirts at Carizza Design Studio, Marrickville. 

 

We believe supporting ethical fashion is important, and it’s more closely related to the cause we fight than you may first think.
 
Both the issues of violence against women and unethical work practises come from the underlying problem of a misuse of power. The #metoo campaign is one example that clearly highlights this issue and how abuse gender power and workplace power overlap. 
 
It is true that generally speaking, men are physically built stronger than women. But power is given to protect, not to oppress. The bigger the power is, the bigger its responsibilities.
 
In the case of a man’s role in his own environment, power is given to protect the family or the more vulnerable ones. Unfortunately we’ve seen many sad stories where men mishandle this power and use violence. Former Australian of The Year, Rosie Batty, lost her son in the hands of her abusive ex-partner.
 
So how could we encourage men to stand up against gender-based violence the same way consumers were encouraged to challenge fashion brands who made their clothes?
 
One way is through the way we design our clothes. It is the reason behind our brand. We believe that as men, you have a unique voice and power to make a difference. Our clothes are for men to publicly share their stand against violence towards women. They are also for the women and children who are affected by this issue, and for our next generations. They are for all of us as a society.
These are for whom our clothes are made.

 

This month Irrelevant Society will donate 20% of its profits to Women’s Community Shelters. Find out about Women's Community Shelter here.

 

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Four Ways You Can Help Stop Violence Against Women

“The people who could do most to improve the situation of so many women and children are in fact men. It’s in our hands to stop violence against women.”

- Patrick Stewart

 

At the core of our brand, we strongly believe that men have the power to stand up against and stop violence. We’ve met so many good men out there who share the same conviction as Irrelevant Society – that violence against women is wrong. But what does standing up against violence look like? Here are some practical tips to give you a starting point.

 

#1 Start at home

The most basic form of standing up for women - and the one with the longest impact - is prevention. Teach your sons, nephews, brothers or neighbour’s kids to respect our women – not just through their actions, but also through their words. Unhelpful sayings like: “You throw like a girl” or “don’t cry like a girl” must stop. This kind of talk sends a message to our young men, as well as women, that being a girl is a bad thing.

 

#2 Say Something

Moving your conviction from the home to your community, don’t stay silent. When you hear a mate, or any guy, make a distasteful joke about women, say something. Not saying anything means you become complicit and enable this behavior, and could lead to the assumption that you agree with his joke. White Ribbon has lots of helpful tips on how to speak out, check them out here

 

#3 Talk about it

Be brave and talk about it with your mates. Starting a conversation about violence against women is not easy and can be awkward, but it’s a powerful act of standing up. The branding of our clothing provides a great conversation starter. And of course, educating yourself about the facts of violence against women is a good starting point for informed conversations.

 

#4 Intervene

If you witness violence, the first thing to remember is to always keep yourself, and then others, safe. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. Stand close by but within a safe distance to make sure that the violent person knows they are being watch, ask for help and call 000 if there is an emergency.

 

Of course there are so many things that we can do to stand up, however recognizing the issue is the first step towards change.

 

In line with the White Ribbon day, from October-November Irrelevant Society will donate 20% of its profits to White Ribbon Australia. Find out more about White Ribbon Australia here.

View our collection here.

Why Do We Support A Men's Behaviour Change Program

 

For men’s behaviour change programs to work, the attitude of our society must also change.

 

Men’s behaviour change programs are a crucial part to end violence against women. As Michael Brandenburg from No To Violence says, taking responsibility for their abusive behaviour is an important first step for men towards changes, ”No more excuses, no more blaming ”. By helping men to understand and change their behaviour, we're helping create a safer space for the women and children affected by their actions.

 

However, for men’s behaviour change programs to work, the attitude of our society must also change. As a community, let's take a good look at ourselves, how we treat women and what messages we give to our young men. Violence against women is not just a women’s issue. It's a societal issue. It impacts all of us and we're all responsible.

 

This month, Irrelevant Society will give 20% of the profits to Communicare’s Breathing Space Program – a residential Family and Domestic Violence men's behaviour change program which provides an alternative to removing women and children from their family home while helping men address their issues. The average wait list to access a program like this is 6 months.

 

Find out more about the Breathing Space Program here and check our latest collections to wear your conviction with pride and support this important cause.

 

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800 Respect – 1800 737 732

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for standing with us this year in the fight to end violence against women.

 

On behalf of the whole team at Irrelevant Society, the charities you’ve enabled us to support and all the women and families helped we've helped together, thank you. We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and hope 2017 is full of wonderful new adventures.

 

By choosing to wear Irrelevant Society clothes, you don’t just look good and feel comfortable, you stand with women against violence and wear your beliefs with conviction. You also support fair work environments and a light tread on the environment.


Safe Holidays, if you haven't already, check out our Summer 2017 Collection. 

One Year

Do you remember what you were doing this time last year? Probably not, but it was a pretty significant time for us at the Irrelevant Society.

 

On Friday, 6th November last year the concept of Irrelevant Society was officially introduced into this world, although the spark had started long ago.

What went on behind the scenes during those 12 months was messy. There was that time when the tags on ARIE tshirts were falling apart and we had to pull it all out of production, or when we forgot to add washing instructions. The time we spilt almost a whole bottle of kerosene on Robo’s ute the night he took that beautiful galaxy photo for our Winter range. There were missing deliveries, zero sales for a whole month, near zero sales another month – and that’s just in the first six months.

This hurricane lamp nearly cost us a friendship.

 

Strangely, these are some of the moments that I’m most thankful for and hope will shape us, enabling us to endure for years to come.

I feel genuinely blessed to stand beside those who selflessly support Irrelevant Society and the journey to end violence against women. They are a constant reminder for me to be humble and learn from the meek at heart. I will never take their friendship for granted.

While it's a time to celebrate the fact we made it through the first year, I also want to recognise that this is also a time to mourn. This time last year, 63 women were killed because of domestic violence in Australia. In the year since then another 60 women have been taken from us due to domestic violence.

Whether it's in recent years or those from the past who seem to be long forgotten, I would like to acknowledge the lives of these women. Those who didn’t make it through to Christmas, or see their loved ones grow and hear them say “I love you, you are so special”. Their lives are not forgotten and are forever in our hearts.

The journey to create a society where domestic violence is a horrific, inhumane thing only in the past still has a long way to go. Although it is hard to imagine now, we believe as Mr. Mandela said: "It always seems impossible until it is done".

 

Irrelevant Society would like to thank God, and the men & women who joined us to stand up and speak out against violence. With your help this year, we were able to give 20% of our profits to support White Ribbon, Bonnie Support Services, Communicare’s Breathing Space program, FVPLS and Women’s Community Shelters. Find out more about them here.

Introducing this months’ charity – FVPLS

R.S. Dixon

 

Every two months the Irrelevant Society donates 20% of profits to a different organisation working to end domestic violence. This June and July, all your purchases support Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Victoria (FVPLS).

If you saw the Four Corners episode in May about the death of Lynette, a young Aboriginal woman and mother of seven who bled to death on a lonely beach after horrific sexual abuse, you’d know that Indigenous women are far more likely to suffer violence and abuse. In fact Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLS) statics show that Aboriginal women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised and 10 times more likely to be killed than other women because of family violence.

Yes, you read right – 34 times more likely to be hospitalised and 10 times more likely to be killed.

FVPLS

It’s important to keep in mind that while the victims may be Indigenous, the perpetrators of such violence come from a range of cultural backgrounds. In Lynette’s case, her boyfriend was white, which sadly, may have something to do with why justice is still yet to be found five years on.

It’s stories like these which prove the need for specific prevention support and legal services for Indigenous women and children affected by family violence. Enter FVPLS. Established in 2002 in Victoria, FVPLS is an Aboriginal community controlled organisation which provides assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims/survivors of family violence and sexual assault and works directly with families and communities affected by violence.

Through a range of free legal advice and services, as well as education and advocacy programs, FVPLS works to provide support to survivors, enable justice, and ultimately prevent domestic violence against Aboriginal and TSI women.

You can find out more about FVPLS here and don’t forget to check our new winter jumpers and other collections to add to your wardrobe while supporting this fantastic organisation.