Nancybird originated in 2002, with founder Emily Wright creating a small range of bags and purses in her backyard studio, as a side project to her fine arts degree.
As we’ve grown, we’ve looked further afield, connecting with expert makers to realise our designs. We’ve built a community of artisans from China, India, and Korea (and occasionally countries such as Bolivia and Latvia!), whose expertise has allowed us to broaden into apparel, footwear and homewares. We believe that big change is best effected through a series of small, mindfully made decisions, and are guided by the simple principles of good making and good design. We consider the social and environmental impact of our products, the longevity of our material and design choices, and how the final product will be used in our customers’ lives.
This philosophy informs our choices in design and production, and the values that we share with our customers. We’re passionate about a slower, more considered approach to fashion: one where quality and integrity can provide an antidote to the negative impacts of short-lived trends and fast fashion.
It’s an ongoing journey. We’re continually learning, exploring and refining to make our products, and our practices, the best that they can be. And, at times, we’re waiting for new innovations to become viable for a small brand like us to be able to offer at an accessible price point to our customers.
The sustainability issues in the garment industry are complex, and span manufacture to end-life – every ten minutes, six tonnes of textiles and clothing are sent to Australian landfill. We believe that designing with longevity in mind offers a solution, creating high-quality pieces that can become staple wardrobe investments.
Trends exist and, of course, we’re influenced by the world around us, but everything is filtered through our lens. We aspire to create original designs with long-term appeal; select the best quality, lowest impact materials available to us; and hold exacting standards for craftsmanship in the manufacture of our products. It’s simple … it means longer lifespans, less consumption and lower environmental impact.
We encourage our customers to wear their pieces with pride, by offering tailored information and advice on care and repair, to extend the life of our products long-term.
We believe that transparency is a powerful enabler for change within the fashion industry. In creating a culture where brands are open and accountable for their choices in design and manufacture, it promotes ethical practice throughout the supply chain, and encourages customers to dig deeper and understand the ethical cost of their purchases.
Since 2017, we’ve committed to connecting our customers to the hands that make our products, through publishing detailed background information and interviews from each of our factories, and allowing them to be seen firsthand through video and photography. We’re currently working towards commissioning third-party social and environmental impacts audits for all of our suppliers.
The makers who produce our collections are the cornerstone of our brand, and we place great importance on cultivating positive effect throughout our supply chain.
We work with carefully selected manufacturers who share our passion for environmental stewardship and social responsibility, and we regularly visit them to ensure that they comply with our values; which covers high standard working conditions and the payment of a living wage. We preference contributing to international communities by working with small-scale makers, champion female-owned manufacturing throughout our supply chain, and are morally opposed to the use of child labour.
Since Spring Summer 2017, the Artisan Made range has been a key part of our collections. Produced in India, these designs celebrate the beauty of heritage handcrafts such as handloomed weaving, embroidery and block printing, and we partner with a variety of social enterprises who cultivate economic empowerment in local communities by preserving the legacy of these virtuosic skills.