Who we are.
The Travelling Kimono design and create beautiful handmade garments that reflect quality, style and comfort, while also supporting women to be the best version of themselves.
Our collections are designed in Noosa QLD by Co-founders Janelle Rawlins and Nicki Edmiston and refined by our head seamstress, Men in Vietnam; along with our small team of ladies who hand make each garment using high quality, sustainable and where possible recycled fabrics.
We've spent time with these women and we know that they're as committed to the slow fashion movement as we are.
All our collections are exclusively limited, with sometimes up to only 30 garments of each design being made. This guarantees the highest degree of quality for each garment and also adds to the exclusivity of each garment - making it far less likely to end up as landfill.
We live and breathe our ethos of Eco. Sustainable. Limited. And we’re continually making changes to curate and refine our practices in every area of our business.
Some of our eco-practices include:
- We only use deadstock fabric (the ends of leftover and unwanted fabric rolls).
- We aim to source the most natural, organic fabrics possible.
- We use our own fabric waste to make head scarves, scrunchies and kids clothing.
- We’re completely plastic free.
What’s the true cost of a garment?
It’s not just about the money you spend. It’s also the impact your new garment has on the planet, the cheap labour used to make it, the pollution we create when we throw it away and the impact that generations after us will feel.
Fast fashion is NOT an eco conscious choice.
On average, 80 billion new garments are produced globally every year. Fashion is the second most polluting industry after oil. We all need to make responsible decisions today that positively impact the planet for tomorrow. Which is why we refuse to mass-manufacture and instead have each garment handmade using sustainably sourced fabrics. We pay a fair wage and the quality of our pieces still blows us away, 7 years down the line.
Why are we running this kickstarter?
Something we’ve been most proud of from the very beginning is The Travelling Kimonos commitment to social responsibility through ethically transparent processes.
When we first started out, we chose to produce all our garments in Vietnam. But we didn’t want to align ourselves with the factories or manufacturers who failed to share the same ethical values and vision that we’re trying to create.
That was when we were connected to Men, our head seamstress. It seems like a strange thing to say, but we still know all our seamstresses by name and they're now part of our family. This is something unique in the world of clothing manufacturing and something we're extremely proud of.
However at the moment, we can only employ 3 ladies as we don’t have the space, equipment or resources. And because each of our garments are handmade, the manufacturing process is so much longer. Meaning that we need to start working on our collections almost a year in advance.
So we’re wanting to increase our financial resources so that we don’t put any unnecessary pressure on our seamstresses. And so that we may create a space and community that empowers and supports women through employment.
How will the money make a real difference?
- We want to create a new space for our garments to be produced, where our workers will feel safe, comfortable and valued. The space will be eco-friendly and will also provide baby minding services, food on site and even english lessons.
- We could increase the number of ladies we’re able to employ - at a fair wage!
- We plan to invest in new machines for them to work with; and create storage facilities for their product to be stored.
- Ideally we’d love to buy a building to use as a workplace and warehouse - because renting in Vietnam is not cheap!
- We want to disrupt the manufacturing industry. We want to redefine the meaning and make it known that it’s unacceptable for sweatshops to be operating.
- We want to initiate change through mentorship. Through our warehouse, we plan to open the doors to anyone like us who wants to take their brand to the next level but are unsure how to start the process of upscaling, while still staying aligned with their fair trade ethos.
- We want to disrupt the fashion industry. We hope to create a platform for other creatives by giving them access to our resources, team of seamstresses and space in our warehouse to “manufacture” their brand.
- Our ultimate goal is to own and run a female driven manufacturing powerhouse!
Let’s talk money...
As part of our ethical standing, we plan to be 100% transparent in any distribution of our funds raised. We truly believe that every dollar will make a difference in achieving our goal to create a safe and empowering workspace for our team.
To start the process, we’d need a minimum $40,000. And to be really successful in setting up a conscious manufacturing warehouse, we’d need hundreds of thousands.
If we achieve our pledge of $40,000 we will:
- Rent a warehouse (25-30,000)
- Buy 6 new sewing machines
- Provide aircon
- Buy storage for fabric
- Provide english lessons
- Train 4 more ladies
Our goal for our warehouse is to have a safe working environment for not only our employees but the planet. Therefore we'll be placing a huge focus on providing an eco-friendly space including.
- Eco-friendly lighting
- Enforced recycling programs
- Insulation to help save on cooling
- Water saving initiative
- Energy efficient equipment
- All eco/natural cleaning products
- Have a ZERO single use plastic policy
How our Garments are Made
Our design process
All our clothing pieces at The Travelling Kimono are handmade, so the “manufacturing” process can take a lot longer. The quality is unbeatable but it also means we need to start working on collections almost a year in advance. Which is also why we struggle to keep up with having only 3 seamstresses working for us.
Our goal is to have enough staff so that we don’t have to put any unnecessary pressure on them to have our collections finished by a certain time. To give you an idea, this is our design process:
More about The Travelling Kimono
At The Travelling Kimono, our mission statement has always been Eco. Sustainable. Limited.
We’re striving for every area of our business to actively encourage change in the fashion industry. As a start, we’re creating a community that empowers women through sustainable, ethical employment while also trying to make a positive impact on the environment.
We believe that every woman has the right to feel safe, grow and provide for her family. We want to empower our team in Vietnam by giving them this opportunity and by showing them their worth and that they to can have a fufilling career.
To live up to our eco-friendly ethos, we source all our fabrics from deadstock. Meaning, we always use the ends of fabric rolls - leftover or unwanted from larger companies - that would otherwise be considered waste for landfill.
We always aim to source the most natural, organic fabrics possible and give these high quality fabrics a new life. And any of our own cut-offs from this fabric are used further to make head scarves, scrunchies and kids clothing.
We are also completely plastic free. All our garments have always been sent to us from Vietnam in handmade fabric bags from our leftover fabric, which we send back for them to be used again, but we have recently started using compostable garment bags from corn starch.
In store, we use only use recycled brown paper bags or our signature tote bags, which are again recycled and reused.
All post packaging is 100% compostable and/or biodegradable and made from sustainably sourced plants - which means they break down easily in your compost or green waste.
These are just a few things we’re doing to help make a positive change for our planet. We’re permanently on the learning journey of better understanding and working towards increased sustainability and minimising our environmental impact.
Fashion will always be a part of our lives, so we need to vote with our dollar and respect both our people and our planet.
Sustainable fashion IS the way of the future.
You can contribute to our cause by making a pledge and receiving one of our beautiful zero-waste, handmade garments.
Help us reach our stretch goals so we can throw in some bonuses
1: $150,000 all pledges will receive a bonus scrunchie
2: $300,000 all pledges will receive a bonus headscarf
3: $550,000 all pledges will receive a bonus Tote bag
4: $800,000 all pledges will receive a bonus T-shirt
Make a pledge now to secure your items at Early Bird discount rates, and only pay at the end of campaign. Pledges are collected after Nov 20th, which is the end of this campaign. You can change your pledge tier /amount by clicking “Manage Your Pledge”-“Change your Pledge” throughout the time our campaign is active. Your pledge could help to reach our stretch goals rewarding all pledges with extra rewards.
"TTK has always represented a brand of truth and transparency. I’ve followed the journey from the very first garment manufactured. They are leading the way in ethical production and use of sustainable textiles. Hand made by a community of women that will thrive even more as this label expands. This is good for the Australian fashion industry, the planet and its people. This is the future for an industry that needs to improve its ecological footprint."
Carlie Wacker, Radio Personality/Presenter
A huge shout out to Jordy Maxwell for allowing us to use his amazing music for our campaign video. Check him out @jordy_maxwell
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge would be finding a well-priced warehouse in Vietnam as rent is quite high in the country. It’s going to take a lot of money to start out with, but we believe it’s worth that risk. The way the fashion industry is going, if we don’t act now the effects on the planet and the people in the garment industry will be massive.
We know it might be hard to compete with the bigger brands in this industry to drive change but we’re really passionate about this cause. We won’t stop until there’s change and it becomes normal.
Our team has spent months building this project from the ground up. We’re fully committed to carrying out this project successfully and delivering the pledges on time. However, depending on how successful the campaign is there may be delays in delivering pledges on time, particularly if we need to train new ladies right away to help with production.
We would overcome any unforeseen challenges and risks that arise as we have a huge support network of family, friends and like minded individuals around us, so we’re a big team working towards this goal.
We’ll be working with our business coach continually throughout the process for ongoing planning, strategy and guidance.
- (40 days)