Hello world,

When we first opened the doors to the new shop we were very excited, slightly nervous and extremely curious for what it would mean to Espire.

Our plan: to grow organically into the true identity of the brand.

“We are here to accelerate the advent for sustainable, ethical & locally made clothing”

This attitude showed true from the day we opened the doors, we decided to do very minimal modifications to the shell of the store & over time we gained a true direction for the space as it slowly developed from a simple retail store to a conceptual, evolving “show and tell” space. A core example of this was moving the machines and cutting table into the store. It’s charming once customers discover that we make the clothing in the store. You don’t just see the product, but the process from sketch-on-paper to finished garment.

By actively using our space to produce clothing, we find our turn around time from an idea to a selling product can be daily. Not only does this mean we can play and experiment as much as we like, but it also completely demolished the theory that you the need to rely (and wait) on overseas factories to churn out dozens or hundreds of the same garment to be successful. Did I say overseas factory? Coincidently that preludes us to the main question we get asked almost daily (almost asked as much as “is there an online store yet?” to which the answer is yes www.espireclothing.com/shop, more to be put up soon), which is “why on Earth we would produce in Australia, given the costs and “higher” market associated with it?!” Well, here is the motto to what we say in response:

“We want to revolutionise the industry and reintroduce what it should mean to be a clothing company in 2017. Australia has the talent, quality & craftsmanship that is unrivalled globally. We honestly believe we can- and should, be setting the bench mark on how to do that in the most sustainable, price-competitive and ethical way possible. We are here to accelerate the advent for sustainable, ethical & locally-made clothing” 

We then show customers the various ideas and products we have around the store that sets us apart from the competition, these are some of those examples:

  • ZERO FABRIC WASTE: All our shirts are cut in store, which means the leftover cuts that would otherwise be binned are used for pockets that customers  can choose from ( literally hundreds of choices). The smaller pieces after this are again used for other smaller logos ( As showcased on our “last word” tees, picture below).
  • IT ALWAYS FITS: Ever tried something on & wanted that extra inch on the length? Or like a medium tee fit but its too long in the sleeves? We can make any adjustments you need to our garments as you choose them.
  • WRAP IT CLEAN: Our wrapping paper and paper are recycled/up-cycled.  Our wrapping paper is old pattern paper that we collect from various sources, whilst all our labels, swing tags and business cards are printed on Envirocare paper which is 100% recycled paper and carbon neutral. ( We also print all our swing tags and cards locally in Bright).
  • ORGANIC FABRICS: All of our tees ( base tee shirts, long sleeves & polos) are made from 100% Certified Organic Cotton in a factory that is also ECA (Ethical Clothing Australia) accredited.
  • DESIGN IT: Within our store ( as mentioned above) you have some degree of freedom to design your own unique product. Choose your own combination of tee using hundreds of fabrics; mix a few cotton prints together to create a one-off button up shirt; or simply choose from our button collection what you would like on the shirts and dresses. You can even help use left over fabrics and choose your own colour scheme for a logo on one of our “Last Word” tees.

Our “Last Word” tee, using left over fabrics to shape our logo from colours you choose

 

 

Whilst some of these elements have always been part of Espire, others have evolved logically during production and have since blossomed into unique trades we are proud to call Espire standards.

We are also stoked to see that the once drab empty shell of a space has evolved into a hub of energy and activity with so many wild ideas still evolving-  because that is what it is, a conceptual space where the ideas are coming to life. With all this positive growth and development happening in just over 6 months we can’t wait to see what the next 6 months will bring. So we invite you, our friends and customers, to come be a part of Espire’s journey. Come visit us in store or online as we approach the end of winter and the beginning of spring with so many new products and ideas in progress!

Hope to see you soon,

Balin J Foley

Founder & Director


The [R]evolution of Espire clothing

This is the first general update of Espire clothing- 18 months since launch.

After several markets and two summer long pop-up stores Espire clothing is finally working. Every step of the journey has been difficult- from the pattern making to the bespoke finishes on shirts- but that is the cost when you build a brand unlike any other. Espire is not singularly focused on one item nor on any self-obsessed pointless image- it is a brand built entirely around the idea of rebuilding what and how a clothing brand should be. From the early stages it has been about giving every Australian the chance to buy clothing made here- from the businessman/woman after a fancy coloured evening shirt to the teens after a tee down at the local skate park- and to give that option at a competitive price and in a completely sustainable manner.

The plan was to start building a collection of garments and test them in the wild- essentially staple Espire into each major category of clothing ( button-up shirts, shorts, tee shirts, dresses etc.) with our unique spin on each item. We offer bespoke sizing and design input from clients so our knowledge of sizing and aesthetic look grew with the customer base. We began with high end shirts and Espire now has over 35 unique designs across our three unique ranges ( despite the visual lack of them on our site – that will be fixed shortly)

The next stage is to find a ‘hub’ store that Espire can operate from and deliver larger volumes of clothing. This store will be where all elements of the brand run from, including the pattern making to the packaging of garments and the daily sales. The summer pop-up shops have been the first part of this stage by testing the waters in Bright (North-East Victoria) and getting the brand name and philosophies out there – in relation to the concept of building lots of items rather than one or two this has now worker better for us as we can sustain and fill an entire store. The theatre of Espire is seeing your product being made which is essential to being a ‘[R]evolution’ is that you have to see it directly in the store, which is why we need a hub to give clients the visual fidelity of what Espire is.

Once we have a sustainable and working store we plan to continue our expansion into every range imaginable – sports wear, swim wear and snow gear for example- to allow any customer who comes into our store(s) to be able to buy what they need. We intend to give what is needed rather than require customers to purchase more useless clothing essentially for a brand name, we seek meaning and heart behind Espire. After this point it is planned to open several stores in larger traffic areas and continue to expand in wholesale, ranges and general production.

First and foremost throughout this first stage of business is remaining as sustainable as possible with all business aspects – we currently run solar above the workroom and many garments are made from organic/ethically supplied materials. It’s severely disappointing that in 2016 many larger (and smaller) brands are not as committed to this as they should be- but let’s not point fingers.

So to sum it up, here is part one of Espire’s world dominance plan:

Creatively design and make garments in general categories of clothing
find and set up a flagship hub store for all business operations
build a strong and consistent online presence
expand across Australia with multiple stores and continue to offer clothing in every category
Become and remain 100% sustainable
We hope you can help us reach these objectives,

Sincerly,

Balin J Foley – Founder