In the world of non-sustainable fast fashion, it’s individuals like Rose Bourke who work towards reducing the nasty gap that segregates quick clothing production from socially responsible (SR) apparel. Thankfully for activists like Rose, in the last 10 years, ethical and environmentally friendly practice has started to reshape the inner workings of the fashion industry. Though this is an epic step in the right direction, many remain unaware that the mainstream clothing brands we all know and love are mass culprits in ensuring this gap continues to divide consumers. AntiVice Studios, owned and operated by 17-year-old Rose Bourke, is a new, locally crafted brand that is 100% sustainable, a diamond in the rough. We chat to ‘Rosie’ to learn more about her motivations, inspirations and of course, the clothes.
Having dreamt of creating her own line since she was 15, Rosie has remained determined to deliver something unique to her consumers by following a set of strict ethical principles to manufacture a product that is on trend. For Rosie, it’s all about the consumer. ‘Australia has this strong community vitality and I think that comes from a belief in equality and cultural diversity. AntiVice is very much a brand for the consumers, particularly Australians, so that we have the option to help others through our purchases,’ she says. With a strong sense of community in mind, Rosie is hoping to attract a distinct target audience that she believes has been neglected in both mainstream and ethical fashion. “I am targeting the older Generation Z/younger millennial because I feel like mainstream fashion forgets that we actually give a damn. We want to make everyday purchases that matter, preserve our environment and minimise our carbon footprint,” she says.
You might be asking yourself, what makes fast fashion so unsustainable? It’s a system based on introducing a big variety of the hottest trends quickly with the hope of an incredibly speedy stock turnover. Dresses with a whopping price tag probably cost very little in production, creating misleading luxurious brands that are classified in the fashion dictionary as “floor ready.” AntiVice Studios prides itself on the polar opposite, with its debut 5-piece collection, ‘The Capsule Collection,’ designed in Drysdale, Geelong. Rosie loves local, much like Forte. “I have been greatly assisted by a few local Geelong businesses – there has been a great shift in recent years in this city in regards to supporting new and local entrepreneurs. On the manufacturing side, I couldn’t find any local manufacturers who worked with sustainably made material and met the certifications GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).”
Rosie has grown up in a home that is eminently environmentally conscious, with influences stemming from her mother; an activist for animal rights, and her grandmother; a religious recycler since the 70s. I ask Rosie where she’d like to see her business in the next 5 years, “I’m hoping that I will build a sustainable business. I want AntiVice to have a trusted reputation that is known for good governance. AntiVice customers will care where their products come from in every step of the supply chain. They will be proud to wear clothes that are eco-friendly and have the look of luxury. I want AntiVice to be a product all Aussie’s can brag about; ethical, affordable clothes that are versatile with edge,” she answers.
To look and purchase from Rosie’s eco-friendly line, visit www.antivice-studio.com or check her out on Instagram @antivicestudio.
I’ll finish with some words from the beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio in his long-awaited acceptance speech for best actor at the 2016 Oscars, “Climate change is real; it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
Written by Hannah Kenny