In the lead up to Sydney Finders Keepers we chat with Christina from long-loved Sydney based fashion label Made590! Celebrating the growth of their popular Every Body range, Made590 aims to have you looking cute in the perfect fit this summer! Take a dip or dive in to learn more about the evolution and work behind Made590’s Every Body range, all made in Australia!
Image credits: Active wear photos by Wolfwerk Photography and Swim by Laura Zacharias
Tell us the journey behind creating the Everybody range. Why is diversity and size inclusivity so important to Made590?
I’ve had my bricks and mortar business for 15 years, with many hard years working at markets before that. We have always been extremely passionate about Australian and ethical manufacturing and that will never ever change. Over the last few years, we have focused heavily on creating our own exclusive fabric ranges within our clothing collections and working with other independent artists to create them. It got to a point where we were doing all these amazing things but something was missing. I wanted Made590 to be accessible to more people, as our designs make you feel good and we wanted more people to feel that!
Why can’t everybody have the option to walk into a shop and buy want they want and buy it off the rack?
In September 2018 after 9 months of hard work, long negotiations with makers and pattern makers and tricky logistical problems sorted, we launched our very first Every Body range, a size-inclusive clothing range manufactured locally and ethically, into the retail world. The response was immediate. There was and still is a serious gap in the market for people who want fun and well-fitting clothing in inclusive sizes. We didn’t want to produce a range that was ‘dumb-downed’ or marketed as “plus-size”, we wanted to do exactly what we normally do, but in a lot more size options. It was actually a really simple request and once I saw that need my whole thought process of how we design and manufacture had changed. Why can’t everybody have the option to walk into a shop and buy want they want and buy it off the rack? No special orders required (though we do run the occasional pre-order for our very popular pieces), no separate section that is labeled ‘plus-size’, no simplified version that doesn’t look as good and no separate price tag.
Very simply we want Made590 to worn by Every Body. The only thing we really changed were things that made the pieces fit better and accommodate more body shapes, which is a necessity that is often overlooked.
Every Body by Made590 is not a plus size range, it is a clothing range made with all bodies in mind.
Every Body by Made590 is not a plus-size range, it is a clothing range made with all bodies in mind. It is what we feel should be the “new norm” for all brands, and we are proud to say our range runs from a size 6-26.
We love seeing the growth in the Everybody range! Can you share the inspiration behind the new release designs? Is there a muse or woman that has inspired you?
First and foremost we are inspired by and produce this range for women like us! Working retail for a long, long time, you realise all women have their hang-ups! And it’s about as far from a size issue as you can get. But, couple that with the lack of inclusivity in the media and retail landscape and we find it takes a very strong woman to be able to feel completely comfortable in her own skin, 100% of the time.
This would be our main aim and inspiration, to help all women feel comfortable and accepted and we find it inspiring the number of women who have done just that by being offered something new for their wardrobes. We get lovely messages, thank you’s and photos of women in their new outfits, swimsuits, and activewear almost daily and this inspires us to keep striving for our “new norm”, keep moving forward and extending our range of styles, and keep setting the bar high for other brands to follow. A lot of these supporters and customers have become our models, unofficial brand advocates and outspoken, amazing women who spread the word and rock our clothing like no one else!
We are so thankful for the cheer squad we constantly have inspiring us, including our own fabric designer and unofficial Every Body muse Kirbee Lawler, who is always on hand to offer advice, great ideas and fit feedback when we need it. We are also so lucky to have such an amazing team of women behind the made590 brand and shop front, who all love clothing, believe in what we do and understand how important it is to strive to make a difference in the Australian made fashion landscape.
We are so excited Made590 is launching an active & swimwear line with 11 sizes at Finders Keepers! That’s huge for a small brand. What inspired you to design and develop your own activewear and swimwear line?
Both active and swim collections since the dawn of time have always been marketed to a specific clientele. Every year the covers of glossy magazines feature articles on “how to be beach body ready”, which is just ridiculous and so polarising for so many people. We wanted to break these so-called rules and show that every single body is the perfect body! Every body is already beach ready, all you need is a pair of swimmers that fit and look damn cute!
Every body is already beach ready, all you need is a pair of swimmers that that fit and look damn cute!
Both of these product ranges, no matter your size, shape, age or background are hard to buy. Our made590 active + swim ranges work towards breaking down barriers and catering for all body shapes and sizes. We are one of the very few labels, possibly the only one, who offers Australian, ethically-made active pieces using environmentally-conscious fabric from sizes xxs-6x.
Our Active+Swim range is a new and exciting endeavor for us, and one we are so ridiculously proud of. The response has been so inspiring and we cannot wait to bring it all to Sydney Finders Keepers this December.
What are some of the challenges in expanding your size range and keeping all your manufacturing small and local? What key takeaways can you share for other small businesses wanting to do this.
I have worked in the fashion industry for a really long time and have always found that honesty goes a really long way. I sat down with all my makers and explained what we wanted to do with the Every Body range. They understood the risk I was taking and I have to say, they didn’t actually think there was a market for a broader range of sizes. They asked if we had the demand for inclusive sizing and I was honest and said “no, not yet but we will!” because really, how can you expect to have the demand for something that you are not yet offering that customer?. Given our history of making together they all trusted me and came on board. When we had immediate success our makers felt like they were a part of what we had started. Including and being upfront about your goals is so important to create the team you need.
They asked if we had the demand for inclusive sizing and I was honest and said “no, not yet but we will!” because really, how can you expect to have the demand for something that you are not yet offering that customer?.
But having said that, we have still experienced every problem imaginable developing these new ranges. From things that you wouldn’t even think about like the fabric not being wide enough to fit the new size break down, to sampling a range of sizes instead of the one industry ‘standard’, to having to get creative with fabric lays and adding in extra seams so not to waste precious fabric. We have truly encountered it all, and at this point if we don’t experience a hiccup in the production process, it almost makes me worry more!
I have very much learned over the years, “when there’s a will there’s a way”! There is always a solution and it isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it.
Can you share what we can expect to find at your Sydney Stall this Summer season?
Oooh so much, we really pull out all the stops for our Finders Keepers events! Not only will we have our special Active Wear range that we will be launching in two brand new prints but we will also have 3 racks full of Australian made clothing ALL made in our inclusive Every Body sizing! From party dresses, in our signature celebratory prints for the festive season to ranges we have designed specifically for those holiday breaks over summer and of course we will have a plethora of our amazing classic cuts in prints you know and love. Because we like to offer EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY and this is our last big event for the year, it’s one you definitely shouldn’t miss!