Apparel Studios now dubbed AS Colour because people struggled with spelling Apparel (or was it aparrel? Was it two p’s or two r’s?) was born out of the desire for higher quality blank clothing.
Before AS Colour the big boss Lawrence Railton worked for other blank garment manufacturers that were considered the best at the time.
He quickly realised that the best at the time was not as good as it could be, so he developed his own with the twist of a different business model compared to everyone else and he does it ethically, with the least amount of impact on the environment.
I went out to the warehouse and spoke to the national sales manager, Elijah Nguyen who has been with AS Colour for seven years.
As I was walking into the warehouse, I spotted a basketball court.
Naturally, I asked about it.
“We got skate benches and flat bars that we’ll pull out and skate on our lunch breaks as well. It's all pretty mellow. I think that's the one thing people expect us to be super corporate, but we’re pretty laid back”, says Elijah.
He went on to say that if the owner or boss of a company is a legend then pretty much guaranteed everyone below and the rest of the staff are going to be the same.
AS Colour prides itself on not only their dedication to REALLY listen to their customers but also the fact they are amongst the best in the world for their ethical practices.
A quick walk around the warehouse proved just that. In replacement of plastic, the stock was wrapped in biodegradable corn wrapping and taped up with paper tape instead of the other regular plastic stuff.
And that was just the changes I could physically see.
“Everything from cotton procurement, where we get our cotton, all the farmers, the workers in the warehouses, the dye house, the mills, everything all across the board is maintained [to ethical standards]” says Elijah.
As far as the products themselves, in terms of quality, the AS Colour t-shirt is unmatched.
“When you speak to any reputable screen printer, straight away, they'll just say their favourite t-shirt to print on is AS Colour… a lot of development goes into producing the garments, we have the best colour fastening there is pretty much in the market.”
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering what AS Colour has to do with Ego Expo and why the partnership exists.
The whole premise of Ego Expo is to create a space that celebrates authenticity, individuality, and unadulterated talent.
In the words of Elijah, AS Colour has “over the years been the kind of go-to for a lot of people wanting to start up their own labels and people in the fashion industry wanting to do their own stuff…also Mel's obviously super passion-driven, her heart is very much in like the whole fashion and garment industry. And I really, really relate to that.”
Ego Expo is “a really great platform, and it's a rare opportunity where we get to showcase and get in front of customers while spending time with people developing their own clothing labels,” says Elijah.
For anybody wanting to tap into the fashion industry, I did you a favour and asked the AS Colour national sales manager for some advice.
“My number one advice is to know the identity of your brand…just start off easy and keep reinvesting until you get to a level where you're happy with... it's really hard, of course, it is, otherwise, you know, everyone would have a brand”.
Elijah goes on to say that “there are other little secrets and stuff that [he] keeps secret because if it gets out then it’s obviously not secret anymore but anyone that inquires and spends time with [him], [he’d] let them into some tricks that [he’s] picked up over the time that can really help boost the brand and get it out there”
Your best chance to get in and chat with Elijah is at the Expo where he will be offering exclusive 20-minute consults.
Did I mention that his advice is free?