‘We Are Perfect Collaborators’: From Dreams to Reality at Collarts


You might have seen the beginning of our latest series with Collarts which celebrates the fashion journey of just some of their successful graduates (If you haven’t, click here).


The thing that makes this partnership so perfect is that our values so clearly align.


Both Collarts and Ego Expo 2022 are driven by the need to create a space for creatives to flourish and turn their dreams into reality.


It’s really THAT simple. Ok. Not really. But it’s a start. If you have passion and drive PLUS the space to do what you love most then there’s no stopping what you can become.


I spoke with Collarts Head of School of Design Dr Rachel Matthews and asked her what sets Collarts apart from any other art school because let’s face it, there are plenty to choose from.


“Collarts’ focus has always been on training people for careers in the creative industries… the location we're in and the nature of the courses makes us the perfect collaborators…we give them the experience of working with other creatives from slightly different fields and essentially replicate how it works in the industry.

Because whether you work in fashion or film or anything else, once you're in the industry, you're working with people across the board on a variety of projects, whether it’s for marketing, product launches or a store opening”


Dr Matthews also goes on to say another perk of studying at Collarts is the Industry Placement program they have in place which is a guarantee for all their students to have a foot in the door once they graduate.


The Head of School of Design has had 15-20 years working in the fashion industry before switching to academics and trying to help the next generation tap into their talent.


So far in her academic career, Dr Matthews has done some interesting research on sneaker culture in Melbourne as well as the importance of fashion sustainability.


Both surprising lead into each other.

Her research focused on how the retail experience that Sneaker Boy offered was changing the way in which people thought about luxury products.


“The reason why I was interested to examine Sneaker Boy was because certain types of drops in sneakers have essentially become a luxury product. They're limited and very expensive, people do not buy them and think of them as disposable” expressed Dr Rachel Matthews.


When people no longer think of their fashion items as disposable then sustainability in fashion is really just the next step.


“We need people to feel passionate about their connection to fashion products, not to think of them as disposable but buy it because they're really invested in it for all sorts of reasons.

And even if their investment in it, whether the financial or emotional attachment is only for a short while, and then they decide to sell it, that's fine, because they'll pass it on to another set of hands, who also feels passionate about it” says Dr Matthews.


You may be thinking about now, why should I care about fashion sustainability? Or maybe you do care but are not sure how one person can make a difference.


I’ll let you into a little secret, if everyone had that ‘well, I’m one person what’s that going to change’ mentality then nothing will ever change, and we’d never evolve.


Not to mention that fast fashion doesn’t have to mean fast-loving.


We are all guilty of fast fashion, whether it's snagging a good deal on ASOS or a large haul from Shein.


In the words of Dr Rachel Matthews “You don't have to be buying sustainable fashion to have a sustainable relationship with fashion”

The way we wash our clothes, the way we wear them and importantly what we do when we're finished with them matters too.


Collarts will be at Ego next year and you’ll be able to speak with their amazing team on how they can help you create your dream label or even if you just want to chat on fashion sustainability.


Make sure you’ve got your tickets, no excuses, Click this link.


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