Covid-19 has presented many challenges for the Australian TCF industry, particularly for those based in Victoria with the latest lockdowns in place. We chat to a familiar face, John Condilis, Chair/Co-Founder of Melbourne based label Nobody Denim, and one of AFC’s long standing Board Directors on how they are navigating the pandemic and pivoting their operations…
We’re catching up with a handful of members from across our industry community to see how they’re navigating these unprecedented times. Here we chat to a familiar face, John Condilis, Chair/Co-Founder of Melbourne based label Nobody Denim, and one of AFC’s long standing Board Directors.
For over 20 years Nobody Denim had been working quietly away to simply deliver a great product – designed and made in the heart of Melbourne, Australia. Long celebrated for making women feel more confident in their world and in themselves, Nobody Denim is focused on fostering individuality and inspiring confidence. By listening to the customer, Nobody Denim products are crafted to suit each individual.
Designed from the details up, we believe style is as much about the attitude as it is about the purpose – constantly refining and defining. While our foundations lie in premium denim, today, our approach to design mixes understated ease with confident femininity to create a uniform of quality staples that bridge fashion looks with contemporary street style and its relationship to daily life.
We believe in the longevity of our country as much as that of our collections, which is why our longstanding commitment to ethical manufacturing principals offers a unique vision of responsible design.
Our business has been hugely affected by COVID-19. When this all hit back in March and April there was huge uncertainty in the market with retail shutdowns and mass consumer uncertainty affecting spending and the way we did business. Fast forward to now and stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne have meant a closing of manufacturing, providing challenges we never could have foreseen.
However, we’ve been able to pivot, to adapt and we have re-purposed our sewing facility to produce scrubs for frontline responders, and masks for government entities including aged-care facilities, healthcare workers and schools. This has enabled us to keep everyone employed and also reassess how we operate as a business.
This year has given the fashion industry a great opportunity to come together and support each other, to collaborate and foster new relationships.
I think we’ll also see a shift to supporting Australian Manufacturing, assessing supply chains and being more transparent as an industry. We’ve also been given a great opportunity to diversify, to reset as a business and really come back to our core product, what we’re known and loved for, to work to our strengths and highlight a return to minimalism and considered dressing.
We’re embarking on a path to consciously consider the product lifecycle for Nobody Denim, we’re expanding our signature offering made in Australia. Diversifying our capabilities, extending our size range and listening to our customer like never before.
We’re fortunate in that we can continue to manufacture PPE so I’ve been focusing efforts on reorganizing the factory floor, investigating new machinery, new fabrics, new innovations in denim world (of which we’ve got some exciting announcements coming) and refocusing the business.
An owner’s job is never done, however I’m grateful to be able to spend more quality time at home with family.
Our advice is to consider your purchase. Support local, support those brands that align with your values and that are not only supporting themselves but supporting the local community. We really are all in this together and it’s time to look in our own backyard and support Australian Made.