Fashion

DENIMSMITH – ETHICAL DENIM, MADE IN MELBOURNE.

October 11, 2018

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DENIMSMITH

A passionate dedication to the history and hard-work of the local community, Denimsmith launched in 2015 as a collaborative vision of veteran Australian designers and makers who are committed to the ethical production of high-quality denim clothing.

Denimsmith takes locally-made to a whole new level and is proudly accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia.

With the way the world is today, being ethical is the way of the future for brands. Consumers are becoming far more invested in the ethical side of how things are done!

Ticking all the boxes, including ethical, fit, quality and style, Denimsmith items are a staple for every wardrobe.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Vinh, Director and Leonie, Creative Director to ask them a few questions on about Denimsmith.

How was Denimsmith born?

Denimsmith is the vision of two veteran denim addicts, Vinh Le and myself. I am a designer and Vinh a garment manufacturer.

Vinh and I have had a mutual respect for our work since starting our professional relationship in the mid 90’s. Over the past 20 years, I have witnessed Vinh’s manufacturing business shrink as brands chase margins and profits by choosing to compromise on quality and work with cheaper off-shore manufacturers.

Vinh wanted to keep his factory open and was passionate about manufacturing high-quality denim in Australia.  So, five years ago Vinh approached me to create a brand for his family and as a result, in 2015 Denimsmith was born.”

  Leonie, Creative Director – Denimsmith

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Who is the Denimsmith wearer?

“Our customers are conscientious, they seek out high-quality jeans and really appreciate and respect the story behind our brand.

We love it when our customers visit our stores, they are lovely and are often locals, from the northern suburbs of Melbourne.”

Leonie, Creative Director – Denimsmith

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What I love most about Denimsmith is the label is proudly accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. Why is being ethical so important to Denimsmith?

“We have always cultivated a happy, nurturing and diverse workplace. We are the ‘workers’ so we know and value the importance of a fair working environment.

It is important for us to be part of Ethical Clothing Australia, as we love hard work and campaigning they do for our industry.”

      Leonie, Creative Director – Denimsmith

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What makes a great pair of jeans?

“High-quality fabric and craftsmanship, comfortable design, authentic washes and love.”

Vinh, Director – Denimsmith

“With wear, they get better and better; the true characteristics of the denim really shines through”.

   Leonie, Creative Director – Denimsmith

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Denimsmith is a family business, how do you manage the work/family dynamics?

“I work with my wife, daughter, son, sister, brother, and sister-in-law.  I am one of 11 children, so we’ve always had to work together.  Growing up my mother and father were very strict to try and ensure we didn’t argue, and this respect is something that has always stayed with us.

I am a businessman when I step inside the factory, as I have to manage everything.  However, the moment I walk out the door I leave everything behind and come back to being a husband, father, brother, and I look after my family.

I’m much more relaxed at home than at work.  This way I can control both home and work, but if I bring work home then it’s too hard at home, it puts too much pressure on my wife and children, which is not right.  It’s like your hand has two sides, top and bottom – you can’t mix them.”

     Vinh, Director – Denimsmith

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What’s the must-have Denimsmith piece this collection? 

“Our Banji jean in bleached indigo is the must-have item from our Spring/Summer 2018 collection. The fabric used is a part dip 10oz denim which has been bleached to a beautiful soft summer blue; it has a high rise fit and gorgeous draping wide leg.”

       Leonie, Creative Director – Denimsmith

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Denimsmith has been around since 2015, what has been the key to your success in such a massive market?

“It has always been very important to us to make a high-quality product. As a family business, we have a special story and we wanted to create items that came directly from our hands to our customers.”

   Vinh, Director – Denimsmith

“I think it all comes down to transparency and as a collective of industry professionals we all have over 20 years of experience, which means that we not only know the denim industry, we are also very passionate about it.  I believe this expertise and passion has also helped our success.”

      Leonie, Creative Director – Denimsmith

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Fast fashion vs Denimsmith, How do you compete with such a consumer-driven industry? 

“We can’t compete, it’s that simple.  But more importantly, we don’t want to be part of fast fashion – that’s not what we stand for.

We take pride in sourcing our material from responsible denim mills, we take our time to improve our skills and produce high-quality garments. We believe in ‘slow make’ -valuing quality and craftsmanship over quantity.”

       Leonie, Creative Director – Denimsmith

“Our focus on producing quality items for our customers means that aside from the premium fabric, it takes us about 70 minutes to hand make a pair of jeans (after the design and pattern have been finalised), whereas in China they take about 15 minutes and use big machines.  For our denim jackets, these take us about two hours to make, whereas in China it takes them approximately 45 minutes.”

   Vinh, Director – Denimsmith

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I can’t thank Vinh and Leonie enough for having me in the factory. I was a great honour to hear the story and the journey that is Denimsmith.
I love brands that are ethical and want to change the industry.  We all need to make a conscious effort, make a change for the better.

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For all your Denim needs, hit up DENIMSMITH and know you a contributing to some ethical fashion choices.

Studio + Factory + Store

15-17 Kirkdale Street, Brunswick East VIC 3057
Trading Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am4 pm

Store – Fitzroy

73 Gertrude Street Fitzroy VIC 3057
Trading Hours:
Wednesday to Friday, 10 am6 pm
Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Phone: 03 9042 3416

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