We love showcasing the passionate people who help elevate and share independent designers and start-ups stories. The platforms who understand the immense value of support and collaboration in the early years to help grow awareness of the talent and incredibly unique products out there.
I’ve had the pleasure to interview Kassandra Craig, one of these fabulous minds, with a gorgeous humble soul, who’s bringing these designers and creatives together. Fashion brands and artists from all around the world join The Inspired Co to make a difference and here’s how the journey all began.
“Almost 70 founders and brands featured to date, it is a platform of exceptional creative talent and a beautifully engaging design community.”
The Inspired Co
The Inspired Co is a design platform and community that celebrates creative talent and seeks to shine the spotlight on the individuals behind the brands, with a strong focus on supporting independent, emerging and sustainable designers and brands.
Our platform celebrates all creatives – artists and designers and often the combined effort of the many involved. This includes artisans, jewellery designers, fashion designers, creative directors and stylists, photographers, interiors including artists, furniture designers and more. We feature the founders and creative teams behind the designs / brands in our INTERVIEW SERIES – a ‘meet the creatives behind the brands’ series that shares their personal story and offers their insights to emerging designers just entering the market.
I founded The Inspired Co in 2018 as I have a strong love for design due to many years of travel, for sustainability (having an Environmental Protection university degree), but having led a career in PR, Brand and Marketing for the last decade. While working in PR, Brand and Marketing, I recognised the many emerging and independent designers and start-ups in need of support to grow their profiles and brands. Often these creatives are individuals or small teams that are amazing at driving the design and creative elements of their business, but are often time poor and not experienced in growing their brands through PR, brand and marketing strategy – and more often than not, they have little budget to invest in PR and Marketing.
Bringing Together a Community
The Inspired Co has built an amazing and engaged design community that shares their stories, insights and experiences, and supports each other and collaborates where it makes sense. We love telling their stories, profiling their amazingly creative work, sharing insights to benefit emerging artists and designers, and promoting sustainability and the ‘small steps’ we can all take in the design industry, globally. We promote being conscious consumers and supporting independents and sustainably driven designers. We only profile designers and artists that we engage with directly and we find that everyone is so supportive and engaged in what we are doing. It is a wonderful experience to share more about these amazingly talented individuals and profile stories about their creative drive and their experiences in shaping their brands or artistic work. With amazing brands such as Hills & West, As We Are Now – Oslo, Nosbyn Studio – Vietnam, Hoko Studio – Tel Aviv, Marlo by Marlo – Sydney, Lois Hazel – Melbourne, Valentine Gauthier – Paris, Bower Swimwear – United Kingdom, The R Collective – Hong Kong, and almost 70 founders and brands featured to date, it is a platform of exceptional creative talent and a beautifully engaging design community.
Curated Collections – Digital Showroom
Our Curated Collections are another channel for shining the spotlight on the designers and artists featured on our platform and showcasing a unique, select collection of independent and sustainable designers to our audience. It is a digital showroom of bespoke designers that connects to our ‘behind the interview’ series to bring another dimension to their brand story – and particularly for the smaller independent and emerging designers, helping to either showcase their designs to another market or drive traffic to their online store and support their latest collections.
For example, we recently launched our Summer Curated Collection. With a strong Australian following, this Curated Collection showcases the new label, As We Are Now, founded by Anette Miwa Dimmen of Oslo, Norway to our Australian audience. Anette’s designs and her brand philosophy are innovative and unique and the label’s commitment to sustainability and smart womenswear is very inspiring. Not only is AW:AN’s resort wear beautifully crafted, sustainable and versatile for its AM to PM wearing, but it also incorporates mosquito protection technology. This is amazing.
Anette pre-launched AW:AN with a pre-order crowdfunding campaign, challenging the normal supply chain set up for fashion by producing based on orders in one large batch instead of pre-buying stock before sales are made.
Being able to engage with this calibre of a founder and share Anette’s vision to a wider audience such as in Australia is an honour and very rewarding. See our interview with Anette online.
We launched our Curated Collection of Jewellery designers first and followed with our most recent Summer Curated Collection. We have also recently released our spotlight on sustainably driven designers online too! This features amazing designers and brands including Less Less, The Sept, Marlo by Marlo, Bower, As We Are Now, and Eco Intimates.
Sustainability in Design and Fashion
I think there are amazing people and organisations doing some truly remarkable work to advocate, drive and enable greater sustainability in the industry. It is about harnessing these voices and sharing more of what they are doing to drive greater sustainability and offering simple, small step solutions as a starting point both for consumers and businesses.
If everyone takes a first small step collectively we can continue to increase the focus on why it matters so much and start to normalise behaviours such as buying from those designers who use recycled materials and minimise waste production and pollution – products that are made to last.
Some of the designers and organisations we engage with and are in awe of what they are doing to make a difference include Seajasper, Ecologic, Envelope1976, Econyl brand, Monkey Glasses, My General Store, Cathrine Hammel, Limited Collective, No More Plastic and many more.
Ultimately it’s about consumers buying quality garments that are made to last so that in the long term we are buying less, and designers being more environmentally responsible and doing their part to reduce waste and pollution. I am by no means an expert but I am proud to promote brands such as Marlo by Marlo where 50% of their collection is made-to-order and sustainability is built into their entire supply chain, as well as the many more featured on our platform.
Being Australian I am very passionate about supporting local designers and brands. We have some truly exceptional creative design talent in Australia that is inspired and influenced by a beautiful blend of cultures. To date, we have featured an amazing selection of Australian independent designers on our platform including Hills & West, Helana McKenzie Designers, Pollen & Plume, Sofia Maria, Jackie Mack, The Line of Sun, Brave Edith, Kathleen Kedwell, Susan Driver, Aacute, Une Piece, Eco Intimates, Robe, Rudi Miro, Kate & Confusion, Bowie Rae, Keevil,Marlo by Marlo, Vehla Eyewear, Kehoe, Lois Hazel, Kaluarie, Isabella Charles, Autark, Gehrich, Rueben Daniel Furniture, and more.
This month we are excited to see some amazing events, activations and stores that are all playing a very important role in profiling Australia’s design talent.
This includes the pending opening of Faid Store in Sydney showing a bespoke collection of Australian designers, as well as Brisbane Fashion Month a month-long event dedicated to profiling Queensland’s design talent and there is so much more happening across the coming months. It’s such a wonderful time of year in Australia.
Thanks Kass for supporting and introducing us to so many amazing designers truly pushing boundaries and standing true for what they believe in. If everyone is a little more conscious it will have a big impact on our future.