This month we're excited to feature our gorgeous designer, Liz, the face behind The Elsewhere Co.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF...
"I’m the designer and founder behind sustainable accessories brand, The Elsewhere Co. I’m also a mum to 2 little boys which keeps me very busy! I love bold colour, travel (hoping to be able to do this again one day!) and believe any outfit can be transformed with beautiful jewellery and accessories. I’m passionate about sustainable fashion and living an adventurous life with consideration for people and the planet."
HOW DID YOU GET INTO DESIGN?
"At university, I studied a BA Media majoring in film and television production (I wanted to be a film director!) but landed a career in product management and marketing where I worked for several consumer goods brands within Australia and the UK. I also studied interior design whilst living and working in London. My corporate roles gave me experience in developing and launching large scale product ranges, however, I always knew I wanted to be working more creatively in an environment where I didn’t have to compromise on my design vision and values. I left my job in London to take a year off travelling through Europe and South East Asia back to Australia. I collected jewellery throughout my travels but was having trouble storing it safely in my backpack. Whilst in Cambodia, I fell in love with the beauty of artisan hand-loomed silk and upon returning to Melbourne, I enrolled in a textile design course at RMIT and developed my very first collection of luxury silk jewellery rolls."
THE BEST PARTS
"I’m so grateful to be able to do what I love every day! And creative freedom! I love being able to design collections without being restricted the way that you are in a corporate environment. It took almost 2 years to design and develop our signature upcycled leather wallet, but the result is an innovative world-first design that you won’t find anywhere else!"
It is my hope that our wallets will keep you organised for many years to come, saving you time, making your every day easier and helping you steal more moments of freedom to pursue an adventurous life – a life less ordinary.
"Fabrics and materials are such an important part of the design process and even more so for sustainable designers. Each material has its own beauty, texture, unique properties and story of how it was made. I love working with interesting materials and finding new ways to reimagine them into luxury items.
As designers, we’re responsible for understanding the materials we work with - how they were made, who made them, their performance, longevity, environmental and social impact and end of life. This takes time, energy and in most instances is more expensive than mainstream alternatives. It’s really rewarding to see that my designs offer a significant step change towards a more sustainable fashion industry."
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES?
"There’s never enough time!
It’s difficult managing all aspects of the business and I often find myself working long hours, nights and weekends, although I am getting better at outsourcing! The mum/work-life balance is a constant juggle and has been particularly challenging this year as I’ve been home-schooling during Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown.
Whilst I have a background in marketing, I’ve had to learn the complexities of e-commerce marketing from scratch and I’m still learning!
As a small independent label, there’s always a large financial outlay when investing in new collections. You really need to be confident in your design and market fit."
WHY DID YOU START THE ELSEWHERE CO?
"Whilst selling a small collection of silk jewellery rolls as a side business when my children were young, I observed that the accessories market had become increasingly flooded with cheap mass-produced items made from synthetic materials. These poor quality products often end up in landfill after a very short life span.
It was then that I decided to launch The Elsewhere Co., an independent label with a design philosophy that rejects all that’s ordinary, lacklustre and thoughtlessly produced. Through the label I wanted to demonstrate that it’s possible to create thoughtfully designed accessories in which luxury and sustainability can exist in harmony. I researched materials for the new collection and came across upcycled leather, a sustainable material with low environmental impact which saves large volumes of waste from reaching landfill. It was perfect for the collection.
If a small independent label can develop luxury accessories that are also sustainable, then there’s no excuse for the big brands."
WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE?
"I have so many ideas for new collections which I’m currently exploring. I’m continuing to focus on sustainable design and transforming upcycled materials into luxury accessories. There are lots of new eco-friendly materials emerging which I’m really excited about.
I’m also drafting a sustainability roadmap for the label to ensure we’re always working hard behind the scenes to improve our sustainability credentials. I’m so proud of how much I’ve been able to achieve but sustainability is a continuous journey."
WHAT MAKES THE ELSEWHERE CO EVEN MORE SPECIAL?
Not only do The Elsewhere Co. provide sustainably made luxe products that look amazing, but they also do their bit in contributing to environmental restoration initiatives.
"We're helping to restore the balance of our natural environment through our partnership with Greening Australia. For every sale made through The Elsewhere Co. we donate $1 to Greening Australia to support their revegetation work in places like The Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania's Island Ark and their nationwide bushfire recovery program."
Love this? Shop The Elsewhere Co at Design A Space Windsor.