With the news just before Christmas that online retailers Asos are financially imploding, we speak to Welsh fashion designer, Sonia Edwards to hear her thoughts, and she tells us that she’s not surprised.
Welsh Designer, Sonia Edwards has long campaigned against the world of rip-off, throwaway fashion and has taken her campaign to the top of the government and won a landmark copyright case, defending her intellectual property against known brands.
Famous for her Veggings brand, Sonia has experienced the dark side of the fashion industry which, as she predicted, has led to the downfall of companies like ASOS, who released the news just before Christmas of their spiralling profits. Sonia is passionate about protecting young, independent designers like herself, noting that it is not uncommon for these designers to take their designs to big manufacturers only to be ripped off, seeing their designs on a global brand label with no prospect of royalties.
Sonia says, “I have been noting the fast increase of new online retailers and identified the stock coming from mass manufacturers worldwide who allow retailers to add a brand logo onto the garments they supply their customers. This is all very well providing the designs don’t belong to anyone else. Manufacturers seem to think it’s acceptable to take someone else’s design, make small changes to it and sell it as their own. According to the Copyright Design Act 1988 Section 107, it illegal to make adaptations to someone else’s intellectual property and sell it on. It is this that is damaging young designers.”
“Young designers and small design businesses would probably have a chance of maintaining business if they could access the legal requirements more easily. Currently, ridiculous fees are required before any case is heard. Removing the High Court fees would have an adverse knock-on effect on how design is valued in the justice system, as we would see an increase of cases regarding infringement. This would encourage more designers to use the intellectual property office as they would be able to take legal action against any infringements.”
“If these changes were made, it would open up to designers making more business in the UK to trade. If we are going to make Britain great again we need to change our laws in business and intellectual property systems.”
Sonia notes how “Many large-scale manufacturers rip-off young designers, taking their designs to sweatshops using cheap labour and cheap fabric. This leads to a throwaway culture among many young consumers who feed their fashion craving on cheap, discounted clothing and often discard after one wear. Instead of up-cycling, these pristine garments end up in land-fill sites. The big fast fashion retailers are responsible for encouraging this sabotage.”
Sonia predicted that the rip-off culture of greed and copyright infringement would eventually eat itself and it’s happening. The storm of cheap discount clothing fuelled by the ‘Black Friday’ mentality has gripped the global fashion industry and resulted in the closure of many high-street brands. Now it’s the turn of the online retailers to reap the bitter harvest of cut-price fashion which has an adverse effect on the industry.
Sonia believes the only way for the fashion industry to come out of this nose dive is to think more intelligently and create a more sustainable attitude to fashion which is what her brands promote.
Specialising in designing multiple-use garments, Sonia designed her infinite combination bikini top in 2010, alongside her top-selling brand ‘Sleevzies’. The collection is designed to transform your favourite outfit endlessly, with over 60 styles to choose from, which you can view at www.sleevzies.com
Available in sizes 6-20, ‘Sleevzies’ are all made with stretch fabrics. Covering all eventualities, some ‘Sleevzies’ are thermal 1.8 tog while others are designed for sports compression, helping to combat the dreaded bingo wing from forming or over-stretching. Sleevzies also offer detachable collars to transform any outfit, as well as bridal styles with personal custom orders.
Sonia’s ‘Sleevzies’ are a great way of creating multiple new looks with few clothing components, so you can wear that one little dress again and again. Sustainable and innovative fashion which saves your wallet, helps the environment and makes you look fabulous – what more could you want?
Sleevzies aims to become a renowned brand, and having just been granted it’s Trademark, are now ready to supply wholesale to the likes of resellers on Amazon and retailers world wide. And with customers as far as Australia we think they are here to stay.
Please contact email@example.com for enquiry.
You can follow @sleevzies on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sleevzies/), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sleevzies/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/sleevzies) or visit Sonia’s online shop www.sleevzies.com and https://www.cwtchycwtchy.co.uk/.
Make sure you look out for the discount code! For wholesale, contact Sonia Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org
Words by Sonia Edwards