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I have news for you!

It’s a little lengthy, but worth reading through, even if you’ve been a member of the Tribe for a while.

The Smallest Tribe was born out of a need to dress my own tiny kiddo in age appropriate, comfy clothes that let him move and play. My experience as an early childhood teacher had taught me that kiddos don’t need fancy, expensive toys, apps, devices to learn. They just need to explore and play, investigate and think, watch and observe, experience and participate as much and as often as possible. The clothes available limited and hindered him while playing. He got stuck in shorts trying to crawl up a step and couldn’t get a leg over his wheelie bug or trike. And does a 7 month old baby really need denim cargo shorts with 11 pockets?

Because I WAS an early childhood teacher with no experience in fashion, design, retail or manufacturing, I chose to start manufacturing locally, where I could ring the factory and ask questions or go in in person. I chose to use GOTS certified organic cotton, even though it was harder to source and more expensive, so I knew that the people who grew, picked and processed the cotton were doing so in fair and safe working conditions. Transparency and ethical production have always been key components of The Smallest Tribe.

About 6 months after I decided to start The Smallest Tribe, I sat in horror and watched the news reports about the Rana Plaza collapse. 1129 garment and textiles workers died and more than 2500 were injured that day when the factory they were in collapsed. I was already using GOTS certified organic cotton and realised that there was opportunity for The Smallest Tribe to do more than just support the farmers in India who grew the cotton, The Smallest Tribe could support garment and textiles workers in India too. From that point, getting The Smallest Tribe offshore to an ethical, GOTS certified factory became end goal, my own personal measure of success.

Today marks 4 years since the collapse of Rana plaza and is the start of Fashion Revolution week. While mindful that today is a day that marks a great tragedy, I’m so thrilled to announce that our upcoming Summer 17 collection will be manufactured in part by a GOTS certified factory in India. Mohit and his tiny team have been working away at making the screens, dyeing and printing the fabric, and the sewing and finishing of garments is underway this week.

I never meant for The Smallest Tribe to be an Australian made label, I just wanted it to be ethically and sustainably made, and Australian made is how I managed to achieve those goals. I am so proud that Australian manufacturing is something I was able to support and utilise. So proud in fact that THAT part isn’t changing. The Smallest Tribe will continue to be manufactured here in Australia also with special limited edition pieces planned for each season.

Got questions? Email me and ask away! I’m happy to answer them. Transparency has always been an integral part of The Smallest Tribe and that will never change.

Thank YOU for being a member of the Tribe. The Smallest Tribe and I wouldn’t be where we are today without your support.

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