Emma for International Women's Day
To celebrate International Women's Day and the launch of RISE, we spoke to Emma - a woman we deeply admire and the face of Collection 9.
Not only does Emma work actively to create a more ethical world through her own business, she also has a way with words and discussing her personal and professional values with honesty and compassion in a way that we can all learn from.
In in her own words:
"I’m always checking in with my values and they’re evolving and strengthening and like to share and discuss with people who I know have strong morals too."
[Emma wears Straight Slip, drop 1 + Rise Jumper, drop 2]
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Emma. I‘m the founder and director of Willow Creative Co which works mostly as two things: a production agency creating and shooting for ethical brands, and an ethics consultancy agency which helps brands and businesses become kinder. Through Willow I’m a lot of things, including a producer. I’m also a model and someone who loves vegan pancakes almost as much as seeing the world become kinder.
Tell us about your relationship with Lois Hazel?
I first wore Lois Hazel to VAMFF last year, as a part of a collaboration with Lustr Style x The Aus Fashion Council. I really loved the ethics of the brand and I went on to model for their most recent campaign, shot mid last year (good things take time)!
I think Lois Hazel is really special because through the use of deadstock materials, no additional harm or ‘taking‘ has occurred. I think it is incredible how the brand is so transparent about every step of their production, down to where zippers are made. I think a lot of brands wouldn’t want to do that because they want to keep ahead of competition and keep sourcing secrets to themselves, but Lois Hazel chooses morality over that. Transparency is so much safer for everyone involved.
What does International Women’s Day (IWD) mean to you?
It means taking time to acknowledge the many women previously, who have made the world more fair for women, while also acknowledging the work that still must be done to see equality. It means celebrating womanhood - both how it is unifying and brilliantly diverse.
[Emma wears Wrap Dress + Straight Duster, both drop 2]
Name 3 women that inspire you.
My Mum, who is a force of good. Tarana Burke, who is a civil rights activist, the founder of the Me Too movement and Senior Director at Girls For Gender Equity.
Zoë Condliffe, the founder and director of She’s A Crowd, a tech start up which collects data around sexual harassment and assault through the power of story telling. She’s A Crowd analyses stories and finds ‘trends’ in this ‘data with soul’ (love some Brene Brown) which in turn is used to inform those who can make change and make the world safer for women. I am branding strategist at SAC!
As you know, the theme for this year’s IWD is “Balance for Better”. How do you maintain balance in your daily life?
This is something I’m really working on at the moment, and something I struggle with. But I am consciously trying to balance pushing myself to achieve my goals and create positive change, with giving myself time to rest and just be happy. I think we all have a responsibility to look outside ourselves and do good, but just as much, we have a responsibility to care for ourselves. An unlit candle can’t light another and personal pleasure is not wrong. I think one thing I love about myself and so many women in my life is how we nurture and give. We need to balance this by nurturing ourselves!
What would a gender-balanced world look like to you?
I think it would be a world where all women could walk through life without persecution, an ever present fear for their safety, without looming violence, or unjust treatment and stereotyping weighing on their shoulders. I actually think it would be a world that thinks less about gender perhaps, where people can just be! I think it’s important too to note, that some women who are more systematically oppressed than I, may feel these weights more than I, and that women with privilege need to lift up women around them, if we are ever going to see that world. Womanhood has to be inclusive.
How do you think the fashion industry can help support creating a more gender-balanced world?
A lot of things. By treating the women within the industry, and those who make clothes, with respect. It’s not going to happen overnight but there must be a move towards gender equality all the way through supply chains. A move to liveable wages. A move to safe work environments. This need for respect should include designers and models.
We need to celebrate woman creatives, and have equal opportunity for them. While many of the most celebrated brands are run by men, there are absolutely as many brilliantly artistic women creating too. In terms of models, I’d like the fashion industry to become more mindful of the negative impact they have on models, and the women who look at models, when they set such limited beauty ideals - and place most importance on beauty, rather than an abundance of other wonderful things a woman can be. Like kind, for example.
What is your favourite piece from RISE?
The RISE Pleat Pants
[on sale with Drop 2 - mid April]
[Emma wears Rise Shirt, drop 1, Hancock Coat, drop 2, Pleat Pant, drop 2]
Shop Drop 1 of RISE now.
We're really proud to be using some beautiful organic cottons and hemp fabrics in this collection, we can't wait for you to fall in love too.
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