Strike a Balance

Simétrie

1. No Poverty 3. Good Health and Well-Being 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 14. Life Below Water 15. Life on Land

Overview

Strike a balance.
Zero overproduction.
Zero plastic.
Zero chemicals.
Biodegradable.
Local.
Safe place for women.
Slow fashion.

Bringing a sense of community to the practice of art: giving people creative skills, bringing people together using sustainable materials and creating good for the world. This is the main goal of Simétrie, making the right turn in the fashion industry by handcrafting kangaroo leather bags and organizing workshops. Simone, founder of Simétrie, also believes she can educate young people, change their buying habits and let them care about the environment. She believes in a world as a sharing community.

Author

Karolina Reifova

Karolina Reifova

School

Monash University

Monash University

Professor

Gitanjali Bedi

Gitanjali Bedi

Innovation

Simone wanted to create something unique for the fashion industry. Her business consists of 2 parts: selling leather handbags and organizing creative workshops.

Simétrie is not a vegan brand because Simone believes the new trend going vegan is not a solution because it contains plastic. Simone wants to create without plastic. She uses all natural fibers like cotton and hemp which are biodegradable. Hemp also needs 50% less water than cotton to grow.

She chose leather because it's water restrained. She learned a lot about sustainability and navigated her product towards sustainability which is to make the leather products in the most sustainable way. That´s why she chose kangaroo leather. According to RSPCA, kangaroo leather is the most human method of animal slaughter. She works with suppliers who keep the population on the sustainable level, which is the definition of the sustainability. Her suppliers tan the skin without chemicals and without metals and dyes are water-based. She also visited them and made sure that it's the kind of place where she would like to work and a good place for workers.

Another interesting thing about her business is that Simone never does surplus, she waits for an order to make the product. She also does everything locally and wants to give women chance here in Australia.

Her bags have a life time guarantee because she wants her customers to carry the bag as long as possible.

Simone´s vision is to create a model where she could take unskilled women bring them to the workshops, teach them how to do handbags and offer them employment.

Strike a Balance

Inspiration

Several events led Simone to create her business.

First, Simone was always handcrafting when she was a child because her mum was encouraging her to create. Creating was something she really loved. It made her feel confident, good, distressed and fulfilled. She believes that creating can be a therapy for people going through a hard time. She ended up as a handbag designer but it didn´t fulfill her. When she felt unsatisfied she came back to creating products.

Second, when Simone and her sister moved out, her mum lost her identity of being a mother and didn´t know what to do. As a 50 year old ethnic woman, she struggled to find a job with her crafting skills.

Third, Simone volunteered in a refugee center.

Fourth, Simone felt always concerned about women in Bangladesh and Vietnam working all day and being paid below minimum living wage.

Finally, Simone went to Papua New Guinea where she discovered a big community of women handcrafting.

Those events led Simone to create Simétrie. A place where she could teach other people to create things and she could also create something that people could buy. A place where people could learn and feel powerful at the same time. A place for women where they can work, feel safe and be able to express themselves

Overall impact

Simone found a perfect balance creating Simétrie by satisfying all three dimensions of the Triple bottom Line. Simone has a clear vision of her business and also a definition of the sustainability. By creating slow fashion without plastic and organizing workshops, Simone preserves our environment from dangerous and toxic chemicals. Simétrie also creates a safe place for women to work and for all people who wants to feel fulfilled. People are benefiting through education, improved morale, and the positive health effects of reduced emissions (Potter, 2017).

Business benefit

Simone has created a competitive advantage for her business by differentiating herself from other businesses in the fashion industry. Offering high quality kangaroo leather handbags and promoting environmental awareness has enabled Simétrie to find its audience and create a customer base in its permanent location in Melbourne. Moreover, another point of difference was added by organizing creative workshops where people learn about handcrafting, slow fashion and sustainable production.

Social and environmental benefit

Nowadays, we all got used to rely on plastic and paying less for products. Simétrie´s mission is to educate people from a young age to do everything with moderation, not to rely on fast fashion and to care about the environment. Simétrie brings personal wins for people during workshops, to feel fulfilled and pride. Simétrie is also a safe place for handcrafting women where they are sure to get paid at least the minimum living wage and feel good while working.

Simétrie preserves the environment from plastics, toxic chemicals and metals by creating almost zero plastic bags from cotton and hemp. Simétrie is known for its responsible consumption and production, it takes only the necessary from our landfill, keeps the kangaroo population on sustainable level and uses more and more raw materials which need less water to grow like for example hemp. By renouncing cow leather, Simétrie renounces the beef industry which requires a lot of deforestation. Simone keeps the production local and keeps the supply chain as short as possible to reduce any kind of emissions.

Interview

simone Agius, Founder

Photo of interviewee

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Simétrie

Simétrie

Melbourne, Victoria, AU

Business Website: https://simetrie.com.au/

Year Founded: 2018

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Strike a balance.
Zero overproduction.
Zero plastic.
Zero chemicals.
Biodegradable.
Local.
Safe place for women.
Slow fashion.

Bringing a sense of community to the practice of art: giving people creative skills, bringing people together using sustainable materials and creating good for the world. This is the main goal of Simétrie, making the right turn in the fashion industry by handcrafting kangaroo leather bags and organizing workshops. Simone, founder of Simétrie, also believes she can educate young people, change their buying habits and let them care about the environment. She believes in a world as a sharing community.