Ricepaper is a Melbourne based womenswear label featuring wonderfully simple, wearable designs by Eve Walton-Heale. In a market seemingly crowded by crummy fast fashion garments that often don’t last a single season, finding quality, timeless staples is tantamount to striking wardrobe gold. Sticking to a simple, earthy colour palette and flattering feminine cuts, Eve has managed to create a beautiful collection of versatile pieces. We chatted to her about ethical fashion, finding inspiration through travel and the beginnings of her label.
Tell us about your journey - how did you get into fashion?
Fashion has always been a big interest for me- it has sort of developed over time, but I became more intrigued with it in later years in high school and then went on to study it at Uni, from there I have been lucky enough to been working in the industry for four years in a number of roles before deciding to go into business myself.
Tell us how Ricepaper was born.
Ricepaper was born and created as a symbol of transparency. It is simple in complexion and a base ingredient to creating something. The transparent texture of Ricepaper itself resonated with my designs, simple and naturally organic in form- since launching these, ideas have really been growing and I am happy in the direction it is moving.
I have always believed in shape, function and celebrating natural beauty so the idea of Ricepaper really grew from these concepts combined with the idea of having a transparent brand.
What is unique about the fashion industry in Melbourne in your opinion?
I think the stand out feature of the Melbourne fashion scene is the diversity it brings to the industry. There are so many options when it comes to local brands that incorporate a mixture of design concepts, sustainability and their own unique touch to their labels- local brands are standing for similar concepts but really putting their own twists on their collections.
Who/what do you look for style inspiration and why?
My Inspiration comes from all sorts of places, I think the main one is travel. I have been lucky enough to travel most of Asia and I would say most of the simplicity and functionality of the brand has been inspired by Japan- I am obsessed with the culture and their lifestyle.
I also get inspired by simple design lines, flowing fabrics and muted colour schemes – I believe if an outfit has this basis then its naturally stylish.
What does slow fashion mean to you and how do you engage in this movement?
Slow fashion to me means fashion that has been bought to last a lifetime-there has been a conscious decision behind the supply chain and the purchase.
Unfortunately slow fashion is a concept that is challenging the industry at the moment- Supply chains are having a greater effect on not only our planet but the workers involved at each stage 80% of which are women who are not receiving a living wage. Our industry accounts for 10% of carbon emissions and is the second most polluting industry across the world- fast fashion is creating a very bleak scenario for the future and our planet.
One of the biggest fears I have with this issue is that the big brands are not educating consumers on how destructive buying an inexpensive garment can be. They are not being transparent with manufacturing, quality or waste but instead are providing a fashionable garment that may last a wearer 1-2 wears.
Ricepaper The Label is one of the many businesses that is trying to refocus the customer on durability and quality, we are providing a choice while trying to educate the consumer on the reality of fast fashion and engaging them in perhaps taking a few steps closer to making a conscious decision when purchasing.
It's awesome that your clothes are ethically produced in Indonesia. How did you go about sourcing and finding an ethical option for getting your clothes made?
It's always extremely hard to find suppliers in our industry and unfortunately not much information is shared as to how you go about sourcing a manufacturer, It did take me around about 6 months to find an option for Ricepaper. I am lucky enough to have had some connections with some factories in Indonesia via a friend in Melbourne, part of the reason why I finally decided to go in to business was the fact that I had found an ethical option and knew that with committing to the label I was also committing to a local community of women in Indonesia and helping with employment- that also would provide a safe work environment for them as well.
When are you feeling the most creative?
I always feel the most creative when I have a clear mind, if my brain is foggy the creative stuff doesn’t usually get finished.
It’s always nice have some time up your sleeve to really go into your own creative space and create ideas that have been forming in the back of your mind for weeks- this is always what happens to me, I’ll get a great idea and have to store it in my mind and develop it for sometimes weeks before I actually sit down and sketch it -but once I start I can’t stop!
What is your personal uniform/style?
I’ve always kept my uniform pretty simple with a touch of elegance- but mainly whatever I am comfortable in wearing for the day. That’s the freedom and excitement with fashion, you should never feel like you should wear something just for the sake of it. My morning routine usually consists of working out my mood/body for the day and then I pick an outfit from there.