BEHIND THE BRAND: WE INTERVIEW PATRICIA OTTO, DESIGNER OF ORGANIC LABEL AWAKEN THE HAUS
Patricia Otto is one-half of Brisbane-based ethical fashion label, Awaken The Haus, a brand that represents the concept of uncovering a deeper, impalpable connection within ourselves. Below, Patricia Otto shares her inspiration, her personal story and her passion for her Australian owned, designed and made ethical fashion label, Awaken The Haus.
Who or what influenced your relationship with fashion growing up?
My grandmother and mother used to sew.
Did you study fashion or are you self-taught?
I studied fashion at MSIT in Brisbane.
Why and when did you launch your own brand?
When I was working in offshore production within fashion, I experienced some of the terrible conditions and exploitation that people, the environment, and animals were put through just to earn a quick buck. I launched Awaken The Haus in 2014 to combat this, and my brother Bernie joined the brand at the end of 2015.
Describe your brand to our readers?
Awaken The Haus offers wardrobe basics for men and women that make you look and feel good while doing good.
Where are your garments designed and made?
Our garments are all designed and made in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Describe your average week?
It's a juggling act! Between the business, raising a very energetic six-year-old boy and studying, it can get pretty tricky!
Why are you passionate about manufacturing your brand in Australia?
Australia has so many skilled people that take great pride in their work. Running an Australian business myself, it just makes perfect sense to keep the manufacturing here too.
Explain the process of one of your garments?
It all starts with the fabric; I work with the drape of the fabric and design to suit the material and I aim to ensure minimal waste throughout production.
What do you think about fast fashion?
I believe that it’s a downward spiral that consumers are tricked into; they are made to feel it’s what they need and that there are no other choices for them.
How do you define ethics and how do you apply ethical principles to your business?
Having ethics means you put people, animals, and the planet before making a profit. We apply ethics to Awaken The Haus by sourcing from textile mills that comply with strict safety standards and who use hyper-local production. This reduces our carbon footprint and supports other local businesses too.
How do you define sustainability and how do you apply sustainability to your business?
Sustainability is about living in a way that does not compromise the way of life for future generations. We apply sustainability to Awaken The Haus by using eco-friendly and certified organic fabric, and we design for longevity.
What challenges do you face as an Australian made brand?
One of our challenges is getting the right retail price across our products. Producing ethically in Australia does cost more than manufacturing offshore or working with unethical suppliers, but it’s great to see that once customers see and feel the quality of the fabric and workmanship, it more than makes up for it.
Brand highlights or achievements to date?
Being stocked by The Dress Collective of course!
Support Australian made fashion and shop the full range from Awaken The Haus here to experience their Australian made, handcrafted, sustainable, ethical, vegan, cruelty-free, certified organic and child labour free garments.