Meaning “you” in French, VOUS is an Australian slow fashion label crafting garments and accessories that explore the concepts of beauty, the natural environment, and you.
Renee Verdon, VOUS’ founder, is a huge advocate for slow fashion, and this is obvious in the way she conducts her business. Through considered design and a slow approach, Renee ensures that all products bearing the VOUS name are quality-made and long lasting, and will (hopefully) remain out of landfill for good.
After having a successful career in Clinical Psychology, Renee wanted a change. Is it selfish to say we’re glad she did? Renee studied at The Fashion Design Studio, Sydney Institute – an institute that has seen coveted designers including Alex Perry and Lisa Ho grace its halls – and from here, VOUS was born.
All of the VOUS products are designed in-house in the VOUS Newcastle studio, and production occurs in a 100% Australian-owned and family-run small Sydney business. Renee ensures she keeps a close relationship with her manufacturer so she can truly monitor each stage of the garment’s creation.
In a stark contrast to the typical fast fashion model, VOUS only releases two collections per year – an Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer. Yep, you read that correctly. After the collections are designed, sampled and produced, only 10 garments per style per season are created, which essentially means that each and every VOUS purchase is wholly unique.
As for the fabrics used in the VOUS collections, they include natural and organic fibres, and are predominantly responsibly-sourced through a number of Australian wholesalers. The knit fabrics used are manufactured by a mill just outside of Melbourne, and VOUS also makes use of deadstock and end-of-roll fabrics, too. Although some of VOUS’ woven fabrics originate offshore, Renee is transparent with this, and acknowledges that Australia does not have the manufacturing means to create certain fabrics.
Renee is extremely aware of the negative impact fast fashion is having, both socially and environmentally. Because of this, she is completely dedicated to minimising wastage wherever she can. Not only are her garments long-wearing and long-lasting, but any leftover materials are used to create the Zero Waste accessories range. Oh, and by the way, we can confirm that the Zero Waste Tote in Olive is hands down the best tote bag we’ve ever had the pleasure of owning.
VOUS’ slow approach to fashion is absolutely commendable, and is also completely obvious through every aspect of the business. Renee’s efforts as a small business owner to reduce waste, source and produce locally, and to ensure her garments are durable and long-lasting shows that she is dedicated to her customers, to the people who create her garments, and to the planet on which the garments will remain in circulation for many years to come.
Want to know where VOUS sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.
The VOUS brand uses natural fibres in each collection. These include organic cotton, linen and RWS wool. Our packaging is 100% plastic free and we use 100% recycled cardboard boxes to pack and send our products. Our lookbooks and any marketing materials are printed on recycled paper.
All garments are designed in-house in Newcastle NSW. Production occurs in Sydney by small family businesses that are 100% Australian owned. Keeping our relationships within the Australian manufacturing industry enables us to truly monitor each stage of a garments creation. Our makers, cutters and pattern makers are paid a fair wage which is set by the worker themselves.
VOUS believes that fast fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Our approach aims to minimize waste by creating long wearing garments that will take pride of place in your wardrobe for years to come. Our production processes also utilize as much fabric as possible, by creating our Zero Waste accessories from left over materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill.
VOUS regularly supports the Red Cross via a monthly donation. We also give preloved, sample and unsold garments to our local preloved retailers to be sold in their stores.
VOUS is able to trace our production line and the processes associated with production, as this either occurs in our Newcastle studio or through small family businesses in Sydney. Traceability of our fabric supply chain however is a more complicated process. We aim to be as informed and honest about our knowledge as possible. Traceability of fabric supply chains is an area of our business that that we are committed to working on.
Want to hear more about Renee’s journey to creating VOUS? You can do so here.
“I believe that it is the small independent slow fashion brands, the local independent retailers, the slow homewares shop that you love to stroll through and the everyday person that falls in love with your brand that will make difference in our world. To me they are the everyday movers and shakers”.