FASHION LABEL DEBUT: Ashleigh White (centre) launches her Ash White label at Mackay's only stockist, House of Caicos, Mount Pleasant Plaza, with the owners of the store, Sheree Clark (right) and Gemma Binder.

A LIFELONG passion and dream has finally come to fruition for young fashion designer Ashleigh White.

She launched her self-titled label at her first Mackay stockist on Friday and will be doing the same in other states, and possibly overseas, in months to come.

The first lot of clothing from Ms White’s summer/spring collection will be available to purchase at Mackay’s House of Caicos at Mt Pleasant Plaza, formerly Copper and Sass.

The collection includes lots of natural colours, cotton and linen creations, offering everything from tops, pants, dresses and shorts to handmade brass earrings and tote bags.

“For the moment it’s our one Mackay stockist that’s on board for this collection, but that should hopefully grow as I have more items available and into the winter drop,” she said.

“I am in talks with others stockists in New South Wales, Victoria and even Sri Lanka at the moment to see if we can expand there.

“The garments from this collection are very summery, coastal, natural colours and dyes, hand-sewn fabrics great for tropical climates.”

Ms White’s fashion label dream began six years ago, while travelling on a bus to a resort-wear fashion show in Goa, India, although her love for fashion and design started at just six years old.

Along the way she realised her goal was to build a brand that worked with artisan communities to create modern products, and in travelling overseas she managed to do just that.

She was working at a manufacturing company in Sri Lanka and soon realised she wanted to combine her love of fashion with her strong beliefs surrounding human rights to build an ethical clothing line, from there Ash White Designs, was born.

Ms White has since travelled to various parts of India; Delhi, Coimbatore and outer districts of Mumbai, where she met the staff that would bring her products to life.

In addition to ensuring her products are made ethically, Ms White has also chosen to use natural dyes for her clothing.

“We want to limit our impact on our makers and our environment and we love working with natural dyes,” she said.

With her summer/spring collection already available online and in stores, Ms White has since begun working on her winter/autumn launch and will travel back to India at the end of the year to work on it with her manufactures.

“I’ve just found a manufacturer I really like so that’s exciting and I’m hoping to make a trip once or twice a year to keep touching base with them and working on new things,” she said.

“I want to make sure I’m spending time with my makers and that they are happy and being looked after, at the moment I have one lady who has worked a great deal on my first collection.

“I’ll be popping back later this year to work on the next season.”

House of Caicos currently stocks some of Ms White’s collection, however, all items are available for purchase online at:

Ms White said any interested buyers in the Mackay region could also schedule a time to visit her at her local studio and be properly fitted before their purchase.

“I’m only doing it in Mackay, but women are welcome to come in for a fitting if they want to enquire about certain products,” she said.

“Hopefully soon we will have more stockists on board and so customers can find the label in a variety of stores.”


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