Stories

A love project.

We dash love is a love project, our end game and the dream job. It’s what I picture myself still doing in years to come when I live on a small country farm in Tasmania with lots of animals and growing our own food. We don’t live in Tasmania yet, we actually live in Melbourne, basically the polar opposite of Tasmania but it’s all part of our journey.

We dash love is run by myself (Ash- Photo below. Please note: I largely dislike photos hence why my head is turned away from the camera) and my partner Gregory, part time creative, fulltime minion. Along with running We dash love we both study in fields that will help us grow our love project. I study photography and Gregory studies graphic design.

I grew up with my Nan and Pop on a large deer farm west of Coffs Harbour, NSW. My childhood consisted of making clothing with my nan, dreaming about the amazing fashion designer I’d grow up to be, selling my handmade mud pies to imaginary friends (because my real ones lived too far away) and bottle feeding baby deers in the kitchen while watching them slip on the titles, really, just like the movie Bambi!

I decided at 20, when all of my friends were travelling the world that it was a brilliant idea to do a short course in small business and open my own clothing store (for the record, I do not recommend taking a short course in business and then opening a business). I’d never worked in retail or worked in a managerial role. I decided I wanted to make my business ‘destination’ so I added a cafe, art gallery, found a huge space and went for it. Conceptually, it was pretty good. We stocked emerging Australian designer labels not for their ethics or sustainability because i hadn’t really thought about that yet; instead, for their craftsmanship, use of quality fabrics and on shore production.

After almost 2 years, working 7 days a week, i made the really tough decision to shut the doors. I realised I was no where near ready to take on such a mammoth task single handedly. At the time I felt like I failed but now view it as one of my greatest accomplishments. There is no greater experience than actually experiencing something firsthand. It was a great foot in the door, I went on to work for huge fashion labels more determined than ever to get everything i could out of it to one day do it all again.

My time working for these larger brands was when I came to understand ethics and sustainability or in this case lack there of. Many questions were raised but no answers accessible. Eventually I lost respect for the brands I’d once loved. I quit my job and started planning We dash love.

We don’t have a degree in sustainability or a masters in saving the world, we are simply customers who love fashion and are looking for better options, options that create change in one of the most destructive industries in the world. We want to share with you what we have found along the way.

Ashly