Our story with The Possibility Project began when ELK Creative Director and Co-Founder Marnie Goding was looking for a model to feature in one of our photo shoots. This is where she discovered the beautiful India Stibilj.
At the eCommerce photo shoot for our Identity collection, India was accompanied by her grandmother, Cynthia Pearce, an inspiring woman who instantly connected with Marnie.
Cynthia told Marnie about The Possibility Project, a passion project founded by her daughter Kim and friend, Kath, which focuses on empowering women and offering restorative justice.
This Sydney-based enterprise demonstrates how ordinary people can make extraordinary choices using their existing resources.
Marnie felt honoured when Kim and Kath invited her to speak at the upcoming Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival; an annual celebration of runways, arts, ideas and creative endeavour.
We sat down with Kim Pearce ahead of the VAMFF event to learn more about The Possibility Project.
Tell us about The Possibility Project and how it started?
Like many of life's best adventures, it started over a drink. In our case, it was a cup of tea!
We met on the school run, had a cup of tea and found ourselves in India four months later. While on this trip, we thought we could somehow use our talents purposefully and create some lightness along the way.
The Possibility Project's mission is restorative justice. Can you share more about your mission, and what restorative justice means to you?
Restorative justice has its origins in many indigenous cultures. When someone commits a ‘wrong’, communities gather to solve problems for a peaceful resolution. Punishment and pointing the finger is replaced with conversation and connection.
We work within the fashion industry and want to help create a shared dialogue when it comes to solving complex environmental and social problems. We resonate with the ethos of restorative justice and its more peaceful approach.
Why is it important for your clothing label, slumwear108, to be made in a circular economy?
At the heart of circular economics is a vision for society to reimagine waste. Kath and I have an abundance of creative spirit and when you put waste and creativity together, you are naturally in circularity. We are mums and we believe in the power of common sense to solve problems, so we honour this process through slumwear108.
What are some key steps we can each take to reducing our footprint and contribute to a circular economy?
Vivienne Westwood says it best, "Buy less, choose well, make it last".
It was so fitting that before our very first venture to India, Kath encouraged me to buy an amazing silk dress for the trip. It is still as beautiful as ever, has so much significance to me and of course... it's from ELK! If you want to tread lightly, buy from makers that extend kindness throughout their supply chains to both people and planet.
What changes would you like to see in the fashion industry in the next five years?
We are excited that the individual is awakening to their power. Whether it’s the knitting 'nannas' or the school climate strikers, people are entering the public arena wanting to take personal action for the collective good. We hope that more individuals across all aspects of fashion act on their beliefs of wanting less waste.
Tell us about the event you have organised for VAMFF, Future Fashion, Is It A Stitch-Up?
We are so proud that VAMFF has invited us to create an event on future fashion; it is indicative of the desire for change in this industry. While fashion events are often organised for top of the chain, ours is for the individual who wants a deeper engagement with fashion.
We have curated a fabulous panel of speakers and patrons, who can start the event with a short tour of Ink & Spindle, all designed to inspire a mindset that we do indeed have what it takes to create a kinder fashion industry.
P.S spoiler alert.. we don’t think it is a stitch up!
You are warmly invited to join the conversation with Kim and Kath from The Possibility Project, slumwear108, Marnie Goding from ELK and Karina Seljak, co-founder of the Seljak Brand.
The VAMFF Future Fashion: Is It A Stitch Up? event will take place at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne on Tuesday 5th March 2019 from 5:30pm.
For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.