MEET THE DESIGNER - Jo Founder of Twill & Tee

Getting to know Jo!

  

Jo Appel is the Founder of Australian womenswear label Twill & Tee. We had a little chat to Jo about Twill & Tee and her journey as a designer. 

How did it all start? 
The process of making clothes with a conscience is central to my work.  Working on, Twill & Tee, the focus is set firmly on creating luxury, ethical, casual clothing and basics for the busy but concerned woman.

A career that began in main stream fashion has taken me on a journey from Adelaide to London and then to Sydney where I have been based since 1998.  Gaining experience working in a diverse range of roles, from design and patternmaking to couture hand finishing led me to launch and run my own bridal wear label, Jo Durkin Bridal Couture from 2000 to 2009. 

Jo Durkin Bridal Couture was a high end bridal wear business, producing intricate made to measure and ready to wear gowns from my Sydney studio and retail premises in Darlinghurst. The business attracted editorial from bridal and fashion publications.

Life changed dramatically after this when I took time out to raise my two boys.  In 2017 I started carefully planning a researching what sort of brand I wanted to create.  Twill & Tee was created with the decision to put the environment and workers first and was launched in May 2018. 

  

We know sustainability is one of your core values, can you elaborate on this..
Our garments are made in Sydney, Australia in house and in reputable, small, local manufacturers.  We are working towards gaining certifications to back up our commitment.  Combining contemporary design with the finest sustainable fabrics and skilled manufacturers, we are working to create casual individual clothes with a conscience.   Considering the environmental factors that go in to making our garments and educating consumers how to repair and look after their clothes is a big part of our plan.

We have made a commitment to use only organic cotton.  We choose GOTS Certified Organic Cotton as it is farmed without using pesticides, genetically modified seeds, or synthetic fertilisers.  Grown and spun in India, our cotton is then knitted and dyed in Melbourne, Australia and certified by GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standard.  This benefits the farmer’s health, water consumption and the Twill & Tee wearer.

Our choice in fabric is where we believe our responsibility starts.  We use mainly natural fibres or fibres derived from reclaimed raw materials and recycled products.  Natural fibres can twist and have flaws but we choose to see the beauty in the uniqueness in every length of fabric we work with.

What inspires your collections?
Fabric, fit and functionality.  I have always been an avid follower of fashion but I love clothes that fit well.  

Where is your product made?
We currently produce and make all of our products in Australia.  We do this so as we can control the quality and keep a close eye on who exactly is making our clothes, that they are being paid correctly and treated fairly.  We also produce only small runs of products and made to order pieces so at present it is safer to manage close to home. 

What is your favourite piece from your collection?
I love the essential white tees…  The long sleeve Viva Boat Tee has been a staple for me.

Any words of wisdom for someone starting their own label?
Stay true to your own style… and keep on going because you will need to constantly be able to re-invent yourself and try new things.  There is no one correct direction for any new brand to take… you probably have to mix it up and try a few different things to find your market.  Love what you do!

What made you join Faid?
I wanted to be part of the Faid as soon as I heard the concept!  Supporting Australian design is important to me.  I also think it is hard to find stockists with such a great aesthetic and collective of like-minded brands.  

Thank you Jo for sharing your journey! To shop Twill & Tee's collection at Faid Store click here