We chat to a young Adelaide designer who’s just opened up shop in Japan

Very Good Studios.

Anny Duff is the creative director and fashion designer heading Good Studios (formerly B Goods Label), an Adelaide-based label with a focus on practical, sustainable and timeless fashion and linen design.

After catching the eye of the Birkenstock team earlier this year, Good Studios was able to head abroad, recently setting up in a new retail space in Japan.

We had the chance to chat with Anny and get acquainted with her journey.

Hi Anny! Japan, Birkenstock and Good Studios – tell us more.
We showed in Paris this time last year and were lucky enough to catch the eye of the very cool distributors of Birkenstock in Japan. They were in Europe looking for new brands to represent in the region. Cut to a year later and I find myself about to jump on a plane Tokyo-bound, to celebrate the launch of Quorinest- a sustainable lifestyle store in Harajuku, stocking Birkies and yours truly.

Is it strange to be cracking the Japanese market before you have a dedicated retail space in your hometown of Adelaide?
Yes, very! But I think most people don’t take you seriously in your hometown until you’ve had success elsewhere. There may be a misplaced belief that anyone can be successful where they grew up or studied because you’ll have all the contacts. I have not found this to be true, in fact coming on-shore to manufacture in Adelaide has been the most difficult (and most rewarding) hurdle to overcome. The tall poppy thing is real! I am planning on opening a space in Adelaide, though it would not be conventional but an expansion of the studio I have now with dedicated areas to make, display, curate and of course do yoga!

When making aesthetic decisions, do you consider a target demographic or is it an imaginary lifestyle or character that you’re constantly developing for and adapting to?
I quite often go with my gut when it comes to aesthetic. I design for myself and my way of life but I have also definitely created a character in my mind that has a lot of parallels to my life but she is far more glamorous and has much more time to frolic in fields and attend art exhibitions! My target demographic is the practical yet adventurous minimalist, who has a real appreciation for timeless function and attention to detail.

You’re working toward a fully transparent supply chain – tell us about that.
Yes, I have been filming our processes this year for an ongoing project that will thoroughly explore our supply chains. Working with certifying and auditing bodies is certainly a great step towards a more conscientious fashion industry but we need to be doing the research and seeing the working conditions for ourselves. When you have a brand that strongly focuses on ethics and sustainability you know you can never stop asking questions. This film will go into that process and hopefully show customers how much work goes into running an ethical brand.

Besides the obvious karma boosts for shopping ethically, why should we be conscientious buyers?
At the end of the day, it’s just the right thing to do. We all want the new shiny thing, but by blindly wanting the new shiny thing we’re creating demand which leads to overproduction and allows bad practices to continue unchecked. Questions about the environmental impact of manufacturing the new thing are left unanswered. By slowing down how we consume, we grow an appreciation for the process and want to know more of the story behind the brand or product. We feel good about representing something that celebrates our values. We share that story and that feeling grows. It is positive growth for positivity’s sake. That is everything.

Will Good Studios’ sheets really help us sleep good?
Well, let me tell you a little bit about Hemp. Naturally thermoregulating, hemp fabric will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. Antibacterial properties mean you won’t have to wash your linen as regularly, saving water. Hemp is the most durable of all natural fibres and all of the plant is used to make fabric, paper, bio fuel, building materials and even food. Our hemp bedding is made by hand, to order in Adelaide, so if the beautiful fabric itself doesn’t give you a good night’s sleep, your conscience will!

What’s on the horizon for Good Studios?
Thid month, I’ll be road tripping up the east coast for various markets then opening a pop-up in the two weeks before Christmas, with a few of my closest designer friends. Early next year I’ll be filming and interviewing hemp growers in QLD as part of our film on transparency. Then some sleep I hope!


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