Do you know how the t-shirt you’re wearing was made? Or how much the anonymous person in the factory was paid to sew it together? The truth is a lot of us don’t, we’re unaware of where the clothes we wear every day actually come from.
Glenn Livingstone, founder of ethical men’s fashion line identifYYourself, is changing this. Over the last year he has built identifYYourself (IDY) as a one team and is now counting down the days until its official launch on October 1. Through his online store, Glenn encourages people to “identify themselves” with “something good” – stylish clothes that have been produced ethically.
We chatted to Glenn in the lead up to the official launch of the site to find out what inspires him on a daily basis.
Can you tell us more about your business. What is your vision and mission?
IDY is a conceptual menswear label, that genuinely cares. Using ethical manufacturing processes and sustainable fabrics, we continuously push the limits of contemporary design. We strive to be more than just another label selling fast fashion tees. Inspired by art; by nature and by beauty, we are here to make a positive difference.
Our vision is to be more than just another menswear label. To create a lifestyle which is raw, unapologetic and effortlessly “kool” for the modern day man. Our mission is to make a positive difference by creating a vehicle for man to express his truest and highest self, using the best ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices.
What has been your biggest challenge since starting your business?
Coming from a background that wasn’t involved in men’s fashion I had to learn, and am still learning, all the processes involved in actualising a design sketch into a tangible garment and then navigating the business landscape, while remaining on purpose and true to myself and my business values.
What have been your biggest wins since starting your business?
Meeting the people who have helped me along my journey to launch my label. Without their help and patience, IDY wouldn’t be what it is today.
Plus learning all the things I have learned already in such a short amount of time, both business and personal learnings that have made me a better person and a much better business owner.
What do you hope to achieve in the next year?
After the initial launch of IDY, I want to be able to set the standard for my label with my winter collection for 2016, and show the Australian men’s fashion landscape that IDY is serious about what we do and what we stand for! I hope to achieve stock listings in boutiques in both Australia and internationally, and create a community of “stylish bastards” who genuinely care and are effortlessly “kool” through education and leadership.
I hope to continuously learn everything I can about men’s fashion and about running a successful business. And I hope to have A LOT of fun while doing it.
What inspires you most about your work?
Seeing something that I have visualised, just a simple thought or an idea, come to life. The people I meet along my journey and the people close to me who back me 100%. Realising what my purpose is, finding that purpose, and then living that purpose in everything I do.
What do you love about running your own business?
You realise you’re alive doing this. You feel out of your depth constantly, anxious, happy, excited, nervous, angry, over the moon. Every single emotion you can imagine constantly bombards you. You put faith in you and your ability to achieve what it is you want to achieve. You realise you’re alive.
What is the best piece of advice you have received since starting?
1) To have an unwavering belief in yourself.
2) Listen twice as much as you talk.
3) Strive to be the dumbest person in the room.
What advice would you give to someone just starting a business or who wants to start? What do you wish you had been told at the beginning?
1) To be consistent and don’t get discouraged with setbacks, turn downs and failures.
2) Find world’s best practice and copy that.
3) Educate yourself – a business will never outgrow its founder.
4) Surround yourself with people who are smarter, wiser and who will only ever lift you up.