For a business that is inspired by all the wonders of the world, yet so closely linked to our local community, we're acutely aware how the COVID-19 virus is affecting each and every one of us.
While advice on how to best curb its effects is changing hourly, we are taking all necessary steps to do our part for our community, our staff, and our customers.
WE'RE OPEN ONLINE
Our Northcote, City and Fitzroy stores will close their doors until further notice, but we're open online and dispatching orders daily. Staff in our warehouse are taking all necessary hygienic measures and staff in our design studio are working remotely (in our comfiest Travellers, no doubt).
Keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook for some special online events in the coming days and weeks!
STAY STRONG, SUPPORT EACH OTHER
For many in our community, this roller coaster ride won't be easy. More than ever it's important to support the businesses that you love and those that are local to you. From everyone at Obus, we want to thank you for your continued support during this tricky time.
Don’t forget to check in on your friends, neighbours, colleagues and young ones. Enjoy the benefits this time to be present and quiet can bring. And above all, keep calm and we'll all carry on!
Love and warm wishes from Kylie + Team Obus
In conjunction with our OLANA x OBUS collection, today we're launching an exciting online group art auction, aimed at making a lasting impact in Olana's home country, Ethiopia.
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Through our recent OLANA X OBUS collaboration with Ethiopian-born, Melbourne-based artist Olana Janfa, we were introduced to the fantastic work of Create Impact — an Australian-based non-profit organisation that provides education, clean water and health care to remote communities in Ethiopia.
In Australia, we often take the quality of our schools and education opportunities for granted. Learning about Olana’s childhood in Ethiopia and Create Impact’s projects in the region, we feel compelled to support the next generation growing up there.
So we're aiming to raise $10,000 in 7 days, with all funds donated to Create Impact and their Medagi school building project.
About the auction
Six stunning works of art have been generously donated by six contemporary Australian artists. We will be auctioning artworks from notable Australian artists including: Olana Janfa, Casey Burrill, Zan Wimberley, Jasmine Mansbridge, Stanislas Piechazek and Emma Gale. Plus, we've donated a $1000 Obus Gift Card for you to use on the OLANA x OBUS collection or future Obus treasures!
About Create Impact
The team at Create Impact work hand-in-hand with remote communities in Ethiopia to provide education, water and health care projects that create lasting impact.
Sub-Saharan Africa has been identified as one of the poorest regions of the world, with 9 out of 10 children living in extreme poverty and half of all children still not in school. Women and girls in rural Ethiopia struggle without the most basic life needs like access to education, clean drinking water and health care. Create Impact's holistic approach allows them to work alongside communities to meet their needs and help them thrive.
The organisation hosts annual impact tours to Ethiopia, offering participants the opportunity to help children living in deprived areas of Ethiopia access school, water and health care and expand their life opportunities.
In 2019, Artists Jasmine Mansbridge, Zan Wimberley and Casey Burrill traveled to remote Ethiopia to design and paint a local school's mural and learn more about the barriers Ethiopian students - especially girls - face in pursuing an education. Photos by Zan Wimberley.
So jump on your chance to snap up a collectible piece and contribute to a fantastic cause, impacting the lives of Ethiopian communities for years to come. The OBUS x CREATE IMPACT auction will run online until 9pm (AEDT), Tuesday 25 February 2020.
BID ON ARTWORKS HERE
All six artworks will be available for viewing in person at our Northcote store, 285 High Street this weekend.
Last Saturday we welcomed friends and fans from near and far to our Northcote store for our GOLDEN HOUR collection launch and meet the maker event!
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With craft queen Kitiya Palaskas instore selling her beautiful handmade 'forever foliage', (plus custom-making a special gift for customers to take away!), Kylie and the team spent the day meeting customers and talking about the inspiration behind our the 50th collection.
A big thanks to our friends at Remedy for their perfect Passionfruit Kombucha and Northcote cafe Little Local for sweet and tasty morsels. Scroll on to see some pics for the day!
Once the champers came out, the party really started ;)
We’re thrilled to be amongst a select group of nine Australian fashion designers recently tasked with creating a ‘high fashion’ interpretation of a lab coat, to highlight the incredible work done by female researchers tirelessly working to find preventions and treatments for breast cancer.
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In 2019, it is estimated that 19,535 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Australia – which is what makes increased funding for research so vital. With this campaign, we were challenged to create something much more stylish, creative and tailored for the female body, to challenge the traditional view of what a lab coat has to be.
Obus' production manager Alison makes the final tweaks to our GRANDIFLORA LAB COAT. The beautiful deluxe cotton drill was printed by our friends Frankie & Swiss.
Our design applies our bold, bright GRANDIFLORA print to our classic blazer silhouette. Says Obus creative director and founder, Kylie Zerbst: “Everyone has been affected by breast cancer in some way – either personally or through the experience of someone they love or know. I felt our lab coat demanded a strong, functional silhouette offset by a lively, celebratory print that is sure to put a smile on the face of anyone who encounters it.”
The good news is, these one-of-a-kind coats are currently up for auction. The money raised will go to Breast Cancer Trials (BCT) who have been conducting clinical trials research for more than 40 years. You have until Wednesday 27 November to put a bid in for our GRANDIFLORA lab coats, with the highest bid acquiring this one-off Obus piece! All proceeds from the auction will go to Breast Cancer Trials and their vital research.
The finished GRANDIFLORA LAB COAT, custom made for the Her Lab Coats auction, features a popular original Obus textile design custom-made in Melbourne. A truly one-of-a-kind item!
The Brotherhood of St Laurence is a community organisation that works to alleviate and prevent poverty in Australia - an organisation Obus has worked with for many years. This Winter, we are proud to partner again with Brotherhood in raising funds that support children and families to thrive.
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Our 2019 Winter Coat Drive offers you two ways to support the Brotherhood. Donate a pre-loved coat at our Northcote, City or Fitzroy stores; or add a $2O ‘Brotherhood Gift’ to purchase online or instore.
In return for your donation, we'll give you 20% OFF any coat purchase!*
How Brotherhood of St Laurence help families and children
Astonishingly, 1 in 6 children in Australia live in poverty. Poverty is not just having too little money to live on. It can also mean they or their families being shut out from other aspects of social and economic life that people commonly take for granted: a job, a home, education, or being connected to community.
With your support, the Brotherhood of St Laurence can provide more children and families with quality educational services and learning environments that enable the next generation to achieve their potential. Their programs and services support disadvantaged people of all ages to build better lives for themselves.
What can your donation achieve?
$20 can provide four children with a nutritional breakfast every day for one week, helping them to be school ready
$20 can provide educational children’s books for our early childhood programs, helping parents to become their child’s first teacher
Coats that are donated instore will be on-sold to Brotherhood's Community Stores (op shops).
Join us in helping to provide a brighter future through education for some of Australia's most vulnerable children and families.
Find out more about Brotherhood's education programs here, or shop Obus coats here.
*20% discount will be automatically applied at checkout to any Obus coat. Sorry, no rainchecks. Discount cannot be used in conjunction with other promotions, discounts or vouchers. Promotion ends 11.59pm AEST Monday 10/6/19.Photos courtesy Brotherhood of St Laurence.
Late last year, we gave you the opportunity to suggest a cause that deserved a $1000 donation from us. Read on to find out what good those dollars are doing now!
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The recipients of our Festival of Giving $1000 donation was One Girl, a Melbourne-based non-profit who assist girls in East and West Africa to attend school and provide them with life-changing education and resources.
We couldn’t be happier to learn that the donation we made on your behalf has enabled three girls to attend school this year! A result that will not only change their lives, but the lives of their family members and communities.
With a new school year beginning in Australia this week, we thought we’d find out more about the barriers to basic education for girls in Uganda and Sierra Leone, and about the work One Girl do to break them down.
Tell us a bit about One Girl, how it began and its mission.
One Girl started when two young Australians, Chantelle Baxter and David Dixon, were on a research project through East and West Africa. In Uganda, Chantelle met a 14-year-old girl called Brenda. After losing both parents, Brenda was living with her aunt who could no longer afford to send her to school. So, of course, Dave and Chantelle decided to help! It cost $150 to put Brenda back in school – and it was that first $150 investment in just one girl, in Brenda, that inspired the beginning of One Girl.
That was 10 years ago, and since then we’ve supported thousands of girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda with access to life-changing education. One Girl currently runs girl-focused education programs that provide high school scholarships, education in business and entrepreneurial skills, menstrual hygiene management — along with access to sanitary products — and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) education. These four programs are all uniquely designed to combat the barriers that girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda face when accessing education, and they give girls an opportunity to drive their own change and reach their full potential!
What are the barriers to education for the girls you support?
In Sierra Leone, only 16% of girls complete high school. This can be due to a number of factors such as teenage pregnancy, the cost of sending a girl to school, the societal preference to send boys to school whilst girls tend to household duties, or the difficulties girls face attending school when they have their periods. All our programs are designed to help combat those barriers:
Our Scholarships program aims to support girls with everything they need to graduate. One Girl Scholars are supported with school uniforms, school books, textbooks, shoes, a backpack – even lunch money! They also have regular meetings with One Girl focal teachers who support them so they have every opportunity to succeed in school.
Our Business Brains program aims to equip girls and young women with skills in how to begin and run their own businesses – because we want to make sure girls have every opportunity to succeed both in and out of the classroom. As part of Business Brains, we also hold education sessions on career development, life skills, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Our LaunchPad program aims to change the fact that a lot girls don’t attend school when they have their period – 60% of girls in Uganda! This can be due to a lack of menstrual hygiene education, little access to sanitary products, or poor toilet facilities in schools. Enter: the LaunchPad program. This program focuses on education in menstrual hygiene management, supporting young women with access to affordable sanitary products and challenging the stigma attached to menstruation. That’s why also we include boys and men in this program so that the entire community can break down harmful taboos surrounding menstruation.
Our School Awesomisation program has provided students with education in water, sanitation and hygiene and constructed toilet facilities in rural schools in Sierra Leone that either don’t have any, or don’t have enough! We know that when you educate a girl, she will impart her WASH knowledge to her family by promoting healthy habits at school and in the home.
Last year Obus donated $1000 to One Girl on our customer’s behalf. Can you tell us how those funds will be used?
In Sierra Leone, it costs just AU$300 to educate a girl for an entire year. So this incredible donation from Obus is enough to educate three girls! And when you educate a girl, you’re not just changing her life, you’re also changing the lives of her family and community members – that’s the incredible impact Obus will have by supporting the power of education!
Do you have any special memories of the girls One Girl has supported over the years?
Our One Girl Scholars are pretty extraordinary and they constantly inspire us. After not being in school for nearly four years, Bintu* became a One Girl Scholar.
When she was able to begin school again with our help, she said: “School is important because it helps each and every one in order for us to be able to achieve our dreams. I’ll help other people who cannot pay their school fees for themselves. If I am educated, if I have a job, I’ll be able to help them as well. Going back to school has changed my life completely. Completely!”
It’s an amazing dream: to use her education to support others in her community so they too can have the opportunity to fulfil their dreams. One Girl Scholars aren’t just inspiring because of what they’re achieving, but for the change they’re driving within their own families and communities.
What are some other ways to support One Girl and spread your awesome message?
Every year we run Do It In A Dress, a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that calls on everyone to put on a school dress and raise funds for girls’ education. We’ve seen some pretty incredible things happen in school dresses; we’ve seen people jump out of planes, trek the Camino de Santiago, run marathons or wear school dresses non-stop for a month! And all to raise funds and spread awareness of the importance of girls’ education. To sign up, visit us here.
*Bintu’s name has been changed to protect her identity.
Photo credits: Olivia Acland/One Girl.
With summer in full swing, we're outside and looking for ways to preserve the natural beauty of Australia's beaches, parks, and natural wonders! So today we launch a giveaway that helps keep our oceans clean and free of waste (and gives you a chance to take home your fave Obus piece on us!).
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Without a doubt, 2018 saw an increased focus on the volume of single-use plastics entering our oceans and waterways. And while we at Obus aim to do our part to create low-impact fashion and accessories, there's always more we can do to reduce pollutants and ensuring waste stays well clear of our waterways.
Take 3 is an Australian not-for-profit organisation, founded in 2009 by surfing enthusiast, Amanda Marechal, marine ecologist, Roberta Dixon-Valk and environmentalist, Tim Silverwood.
Their mission is to actively reduce the amount of plastic and human-made rubbish entering our oceans through a simple message: Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, park, creek, river… or anywhere you find yourself this summer.
As active beach-goers, we love Take 3's ethos and simple, practical message. So at the time of year when many of us are enjoying time at Australia's beautiful coastlines, creeks, rivers and parks, we thought we'd offer an extra incentive to encourage YOU to 'take three'!
WIN A $250 OBUS GIFT VOUCHER WHEN YOU TAKE 3 FOR THE SEA
How to enter:
1. Collect 3 (or more!) pieces of rubbish you've found while at the beach/park or other public space
2. Snap and share a photo to your Instagram or Facebook timeline and don't forget to use the hashtags #obustake3 and #take3forthesea (Instagram), or tag us and Take 3 (Facebook) so we can record your entry
3. Dispose of your found rubbish thoughtfully!
In addition to there being less rubbish polluting our environment, your post will inspire others to think about their impact and responsibility to our planet, and you'll go in the running to WIN a $250 Obus gift voucher. Win, win, win!
- Entrants must follow all entry guidelines to be entered into the giveaway draw.
- One entry = one user post on Facebook & Instagram.
- Giveaway promotion ends 9/1/19.
- Winner chosen at random from valid entries on 10/1/19 and contacted via social media by 12/1/19.
- Prize cannot be returned or redeemed for cash.
- The competition is not endorsed by Facebook or Instagram.
Obus is doing something a bit different for Mother's Day this year! We're facilitating donations of much-needed clothing, food, vitamins, and educational resources to be sent to the women and children being detained on the island of Nauru.
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It’s a cause the whole team at Obus are passionate about. As a business, we regularly support social enterprises and initiate fundraising campaigns, mobilising our community of kind-hearted customers and followers. In partnering with We Care Nauru and Gifts for Manus & Nauru, we hope to make Mother's Day a bit brighter for these families.
Images from We Care Nauru used with permission.
There are two ways you can donate:
Pop into any of our stores with one of the above items and get 20% off your Obus purchase (suggested donation value: $25).
Donate online and get 20% off your Obus purchase (discount will be applied at checkout).
Donate before Mothers Day, Sunday 13 May, to get your discount; and help us send a big box of goodies to the families on Nauru!
Meet Keryn - she’s an adult-education teacher working with new Australians, and lives in regional Victoria. She’s a creative whiz, always travelling (she's skiing in Nevada as we speak) and, sources say, an excellent dancer.
What neighbourhood do you live in and what do you like about it?
I moved to Yackandandah in north-east Victoria in 2010 after living in Hughesdale in Melbourne for 30 years. Yackandandah is a progressive, community minded town of about 1200 people. It has a music festival each March and is working toward providing all its energy needs sustainably. It also has great cafes (2) and pubs (2), and a cooperative that runs the petrol station and funds local activities with the proceeds. It's a great place to live.
What is your day job and what do you love about it?
My day job is teaching English to migrants and refugees at TAFE NSW in Albury. I love helping newly arrived people, many of whom have come from difficult backgrounds, to learn English, get a job and settle into Australia. It's very rewarding.
Do you have a passion project or hobby?
I love making things and I collect handmade pottery, fabric, and art from all over the world. Nothing expensive, just things I like the look of. I have made clothing and soft furnishings all my life. I also love renovating houses and furniture. My most recent project was recovering a 1960s Grant Featherstone dining suite.
When did you first start shopping at Obus (and can you remember the first piece you purchased?)
I only discovered OBUS a couple of years ago. I was immediately blown away by the fabrics and prints. But I believe my first purchase was a pair of shoes which I have worn to death and never fail to be complimented about when I do.
How does wearing Obus make you feel?
Wearing Obus makes me feel happy and inspired. I love it when people ask me about the great clothes and I can tell them about about this great Australian company.
Is wearing locally made clothing important to you, and if so, why?
I think it is important to wear local but I am not obsessed with it. I do like to support local makers though and am pleased to have a local connection to the maker where possible.
What’s your favourite thing to do on your days off?
Mostly I like making, restoring and refurbishing all kinds of things but I also love walking my dog Mickey, going out for coffee with my partner and looking for bargains at Op shops.
My favourite podcast/radio show is: At the moment I am loving The Real Thing podcast which is an ABC radio podcast about ordinary Australians.
I’m currently reading: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
I’ve just finished watching: The latest season of Hometown which is a home renovation show
My favourite place I’ve ever travelled to is: India. In Particular Ladakh which is in the north, near the border of China. We have been there a number of times to go trekking in the mountains and I recommend it to anyone who loves to trek. I also recently walked the Kumano Kodo in Japan and spent time in Kyoto which was fantastic.
I love to sing loudly along to: … Wow, trying to pick one song is really hard. I love anything by George Michael though. I think singing and dancing is one of the most fun things you can do and it's free!
I love the saying: It's not what we start that matters - it's what we finish.
My super power is: Finding amazing bargains at Op shops.
We helped the Women's Empowerment Group at Melbourne's Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (and you can to!)
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The ASRC runs a Women's Empowerment Group (WEG) that meets at least once every week. How cool is this:
'This program supports women seeking asylum to realise their full potential through a range of professional development workshops and activities, including English language classes, education and training and other community-based activities to foster creativity and social engagement. The program also supports our entrepreneurial female members to start up their own businesses as well as running a nine-week ‘Sisterhood Journey’, a self-growth program run in partnership with MIND Australia and the SHINE program in partnership with Hope Inc.'
When Karen from the ASRC got in touch to ask if we could help out with sewing equipment for the WEG, we figured that if anyone could help, we could! We held a drive at the Obus Studio (read: called our mothers and friends), and managed to wrangle quite a collection: five sewing machines, including an overlocker and a leather specialty machine. Obus paid to have these machines checked and serviced, and we recently had the immense pleasure of delivering them to the ASRC.
It was astonishingly wonderful to meet some of the lovely ladies from the group. We were even treated to flowers and the most sensational afternoon-tea, with home-made snacks from India, Ethiopia, the Pacific Islands and more.
The food was accompanied by some pretty excellent chats in the tea room, and we could tell just how much the group means to these women. They described the ASRC as 'home', and travel from as far as Geelong to get there.
The Women's Empowerment Group is always in need of donations. If you have any excess fabric or sewing equipment, including scissors, thread (sewing and overlocker), pins, snippers and any other sewing paraphernalia that you can spare please contact Karen at The ASRC.
Alternatively, if Footscray is a bit hard to get to, drop your donations at any Obus store and we'll deliver them for you.
We'd like to offer special thanks to Keryn Haberman and Violetta Gordana Mihailovici for their incredibly generous donations, we couldn't have done it without you!