All the things you wanted to know, and all the things you didn't know that you wanted to know, but now you know.
When did you launch?
After many sleepless nights and buckets of coffee, Cousin Billie launched in October 2018.
Whose clever idea was it?
Where do you make your clothes?
All of our garments are manufactured in Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) by an ethically-accredited manufacturer. (Aussie Aussie Aussie!)
We have also partnered with a professional Australian seamstress who will be taking care of our new Made-To-Order pieces.
What does 'ethical' mean?
In the Fashion Industry, the use of the term 'ethical' means that all of the people involved in the garment manufacturing process are given a decent living wage, reasonable working hours and a comfortable working environment.
Ethical to us is not a marketing 'buzzword'. It just means being a kind and decent human being, and refusing to support human trafficking and child labour. A no-brainer really.
We're pretty happy that Australia now has a Modern Slavery Act, but this is a serious worldwide problem. You can read more about the effects that the Fashion Industry has on this issue in the Global Slavery Index and on our Facebook page.
Where do you get your fabric from?
We have a large network of suppliers, however it really depends on the fabric type required.
As each of our pieces are limited edition, this enables us to source small quantities of unique fabrics from high-end designers in Italy and Japan, which helps to minimise waste. This is a much more expensive option than purchasing bulk from a large-scale Agent but the quality is much better, as with most things in life.
We also design exclusive prints and have our fabric made to order through fabric mills in South Korea, USA and the United Kingdom. This too minimises wastage because we only purchase the amount of fabric we need.
We also collect any leftover scraps from the cutting room floor and use these for a multitude of purposes, including Fabric Swatches and wrapping gifts.
How many of each design do you make?
To be able to provide a more unique product, we limit our production to 20-25 of each style, which is approx. 4 of each size. There is a huge premium to have small numbers manufactured but we try to keep our costs to you as low as possible, while still providing something fresh.
As an example, producing 1000 t-shirts offshore might cost between $2-10/shirt. To ethically produce 20 in Australia can cost anywhere from $50-90/shirt.
Do you have any physical stores?
At this stage, we don't, for a few reasons.
To start with, it immediately makes your clothes up to 400% more expensive.
Being able to sell directly to you helps us eliminate the overhead costs of a bricks-and-mortar store and completely wipes out the need for retail mark-ups. (yippee!)
We’re also a small business and that means we’re really busy! Between designing, sourcing fabrics and trims, getting patterns made, organising sampling and development, labels, production schedules, photo shoots, packing and sending orders, drinking coffee, running our social media pages, doing the housework (un-fun), writing blog posts and maintaining our website... it doesn’t leave us much time for running a physical store.
Besides, we live in the middle of nowhere.
Do you sell to Retailers?
At present, Cousin Billie is sold exclusively through this online website, however, if you are a Retailer and are interested in stocking our label in the future, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact us to register your interest.
Is there somewhere I can try on these clothes?
1. Your bedroom. In front of your mirror. Where everything is familiar. No tricky lighting, no horrendous music, all your shoes within reach and the neighbour's dog barking for absolutely no reason.
2. At selected local markets, mostly in regional Victoria. Check our social pages for upcoming events.
(We also have a very accommodating returns policy if you don’t feel right about your purchase.)
What sizes do you stock?
At the moment: 8-16.
How often do you release new clothing?
We have started off aiming to do 2 collections/year with some mini-ranges in between. We'd sincerely love to do more but it all depends on how much of and how quickly we sell our previous stock. Our margins are extremely tight and so we rely on your support to be able to continue bringing you more designs each season.
Can I feel the fabrics before I buy?
Of course! Click here for your free swatches.
How long will my garments take to arrive?
By carrier pigeon: One month. (Give or take).
By courier (recommended): See here.
Can I return or exchange an item if I change my mind or it doesn’t fit?
'Course you can! Read about Returns & Exchanges here
I want to send a gift to a friend. How do I do this?
Well aren't you just the sweetest thing?!
You can either purchase some of our Gift Vouchers here OR if you're gifting products, just complete the checkout process as yourself and add a comment in the Notes section with the recipient’s name and address (and a little note to them if you wish).
We'll make sure no cheeky invoices are included in the box.
Got any other questions? Please contact us.
Otherwise, Return to Store