Finalist 2022

White Label by Julie Goodwin

Julie Goodwin / Brand by Name / RB Patterns / Andrew Richey

White Label by Julie Goodwin is a customisable range of made-to-order shirts, where each piece is made to individual specifications.

White Label by Julie Goodwin is a fully customisable range of made-to-order shirts and blouses, where clients can supply their own measurements and choose designs and fabric individually, selecting from a menu of styles and adjustments to fit and form. With the help of a grant from Creative Victoria an online platform was developed and launched as part of the Julie Goodwin Couture website. From a soft tunic to a fitted shirt, the five styles are each available in any of four fabrics and made to fit every shape and size, including options to customise cuffs, necklines, and hem shapes.

Design Brief:

In my work as a bespoke ladies’ tailor I would often be asked to make shirts and blouses to complete the corporate look. The bespoke process involves drafting individual patterns to each set of client measurements, making a toile and subsequent adjustments, then producing the garment, including fittings, all of which took the price for a shirt or blouse well over the $1,000 mark. I wanted to be able to make shirts in house, to order, following the same sustainable design principles of low waste, high quality, and long wardrobe life, that I do with my bespoke garments, but I wanted to provide this at a more accessible price point. I also wanted to put this part of my business online, to increase the accessibility of my services, and introduce prospective new clients to my work via these more affordable pieces.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

To successfully execute the brief, I needed to:

  • streamline the making process to reduce cost without sacrificing bespoke elements of garments
  • develop an online platform that effectively allows for client input to specifications of each garment
  • communicate the offer clearly to potential clients I approached Fiona Brand, website designer, to ask if the concept was viable from a digital perspective, and she worked with a developer on the mechanics of the site.

We developed a series of digital ‘buttons’ and ‘pop ups’ so clients can see and choose from collars, cuffs, fabrics, hemline shapes, buttons, and placket styles, along with explanations and illustrations that show what these choices look like. We also ensure the fit of each shirt is to each client's specifications, with instructions on how to measure themselves and one of their own garments for comparison. RB Patterns helped develop a range of patterns for 5 styles of shirt, sizes 8 – 22, with as many pattern pieces in common as possible. I wanted to have enough variables covered with interchangeable parts so I could ‘pick and mix’ from various styles to assemble what the client wants, cut exactly to their size, without having draft individual patterns for each client. Potter and Co fabrics ensure a supply of materials that are both high quality and eco-friendly available in the small quantities I need to avoid waste.

For the product launch, I developed a flip book, which worked like a “make your own animal” style children’s book. It is cut into 3 horizontally, and you can design your own shirt with it by flipping different top, middle and bottom halves into alignment. When presented to those at the launch, the response was instant and emphatic – it is a very clear (and fun) way of communicating the concept.

Design Excellence

Innovation is present throughout the whole project. The idea itself has not been executed on this micro scale before. Every part of the development challenged us to think differently – pushing boundaries of website design and development, pattern development and production, sourcing and supply issues and final product delivery, all on a very small budget ($10,000 grant).

The product itself – the shirt – is of excellent quality, with durability and utility built in by fact of the client’s direct involvement in its design. It is produced specifically fit for each client’s purpose. The shirts are classic, elegant, and modern in design, and made with the highest quality materials and finishes. Belgian linen, Japanese cotton, Hand finishing, French seams. Every element of construction is considered and thorough. Months of research and design went into not only the shirts themselves, but how the concept would be communicated and the mechanics of a smoothly operating digital store.

The pricing was worked and reworked to keep retail cost down to $550 ea. Because each piece is hand cut and made to a precise set of specifications and measurements, the margin for error and/or waste is all but eliminated. The fact that we managed to achieve this at our scale and on our budget should give hope and encouragement to many small businesses locally and abroad, that it is possible to innovate, develop and succeed under the most stringent constraints.

Design Innovation

From our launch booklet: “What is your perfect white shirt? That is the question we set out to answer with the White Label range of made-to-order shirts and blouses. From a soft tunic to a fitted shirt, our five styles are each available in any of four fabrics and made to fit every shape and size.” While variations on the online customisation or co-creation experience exist, this development and application by the Melbourne team working around the boundaries of what a one-woman couture studio can produce and provide in a cost-effective manner is unique. It simultaneously offers a bespoke, person to person service and a user friendly digital shopfront.

This solves a problem for the client – how do I find the ‘perfect’ white shirt for me at a competitive price? This also solves two problems for the Julie Goodwin Couture business – how do I offer at taste of the Julie Goodwin Couture experience in a way that is less confronting than having to make an appointment and ask for a quote? - How do I give existing clients better value for money? Innovation is present throughout the whole project. The idea itself has not been executed on this micro scale before. Every part of the development challenged us to think differently – pushing boundaries of website design and development, pattern development and production, sourcing and supply issues and final product delivery, all on a very small budget ($10,000 grant).

Design Impact

This project has absolutely had a positive impact on all who were involved in bringing it to life. Graphic and digital designers, patternmakers, fabric suppliers, fashion designers and machinists all benefit from having employment and stretching themselves to execute this project. Further, the continued invigoration of the Victorian fashion industry from projects like this maintain Melbourne’s reputation as a city of culture and style.

This project has already had a positive commercial impact on the abovementioned businesses, and has been a commercial success for Julie Goodwin Couture, reaching new clients and bringing returning customers as clients purchase multiple variations on their favourite shirt or blouse. All of Julie Goodwin Couture’s practice adheres to the principles of a transparent and circular economy, sourcing sustainable textiles, only purchasing materials as needed, and building longevity and versatility into every garment, right down to the recommended care of each piece.

The White Label by Julie Goodwin project is no different. A large part of every Julie Goodwin/client interaction is the exchange of information about the principles of ethical and sustainable practise, and the part the client can play in that. I consider education on all aspects of bespoke making, sustainability and the respect for and preservation of my craft an inherent part of my work.

Circular Design and Sustainability Features

This project limits textile waste in production by only cutting and making individually to order. Clients are encouraged to return garments for repair or at end of life so that they may be recycled or repurposed in studio. Textiles and trimmings are natural and biodegradable. An important part of sustainability is design with purpose and longevity in mind, and these pieces are specifically made from textiles that will wear well and are classic in design – made to last. The fact that each shirt is made to the client’s specific body, style and lifestyle mean that each is a considered purchase, and the price point of $550 to $580, while more accessible than Couture level pricing, is enough of an investment to make sure the garment is treated with care to live out it's life of many wears.

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