I would like to introduce myself. My name is Sophie and in October 2015 I founded The Fable. At the end of 2014 I left a job at L'Oreal Luxury to embark on a new journey. Having spent four years living and working in Melbourne, I packed my life into my car and entered a semi-nomadic period. With no job or set plan, but hungry for an adventure I went and lived in an Indian yoga ashram in the Himalayas. From Ashram to Jaipur, Rajasthan, a series of chance encounters lead me to a textile factory. One where I saw the production possibility of a product I have for a long time had an affinity with: The Silk Shirt.
Having always struggled to find a silk shirt which ticked all the boxes, price point included, I decided to devote myself to its' creation. Having spent four years marketing Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent I felt adamant the quality and attention to detail demonstrated by such prestige brands must be emulated in The Fable shirt.
Every piece is made by hand, right down to button dye. Produced by a small team of select artisans who specialise in their chosen field. From button placement to sleeve length, every detail has been carefully considered. The silk itself is a 16mm crepe, soft, thick and weighty yet durable enough be hand washed. Each shirt retails at $130 AUD. A price well below traditional retail, made possible due to a simple supply chain which connects the factory directly with end consumer.
Having lived in India and seen first hand the difficult and often tragic lives people lead I felt it was crucial to make sure the people involved in production of the shirts are being looked after. In order to ensure this, the brand is involved in every step of manufacture and employs the services of only small, family run businesses. During the many months I have spent in Jaipur I have visited all the factories, meet the owners and employees and can confirm the below:
The tailors who make the shirts are paid nearly twice the Indian living wage, meaning they earn enough money to live comfortably and support their families.
Everyone involved in production is working in quality and comfortable conditions. The factories are a comfortable temperature and have adequate ventilation and lighting.
All facilities have necessary emergency escape access.
All employees are able and willing, working on their own free will and able to leave or resign as they please. No children are involved.
The tailors work no longer than 8 hour days. Between the hours of 10 - 10.30am to 6pm. They have three breaks throughout the day. Two ten minute breaks for tea and one twenty minute break for lunch. Tea and lunch is provided by the factories free of charge to all employees during the days they are working.
From my experiences in India I can also confirm The Fable silk is dyed with zero impact, natural vegetable dyes and the factory has an energy saving policy which sees electricity usage kept to a minimum.
Below are photos of the manufacture process. You will see the factories where the shirts are made and the people involved in bringing them to life. The Fable makes a direct and significant impact to the lives of these people and their families.
If you have any questions regarding The Fable or have recently quit your job and would like the name of a lovely yoga ashram in India, please feel free to get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.
Sophie Doyle | Director
Kumar, our button merchant in his shop
Dyed in Sky Fall
Our button dyer
Screen print factory
Shirts in the making
Our Master Tailor with the first shirt he produced