Emily Miller-Sharma, RUBY General Manager shares the brand’s new apprenticeship scheme. Image supplied.
In a move towards supporting the future of the fashion industry the RUBY Academy Apprenticeship scheme was launched this week offering useful opportunities for training. RUBY have run an internal training programme for a few years but this new scheme opens up the programme to more budding machinists, cutters and patternmakers to develop their skills with the brand.
“We all know that the way the fashion industry works needs to change but let’s face it, it’s much bigger than that,” says RUBY General Manager and Liam Creative Director, Emily Miller-Sharma. “We need to re-look at the way that our entire society works. A realignment of society’s priorities will mean a realignment of the fashion industry. What a huge and exciting proposition! So how on earth do we get there?”
For RUBY that change means starting at home and as they manufacture the majority of their collections in New Zealand they have developed a talented team but the fashion industry has a few issues, including an aging production workforce with a lack of new skilled machinists, patternmakers and cutters coming into the industry. They’re among the challenges that their RUBY Academy Apprenticeship scheme aims to address, with a predicted increase in those who are either unemployed or under-employed RUBY felt that this was also a good time to be offering more work opportunities too.
As there is a lot of wastage in the garment production process with offcuts and flawed fabric they will be able to use this wastage for the apprentices to train with as factories cannot risk giving a customers’ production run to someone who is learning. RUBY’s key creative team of Patternmaker, Sample Machinist and Creative Director will be on hand to guide the apprentices on their journey with the brand. The products made via the scheme will be sold through RUBY Recycle, with RUBY and the apprentice each taking a half share of the sale price.
The first RUBY Academy Apprenticeship workshop will be Auckland-based taking place on a Thursday – Sunday once NZ reaches Level One. Applications are now open with more details available online. Applications close Friday 29th May 2020.
RUBY’s apprenticeship scheme is part of achieving the brand’s goal to shift from a linear to a circular company with RUBY also focused on manufacturing their product responsibly and sustainably.
“Sustainability has taken on so many meanings, and has been used in both honest and dishonest ways, that at times it can feel meaningless and at others it can feel oppressive,” adds Emily. “Practically for us at RUBY, sustainability is about continuous long term improvements for the people and places that we directly and indirectly interact with. Yes, it is things like using recycled polyester rather than virgin. But it also means that we contribute to a sense of worth for some people in our community by offering training or ensuring that our garments are built to last and giving you guidance on how to care for them.”