Style File: Ashleigh Slaughter from ReCreate

Designer Ashleigh Slaughter (right) with a Cambodian seamstress (left) in Cambodia. Image supplied.

ReCreate is a boutique streetwear brand that is as much a social enterprise as it is a fashion label. The brand set up a sewing training and production centre located in the disadvantaged community of Dey Tmey, Cambodia to provide fair employment for their team of sewers who are mostly women. Their collections of mens, womens and childrenswear are not only made using GOTS Certified Organic Cotton as well as denim sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative, they also transform lives with their ethical business model. ReCreate enables their team to protect their families, gain a lifelong skill and embrace hope for a better future.

We caught up with lead designer Ashleigh Slaughter to find out more about ReCreate’s latest collection, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!

Tell us about your latest collection?
The latest collection for ReCreate is all about the transformational journey of where and how are our clothes are made and how they transform the lives of the women who make them.

The ethical, sustainable collection using organic cottons combines comfort and style through casual pieces, as well as those you can dress up. The bold red plays on the theme of the rose running throughout the collection and gives a pop of colour.

What made you become designer?
I have always had a passion for design and creating my own clothes. My grandmother was a dressmaker and taught me how to sew at 8 years old. Since then I never stopped designing and making my own clothes. The night before a party or event I’d decide I didn’t like the outfit I’d picked out so I’d design and make another one to wear. I decided I wanted to do this as a career and translated it into custom designing and dressmaking for clients, and then as lead designer for ReCreate.

Looks from ReCreate’s Autumn/Winter 2018 collection.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your design?
Classic chic with versatility. I love garments that are versatile and can be worn for many different occasions. When designing, I always think of how and where you could wear the garment. It is important to have statement pieces and layering pieces, but even better if they work across many different styles such as workwear, semi-formal or semi-casual.

What is your all-time favourite purchase?
My industrial sewing machine – I can’t remember what it was like not having it, as I use it so much.

What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A little black dress that you can dress up or casual down.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Less is more – you can always layer basic pieces. Also, wearing garments that complement your body type is really important.

Looks from ReCreate’s Autumn/Winter 2018 collection.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Traveling to Cambodia to visit the sewing centre where our ReCreate clothing is made was definitely a highlight for me. Being there to teach the women and men sewing and pattern-making techniques in person was fantastic. Seeing the impact that working in an ethical and fair environment has on the women and their families was truly humbling.

What can’t you live without?
My sketchbook – having something handy to jot down new sketches as the inspiration strikes.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Nude leggings! They do my head in, it just looks like you’re not wearing pants in public.

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