We chat to Sophie
from Opia – the independent
Byron Bay based clothing label
we stock in our Mount, Ponsonby
and online Neon Gypsy boutiques!
How did Opia begin? What is your background?
I grew up making clothing, and always made clothing and sold them on Etsy or at markets as my work for while I was studying and absolutely love it! I finished my Psychology degree in Melbourne at Uni and once I finished my degree I moved to Byron Bay to live with my sister while I looked for jobs. I fell in love with the way of living in Byron, I would often visit the markets and be so inspired by all the creatives that were showcasing their passions, so I saved up so I could take some time off to focus solely on creating Opia!
What is the ethos/core value behind Opia?
Having an ethical label is so important to me, I value the people I work with, from fabric production, to dyeing, pattern making, to production – I have a strong and beautiful relationship with all the people involved in the creation of Opia. Ethical wages and clean working spaces is extremely important not only for the wellbeing of the people I work with but also allows us to grow together with mutual respect. I only used natural fibres in all of my designs, no plastic is used in any of our production or packaging, it is great that people are making more conscious decisions when they are consuming.
How many people make up your team?
In total 15! This ranges from production, to tailors, customer service and online orders!
Who designs your clothing and where is it made?
I design all the pieces of Opia myself in my little studio in Byron Bay – and then bring my designs and patterns to my wonderful tailor in Bali where we fabric source, colour swatch and finalise all the little details
What has been your greatest achievement with Opia to date?
Oh gosh, I think the most fun I ever had with Opia was when I put together our summer campaign shoot in the Australian outback with New Zealand born model, Jess Clarke. I had dreamed of shooting in the outback since starting Opia and working with Jess was also a dream of mine! We had three missed flights and 48 degree days but when we started to shoot I was just so overwhelmed with joy that I was able to see my vision come to fruition!
What plans do you have for Opia in the future?
I have been so busy creating and designing my own fabrications for future collections of Opia – this would be another step forward in making Opia as sustainable as possible, as well as allowing me create a piece of clothing from fabrication to production which is truly a dream as a designer!
Any final words xx
I hope in time when we are able to navigate this awful virus that is having such a heartbreaking impact on the world today, hoping everyone is staying safe, feeling love and using this time to find peace.