Eternal Creation: review

I'm always on the look-out for cute dresses for Abby and I found a store that has amazing clothes not just for girls, but also boys and women. This is not just a lovely store, it comes with a history and a very bright future! This store means a lot to a lot of people! 

About Eternal Creation: taken directly from the site as I didn't want to leave out any important info. I tried to write it in my own words but it just doesn't do it justice so here's the whole story.

After graduating from the East Sydney institute of fashion design in 1994, designer Frances Carrington registered with Australian Volunteers Abroad, hoping to use her skills in a community in Africa. Instead she was sent to India. She was put in charge of the fledgling tailoring department of the Norbulingka Institute in Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile. Her job was to teach newly arrived Tibetan refugees the finer points of tailoring and design. She oversaw the growth of the department from 2 to 15 fulltime staff by the end of her stay.

Falling in love with Indian and Tibetan culture, not to mention the fantastic landscape of the Himalayas, she determined that at the end of her tenure she'd find a way to use her skills to continue to benefit the local community in some way. In 1999, armed with a $5000 loan from her father she started Eternal Creation, with the aim of producing quality womens' sleepwear and accessories.

The early days were difficult. Frances started with only 3 tailors, in association with the Gu-Chu-Sum movement of Tibet, an ex-political-prisoners' organisation based in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala. Gu-Chu-Sum's 200-plus members are all former prisoners of conscience, some of whom have endured terrible privation and torture at the hands of the Chinese authorities. The organisation is dedicated to improving the lives of recently arrived political refugees by providing jobs, training, health care and accommodation.

The small tailoring unit slowly grew, employing several ex-prisoners and battling with fierce monsoons, water shortages and frequent blackouts, often simultaneously! One of the biggest challenges was training people who had previously led a pastoral or nomadic existence, to understand the concept of delivery deadlines and international quality standards.

With the birth of her 2 children, Frances found herself naturally gravitating towards designing children's clothes, and sales of her initial childrens' collection quickly proved that there was a market for her classical look, love of colour and immaculate tailoring.

As the sales of Eternal products grew in Australia, the company was faced with a difficult decision - outsource or expand? Outsourcing would bring with it the ethical dilemma faced by many designers: how do you know your designs are being made under fair labour conditions and not subcontracted to other factories that may not meet these standards?

Frances felt that outsourcing production would ultimately end up betraying the original reasons she started the company. So she decided to increase the capacity of the workshop, which would provide more jobs for the local Tibetan and Indian community as well as ensuring that Eternal Creation's trademark high quality standards were maintained. In 2005, Eternal Creation opened the Himalaya Tailoring Centre in lower Dharamsala, and today is one of the largest private employers in the area. Eternal Creation products are sold in over 200 stores in Australia, Europe and Asia.

Eternal Creation has the most beautiful fabrics, designs and colors I've seen, the dresses are all gorgeous and flowy.
I was send not one but 2 dresses to review with matching hair clips! I was send the Toulouse dress (red) and the Annabelle dress (light blue).
These dresses weren't just send in a box. No, they came in a canvas bag, sealed with wax seals, this was an experience in its own! 
When I opened the bag I couldn't believe how vibrant the colors and how beautiful the dresses were, very well tailored! I also know after reading all the info on the website that these dresses are made with a lot of attention and care by a lot of people.

What I also love about Eternal Creation is their inter-active website. 
You want to know what the inside of the workshop looks like, what the cutting or sampling department looks like (and more departments for that matter)? 
Well, you can! Eternal Creation has a map of the whole workshop and you can click on any department you want to learn more about. They even have a creche for their employees, a free children's creche run by Dolma (a 35 year old mom with 2 daughter's who's been through a lot but is now happy to be in Dharamsala). 

Here are some pictures of the dresses I was send, aren't they gorgeous?

What's also great about Eternal Creation is that you can meet the tailors, well not in person that is, but each tailor is featured on the website (see here)
I think Eternal Creation has a very informative website on the history of Dharamsala and Tibet, just head on over and go read and learn. I can guarantee you, you will be on the site for a while!

I can not end this review with some images!
From Autumn/Winter:

There's a lot more cute outfits for boys and girls and don't forget to check out the women's department! Bags, scarves, tops, skirts, kimono's and a lot more!

Thanks Frances for sending me these absolutely amazing  dresses and giving me a chance to write about Eternal Creation!

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