Ethical Fashion, it’s a hot topic. It represents an approach to the design, sourcing, and manufacture of clothing which maximises benefits to people and communities while minimising the impact on the environment.
Here are 5 things you need to know about Ethical Fashion so you can reduce your carbon footprint while still looking fabulous.
1. The earth is our clothing dumping ground
Did you know that every year 80 billion new pieces of clothing are purchased by people all over the world? This new trend is called Fast Fashion, “Australians are churning through clothes at an unprecedented rate, with 75 percent of us throwing at least one item of clothing in the bin in the past year. One in five of us has also tossed clothing after wearing it just once.” According to the Sydney Morning Herald.
2. Being Ethical can still be fashionable
Think that ethical clothing and accessories will be hippy and ugly? Think again, there are some awesome businesses out there making vegan and ethical fashion for us to wear.
Most Australian women have a Cue staple in their wardrobe, it’s your fancy interview dress or shirt. Or if you are lucky enough, a whole range of amazing clothes to wear.
This Aussie brand started in Melbourne and are 100% Handpicked Pima Cotton, found only in the rugged terrains of Perú.
HALT (Helping All Living Things) are a brand for the eco-conscious and compassionate, striving each day to make the world a better place. It’s all made from 100% organic cotton and manufactured using renewable energy from the wind and the sun.
The Ahimsa Collective
Ahimsa has made sustainably made bags from existing resources; Ethically made in Sydney, Australia. Their bags are made from Pinatex®; a natural and sustainable non-woven textile made from the fibres of pineapple leaves. Essentially a bi-product of the pineapple farming industry.
Neena has shopped around the globe and grouped together a wide range of vegan-friendly products. This includes cosmetics and accessories.
Australia’s premier vegan handbag store featuring a curated selection of designer vegan bags.
Matt & Nat
This ethical and vegan online boutique has everything from wallets, to shoes and all the bags you could want. And they are stylish, what more could you want?
Proudly Australian owned and has 7 locations around Melbourne. Charley Boutique stocks some great Brazilian vegan shoes. The brands to look for are, Vizzano, Beira Rio and Moleca.
Since its creation in 2010, Vegan Style has united mindful shoppers with the ethical fashion brands they love. They recognise that it’s possible to express yourself through what you wear, without having to compromise your conscience.
There are so many more brands out there, almost too many to list (but I am working on it). But you can check the how ethical of your favourites are with the handy Good On You app.
- Check how a brand rates
- Discover similar brands that do better
- Find deals on the best rated brands
- Send a message to a brand, with a compliment or complaint
3. You can recycle your ‘dead stock’
The Ahimsa Collective are doing their bit to help clean up the world by offering to help recycle Dead Stock.
“Our intention is to place no extra demand on the Planet’s limited resources and therefore our ethos starts from the very sourcing of our materials. We use a mix of materials from industry discards [read: off-cuts from high-end fashion houses or incorrect orders of colour/type/length] that would have otherwise ended up in landfill, and reuse them in things like the linings and structure of our products.”
You can get on board here: Ahimsa Collective
4. Donating Clothes
Most clothes that are donated to charity stores end up in Landfill.
Lifeline Australia stores say that only one third of all donated clothing is good enough to sell in stores. One third is packed up to be exported, a practice that can’t go on for much longer as developing nations are refusing our old clothes.
If one million women bought their next item of clothing secondhand instead of new, we would save 6 MILLION KG of carbon pollution from entering the atmosphere.
Why not try setting up a clothes swap with some friends? Or even attending an event like this one run by the Melbourne Period Project: Clothes Swap
The price of fashion should be reflective of the quality and how the staff are treated. If your new t-shirt costs less than your smashed avocado, it’s likely that the staff are not being paid well and it will fall apart after a few washes.
Buying cheap clothes over and over again will be less cost-effective. Invest in some quality pieces or recycle a donated garment from an Op Shop.