More and more clients are requesting sustainable fashion labels when we shop together. So when my lovely client Sally requested I do a blog post on this topic, I pulled together the information below.
I love getting requests for articles as I prefer to write about topics you are keen to know more about so, by all means, email me!
So let’s talk sustainability. A topic that has kept me passionate at home as I am really excited that, on average, our house is 99% self powered with solar energy ☀️. I am a lot smarter with when and what appliances I use and in what combination.
But how can we make our fashion choices more sustainable….?
START AT HOME
I really feel that we need to start with ourselves. Sustainable fashion means taking a really slow approach to your wardrobe. Making calculated buying decisions, based not on want but on love, is what is going to create a collection of outfits you love wearing for many seasons.
As I pick outfits of the racks during style sessions, I run a checklist in my head about each item. And these checklists I share with my Inner Circle of Style subscribers based on each season. This is when you start being smart about your wardrobe, almost a bit mathematical. Join the next spring Inner Circle group starting 1st of September.
There are many options how you can recycle the pieces in your wardrobe you no longer want. Sustainable fashion that gets loved by even more people apart from yourself.
If the item is in great nick, you can sell it on eBay or Facebook’s Marketplace. If the item is a designer brand you can sell on French founded Vestiaire Collective or look for Designer Buy Swap and Sell groups on Facebook.
There are also local second hand stores you can google that will buy your items. Newtown is a massive hub for second hand clothes but I even have a cute boutique near me in Miranda that buys clothes.
The charity bins will all take your old clothes but not all bins will resell the clothes in stores like Vinnies, The Smiths Family and Salvos. If there is not a clear sign on the charity bin, your clothes will most likely be sold to places like Bunnings as rags to raise funds for their charity.
Dress for Success helps women in need with styling help, coaching and clothes and they have a collection point in Marrickville.
H&M has boxes in all stores where you can recycle your clothes which they will use for future collections.
MADE IN AUSTRALIA
Knowing where your clothes are made is a huge step forward in sustainability. Not only do we create jobs and keep the rag trade alive but we also buy clothes that are made in safe environments protected by our Australian Health & Safety regulations. This often means a higher price point and it does not guarantee that the fabric is made in Australia.
Cue is famously made in Australia but Cue City (and a few other items they offer as per their website) which offers clothes at a lower price point is not.
Birds Nest has an Australian Made tab on their website.
David Jones has a Mindfully Made section on their website. This is what they say about this “As a leading responsible retailer, David Jones is proud to work with many brands that support our Good Business Journey. To help customers shop in a way that reflects their values, this “Mindfully Made” edit features garments that each have at least one sustainability attribute.”
Spell Byron Bay not only make some of the world’s most beautiful bohemian clothes, but they are also a brand at the forefront of ethical practices and sustainability. Their 2025 plan is laid out in detail on their website, comprising of supply chain transparency, sustainable fibre use and environmentally conscious dye and printing practices, to name a few.
NAGNATA Sister Design Duo, Laura May and Hannah are driven by design and textile innovation and believe style does not need to be scarified in the pursuit of sustainable fashion. NAGNATA are committed to minimising the waste of raw materials in fashion production and keeping the use of synthetic fibres in their textiles to a minimum.
ELK The Label The brand’s mission is to design and manufacture well-considered sustainable fashion products that support traditional trades and circular economy and that are made responsibly, with regard for people, animals and the environment.
KITX, One of Australia’s champions in ethical sustainable fashion clothing, KITX has promised to consciously source every material and component of its designs. The brand uses certified organic, renewable, and recycled ‘manmade’ fibres sourced from fully traceable and fair trade suppliers who adhere to globally recognised social and environmental standards. KITX is also committed to working with sewing and finishing contractors who are committed to quality working conditions.
It’s latest venture into ethical and sustainable manufacturing comes with the release of its ‘Save The Bees’ organic cotton series. Made using eco-friendly organic cotton that’s free from all synthetic pesticides and insecticides, the tee works to maintain the integrity of the environment and its inhabitants.
Ginger & Smart, a leader in Australian sustainable fashion since 2002, is a committed advocate of socially responsible business initiatives. Where possible, the brand sources fabrics that are recyclable and biodegradable minimising the use of harmful chemicals and excessive water usage in both the production of their clothes. Adequate wages, healthy working hours, a safe hygienic workplace, protection of the environment, prohibition of forced labour and elimination of child labour are all vital to the brand’s social responsibility.
The Iconic says this about sustainability, “We at THE ICONIC recognise the responsibility to fully understand the social and environmental impacts of our organisation for the better of all communities involved. From working conditions in the supply chain and community issues that concern our people and customers, to the environmental impacts of our packaging and transporting orders to customers, our responsibility is multifaceted, and each of these facets are equally important.”
ASOS, says this to their investors: ” SUSTAINABLE SOURCING PROGRAMME, We’re using our growing global reach to create, promote and sell products that are more socially and environmentally responsible. We’re also passionate about engaging our customers on sustainability. The continued growth of the Sustainable Sourcing team, which now consists of eleven sustainability experts, reflects ASOS’s level of ambition and commitment to embedding sustainability across all of the ASOS Brands.”
ETHICAL FASHION REPORT
Every year Baptist World Aid Australia looks at 130 clothing companies in Australia and hands out A to F grades based on slavery, child labour, exploitation, transparency, and environmental degradation in their supply chains. There is an app now as well that you can download and here is a link to the 2019 Ethical Fashion Guide.