SUSTAINABLE STYLE: AUSSIE DESIGNERS LEADING THE WAY IN ETHICAL FASHION
Unfortunately the fashion industry often gets a bad wrap for unethical practices. The environmental and social impact of producing clothing is huge and wide reaching; from the materials used, to the working conditions in factories. In today’s throwaway fashion culture, ethical clothing is often not in the forefront of people’s minds. I’m guilty of quickly buying a cheap dress for a night out and not putting much (or any!) thought into where it has come from or how it was made.
But there is good news!
Style and sustainability need not be mutually exclusive. There are designers out there that care about the provenance of what they produce and while doing so make damn cool clothing.
Here are a few of my favourite Aussie designers that have embraced sustainable practices. You might already know and love some of these brands but not be aware of all the good stuff they do behind the scenes.
Distinctive whimsical prints, timeless silhouettes and luxurious knits.
Eco-conscious Lisa Gorman is a bit of pioneer when it comes to sustainable fashion practices. Every year, since 2007, Gorman produces 'Gorman Organic' using organic, recyclable and sustainable materials. A natural approach is taken to shop fit outs, using eco and recyclable materials. They have also managed to reduce plastic packaging on bulk orders by 90%. Rounding out this 360 approach to sustainability, Gorman also have polices on animal welfare and social and ethical conduct. You can read the full list of their sustainable practices here.
Understated, long lasting luxe cotton basics
Bassike creates timeless wardrobe staples using Australian made organic cotton jersey that are made to last. The 100% organic cotton and denim are treated with an oxygen wash, which requires no water or chemicals. Bassike is a member of Climakind, a carbon price-trading scheme that allows companies and individuals to offset their carbon emission through the emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Premium on trend denim
This Melbourne based brand has been working with Sustainability Victoria to reduce energy, water and waste across its manufacturing facilities which are all located in Australia. Through this program Nobody Denim has reduced the usage of chemicals by 20% as well as water and energy reductions. They are accredited with Ethical Clothing Standards Australia, this organisations assists designers with meeting ethical standards such as fair wages and decent conditions for workers.
So now that you are inspired to undertake some ethical online shopping, here are few points to keep in mind after you purchase your new threads:
Store: so important and often over looked, correct storage of clothing will ensure they last for many years.
Wash: try to reduce the amount of times you wash garments, when you do need to, make sure it’s at a low temp and use non-toxic, biodegradable washing liquid or powder. Avoid the dryer; use the clothesline and only iron if absolutely necessary.
Mend: don’t despair if your favourite item of clothing is damaged, it most likely can be darned or repurposed into something else. A good dressmaker will be able to do this.
*Cover image credit: Nobody Denim