You try to eat organic, your bathroom cabinet is slowly being stocked with natural beauty and you’re considering meat-free Mondays, but what about your fashion? How often are you swapping a fast fashion brand for a conscious, eco-friendly ethical one instead?
At this morning’s MBFWA Future Talks and Clean Cut Fashion event, a panel of Gabrielle Manning (Manning Cartell co-founder), Margie Woods (founder of Viktoria & Woods) and Laura Wells (model and environmentalist) with expert hosting by journalist Clare Press, discussed the current landscape of the Australian fashion industry when it comes to ethically minded production.
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The focus was less on naming and shaming, more on beginning the discussion – if you’re starting to think about swapping high street for highly conscious brands, you’re already doing better than you from a few years ago.
As echoed by the panel, ethical fashion is a subject that’s only come to the fore, even for them, in recent years. For Laura, particularly, deciding whether she’ll take a piece home now goes beyond price.
“It’s something that’s changed in the last five years for me,” Laura told the crowd. “Now I’m not just noticing the price tag, now I’m looking at how long I’m going to have this piece for. Can I repair it if it needs mending? What is its backstory? Does the store have a recycling policy?”
This simple line of questioning before purchasing a piece plants the seeds for discussion for your own fashion buying policy, but also that of friends and those around you.
Other questions you can ask have even less to do with the supply chain and more to do with your consumption of clothing. For example, “Do I need this?”, “Would I buy this if it wasn’t on sale?”, “Is it well made?”
These questions are really a trigger for your own internal discussion. Then the action is up to you.