Let's Talk Ethical Fashion
As ethical and sustainable fashion are becoming the new norm, it can still be hard to know what to look for in an ethical brand, what values are most important, how they differ from one another and most importantly, where to find them!
Where to start?
So what do we want in a fashion label? Its not often something we take the time to think about as consumers. But as we start to become more conscious in our consuming we begin to think;
- Do we want our clothing locally made?
- Made with natural fibres?
- Do we want to support social enterprises or small businesses?
- Do we want to know who makes our clothes?
- Do we want to know if the seamstress is getting a fair wage?
- Do we want to know where the fabric is sourced from?
- Are the collections produced in limited runs?
Not only do we want the clothes we are buying to fit so many of these criteria, but we also want them to fit our personality and style.Which isn’t always easy!
We are very lucky in Australia that there are so many amazing ethical and sustainable fashion labels that cater for a variety of styles, personalities, sizes, budgets and values.
So tell me where to find them already!
There are great websites that can offer some helpful direction as to which labels fit your style and values. Well Made Clothes brings together brands from all over the world that are working hard to maintain an ethical and sustainable fashion label. With a focus on New Zealand and Australian brands there is great variety available to fit your needs. Whilst it does mainly stock the bigger more established brands it also has great articles on fashion and the environment as well as ethical practice in the industry.
Ethical Made Easy is another great Australian website that does all the hard work for you. It pulls together all the ethical and sustainable brands they think are great and have them listed and described on their website. So if you are thinking you need some new jeans you can find out which labels are doing a good job and why, as well as where to find them!
Another great example is Ethi Collective and Eco Mono. Both these websites only stock ethical and sustainable brands that fit their values. Based in Australia, their websites offer a range of fashion for women and men as well as accessories, beauty and homewares.
If you are looking for the smaller start up labels that are not opting for wholesale, these are a bit tricker to find. We would suggest the following methods;
You can take to instagram and start following hashtags such as #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #australianmade #melbournemade #naturalfibres
There are many amazing ethical and sustainable fashion bloggers that you can follow that are continually sharing new designers work. Some great example are:
- The Fashion Advocate
- The Green Hub
- Sustainability Portal
- Eco Warrior Princess
- Good on You
Thirdly, AFC Curated. It is an initiative launched by the Australian Fashion Council, who support local emerging fashion businesses. You can find a list of labels on their website as well as pop up stores throughout the year.
Local markets are a great way to discover smaller fashion labels. It is often a great way for small labels to connect with their customer and gain some exposure. It is also a great way to meet the designers and makers behind the brand, find out more about the label and ask and questions you might have about them, their product and how it fares ethically and sustainably.
And remember, everyone starts somewhere, so have a think about the values that are important to you and go from there! You can’t go wrong.