A Guide To Sustainable Fashion Choices for the Conscious Consumer

Are you looking to consciously build a more sustainable wardrobe but don't know where to start? Eco fashion is squarely at the fore front of everyone's minds at the moment and rightly so. As we become increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of our human actions making sustainable fashion choices to reduce our footprint is an important step. So how do you know if a designer is considered sustainable fashion? First let's see what the hype is all about....

What Is Sustainable Clothing?

Sustainability is made up of three equally important key categories; economical, environmental and social. When applied to sustainable fashion all three categories come into effect. This is to ensure fashion brands are taking the necessary steps to ensure all aspects of their processes from design through to production is considered. Key points to check off when looking for sustainable clothing are; is it eco-friendly? It is of a quality that will last a long time and is it ethically made in a fair work environment? 

The Pillars of Sustainable Fashion

Let's dig a little deeper into the core elements of ethical fashion in Australia and how we can make informed choices.
Choose brands that use materials that are recycled or vintage fabrics meaning designer are actively looking to move towards a zero-waste policy by reusing old fabrics, off cuts and scraps to reduce waste. M.A Dainty have just released their new capsule collection; Circular by Maud Alice Dainty. Designer Michelle Barry has taken her existing end of roll and remnants fabrics to create one off pairs of handmade shoes creating a new item with heritage and history.
 Choose fibres that are clean and easy to grow such as hemp, flax and wool. When looking for cotton organic is the only way to go. GOTS certified organic cotton ensures a clean process that avoids harsh chemicals and cares for the farmer and their growing conditions. ELK the label's dresses feature a range of organic fibres. 
Shopping locally also keeps transport costs down which in turns requires less energy and has a smaller carbon footprint that garments that are manufactured offshore. Mela Purdie's premium quality clothing is proudly made in Australia in local factories by workers who are paid fairly and enjoy the proper conditions and benefits entitled to all Australian employees. Another Australian fashion brand that manufactures in their own factories that employ workers who have access to fair pay and work conditions is Mia Fratino's eco conscious family-owned factory in Sri Lanka where all their beautiful cashmere garments are made.

  Ethical Fashion vs Fast Fashion

Ethical fashion champions the importance of transparency, social responsibility and eco conscious production. The focus is on a quality product with longevity and a consume less attitude. In comparison, fast fashion is all about trend driven sales and a need to satisfy the ever-changing appetite of consumers. A high turnover of styles means items are produced very rapidly in exploitative conditions using poor quality materials and toxic chemicals and dyes. The result is a cheap product that is quickly discarded.

 Why Choose Sustainable Fashion in Australia?

Australia is a country hugely rich in resources and talent meaning we have all the tools needed to create sustainable clothing. We produce top quality materials such as wool, cotton, leather and flax used for linen. By choosing products produced in Australia using local materials it ensures a shorter supply chain which in turn has a smaller footprint while ensuring a circular economy allowing for growth. We have so many incredible designers here, there's no excuse not to shop local!

Australian Brands Leading the Way

ELK the Label has always been a champion of Australian ethical fashion brands. Their sustainability statement is transparent and honest and showcases the way the brand operates in an ethical manner in every aspect of their business from design to production. 
Mia Fratino is all about quiet luxury and creating products that stand the test of time. Not only are they made to last, but they are also constructed with 100% biodegradable fibres that are sustainably sourced. They are also ethically made treating their workers to the same privileges as any factory worker in Australia. Further to this they take their social responsibility seriously by setting up the Mia Fratino Foundation which raises funds for women in poverty. 

Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

 How do I build a sustainable wardrobe? Just by changing your mind set you are already on the way to supporting ethical change in your fashion choices, well done! But how else can you create an ethical wardrobe... some points to consider:
-Do you research. Start reading the mission statements and transparency reports from your favourite designers and make sure their green credentials stack up!
-Care for your existing clothing correctly. Make sure you wash and store your garments in the right way and be sure to mend or alter before discarding altogether.
-Organise your wardrobe and clearly identify the gaps. Then you can shop with purpose. Starting with the basics is always a good idea. Choose a fabulous pair of denim jeans that fit you like a dream then wear them regularly. Add core pieces such as an ELK classic T and a white cotton shirt (organic of course!) with a quality cashmere knit and tailored blazer. By choosing sustainable fashion pieces you will ensure longevity and timeless style dominates your wardrobe.

Explore Australia’s Leading Ethical Fashion Collections Today!

At Impulse we strongly believe in making informed choices and supporting Australian ethical fashion brands as much as we can. We are proud to work closely with Australian designers such as ELK the label, Mia Fratino and Talamaya who strive to create a product that is conscious of our environment now and in the future. 

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