ECO-FASHION DOWN UNDER
Australia and New Zealand’s ethical clothing industry may be small but it’s gaining traction, thanks to the involvement of Ethical Clothing Australia, a government-funded initiative that seeks to make “Australian-made” synonymous with “fairly made,” and Fairwear, a network of community organizations and activists who are working to eliminate worker exploitation in the domestic clothing industry. You may not find much on the main street, but independent boutiques such as Gorman in Victoria brim with a greener modus operandi, whether it’s by supporting the local garment industry or helping disadvantaged communities in Bangladesh and Africa.
Although relatively unknown in America, Canada, and the United Kingdom, our Antipodean counterparts have made great strides in raising public consciousness in the Southern Hemisphere.
Although neither country has an annual “eco-fashion week,” Melbourne’s recent spring events featured myriad exhibitions, seminars, and talks about green fashion. The desire to do better by the planet and its people has taken on a life of its own, with community projects such as The Stitchery in Brisbane and Thread Den in Melbourne hosting sewing workshops, fashion swaps, and discussions on how to “make do and mend.”
Although relatively unknown in America, Canada, and the United Kingdom, our Antipodean counterparts have made great strides in raising public consciousness in the Southern Hemisphere—enough, in fact, for a dedicated eco-fashion magazine like Peppermint to gain an audience. “I believe there is an obvious push towards a more conscious and considerate buying decisions by consumers and with this, the better and more responsive ethical fashion will be,” Alex Trimmer, co-founder of Sosume, tells Ecouterre.