- August 03, 2017
- Posted by Claire Goldsworthy
- No comments
It’s not easy adopting an entirely ethical and sustainable wardrobe after years of fast fashion binging, but every garment counts and you can make a difference today. The Fashion Advocate e-boutique stocks only Australian labels who uphold high ethical standards. We support local and handmade businesses, we endorse the use of eco-friendly and sustainable materials, and we accept only ethical working conditions. We're transparent about our supply chain and we're happy to answer any questions you may have about any of the goods we sell too.
To make the learning journey a little easier for you, our labels' values are listed on their profiles, and every garment description outlines its origins, manufacturing standards and applicable industry accreditations.
Sadly, ‘fast fashion’ has become a norm for the global clothing and footwear industry, and the impacts of our clothing habits are swept under the rug at the hands of profit and greed. To see a serious positive change in the fashion industry, we must first understand the consequences of our shopping habits. The facts are shameful. The impacts are monumental. The mistreatment, abuse and exploitation of garment industry workers is inhumane, and our industry is in need of a desperate operational overhaul. Fashion Revolution estimates that more than 76 million people are subject to modern slavery today, many of whom are working in the supply chains of Western fashion brands. The devastating Bangladesh Rana Plaza collapse in 2013 was the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry worldwide, killing 1138 garment workers and injuring thousands. The 'latest trend' can not be used as an excuse, and human life is not a currency for which to trade for 'cheaper' clothing. We can improve the working conditions and standards in the garment industry simply by raising awareness and demanding transparency. You can make a difference by participating in the 'slow fashion' space, and by supporting local and ethical brands so that the pressure on the fast fashion system is alleviated. Every Australian label stocked online at The Fashion Advocate manufactures their collections ethically with the promise that working conditions are safe and wages are fair. We also stock a range of brands which are Ethical Clothing Australia accredited, which ensures that their Australian supply chains are fully transparent and legally compliant throughout the entire cut, make and trim process.
Sustainability is the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level, and in fashion, it is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. It is about buying, using, wearing, washing and disposing of garments in environmentally-friendly ways. By reading your garment labels, researching the fibres used, and thinking about the long-term impacts of your buying habits, you can reduce the impact each one of your purchases has on the environment. Conventional cotton crops use 3 per cent of the globe’s agricultural land space and 25 per cent of the world’s use of insecticides, and over 2700 litres of water are used in the manufacture of just one cotton t-shirt. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester are made from petrochemicals which do not biodegrade, and the production of nylon creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas which is 300 times more damaging than carbon dioxide. You can help reduce these environmental impacts by buying garments made with organic or natural fabrics, limiting dry cleaning, and recycling or repairing your garments. Buying locally made goods also reduces transport emissions created by importing. Australians are the world’s second largest consumers of textiles, and these statistics are simply not sustainable. By buying less, choosing well and shopping local, you can reduce your consumption of clothing and make a positive global impact.
+ AUSTRALIAN MADE
Australia adheres to strict industrial awards, legislation, and national employment standards to protect our manufacturers and workers, ensuring safe working conditions, fair working hours, award wages, superannuation and sick leave. Knowing where our garments are made and in what conditions they are made in, is something worth paying for. Supporting Australian made fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands also lessens the industry’s greater carbon footprint, as shipping and transport emissions are decreased with shorter travel distances. For every $1 million that is new or retained manufacturing business for Australia, the following effects also flow through the economy; $713,400 worth of GVA (gross value added) is generated, six full-time equivalent jobs are created, $64,900 worth of welfare expenditure is saved, and $225,300 worth of tax revenue is generated. Supporting local brands positively impacts our economy and our community, and it promotes a thriving Australian creative industry.
Global fast fashion brands employ the use of machinery, not people, to churn out thousands of the same garment, and there’s nothing special about that. The Fashion Advocate e-boutique supports Australian brands who hand make each individual garment with dedication, precision and passion. Handmade goods are unique; whether they are one of a kind or form part of a limited run collection, they are made slowly with care by a real person, and they represent the designer’s story and brand vision. The traditional techniques of handcrafting are valued and sewn into each piece to last a lifetime.
+ AUSTRALIAN TEXTILES
Australia’s wool and cotton industries are part of our heritage, our history and our evolution as a country. Australia is the world’s number one producer of premium quality fine wool, and it is the largest producer of all wools by value and volume. Wool is a completely natural fibre, grown year-round by Australia’s 71 million sheep which consume a simple blend of water, air, sunshine and grass. It is biodegradable, renewable, breathable, stain resistant, anti-wrinkle, fire resistant and odour resistant. Australian Merino wool is recognised worldwide for its pure and white characteristics, and no other breed can match the fineness and softness of the fleece.
Organic fibres use up to 60 per cent less water than conventionally farmed crops, they’re less damaging to the environment during the cultivating and decomposing phase, and they’re a safer alternative to petrochemical-based synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester. Conventionally farmed crops are treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and Genetically Modified Organisms, and these chemicals seep into run-off water after heavy rains, poisoning lakes, rivers and waterways. Opting to buy and wear organic fabrics dramatically reduces the impact on the environment and the risk of chemical-related diseases. Organic materials are safer for farmers and workers, healthier to wear for the end consumer, and ultimately better for the entire wildlife eco-system.
Vegan materials do not contain any animal products and no animals are used in the manufacturing process, including for testing of ingredients. Vegan Australia defines veganism as a social justice movement that is striving to bring about a world where animals are not exploited for food, clothing, entertainment or any other purpose. The U.N. has identified the animal industries as 'one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems', including global warming, loss of fresh water, rainforest destruction, spreading deserts, air and water pollution, acid rain, soil erosion and loss of habitat. Buying vegan-friendly garments dramatically reduces the environmental impact of your wardrobe.
When we know the origins of our clothing and in what conditions they were made, we can make informed choices and stand up against fast fashion. The Fashion Advocate stocks Australian made brands who are proudly transparent and happy to answer any questions you may have about their supply chains and manufacturing methods. If you want to know where certain fabrics come from and how they’ve been woven, or what dyes and formulas are used, or if you simply want to know how your garments were made and the name of the person who lovingly handmade it – all you have to do is ask. We’re an open book.
+ LOCAL LOOP
Local loop brands start and end in Australia, ensuring onshore processes during the entire manufacturing phase. All fibres are grown or farmed locally in Australia, fabrics are also woven or knitted locally in Australia, and the garments are cut and sewn in Australia. Local loop labels closely monitor their entire supply chain which in turn, lowers carbon omissions with local processes and ensures higher standards from start to finish.
+ SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
Social enterprises trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide access to employment and skills development, or positively impact the environment. Social enterprises include not-for-profit brands and brands who donate a percentage of their profits to charities and community or environmental projects.
Every garment sold online at The Fashion Advocate e-boutique is Australian made, however some garments are made with fabrics and materials which have been sourced internationally. Brands which display the Fairtrade mark meet international agreed Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards across all areas of sourcing and manufacturing.
+ SLOW FASHION
Only a few hundred years ago, everything we needed was made by hand. Now, factories and machinery churn out fashion faster than we can wear it, and while technology has built the world we live in today, the handmade fashion realm is one which struggles in this environment. 'Slow fashion' is fashion that takes time; each piece is made by a person instead of mass-produced on machinery and it's often 'made to order' - which means there's less textile waste, less energy consumption, and more love.