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THE LATEST — Womenswear

If you're like me and need some creative ideas for your last-minute Christmas list, I've compiled my favourite eco-friendly and ethical Australian brands to make sustainable gift giving a little easier for you.

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Stephanie set out with a big lofty goal to create the world’s most sustainable bra when she launched The Very Good Bra and her determination has helped her achieved it.

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Innovative circular brands who chose to use recycled leather save thousands of waste from reaching landfill every year, and in the case of The Elsewhere Co., a single product saves up to 200grams of waste. The production process itself creates zero manufacturing material waste too.

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Once upon a time, I only bought clothes on sale. In my late teens, I loved nothing more than raiding the sale rack at Supré and digging through the bargain bin at City Beach, and I would save all year just to splurge on a shopping spree on Boxing Day. 

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Polyester garments take more than 200 years to break down, but they never decompose; tiny plastic particles exist, forever. So, what's the solution? Ditch polyester and switch to natural, biodegradable, renewable fabrics in your wardrobe, and choose to shop ethically and sustainably.

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Kylie's personal experience with domestic violence was traumatic and life-changing, and it took several years to find herself and her joy again. Over time, her positive affirmations became the foundations for her brand, and now, her statements, 'You are beautiful', 'You are brave', 'You are loved', and 'You are powerful' adorn every pair.

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Around 18 million bras make their way into landfill every few years in the U.S alone, and most of them are made with polyester material and plastic fixtures.⁠ If they're made with fabrics like polyester, nylon, synthetic lace or mesh, they can take up to 200 years to decompose.

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Australian-based label, U&I, fills the gap between the uninspiring triangle and forgotten function, and their values are just as strong as their long-lasting quality swimwear.

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Scrunchies have become a sustainable, zero-waste statement for fashion brands and a practical way to minimise fabric offcuts and waste. Help reduce waste and tame your mane sustainably with my pick of the bunch for Australian designed, ethical and sustainable scrunchies...

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The Australian Government Department of Health guideline have confirmed, repeatedly, that cloth face masks are suitable for us everyday folk, with two layers a minimum, and three layers for better protection. 

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Together, we exist to create change, and together, we use our businesses as a force for good. Our community of brands create positive social and environmental change every day, consciously designing and creatively thinking, always in pursuit of a better, more ethical and sustainable world.    

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I launched The Fashion Advocate in 2014 in support of Australian made labels, and to encourage consumers to shop consciously. In 2018, I welcomed New Zealand labels to the mix, and in 2019, I opened up our online offering to Australian-designed labels who manufacture ethically overseas.

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Fashion Revolution Week is upon us and in the wake of COVID-19, we're scrutinising fashion now more than ever. Australia’s NBN network has seen a daytime usage increase of 80% and searches for 'sustainable fashion' increased 110% in March. We're glued to our screens and we're looking for more sustainable alternatives in every aspect of our lives. If there's a silver lining to this coronavirus crisis, a shift to more sustainable living is it. 

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Each Zia Lozen piece is a statement; made with luxurious natural fabrics and adorned with intricate embellishments, the range is 100% ethically made and designed for women who live boldly.

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I Found Lucy. is a label with an artistic heart and unswayable ethos, and incredibly, Lucy is a self-taught designer and dressmaker too. She channels her childhood love of all things arts and craft into her label, and she's not shy about the kind of woman she's designing for; I found Lucy. is a brand for the unapologetically feminine. 

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The Lauren & Angie aesthetic is a carefree and eco-friendly one; simple, everyday pieces in organic cotton, linen and other natural fibres make for the perfect staple wardrobe. 

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There's something powerful about a strong monochrome outfit, and an even bigger statement is to be made when it's ethically handcrafted too. Shiva Novinfar agrees, and her namesake label is a reflection of her own values, style and vision for the kind of industry she wants to work in.

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Co-founders and designers Jodie Hayes and Emma Bäcklund are determined to influence positive impact in the fashion industry, and their attitude towards sustainability and women's surf culture have garnered a strong following for their brand in recent years.

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Alex Dash is a fellow sustainability advocate, and the creative mind behind Shapes in the Sand, an Australian made, circular, and ethical swimwear label. Channelling her love of all things natural and her innate desire to make a positive impact, Alex uses her fashion label as a force for good, and she's been making waves in the industry since launching in 2014 too.

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Now, as we move into our sixth year, three runways later, a few awards in the mix, a pop-up (and another coming soon), and a reach of over 40,000 across our digital network, I am so damn happy with what we've built as a team and community - but we have so much further to go.

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I believe that fashion should be consciously made with people and the planet prioritised over profits, and I believe it can co-exist with morals without compromising on style. Good fashion should make you feel good, inside and out, but not at the expense of the maker, and this is exactly what the team at Brooke Da Cruz believe in too.

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From ethical production and using sustainable fabrics to empowering women and choosing quality over quantity, Berit inspires positive change, and Sometimes Sundays a testament to the possibilities of how fashion can be used as a force for good.

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When it comes to an Orocéo Castro garment, that feeling is exactly what designer and co-owner Paolo Castro is passionate about sharing with the world, and it's something his grandmother shared with him. 

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The Folktribe design philosophy embodies longevity and versatility to create and craft pieces that can be treasured and worn season after season, year after year, beautifully and effortlessly. Folktribe are also a proud plastic-free label, and absolutely no plastic is used throughout their entire supply chain, business operations, and personal lives.

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