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Today marks the launch of The Fashion Advocate’s 2017 Australian made campaign, a 12-month project which will see local fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands receive the attention and promotion they deserve.

I’ve always been conscious of my own consuming habits; I’m a recycling nut, I buy and eat mostly organic, I use environmentally friendly bathroom and cleaning products, and much of my wardrobe is stocked with Australian brands. I like to think I live a conscious and positive life through the fashion, beauty and lifestyle choices I make, but it takes more than one person to create change.

In the garment industry alone, 168 million children are forced into labour exploitation in third world countries every year, and millions of workers are paid wages so low that they’ll never escape poverty. And when it comes to beauty, women own up to 40 different products at any given time and throw away up to 87% of partially-used makeup. Besides the wasted time, energy and money spent on these products, the impacts of a beauty product’s lifecycle are caustic. Manufacturing and testing is a chemical-filled and environmentally hazardous process, and when half-used products end up landfill, the soil is poisoned with harmful substances like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, parabens and petrolatum.

It all sounds a bit doom and gloom, but it doesn’t have to be. By supporting Australian made fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, the positive effects extend far beyond our own shoreline. Locally manufactured, ethically made Australian products relieve the pressure on the offshore system, and in turn, dramatically reduce the damaging impacts on the environment and humanity.

Supporting Australian brands is about making conscious choices for the future of our local industry and the future of our local economy, and it’s about knowing the impact of your own purchases. It’s just not good enough to buy a product because it’s the cheapest option; as we see more and more environmental devastation, offshore garment industry disasters and fast-fashion sweat-shop deaths, local business closures and a declining local economy, we need to make a change.

It’s a ripple effect when it comes to the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry, and it starts with you, my readers, my followers. You are the shopper, you are the decision maker, you are the positive change.Follow my journey this year as I explore our local industry and share the stories of brands and businesses who are also advocating for change.

I’ll only be promoting Australian made brands, with the exception of Australian designed brands who manufacture ethically, sustainably or with a social enterprise focus. In either case, you’ll know the exact origin of every single product I promote this year, where and how it came to be, the impact of its manufacturing process and the reasons why you should support each brand. and

In the meantime, educate yourself. You’ll find a few great reading resources at The True Cost, Fashion Revolution, To Die For, Ethical Clothing Australia and Good On You.

Photo: Peter Berzanskis.

The Fashion Advocate x

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