Hustling to grow Australia's largest online store for slow fashion landed me in hospital.

I still have a lot to learn, but if there's one thing I know for sure, it's that the fashion industry is a beast.

Being the founder of Australia's largest online store for ethical and sustainable fashion might sound like a big deal, but the awards and the acclaim came at a cost for me.

I was desperate to make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, so I worked like my name depended on it. I was on a quest to be the best, sell the most, and of course change the world, but I was driven by a desire to be known for something. I worked and I worked and I worked and I sacrificed and I sacrificed and I sacrificed on that quest, and it eventually caught up with me in a very bad way. 

Five years into building my business, I burned out, and I'm talking seriously burned out. I ended up connected to all sorts of machines with heart palpitations, vertigo and migraines. I regularly lost my vision, I couldn't sleep, I was nauseous all the time, and I lived on a diet of coffee, wine, Instagram likes and adrenaline. I'd worked too hard for too long chasing the wrong dream to sell, sell, sell, and even though it was sustainable fashion I was selling, it never should have come at the cost of my health and happiness.

At that crash and burn point in my career, it became very clear that things had to change, so I started my next journey - one into personal and professional development - and I did a lot of mental health work. I continued to run The Fashion Advocate as an online store but I dramatically changed the way I did business, and as a result, I dramatically changed my income and my stress levels for the better too.

Now, I run my business very differently to how I did before I crashed and burned, but my experience of 'the hustle and grind' is why The Fashion Advocate is what it is today. 

We've all become a little too caught up in selling and making and consuming and succeeding. We've lost connection, we've lost community and we've lost what it means to have a really good conversation with our customers.

Nowadays, it's all about converting and convincing, but that's the thing I want to change. I want to slow things down. I want to bring the magic back to fashion and make it about the people and the planet, not just about the profit.

What I teach isn't about making more and selling more. Some of it is, because I want slow fashion brands to thrive in this saturated world of fast fashion, but what I teach is also about selling less, slowing down, and reconnecting with purpose and meaning. It's also about creating a business journey of joy, because running a fashion business isn't meant to make you stressed, overwhelmed or exhausted, no matter how ethical or sustainable that fashion is.

People are important. The planet is important. Community is important. Connection is important. There are so many beautiful things in this world that are so much more important than money and sales, and it's what I weave through everything I do at The Fashion Advocate. 

If you've stumbled across this story because you're looking for a quick fix strategy to explode your sales and become a million-dollar-making overnight fashion industry success, I hate to burst your bubble, but I'm not your gal.

If, on the other hand, you're here because you want to find a way to use your fashion business as a force for good, you care about your impact and you know you're meant for something more than just making money - you're reading this for a reason.

There's no hard sell in this story. There's no link to buy something. There's no gentle nudge to sign up for something free that turns into me selling you something sell, later.

This is just a conversation, and conversations create change. We need to have more of them. This is just one passionate slow fashion advocate sharing her experience from the couch on a Friday night and no, I'm not 'Friday-night-drunk-blogging' like I used to, I'm six-months pregnant. I'm sharing my thoughts in the hopes that I can inspire you to think about why you're really in business. I want you to think about how you're fostering community and caring for your customers. I want you to think about what you're doing to create change in a way that brings you joy, not just sales.

If I can renounce Australia's largest online store for ethical and sustainable fashion to transform my business and teach fashion brands to slow down and reinvent the fashion industry together, you can change your business for the better too.

Claire x

The Fashion Advocate ethical sustainable slow fashion expert online course mentor coach

The Fashion Advocate ethical sustainable circular slow fashion business strategy mentor online course marketing how to

I spent my first five years in business stressed and in debt.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or if you're not making enough sales to survive, you're not alone. I've been there.

I was exhausted and I wanted to quit.

Then I worked out a strategy that dramatically changed my business, increased my sales, and saved me time. I want to share it with you!


Want to know the top three ways to grow a successful and sustainable fashion brand?


    Every week on Instagram, you can ask me anything about fashion, business, ethical manufacturing, sustainability, and growth to get the answers you need to overcome challenges. Marketing, PR, your strategy, sales, how to wholesale, Instagram engagement, customers, sourcing... Whatever it is, ask me your questions and I'll go LIVE on Instagram with the answers you need to move forward.



    To build a successful, sustainable and profitable fashion business, you have to empower yourself with knowledge and learn from others in the industry. I ran one of the largest online stores for ethical and sustainable fashion for over a decade, and I learned the ins and outs and the rights and wrongs of building a business. Now I'm sharing my strategies on my blog so you can take what you need to grow!



    The only difference between a big fashion business and a small fashion business is a different skillset. Everything your competitors know - you can learn. My online courses and masterclasses are specifically designed for ethical and sustainable fashion brands, labels and businesses, so you can build your skillset, level up, fast-track your success and increase your impact.