Faye De Lanty is an advocate for sustainable fashion, a thrift-shop stylist, and a passionate environmentalist. She's a regular on Channel 9's Today Show, presenting eco-fashion segments to the masses, and she makes pre-loved clothing look like Prada. When her past time became a practical necessity, she launched her own business, Fashion Hound, to encourage others to think about the fashion life cycle. Faye knows that baby steps can have a significant ripple effect, and as an Ambassador for Salvos Stores, she understands the impact that re-using can have on the local community and the environment.
What is Fashion Hound?
Fashion Hound is a portal to display my eco styling work and share my thoughts on sustainable style. The name is an ode to my beloved beagle of 13 years, Soho, who was always hunting for food and trying to sniff out snacks. I am the same with eco-friendly fashion, so I thought it was the perfect name, plus I feel I'm part dog, ha!
What inspired you to launch Fashion Hound?
My job didn't exist, so I created it. I grew up with parents who were big into being green, and I spent my childhood in antique and second-hand shops. When I was living overseas seven years ago, my passion went from past time to practicality, and thrifting was genuinely all I could afford. I challenged myself to recreate designer looks that I saw on celebs and in Vogue with a small budget using preloved clothing. My best friend Karen pushed me to share my style with the world and start a blog, so I did.
What is 'eco styling' and how do we embrace it?
Eco styling is fashion styling with an environmentally friendly mindset. I work with op shop clothing, vintage clothing and ethical brands, exploring ways to reduce waste and reinvent what we already have by doing things like customising and DIY. To embrace it yourself, just start by heading to your local thrift store and see what you can find. When you shop at second-hand stores, you not only empower people within your community, but you support the planet by diverting textile and homewares from landfill.
Your wedding generated a social media storm. How was it 'eco'?
I wanted to use our wedding as an example of how you can be more mindful. Weddings certainly are wasteful, so I tried to reduce our impact as much as possible to show other brides that your big day can be sustainable, and luckily, my handsome husband was entirely behind it. My dress was made by Australia's first ethically accredited bridal couture designer, Lenka Couture, using organic silk satin and designer deadstock lace. The French lace in my dress was repurposed from offcuts and came in three pieces, but Lenka magically fit it on me bit by bit, and it was such an incredible process. My Lenka Couture bridesmaid dresses used the same organic silk satin, and we dyed them naturally using brown onion skins. Our flowers were 'slow flowers' from Dancing Blossom Studio, locally foraged and free of chemicals, and we donated excess food to Oz Harvest. Our decorative flowers were donated to the local hospital and our wedding stylists used second-hand furniture, local fruits, flowers, vines and soy candles. My mum even saved leaves and flowers from her garden for a year to make our confetti, and our rings were also conflict-free and handmade in Sydney.
Let's talk fast fashion and slow fashion. How do you decide what's what?
Fast fashion is from stores like Zara, Top Shop and H&M. It's cheaply made, mass-produced, and quite often without the workers or the environment in mind. Slow fashion considers its impact and makes sure the production processes honour people and the planet as best it can. Before buying, it's best to look at a brand's website and see if they have any information about their ethics or sustainable practices, or try a source like Good On You. Ask questions, be curious and explore the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes from Fashion Revolution.
A lot of shoppers don't have the confidence to op-shop. What are your tips for creating a staple second-hand wardrobe?
Start simply; just have a look for a cool pair of jeans or a rock tee in the men's section, maybe even a cute clutch or some costume bling and build from there.
Who are your top ethical or sustainable fashion brands?
Internationally, I love The Reformation and Stella McCartney, and locally, I like Kusaga Athletic for the 'greenest tee on the planet', Graziela Label for beautiful tailoring, and Lois Hazel for everything in between.
Do you think the fashion industry is changing for the better or is it all talk?
Yes, I have seen a shift in the last year, and consumers are waking up! There's a lot of work to be done, but it's so exciting to see innovation and the spotlight on sustainability.
For those just getting into ethical and sustainable fashion, how do we educate ourselves?
Watch The True Cost documentary and The War On Waste series; both are so insightful!
Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?
Remember that individual impact is powerful. There are so many small things we can do to make a difference as individuals, like op shopping, slowing down, and thinking before you buy anything new. Ask yourself if you need it, if you'll wear it for #30wears, if you truly love it, and if you can customise something you already have.
Follow Faye's thrift-shop journey via fashionhound.tv.
The Fashion Advocate x