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Any Start is a Good Start

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I would love to extend a warm welcome and thanks for stopping by This project was created with passion admiration and warmth using rich visual design to educate raise awareness and bring hope to the fashion industry s future Every small contribution can lead to infinite change This book was designed to be read kept or passed on to through a continuous line of people who share these values It is now in your hands Happy Reading E 9 10

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Biodegradable Biodegradable items on the contrary can naturally decompose in the environment and avoid pollution 1 Living Wage A living wage is the bare minimum wage required for workers to live a decent life 10 Cruelty free It refers to products usually cosmetics that have not been tested on animals 2 Organic Organic refers to raw materials that are not genetically modified GM and have been grown without any chemical pesticides and insecticides 11 Circular Fashion Is about designing waste and pollution out of our clothes and ensuring they help regenerate natural systems at the end of their long lives 3 Before we begin I d like to define a few terms related to ethical and sustainable fashion It is critical to get to know some of these phrases and understand the fashion industry s positive and negative terminology Bookmark this page to quickly refer back to these words when you come across them Recycling Recycling is the action of converting waste into something new 12 Deadstock Fabric Means the company uses the fabric material left unused by some other textile companies 4 Slow Fashion A movement approach to fashion which considers the process and resources required to make clothing particularly focusing on sustainability It means buying better quality garments less often that will last for longer and values fair treatment of people animals and the planet 13 Diversity Inclusivity A movement that directly addresses the representation of diverse peoples in everything from the supply chain to the models used in advertisement to leadership positions 5 Sustainable Fashion Finding a balance when designing manufacturing and consuming clothes It means avoiding the depletion of natural resources but also the exploitation of individuals and communities 14 Ethical Fashion Ethical fashion goes beyond your local labour laws and covers a wide range of issues such as living wages working conditions animal welfare and vegan fashion 6 Transparency Transparency is the practice of openly sharing information about how where and by whom a product was made 15 Fast Fashion A model of mass producing cheaply made of themoment items that are sold at a lower price point 7 Fairtrade Fair trade describes a brand or an individual product that has been certified and labelled by an independent organisation because it meets certain standards 8 Upcycling It is about re using and re purposing old items to make something new 16 Greenwashing Greenwashing is the use of marketing to portray an organisation s products activities or policies as environmentally friendly when they are not 9 13 14

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TH E E NV IR ON ME NTA L HA RM A ND UNFA IR CONDITIONS F OR TH E O NES INVO LVED IN TH E PR ODUC T IO N 17 Ethical fashion tends to call out everything from living wages and healthy working conditions to animal welfare and vegan fashion 18 Choosing environmentally sustainable products and employing sourcing and production methods compliant with the regulations of fair trade 19 Often referring to clothing made with materials that are recycled eco friendly using organic fibres or under fair trade conditions Ethicality within the fashion industry links to being a fundamental function to meet basic human physiological needs by fulfilling consumers specifically psychological needs 20 15 16

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PR OD U CTS H AV E BE E N MANUFAC T URED IN A MA NNE R TH AT IS U NAB LE T O BE MAINTA INED F R OM AN E NV IR ONMENTAL O R A S OCIAL STANDP OINT 21 Sustainable fashion is referred to as longevity environmental social and economic systems and industries need to be designed in a way that means they are in balance and can be maintained well into the future 22 Therefore sustainable fashion is purely about encouraging taking long term approaches to clothing design manufacturing and consumption It s about fashion that both creates good and avoids harm whether to people the planet or animals 23 17 18

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As a consumer it is vital to understand the origins of the clothing you purchase Introducing local Australian brands to reflect raw and authentic information about the process of ethical and sustainable fashion This will serve as a guide and reference when you purchase an outfit or update your wardrobe The following pages will introduce ethical and sustainable brands including interviews on how they practice their values 23 24

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Bilboa is an ethically manufactured Australian made fashion label committed to its focus on the slow fashion movement in every aspect from design to cutting and construction the collection is handmade in Byron Bay Designer and creator Osha right aims for each piece of clothing to create a feeling of wonder and empowerment 24 PHOTOGRAPH BY PERMISSION OF SHEALEY 37 38

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Bilboa s Materials Bilboa was kind of accidentally started when I met the owners of a deadstock warehouse in Sydney They were retiring and I ended up buying just about all their fabric and from there I still have a stash of amazing European deadstock fabrics Lots of the linen I use comes from Europe as well specifically Lithuania through Australian fabric suppliers in Sydney and Melbourne Organic fabrics are a little harder to find but more recently it s getting easier as more designers have been asking for it so factories are giving it more attention to expand their offering with more demand We are lucky that one of the last fabric factories still in Australia offers a bunch of organic cotton knitted varieties so I try to incorporate some of that in each range Bilboa s Sustainability Journey From the beginning I ve always had the same model for Bilboa regarding sustainability and always felt that fashion needs to take a step back and return to the made to order systems of the past What is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Ethical and sustainable fashion is the process of creating products that take into consideration their impact at every stage of production From raw fibre materials who is making them how and where they are being made to how they impact the environment throughout their lifecycle and actively work to minimise and improve all these areas Bilboa s Sustainability All Bilboa pieces are made from start to finish in Byron Bay Australia Production sampling and all other construction from my studio with the help of a local seamstress and my 39 cutter who is 15 minutes away Styles are predominantly made to order which means customising to size is possible and makes sure there is no overproduction happening Fabric is hand screen printed in small batches in Melbourne by a family run print studio or done by myself Using only eco friendly Australian Made inks to minimise waste and water usage Producing locally ensures I know the exact working conditions and that fair wages are met along with open communication to eliminate any pressure or stress around working timelines As the brand has grown it has allowed me to access and request more sustainable methods fabrics and supplies For example a lot of the fabric manufacturing is done outside of Australia and as a small label many of the organic factories required higher minimums than I was unable to commit to in the past So it s taken a few years to get to the point where freedom is available and having more buying power so to speak to demand more sustainable options Particularly in areas that are often overlooked like zips threads and buttons And to be able to utilise other local manufacturers also practicing more sustainable methods like dyeing printing etc Ethical and Sustainable Challenges As in any manufacturing process where there are earlier steps making sure the raw materials from fibre to fabric are all in line with sustainable practices can be difficult We rely on international certification companies to make sure that those areas are kept in line but with anything done outside your own workplace you have to hope and take their word for it Also changing consumers mindset towards fashion as fast fashion has created a consumption cycle where many people view fashion as partly disposable and only wear outfits a couple of times Tips for Other Brands For lots of brands rethinking how many ranges and products they produce per year would make a huge difference as there is so much overproduction in fashion happening Along with manufacturing locally and looking into alternative and more sustainable fibres Tips for Consumers First thing look at what you already own there is nothing more sustainable than your own wardrobe Have a go at DIY and upcycling as minor adjustments to things you already own can make a world of difference After that make a list of the kind of things you are looking for and do lots of research into brands and the materials they use There is a lot of greenwashing happening these days so my rule of thumb is if they don t state where and how their items are made very clearly then there is probably something fishy going on The Future of Bilboa I would love to have a more accessible workshop for Bilboa where you can come get measured up try on pieces in person pick your fabrics and prints then have your custom piece ready for you in a couple of weeks Online shopping can be difficult to ensure the size is right that the fabric matches what you think so having the opportunity to try things on in person and make sure we can fit you and create your dream piece is super important As when something makes you feel good you reach for it all the time and it will be your most worn and therefore most sustainable piece in your wardrobe Also as a space where you can get your pieces repaired or altered again as a way to extend their life 40

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Common Stitch is a Sunshine Coast studio focused on sustainable clothing and sewing patterns The brand was created in 2018 by Alison Pollard and Charlotte Mackay left As a team they are dedicated to sharing knowledge and a slow learning approach by providing customers with clothing in various to purchase including sewing patterns completed garments and sewing kits for any skill level 25 PHOTOGRAPH BY BROOKE ELIZABETH PHOTOGRAPHY 43 44

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Common Stitch Sustainability Production We run off a made to order model so every time a clothing order comes in it takes about 2 weeks turnaround to get it shipped to the customer This significantly reduces fabric wastage and means we don t have stock laying around that would potentially end up in landfill Manufacturing Charlie makes everything in house in our Sunshine Coast studio great working conditions with an office dog for lots of cuddles Fabrics We either source deadstock fabrics limited quantities or source fabrics that have been dyed with OEKOTEX Certified dyes no nasty chemicals where possible We use 100 linens cottons that can bio degrade at the end of their lifecycle Notions Where possible we use eco friendly notions buttons etc and cotton threads Shipping We use home compostable mailers envelopes to send out all our orders We also have custom designed compostable tissue paper stickers to wrap everything up in Contractors We do have some work that we contract out some graphic design photography digital grading and we pay all our contractors a fair wage What is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion A Slow Learning Approach Ethical sustainable fashion to us means that every person along the supply chain has been paid a fair wage has a great working environment and is happy with their job And the materials used to create the clothing are sustainable ecofriendly and have an end of life plan i e bio degradable We provide easy to read resources for the community to become better informed with their fabric fashion choices We have resources online that explain how certain fabrics are made which fabrics are more eco friendly and which ones are best to avoid due to chemical manufacturing processes We also show the background of where our fabrics have been grown and processed so it is as transparent as possible The Concept Behind Common Stitch We started Common Stitch as a sustainable clothing brand and we wanted to be super transparent so we decided to offer sewing patterns for our designs so that people with all budgets could make sustainable eco friendly clothing choices We never expected that side of the business to grow so big and be the main seller of Common Stitch but we love it and are rolling with what our customers want 45 Common Stitch Favourites Our favourite design is probably the Wattlebird Dress It was something Charlie had created before we started Common Stitch and was why we started Common Stitch it started the conversation to join forces and start our business It ll always hold a special place in our hearts wardrobes Pattern Printing We use a fine but robust tissue paper to print our paper patterns on so it uses less trees to produce This is done by a husband and wife small business and we love that we can support them too Ethical and Sustainable Challenges As small business owners one of the main challenges for us is our lack of buying power for certain materials As we don t purchase materials in large quantities it can be very hard to source eco friendly products such as elastics or matching cotton threads they only come in so many standard colours compared to poly thread we don t purchase large enough quantities for custom colours Common Stitch Materials We currently stock one of Australia s only grown and milled cotton fabrics It is grown in St George QLD and milled knitted dyed in Victoria We use this to make our Sparrow Tee along with selling it in our little online fabric store so more people can use local fabrics for home sewing We have tracked how many km s it has travelled since it started as a seed and it s amazing to compare that to most other fabrics that are grown and sent to multiple countries for various production stages Common Stitch Community Resources We love teaching others We create free online tutorials on our website YouTube for basic sewing skills and make sew along videos for some of our patterns to help those who are more visual learners We also offer Brisbane sewing workshops a few times a year Tips for Other Brands It is very achievable to change your business to be more sustainable from small things like eco friendly packaging options to who your bank invests in and the fabrics you use There are lots of resources out there and if each business makes a few changes then it ll make a large impact overall Tips for Consumers Just start be more ethical sustainable moving forward Purchasing second hand upcycling clothing make your own clothing these small things all contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry Support local and small businesses as they are the ones implementing sustainable choices The Future of Common Stitch Future Goals We d love to create our own fabric range with our own designs for both our clothing fabric shop using sustainable soy inks printed on 100 linen cotton fabrics Future Implementations Continue to add in more sustainable business solutions where possible we love to grow learn as a business and can always do better We are always on the hunt to find the best quality fabrics made in the most sustainable eco friendly ways possible 46

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The family business Denimsmith was launched in 2015 with Australian designers and makers that were committed to the ethical production of high quality denim clothing 26 Denimsmith is accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia and is proud of its two decades of denim experience The Melbourne based brand operates a store in Fitzroy and a studio factory location in Brunswick East which can be seen in action as high quality denim clothing is created 27 PHOTOGRAPH BY PERMISSION OF RUTHERFORD 49 50

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Denimsmith s Sustainability Journey Jumpsuit was such a special piece the fabrication was made with eco friendly materials combining organic cotton causing less impact to farmland and topsoil and postconsumer recycled poly from discarded plastic bottles Our Denimsmith factory is audited from both governing bodies CFMEU Textile Clothing and Footwear Union and the ECA Ethical Clothing Australia This is to ensure we meet the Australian standards in both safe working conditions and the correct wages are paid Our doors are always open for these independent bodies to visit our factory Tips for Other Brands At Denimsmith we do two collections a year We also cut small orders sometimes as low as 40 pieces This ensures we sell 100 and there is little wastage Our customers can pre order our sold out items and we repeat them again It would be great if other brands slowed down as bigger brands often do two collections per month or even worse each week Our workers are paid by the hour not piece they re multiskilled trained to operate multiple machines so they are not stuck on the same one machine all day It is important all team members are treated with respect we employ local people from the community with a mix of ethnicities and genders The Future of Denimsmith Ethical and Sustainable Challenges What is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Denimsmith s High Quality Denim Commitment At Denimsmith the manufacturer workers own the brand Transparency and the ethical treatment of our team is at the forefront of our business that is why we created a Studio Factory Store under one roof Our store is built around our factory floor so our customers can physically see their jeans made by our workers hands and the ethical conditions they work in The owners of the brand at Denimsmith had been local denim manufacturers for over 20 years They know first hand that good treatment of staff brings a happier environment and creates a better product Our ethos of slow manufacturing for a higher quality made jean means our customers can have their favourite Denimsmith jeans for years to come Cheaply made throw away fashion just doesn t make sense to us The ethical treatment of our team members is everything to us and is why we created the brand Denimsmith Sustainable is such a wide topic Often ethical and sustainable are confused they have two very different meanings personally I struggle with any brand making new products being called sustainable What I do say to our customers is at Denimsmith we have adopted some sustainable practices 51 The Concept Behind Denimsmith When we started the brand in 2015 from scratch with little capital we had to be creative and thrifty e g mindful of wastage so we did adopt sustainable practices from the beginning An example of this was going to other denim factories and using their deadstock fabrics often bigger companies have no use for small rolls of discontinued items Unfortunately we do not have the technology currently in Australia However my dream would be to have a closed loop denim brand circular fashion Imagine if customers could return their worn out jeans we re pulp the fibres and create other denim products Wouldn t it be great to turn your favourite jeans you can no longer squeeze into into a bigger pair that is my dream If we encourage more brands to make on Australian shores I believe this is possible Sustainable Challenges The biggest challenge is that the last fabric denim mill closed in Melbourne in 2002 So we have to import fabric with high minimums into Australia The other challenge we have is the finishing laundry process in regards to Green Technology Water less machines do not exist in Australia as they do off shore If more brands made in Australia our laundries would have the confidence to invest in these more sustainable machines It means we need Australian brands to manufacture in Australia so that our mills laundry and manufacturers can invest in Green Technology If these industries are thriving this will employ a lot of people and maybe the textile government grants would also return Regarding Ethical Challenges Because we make 100 of our products in house we need to pay higher Australian wages This means that we produce a higher retail price compared to fast fashion brands in the same marketplace this can be confusing for customers Denimsmith Favourites One of my favourite pieces we created was a collaboration with another likeminded brand Vege Threads The Boiler 52

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Halia founded by Lydia Anderson left is a handmade Gold Coast based womenswear label focused on ethical and sustainable values Fabrics are carefully selected from natural and renewable resources Halia is a slow fashion label that produces limited stock for each garment and works on a made to order production basis Halia believes in consumer satisfaction and challenging women s sexuality and confidence through fashion design in addition to their ethical commitments 28 PHOTOGRAPH BY PERMISSION OF ANDERSON 55 56

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Halia Made to order Made to order works for brands who are wanting to keep an eye on their wastage to ensure there are no left over items that will most likely go on sale It works for me at the moment while I sew everything at home as it saves time on sewing items that aren t guaranteed to sell Made to order items will always have a few weeks lead time but as long as you clearly state that on your website the customers are more than happy to wait Halia s Fabric Selections What is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion I think taking the time to know and understand where your clothing comes from makes you an ethical and sustainable consumer the next step would be to purchase your items Ethical and sustainability isn t just where your clothing is manufactured or who is making it it s also about where the fabric was milled and if they are supporting ethical and sustainable practices were the materials dyed and washed sustainably how are the materials packed and shipped etc There are so many factors that come into the process of clothing manufacturing to withstand ethical and sustainable practices Halia s Sustainability Journey Well first off I have been sewing each and every piece on my own It is very difficult to keep up with every area in the business in doing this though but slowly and surely I will get there Halia was a COVID start up at first trying to keep myself busy and sewing a lot I decided to sell a few items 57 online and then I realised that maybe it could a bit more than just a side job As I get busier I have started speaking to manufacturers and fabric suppliers in Australia to help me manufacture some of the more complicated items of clothing I have met all my suppliers in person and discussed how they have kept their practices ethical and sustainable Most of the fabrication I use is deadstock using mostly natural fibres It is very hard to source where the fabric was milled and dyed etc but again slowly and surely we will be able to find the source It s a lot of research online calling around and speaking to people in the industry There are a few informal websites that have lists of local and sustainable fabric suppliers that everyone can access too which is great I was lucky enough to find an Australian patternmaker who has been in the industry for over 20 years that has helped me with a few patterns We became good friends talking on the phone occasionally and she luckily gave me a list of fabric suppliers she trusts However as I said before it is very hard to find the source of the fabric where it has been made and whether they have used ethical and sustainable practices throughout But in saying this once you find the right suppliers and manufacturers that you have searched high and low for it s an incredible achievement A Slow Fashion Label Halia s Materials Slow fashion for Halia is making sure each item we bring out will have a long beautiful life in someone s wardrobe by keeping our designs minimal neutrally coloured and using good quality fabrics Our MOQS are very low to ensure our product is not overused or over bought which can create excess product We have been using silks linens and cotton so far We hope to be introducing even more sustainable fabrications in the near future which include Tencel and cupro our consumers Sustainable production is much more costly from the fabric to smaller MOQS to packaging Everything comes in to play and results in more costs which also means higher price tags which then becomes more challenging to sell to the consumer I also think the lack of information that has been out there for so long has made it difficult for some consumers to take it seriously or be passionate about changing their habits of buying and over consuming Halia Favourites I am about to bring out cropped skivvies which were actually my very first product I brought out last year for Halia which would have to be my all time favourite Coming in to two neutral colourways and is always a staple for everyone s wardrobe Tips for Other Brands I think just becoming more aware of their wastage being more transparent with their process of production and keeping up with these practices as they grow The Future of Halia Our future goals for Halia would be to slowly grow enough to hopefully allow this to be my full time job while also learning about new ways to be more ethical and sustainable I really hope to keep Halia Australian made to help support our local manufacturers and suppliers And mostly to grow an amazing community and following those who also value these practices in their everyday life Ethical and Sustainable Challenges I definitely think the price of sustainable and ethical clothing is very challenging to my business other businesses and 58

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L E The Label is based in Australia s Manly Beach and is focused on ethical and sustainable fashion Elly right created this brand to incorporate fun trendy and practical fashion pieces with a responsible approach L E The Label is manufactured through slow fashion with small quantities creating versatility amongst the designs to give customers year round wear They have acknowledged their transparency as an ethical and sustainable brand consistently adapting to create more impact within the industry 29 PHOTOGRAPH BY PERMISSION OF BLUMENTALS 61 62

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L E The Label s Production My first order of a new design is always the minimum order quantity which is either 50 or 100 pieces per style per fabric This quantity ensures that you use the entire roll of fabric that is purchased so there is no wastage or leftover fabric that is not used in production and thrown out What is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Fashion that aims to reduce remove the negative impact the industry can have on the planet people and animals Every step of fashion design manufacturing and selling must be kind to the planet and all the people involved throughout the entire process L E The Label s Sustainability I work extremely closely with a factory in China that has years of experience in manufacturing sustainably and ethically I conducted a fair trade examination with the factory before using them to ensure the work practices are environmentally friendly have suitable working conditions and comply with all China s manufacturing guidelines My main point of contact with my factory is a man named Ian who I speak with every day and we have a close connection I have posted an image of L E s manufacturing team with the I made your 63 clothes signage on our website so buyers and the L E family can get to know our team in China L E The Label s Sustainability Journey L E is still very new we are only 8 months old so there is always room to grow and improve in regards to ethics and sustainability As the business grows so will our practices We aim to constantly be assessing and looking for ways to reduce our impact on the planet as the business changes and grows I have worked in the fashion industry for the last 7 years so I was able to start L E with past experience of being an ethical and sustainable business I have also been to our manufacturing city Guangzhou many times before and have personally shopped at the fabric markets and factories our business uses suitable for the beach or pool in summer or under jeans and a blazer in winter for a super chic look It is also reversible as it s lined in a different colour so you re getting 2 colours in 1 It is extremely important to me to not overproduce clothing and make sure I sell all existing stock before ordering more so there is no deadstock The boat club blazer is another favourite because it is so different to anything I ve seen before It s a splice style so it has 2 contrasting patterns on either side and has an open back that features a functional button Again it can be buttoned up to be warm in the cooler seasons or unbuttoned to be a super summery open style Ethical and Sustainable Challenges Tips for Other Brands Managing practices procedures that happen in China when I m not there myself I have to trust that my factory is complying with all sustainability regulations and implementing L E s personal sustainability goals Can also face language barriers and restrictions from being remote Slow down the amount of new styles So many brands and labels have new styles every week which opens up the probability of having more deadstock Produce in quality not quantity L E The Label Favourites The Boat Club Blazer and Farrelly One piece The main focus of L E s designs is to be super versatile I wanted to design pieces that can be worn all year round and cover almost any occasion We create pieces that people will wear to death and not be an item that s worn once I love the Farrelly one piece because it works as a bodysuit and swimwear It s made in water friendly fabric so it s super The Future of L E The Label My next step is to team up with an organisation such as one tree planted or I Change These organisations take a small portion of every sale made on your website and donate it towards a charity of your choice Tips for Consumers Do your research and practice slow fashion not fast fashion 64

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Since its founding in 2015 Lois Hazel the Melbournebased label has been dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices Its creator Lois McGruer Fraser left is focused on transparency to consumers with sourcing and producing for all garments All craftsmanship from Lois Hazel is done inhouse or by local seamstresses Lois Hazel utilises an astonishing array of sustainable materials such as incorporating otherwise wasted deadstock organic fibres and traceable fabrics This minimises overall waste contributing to a more sustainable industry The brand focuses on versatile multi functional wardrobe staples that can be worn repeatedly through various climates seasons and trends 30 PHOTOGRAPH BY WHEATLEY 67 68

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Lois Hazel Suppliers What is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Fashion that doesn t harm the planet and the people involved in its creation Fashion that helps rather than hinders and considers as many elements as possible to have a positive impact Lois Hazel s Sustainability When I started Lois Hazel I knew I wanted to have a close relationship with those that made my clothes I wanted to make sure that I was able to have a face to face relationship with my makers so I could ensure that no one was getting exploited I knew I needed to get my clothes made right here in Melbourne Getting made locally not only allows me to have this wonderful relationship it also helps me reduce my carbon footprint especially since one of the local factories we work with is literally a 10 minute drive from my studio Lois Hazel s Sustainability Journey It s been a slow and gradual journey When I started back in 2015 my first goal was to have a close and face toface relationship with my makers as I mentioned earlier I 69 wanted to confidently say that those who made my clothes were getting paid fairly and working in clean and safe environments Through making locally I was able to achieve this quite quickly which allowed me to start looking into other areas of the business that I wanted to improve on such as traceability of my fabrics introducing circularity processes etc I think when starting a brand you need to build on a foundation that allows you to adapt and change as you learn more about how you can improve your impact Lois Hazel Fabrics There are some fantastic suppliers that are based here in Melbourne and also as I ve grown I ve been able to work closely with a number of overseas suppliers too who hold similar values to me Lois Hazel Materials I mainly stick to natural fibres not just because I feel they are kinder on the planet but I also love their textures and qualities I m not a huge fan of synthetics regardless of their negative impact on the planet but also how they feel on the body I have been working with Wall Fabrics since day one They are such a fantastic company and when I started I wasn t able to meet many of the minimums that I can now which prevented me from working with companies like Shino Shouten MTK and Hemp Fortex As Wall Fabric focus on selling deadstock fabrics they didn t have minimums and also gave me the opportunity to use some incredible textiles that I wouldn t have been able to use otherwise I was really excited though when I had grown enough to meet the minimums to work with the other suppliers because it meant I was able to invest in fabrics that had some great certifications Upparel Lois Hazel Upparel are such a great group and they have really helped me find a solution for all my fabric scraps that I am unable to upcycle into other products Every couple of months once I ve filled up a few boxes with offcuts I send them to Upparel who then sort through them to find a new purpose rather than have them all ending up in landfill Tips for Other Brands I think it all depends on what that brand is passionate about I don t think there is one solution to becoming more sustainable but rather a collective approach Also through more people working in different ways to try and build a more sustainable industry we can all learn from each other and show one another different ways to be better When I started LH I didn t have the same goals as I have now they have slowly developed with me learning more I think the best thing for a brand to do is pick one thing that they want 70 to improve on nail that then when the time is right look into another way to improve If you fill your plate with too many goals then it will be a lot harder to achieve them and also to achieve them in a way that is sustainable and will be a long term change Tips for Consumers Ensuring Sustainability Ethicality The first and easiest step is to jump on a brands website and see if they have a sustainability section Give it a read and if you feel you need to know more send them an email If a brand really means what it says they won t mind getting back to you with the answers Also look at what fabrics they use or how much information you can find out about where their pieces are made If a brand has made the effort to do better they should share it because it doesn t only make them feel good it can often make them look good too and they most likely will want to share it Tips for Consumers I think price is a great indicator of the brands commitment to sustainability If they are selling a t shirt for 10 or even 5 on sale then I think you need to really think twice about how they are making that possible If a top is selling for that little how are they making sure that everyone down the supply chain is getting paid fairly and are being looked after Again if you are unsure about something email the brand ask them how they are able to sell that piece for that price they may have a good reason behind it and they may be able to show you that despite the low price they are still managing to pay and support everyone within their supply chain

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Lauren Dick right created Maekah Store after twelve years in retail when she decided to incorporate her abundance of industry experience into her own store Lauren s understanding of purposeful fashion and the intentional consumer fashion that doesn t harm the planet fashion as a forever investment fashion that makes you feel good fashion as transformative of your perception of self 31 inspired the creation of Maekah Store Maekah Store is a collection of brands that make Lauren proud to be part of the fashion industry 32 PHOTOGRAPH BY PERMISSION OF DICK 73 74

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What is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion I would describe ethical and sustainable fashion as fashion that is good for the planet That means that the brand or the maker has considered the needs and rights of the people who are making the pieces as well as considering the impacts that production and the sale of the product have on our environment It s very hard for a brand to be entirely sustainable however some of the key considerations that relate to ethical and sustainable fashion for me are Artisanal Partners and Production Manufacturing Partners Are they paid the right wages How are traditional techniques heroed highlighted and prioritised by the brand What are their working conditions like Production Chain Waste What are the impacts of the production chain on the environment e g are natural dyes used Water consumption levels Quality of fabrics and whether they are natural or man made fibres is the dye used natural or harmful to our environment Packaging and Sale Considerations We as a store keep 75 packaging to a minimum for example we don t print receipts we use minimal tissue paper we use biodegradable shopper bags and post bags and all of our return forms are digital We donate 1 for every order online to sea change too I think the key here is to consider whether brands are using excess packaging that just ends up in landfill Customer Usage This one to me is the most important of all it s the way we can contribute most to sustainable fashion as individual consumers It s about price per wear and longevity I believe sustainable fashion is buying pieces you will keep for life or that are high quality enough that you will resell or rehome them when you tire of the style I personally try to only buy things that I will wear a minimum of 10 times And the items I select for the store all represent this cyclical nature of a forever piece Sometimes we all buy from fast fashion brands but we can reduce the impact of those purchases by ensuring we don t let it end up in landfill and that we care for it properly and keep it long term wearing the item time and time again Brands Stocked at Maekah Store Ethical and Sustainable Challenges I am super lucky in that I worked in fashion for 12 years before opening the store So most of these brands I actually have relationships with the makers or the wholesale partner which makes value alignment and selling the pieces very easy When I place a buy with a brand or consider a new brand it s all about usability and consumption Similarly to my answer earlier my goal is to stock investment pieces that you will keep in your wardrobe forever Almost all of my brands have a huge sustainability commitment themselves and are predominantly made from natural fibres so this is a big part of how I select brands I consider how connected I personally am to the brand and maker how their pieces are made and most importantly how long will our customers have these pieces for It s very hard for a brand to be 100 sustainable and ethical because it s expensive For example I looked into producing 100 sustainable packaging and it was around 10x the cost of a pre existing plain white biodegradable shopper back Things like freight shipping they all use fuel and carrier processes that aren t sustainable as one example It s very hard to protect the process and brands either take a big margin hit for paying more to do the right thing or they have to increase their prices and a lot of people out in the marketplace aren t committed enough to the cause to pay more for sustainable processes So it s a very sticky spot to be in as a brand Maekah Store Promoting Friendly Fashion I love Alemais A few quick reasons This line is about promoting slow fashion and local brands How we do this is by ensuring all of our brands are Australian owned lots of these brands are actually made by hand some here locally on the Gold Coast which is an added bonus Each brand has their own story to tell in terms of how they harness sustainability within their own practices but essentially it all comes back to investment pieces When you buy a piece from MAEKAH we want you to cherish it forever a piece you can style different ways and wear year on year This is how my own wardrobe is structured and so I m bringing this to life for others within our store environment We tell the story of each brand in store to our customers and they love hearing about the people behind it I hope everyone has a sentimental attachment to their MAEKAH purchase and that this contributes to slow fashion by it staying in their wardrobe for life They partner with artisanal makers across the globe to bring traditional textile techniques to life and hero this in the global market 76 One of Lauren s Favourite Brands They use natural fibres They plant a tree for all direct orders placed with them They partner with great causes to contribute to the wider community like their recent partnership to support India in the recent COVID outbreak The brand was born out of a need for manufacturing work from local communities abroad who had lost income as a by product from COVID

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Emilia Sutton s left Mimmi Terra is a sustainable company that creates reusable bags Based on Australia s east coast the brand aims to reflect the untouched coastal environment which surrounds us 33 Emilia s goal was to develop a bag that could be used continuously and taken from the sea to the store 34 The brand is committed to being kinder to its surroundings using only 100 recycled Polyethylene plastic All bags are made from discarded plastics including lids straws and bottle caps By incorporating recycled plastic materials future pollution can be minimsed by avoiding the need to manufacture new raw materials Each Mimmi Terra design is crafted by hand with consideration for sustainability and packaging throughout the entire process 35 PHOTOGRAPH BY PERMISSION OF SUTTON 79 80

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Mimmi Terra s Sustainability Journey What is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Mimmi Terra s Materials Ethical fashion is created in a way that is mindful of its environmental and societal impacts This can include the way in which items are made whether by hand or factory made or whether they are a local product or sourced from overseas Initially we housed two collections the ECO range made from recycled plastic which is our main collection now and also NATURA which utilised 100 in handwoven tote bags We made the switch to focus on and expand our ECO range due to its popularity durability and relevance when it comes to helping clean up our environment Both materials were appealing to us as they utilised materials that are already in existence rather than create new and unnecessary materials Mimmi Terra s Sustainability As a brand we use only 100 recycled plastic in the creation of our items The recycled plastic we use the most abundant as used in most water bottles containers and jars The use of recycled materials lowers demand for the creation of new materials and reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill and incinerators Recycling minimises future pollution and the use of vegan materials means no animals are harmed in the process 81 Recycled household and commercial items such as bottle caps lids and straws are melted down into a puree This puree is then molded into thin straps which are then woven into our designs This signature weave is unique to Mimmi Terra and creates a textured feature which is also durable lightweight and water resistant Prior to launch there was approximately a year of research trial and errors and samples of our designs We are grateful to have found the ideal material for our totes which is suitable for our outdoor lifestyle here in Australia Ethical and Sustainability Challenges and mailers There are many avenues like these in which brands can be more sustainable Brands can be more sustainable by looking into the materials they use and how their products are made e g machine made or handmade The important message is that as brands we try to be the most sustainable we can be and to always make it a work in progress The positives surrounding this area of fashion is that it is gaining traction and people are becoming more aware of the materials production and values behind brands Even though it is becoming popular there are still many brands which may look sustainable or ethical on the outside but their actual practices materials say otherwise This often can happen when brands sell high price items therefore customers may believe they are paying for an ethical or sustainable brand This highlights that there needs to be more transparency regarding the practices behind brands and their production The Future of Mimmi Terra Tips for Other Brands Tips for Consumers Incorporating sustainability can be done in many ways We do this through our materials production labels packing Good things aren t done quickly and things done quickly aren t good things 82 We do already use recycled and compostable packing but would love to be 100 recycled or sustainable in the future Including our tags labels flyers and all output that comes from our brand We hope to achieve this through finding the right suppliers who can provide these items that are in line with our branding and values Finding the right partners that are sustainable is important and can be time consuming it is always a work in progress

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Sky Lani was founded by Sky Lani Kennedy right in 2020 on Australia s Gold Coast The brand embodies a responsibly made apparel approach that emphasizes timeless designs through femininity and modern style Sky Lani is a slow fashion brand that specialises in madeto order clothing that Sky ethically produces in her studio When OEKO TEX linen is used to create the garments the material is subjected to testing to ensure it is safe for human consumerism Sky Lani is proud of its commitment to sustainable sourcing which includes the use of natural and organic materials and compostable packaging 36 PHOTOGRAPH BY PERMISSION OF LANI 85 86

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Sky Lani A Slow Fashion Movement What is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Sustainable and ethical fashion is the positive approach of creating good and avoiding harm in the fashion industry Sustainable fashion focuses on the environmental aspect and ethical fashion focuses on human rights in the supply chain Think quality over quantity fair working rights and being eco conscious Sky Lani s Sustainability Journey I ve always loved supporting small local designers over mass fast fashion companies but never knew how much of an impact fast fashion had on the environment until I studied fashion design Since being educated on the topic it has become a strong value of mine Since learning about how terrible the world of fast fashion is I definitely knew when starting my journey in the fashion 87 industry that I wanted to be a positive impact and make conscious decisions Sky Lani s Sustainability All garments are ethically made to order by myself in our Gold Coast studio meaning we are only allowing production for what is needed Materials are sourced and garments are sewn at a high quality ensuring they will last and are designed to be worn over and over Our current range of fabrics are 100 natural fibres including linen bamboo and organic cotton meaning they are all biodegradable All garment tags are 100 cotton and we package orders using recycled tissue paper eco friendly stickers and 100 compostable mailers I am very environmentally focused in my personal life so I definitely bring those ideas in when making everyday decisions in the studio too Alongside our many sustainable practices as mentioned we hope to create awareness of slow fashion and to educate our consumers on why we choose the decisions we do I believe the more that people understand the more that people will support and want to take action We release limited collections with designs that are carefully created with a timeless aesthetic so that they will sit across many seasons Another conscious decision is not contributing to sales like Black Friday which promotes mass consumerism within the industry Sky Lani Made to order It works similar to a pre order we don t keep any garments in stock and only make the garments to order I believe this is the most sustainable option as there is no stock garments left to waste or having to go on sale influencing unnecessary purchases Our current production time frame is 1 2 weeks The Future of Sky Lani As the label grows and I experiment with new ideas the main goal is to keep making conscious decisions I would love to be able to create a space where people can come shop Sky Lani designs and also see the production of where and how their clothes are being made It s a strong value of mine to keep transparency and I believe creating that space would be the perfect opportunity to do so Another huge goal of mine is for Sky Lani to become a member of 1 for the Planet Ethical and Sustainable Challenges Sustainable and ethical fashion definitely comes at a higher cost but I choose to see it in a way that if it wouldn t be costing us it would be costing the environment Although there are many up and coming eco friendly alternatives it can still narrow down options within the supply chain making it a little more difficult There are a lot of boxes to tick to make sure you re doing the right thing and not taking the easy shortcuts but I believe this is all part of the journey to a positive future of fashion Tips for Other Brands I believe businesses should be focusing on quality over quantity and releasing fewer collections each year choosing natural options over synthetic and supporting fair trade in the industry These are just a few of many steps to take we have a long way to go but if everybody did what they could it would create a huge impact 88

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Z The Label was founded on a deep love for our planet and a desire to provide a more compassionate approach to manufacture and wear clothing A small artisan label crafted slowly 37 Their garments are made by hand by incredible crafts wo men whom live locally to us 38 Josi left created Z The Label after discovering that there was nothing on the market that she loved that was made sustainably in Australia PHOTOGRAPH BY PERMISSION OF Z THELABEL 91 92

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What is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Z The Label Materials Ethical and sustainable fashion should not be coming at a cost to the earth and to those creating your garments Ethical means all your staff should be paid fairly and it s your responsibility as a business owner to ensure that that s the case Sustainable to us means we use fabrics that are only natural fibres and will not turn into landfill Your garments are designed to stay with you across all seasons of life and seasons of the year The majority is linen We have a small percent of deadstock fabric Z The Label s Sustainability All of our garments are made to order so there is no waste created We don t run sales in fact we d rather our customers think about their purchase and then commit We make everything in Australia I know my makers closely and love working with them They are local and incredibly knowledgeable and of course paid very well All of our fabrics are OEKO TEX certified 93 Z The Label Made to order Made to order has a time frame of 2 3 weeks depending on our workload We receive your order and it gets made for you by our seamstress especially for you Recycling at Z The Label We encourage our customers to mend their products should they need mending Otherwise the piece can be sent to us we can use the garment as sampling fabric or we will repurpose it into accessories Garment Production at Z The Label We produce on the Gold Coast Z The Label s Sustainability Journey Tips for Other Brands Z was only ever going to be sustainable and made in Australia I didn t see a point in creating yet another greenwashed fast fashion label So from the get go it s been our aim to leave the smallest possible footprint on the planet In saying that we have become better at reducing our waste even more in the last year Oh my goodness so much Firstly let s invest into the Australian workforce We have so much talent here so let s support those makers and circulate your money locally I would love to see fabric mills being reopened here Australian made linen would just be dreamy Ethical and Sustainable Challenges Money A lot of consumers like the sound of sustainable and ethical fashion but don t want to pay the price Huge brands have huge marketing budgets that allow them to create fancy campaigns selling organic cotton as sustainable We also don t offer instant gratification you have to wait to receive our garments and that can deter some Z The Label Favourites My favourite piece is the Tallow Jumpsuit 1 Because I love jumpsuits 2 POCKETS 3 It s really breastfeeding friendly 4 It has no buttons or zippers 5 100 Linen 6 Drawstring waist to cinch it in I wore mine up until I was 8 months pregnant and then straight after I had my baby That s sustainable fashion Stop all plastic packaging That should be a given by now Stop using dangerous dyes Just because you can t see the direct damage this is doing to small communities in China and India doesn t mean it s not happening Stop the greenwashing Urgh I m so over it Actually put your money where your mouth is pay your staff fairly support artisans and stop overproducing crap clothes But it s also important for the consumer to demand more Where there is a demand these companies will keep making cheap garments The Future of Z The Label Oh I dream of a whole collective of Australian made labels that support each other I would also like to add a small kids range that s readily made 94

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CH A PT ER 06 96

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I hope Any Start is a Good Start has given you a simplified guide to responsible fashion and inspired you to think about what you can do to create impactful change You now have a list of brands to explore and also an understanding of the process and everything that goes into these independent local brands I m sure you ve picked up new skills and knowledge along the way but remember to keep learning and educating yourself with ethical and sustainable fashion There are so many resources available from reading books and online resources to watching documentaries and listening to podcasts there is so much more to explore in the world of living and dressing consciously Keep reading to uncover a few more tips to navigate through your ethical and sustainable fashion journey 97 98

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IT IS NOW YOUR TURN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE 99 Our interviewees recommended other brands that they consider to be some of their favourites If you re looking for more suggestions check out the following Spell au spell co MUD Jeans mudjeans eu Krystal Deans krystaldeans com Patagonia patagonia com au Nagnata nagnata com The Reformation thereformation com HARA The Label harathelabel com au Little Tienda littletienda com au 100

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We have learnt discovered and became aware of many new terms throughout Any Start is a Good Start We discussed some terminology at the beginning of the book but I want to emphasise how critical it is to become familiar with certain terms and phrases associated with ethical and sustainable fashion When you re out shopping keep an eye out for some of these terms It is vital to be aware of greenwashing and misleading marketing so always ask questions if you are unsure of a brand s stated values I am sure brands would be happy to demonstrate how they align with their values 101 102

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I must express my gratitude with a massive THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this project possible The opportunity to interview individuals from caring trustworthy Australian fashion brands was vital in this process and without these this project simply would not have been possible And to the many others involved in feedback advice and support thank you Keep learning discovering and educating yourself and others on becoming more ethical and sustainable Let s all rise up and create a fashion industry we can be proud of E 104

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IMAGES BRAND INTERVIEWS ACF Images studioabbie com Osha Shealey at Bilboa July 2021 Alix Mckenzie alixmckenzieimages mypixieset com Ali Pollard at Common Stitch July 2021 Brooke Elizabeth Photography brookeelizabethphotographer com au Leonie Rutherford at Denimsmith July 2021 Charles Grant charlesgrant co RESEARCH 1 3 5 16 Rauturier S 2020 The 22 Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Terms You Need to Know https goodonyou eco sustainable fashion glossary 4 Rajani N 2020 Green Marketing Corporate Initiatives Bulletin Monumental 21 12 5 17 Haug A Busch J 2015 Towards an ethical fashion framework Fashion Theory 20 3 317 339 https doi org 10 1080 1362704X 2015 1082295 18 22 23 Lang H 2021 What Is Ethical and Sustainable Fashion https goodonyou eco what is sustainablefashion 19 20 Shen B Wang Y Lo C Shum M The impact of ethical fashion on consumer purchase behavior Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management 16 2 234 245 https doi org 10 1108 13612021211222842 21 Amatulli C Angelis M Pino G Guido G 2020 An investigation of unsustainable luxury How guilt drives negative word of mouth International Journal of Research in Marketing 37 4 821 836 https doi org 10 1016 j ijresmar 2020 03 005 24 Bilboa 2021 About https bilboa com au pages about 25 Common Stitch N D Philosophy https www commonstitch com au philosophy 26 27 Denimsmith 2014 About Us https denimsmith com au home about us about us 28 Halia 2021 Info https haliathelabel co pages info 29 L E The Label N D About https lethelabel com pages about 30 Lois Hazel 2021 About https loishazel com pages about 31 32 Maekah Store N D About Us https maekahstore com pages about lauren 33 35 Mimmi Terra 2021 Mimmi Terra https www mimmiterra com pages our mission 36 Sky Lani 2021 Our Vision https skylani com au pages our vision 37 38 Z The Label 2021 About Us https www zthelabel com pages about us Denimsmith denimsmith com au Elly Blumentals at L E The Label Emilia Sutton at Mimmi Terra Grace Lily Visuals gracelilyvisuals com Instagram thebilboaloft Instagram maekahstore Lydia Anderson at Halia June 2021 Elly Blumentals at L E The Label July 2021 Lois McGruer Fraser at Lois Hazel June 2021 Lauren Dick at Maekah Store June 2021 Emilia Sutton at Mimmi Terra July 2021 Sky Lani at Sky Lani May 2021 Josi Jentzsch at Z The Label June 2021 Instagram z thelabel Josi Jentzsch at Z The Label Lauren Dick at Maekah Store Leonie Rutherford at Denimsmith Lydia Anderson at Halia Osha Shealey at Bilboa Ryan Wheatley ryanwheatley com Sky Lani at Sky Lani Yaseera Moosa yaseeramoosa com 105 106

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