7 Australian brands share their (imperfect) journey towards truly sustainable fashion
WORDS BY MAGGIE ZHOU
Article from Fashion Journal on Australian fashion brands making genuine waves in the sustainability world. Brands that have a no-bullshit approach to transparency, that know they’re imperfect and that there’s a long way to go. Having honest conversations is how we begin to heal our fashion, beauty and jewellery industries, so we invited a handful of brands to start the dialogue.
Ellie Vallely, Squint Clothing founder and designer
Sustainability is something I am constantly working on and learning about. I’ve never felt comfortable marketing Squint as an ‘ethical and sustainable’ brand. I think this comes from a fear of misrepresenting my brand and the rampant greenwashing within the fashion world. These can feel like buzzwords rather than real, tangible objectives.
As I am still a made-to-order brand, all made in-house, I have strict control over my manufacturing practices and minimise waste as much as I can. I love making products from offcuts and scraps, it is a challenge I relish. Each collection I design works with the next to help to curb trend-driven consumption. I source my fabrics from a mixture of new stock, true deadstock (damaged), excess manufacturer deadstock and thrifted fabrics, with a focus on natural fibres and lower-impact fabrics where possible. As a small business, it can be frustrating accessing places to buy more sustainable options as quite a lot of the industry is still super secretive and insular. This is one of the reasons I see this all as a process – the more I grow, the better decisions I can make and have access to.
As with the fashion world as a whole, the ‘sustainable’ fashion world has a fatphobia problem and for me, there is no sustainability without size inclusivity. Inclusivity is something to constantly be working towards, not just a marketing tag to flash on my Instagram. I’m passionate about including as many folks as I can in my sizing and currently offer up to a 6XL with custom sizing too.
Everything I have learnt about sustainability has been from working, making mistakes and listening to those who are more educated than I am who call out the bullshit. You have to be okay with saying ‘you’re right, I should be doing better’.
Read the complete article here, and thank you as always to Maggie for featuring us 🙂