The Social Outfit

Newtown’s King Street is the heart and soul of celebrating all individual’s, whose style and ethos are completely unique to themselves. Walking along King Street, you’ll find yourself immersed between an abundance of funky beats, bright and bold colours, street art, markets and whole in the wall cafes. What you find most with Newtown is its ability to transform you into another world, a story of magic and uncertainties, where one minute you’ll be  sipping on your organically roasted coffee bean takeaway coffee in your keep-cup, followed by stumbling upon a gig at Newtown Social Club.

Wondering along King Street, I’ve spotted the most gorgeous ‘Gorman’esque fabric, that would make a truly beautiful shift dress. Walking into the store I am approached by a warm and friendly personality. Once speaking with the shop assistant for a while, she informs me that “out back” is where the true magic happens. The women who are employed in this company, The Social Outfit have all come from refugee or migrant communities.

The Social Outfit has been created mirroring the success of the Melbourne-based social enterprise, The Social Studio. The point of difference that I would like to highlight here, is that the non-profit organisation not only employees those from migrant and refugee communities, but it also helps educate them in providing a safe, welcoming and supporting environment. The CEO, Jackie Ruddock has highlighted that teaching the employees about their working rights and contracts are also a key part of the organisation.

With half of the material sourced being from industry waste, The Social Outfit is environmentally sustainable also. The Social Outfit believes that creativity combined with fashion can produce empowerment, especially through the traditional art forms that each of their employees brings with them. Focusing on all aspects of the business from marketing, advertising, promotion, designing, producing and the sale of the product, this company is doing an incredible job in supporting, and encouraging ethical fashion.

Vege Threads

Another week, another great discovery! Vege Threads is an Australian Brand that will give your wardrobe the basics you need. Vege Threads products are all made in Australia in an ethical and socially responsible way. The 100% Australian AW16 collection highlights the identity of the brand as being sustainable, quality controlled, and designing with local figures to create a relaxed, organic and inclusive culture through their designs.

Take a step back in time with their earthy, unique, comfortable designs that pay an homage to the inner gypsy child in every one of us. Their products all shot amongst mother nature shows the inextricable link between nature and humans. The founder of “Vege Threads” has identified her brand ethos as being a collaborative, inclusive culture that cherishes and encourages a fashion forward approach concerned with conscious living.

Vege Threads not only carefully select where they source their fabrics and materials, they also choose the materials used for the environmental impact. Using fabrics that have a low impact on the environment such as hemp whose benefits include it being a long-lasting and durable fabric that is extremely UV resistant, organic cotton being cotton that is produced without chemicals, pesticides or herbicides eliminating the potential of harmful potentially carcinogenic chemicals into the environment, and modal a bacteria resistant natural fibre made from the beech trees wood pulp cellulose all contribute to their ethical and sustainable approach to clothing.

The dyes used by Vege Threads are either natural dyes or ACO certified. ACO certified dyes ensure that the water can be re-used without having any toxic waste polluted into the environment. The natural dyes ensure that not only is the environment being catered for and taken into consideration, they are supporting local Balinese people and their livelihood.

Vege Threads has a something for everyone. From womenswear to menswear,  yoga gear to swimwear there is a product for you. Make a change today, and know that the items that you are purchasing are really having a long-lasting impact on our environment. Be sure to get in quick, though, as each of their products/designs is run on a limited stock so as to reduce waste in another way.

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The 2016 Met Gala.

What once was a relatively mundane philanthropic event focused on raising funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, the Met Gala has shifted into one of the biggest nights on the celebrity calendar year. The invite-only event that occurs on the first Monday of May annually, allows celebrities to stand and pose in one-off designer gowns and suits alike upon the famous New York steps heading into the museum itself.

 Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology  was the theme of this year’s event orchestrated by Fashion powerhouse Anna Wintour. This theme looked at the collaboration and organic relationship between clothing and technology. Whilst few celebrities and invited guests rarely dress to the theme, this year Calvin Klein teamed up with three influential personalities and produced some of the most fashion forward and ethical/sustainable designs of the decade. Margot Robbie, Lupita Nyong’o and Emma Watson all looked stunning in their pieces that utilised recycling plastic, organic cotton and other recycled materials.

Emma Watson’s outfit was a true show stopper, that was created entirely from taffets woven from plastic yarn, sustainable cotton, and satin. Having sustainability in mind every step of the way, the use of three types of plastic, organic cotton, and organic silk. Not only is the piece made from the perspective or repurposing and recycling materials, it has also been produced with the idea that each part can be worn on its own.

Emma’s outfit proves that high-end fashion can be sustainable, & red carpet winners can be designed and made with an ethical and sustainable focus in mind. Watson pairing with Eco-Age and Calvin Klein for this Green Carpet Event has since vowed to wear only ethical designs and items on her upcoming red carpet events enhancing the vision of sustainable clothing. In her collaboration, the influence and power of technology for turning everyday waste and repurposing it into a high-end runway piece.

London Fashion Week

Another fashion week has ended and with this year’s SS16 London Fashion Week change was apparent. Not only was there a change in venue for the event from Somerset House to Brewer Street Car Park there was also a shift away from the ethical and sustainable fashion selections known as Estethica, which was founded in 2006 as a part of the British Fashion Council.

Whilst there were a few shows and designers such as Erdem’s Green Carpet Collection that launched in conjunction with Livia Firth’s Eco Age. The notable absence of ethical and sustainable focused/orientated fashion caused a few brows to be raised as the principles of Esthetica are current buzzwords and trends in the fashion industry.

Whilst there was a notable absence of an abundance of new ethical and sustainable designers and brands, there was the continued support of previous brands that have walked the catwalk before such as Christopher Raeburn whose collection focused on sporty sustainable fashion with fabric sourced from parachutes that were involved in humanitarian aid drops.

The biggest nod towards and support for ethical and sustainable fashion came from the Estethica short film “The New Black” which highlighted the current fashion industry shedding light on the processes involved in the balance between technology, sourcing, production, and science when creating, designing and producing clothing.

The biggest stand-out piece is from the creative minds of twins, Annette and Daniela Felder with their “Carbon Dress” from their brand Felder Felder . This collection uses up-cycled carbon fibre from the BMW electric vehicle program, and sustainable fabrics. Both Felder girls live and participate in a socially and ethically conscious lifestyle, and for them bringing this into their designs and works was really the next step forward. Their rock’n’roll chic style has been enhanced through the tassels and unique style as a result of the carbon fibre fabric.

 

Image source; http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/scalefit_630_noupscale/57da9fe61800002f00314ba7.jpeg

Indelust- A Brand You Need To Know About

“WE BELIEVE SHOPPING SHOULD HAVE A SOCIAL CONSCIENCE” Sana Rezwan & Nihar Sait. 

Now isn’t this the type of store that you would like to shop at!? Focusing on the Indian subcontinent, Indelust promotes ethical design and production, ultimately resulting in ethical, sustainable and socially and environmentally conscious practices being promoted by individual designers and artisans within the region.

Using this website as your base enables you to look at several artisans/designers within the Indian subcontinent and their products. Indelust allows you to click on the designers so you can have a snapshot of the story behind the brand, with a few of their products listed underneath with photographs from their warehouse/place of production providing a photographic glimpse into the environment as to where and how their products are made.

Whilst ethical products do appear to have a rather high price tag, you can be assured that in purchasing products from this site you are promoting ethical fashion across all platforms of the process of creation. Whether you’re looking for leather or fabric, a bag made on the ethos of sustainability or its social impact there is a range of beautiful handbags, clutches, and weekenders ranging from $86 to $354, suitable for all budgets and lifestyles.

Indelust’s ethos are; organic, handmade, vegan, sustainable, vintage, social impact, nest reviewed and made to order. Indelust is a great online shopping platform that brings together fashion that has a social conscious. In supporting local artists from small economically disadvantaged communities, Indelust provides a unique foundation that focuses on the traditional art forms and practices of the people of the Indian subcontinent working in collaboration with designers for long-lasting, durable designs and pieces. Through the support of Indelust, these local artists are working conditions, resulting in  sustainable living.

Knowing the transparency in the production, knowing that the item of clothing that you are wearing hasn’t contributed to an individual’s poor and unacceptable living conditions is enough for you to make a difference. You are responsible for influencing and impacting someone else’s life, you have the power to make the right choice, don’t contribute to someone’s poverty, contribute to someone’s adequacy and richness. Indelust is the perfect platform for  just this.

Restyle Your Wardrobe

So it’s a Monday morning & you’re staring at all of the clothes in your cupboard, but yet you’re thinking to yourself that “I have nothing wear”. This is a common occurrence for women from all corners of the world, however, what we need to understand is that we do have enough clothes, we do have a nice enough top to go with that skirt that we think we should wear. Our love and obsession with fast fashion isn’t economical, and instead of owning two pairs of jeans, we now own ten.

The sad truth is, the more clothes you own, the more time you waste in the morning trying on numerous outfits to only end up wearing that same “staple” outfit that you’ve already worn a thousand times over.

This is where I come in, I always used to wonder how males, men & boys alike always had fewer clothes, yet their clothes seemed to last a lot longer than ours and would resurface on many more occasions. #outfitrepeater ! Thank you, Lizzie McQuire, for instilling this fear in all of us after Kate shamed you at your graduation for being one.

So what exactly do I propose you do!? Follow these steps and before long you’ll start to feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and your wallet will also feel a lot better too!

 Go Through Your Wardrobe.

Take everything out from the shelf or hanging space and be ruthless, donate those items that you’ve only worn a few times and will probably never wear again. Don’t keep something that you think “Oh I’ll wear that next season”- chances are, you probably won’t.

The Coat Hanger Trick

Hang your clothes up with the coat hangers facing one way, once you have worn the item turn the coat hanger around the other way. This is a really simple way for you to actually visualise and know what you are or aren’t wearing.

Keep Your Work Wardrobe & Casual Wardrobe Separate

Not only will this handy tip save you time in the morning, it also highlights how many clothes you actually have! Remember for must of us, you’re in work clothes 4-5 days a week, and casual 2 or 3 days. Why should you then need more casual clothes than work clothes!?

Basics Are Your Friends

Stop over complicating your wardrobe with lots of bright, patterned, poor quality cheap statement pieces. Have good quality basics that will allow you to mix and match outfits easily. Quality is better than quality always in regards to your wardrobe.

Don’t Have The “Stay At Home” Drawer

This is a trap that we have all fallen into. DON’T! If you wouldn’t want to be seen in public in an item of clothing, throw it out! Yes, this includes those jeans that have a hole in the wrong place, the white t-shirt that has seen better days and any item that needs some alterations!

Hang Up As Much As Possible

Hanging up as many of your clothes as possible acts as a visual reminder of what you do have! Organising your clothes by colour will help you in knowing what items of clothing you really need vs. those items that you think you need so next time you go for a shop you will think twice before buying that cheap & unethical white t-shirt.

 

Who We Are

Eco Threads was founded on the idea that our individual footprint on the earth is inclusive of more than just food waste, plastic packaging, our environmental footprint in regards to our consumption of energy, water, and electricity that occurs outside  a carbon neutral realm. Our individual footprint also includes the clothing we wear and the way in which throw away, re-use and the clothes we purchase, to begin with. Eco Threads aims to promote ethical, environmentally friendly, sustainable and socio-economical clothing and educate people on brands that are aware of their ethical and social responsibilities. The Melbourne Spring Fashion Week started some

Eco Threads is all about promoting ethical runway fashion. Typically the fashion industry has been masked as the perfect world, showing attractive men and women in the latest trends, cuts and colours as curated by fashion designers. What is missing in this industry is the underlying and background noise where the clothes are actually made, from the sourcing of the threads to the final product being produced. We as consumers aren’t exposed to the harsh reality behind the making of our clothes, something which needs to change in order for everyone to live in a more socially and ethical world.

Runway fashion comes at a price, often a price that is far too high for the average person to bear. Here, I am not speaking about the financial cost associated with an item of clothing, but rather the individual cost associated to the dressmaker, who more often than not is being paid a below average wage, working in sweatshop conditions. What Eco Threads aims to do is shed light onto good quality clothing brands who are aware of their social and ethical responsibilities thus sourcing their materials and products in a socially responsible and ethical way. Whilst the cost of these items may be of far greater cost up front the long-standing impact of choosing an ethical product provides a much greater benefit to all.

Ethical fashion doesn’t have to be just those one-off bargain items that you find at the local op shop, nor does it have to be an expensive process. Ethical fashion is about looking at your wardrobe and seeing quality over quantity, it’s about supporting your local community and knowing that no individual suffered in the creation of your clothes. We all have a part to play in promoting a socially, environmentally and sustainable planet, the small choices we make have a long-lasting effect and we must choose wisely.

Eco Threads is a platform that highlights and celebrates ethical runway fashion, ethical fashion is more than just purchasing second-hand items, it is about knowing the story behind your product.