Where Does It Come From?

Ethical Fashion is no longer a niche, but rather a common everyday practice that we should all be supporting and promoting. It is the lack of awareness that is really holding ethical fashion back, and this is what I have endeavored to do over the past few weeks. Ethical fashion doesn’t have to break the budget, it doesn’t have to be a second-hand item that was bought at the local markets, and most importantly it doesn’t have to lose its style and trendiness appeal. Ethical  fashion is far more readily available than what you may have originally thought.

Fashion is a form of self-identity, we are our own blank canvas, and the clothes that we wear are a creation of our minds, an artwork on display for the rest of the world. Fashion is the story of not only ourselves but we are also providing support to the story of the individual who produced that clothing, and the processes involved in the production of the clothes that we wear. We as humans need to step away from the disconnected process that we undergo as shoppers in the fashion market, we need to stop and think and ultimately be more mindful as to where we are purchasing our clothes and the conditions in which those clothes are made.

The only way we can make a difference is to start asking those challenging questions, to start demanding that more information as to the history of the product, to educate ourselves and in turn others. So next time you walk into that department store, or trendy little boutique start asking questions, start raising awareness and educate yourself on the items of clothing that you wear.

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The True Cost- Andrew Morgan

Want to watch a documentary film that will change your perception forever? This story is global in context, it affects everyone, it exemplifies how connected we are, it is about simplicity, it is about fashion.

Andrew Morgan’s 2015 film The True Cost was the game changer for me. Watching this film on a Thursday evening, after a friends recommendation changed my shopping habits for life. I can honestly say I was an ignorant consumer prior to seeing the stark reality behind the production of clothes that I wore. I was an active participator in fast-fashion. I would purchase any item for the “bargain price” despite knowing that I would probably never actually wear the item more than once, if at all.

This film highlights the journey of the ethical costs not only in regards to the environment but also the human costs associated with out clothing. We are all actively participating in a fast-fashion culture where we are concerned with low-cost items with little to no regards or concern for the external factors that are suffering at our expense.

We are participating in a culture where we are only benefitting the big brands, the large producers and are forgetting about the little guy. The price for items has lowered, however, the cost of the product being made and produced has increased. We are living in a time period where we practically expect 52 seasons a year, with new products coming in every week, where previously we were receiving 2 seasons a year.

This new model that we have all become accustomed to- the 52 seasons a year model meant that corners had to be cut, or prices would have to be increased. Corners cut was an extremely common condition that resulted in one horrific accident in the early morning hours  on the 24th April, the Rana Plaza. The eight-story building completely collapsed, killing more than 1000 people, being the worst garment industry related disaster.

How can we as consumers be happy purchasing these low-cost items, when the consequences of our actions can cause such horrific and terrible outcomes. This film has caused me to start thinking about the journey behind the production of my clothing and those people who have been involved in the production process. The True Cost is a truly remarkable documentary film that opened my eyes into what really goes on in the fashion industry.

Wedding Fever

The notion of ethical fashion comes with a misconstrued idea that it isn’t high end or fashionable in nature. With my friend, recently engaged the hunt for the perfect wedding dress has begun. Every bride has an idea as to what they are looking for, what style/cut, price guide, and colour. What this particular bride had added into the mix was “ethical”.

This was a great starting point as we trolled websites such as Good On YouThe Social StudioEthical BrideDesert DesignsKowtow, and Bindarri. With this as our starting point it became apparent to both of us that finding an ethical wedding dress may be a much easier task than we first thought, thank goodness!

Moving away from the classic brands such as “Grace Loves Lace” “Vera Wang” and the commerical wedding stores meant that the crowds we had to face were far less stressful than it would be for others, we avoided bridal fairs and other exhibitions, indirectly saving both herself and myself a lot of money on travel costs, accommodation and even our sanity!

A Rachel Cassar design captured our eye, and the beautiful, textured design was a one-off unique piece as it was produced from recycled materials. Her brand exemplifies her philosophy of producing garmets with a focus on the free and “creative spirit”. The dress looked absolutely stunning on, and knowing that no-one will ever haeve the same dress was a selling point, Cassar maintaining that she is “one person, not a machine, and don’t want to produce just anything for the sake of it” gives each piece a story, that works in conjunciton with the purchaser. Her semi-coture gowns and pieces matches the personality of the bride perfectly, proving that you can truly have high-end eco-friendly fashion.

mage source

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

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.