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.

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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.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, a new start?

“Ethical designers make clothes that are just as elaborate, beautiful and artful as others” Isabel Lucas MSFW Ambassador.

Fashion is something that we are all involved in wether or not we chose to be. All of our choices indirectly have an impact upon the environment that we are apart of. For many, the clothes that you to choose to wear has involved a very basic thought process. You needed a white t-shirt, so you went out and bought a white t-shirt. What we aren’t thinking about when shopping is the source of where the white t-shirt actually comes from, who has been the one responsible for creating, designing and using the pattern in order to produce the white t-shirt that you see in your closet. Well it’s time for that to change. This years Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW) shed light onto “Ethical Fashion” and what it means for a brand or clothing company to be ethical.

For an event that can at times appear to be shallow, in a world where one doesn’t usually associate things such as sustainable living, environmentally friendly choices and protecting our environment, this years MSFW has stood apart from the rest, showing a different view of what fashion is, where it is sourced, and how it is produced. Ethical fashion has always been on the scene, but only has it recently become a blip on anybody’s radar. We need to start producing and sourcing our material in an environmentally sustainable and sound way, ensuring that we are aware of our footprint on the planet.

MSFW are not only highlighting and praising designers such as Carla Zampatti, Manning Cartell, White Suede, Bianca Spender and more for their work in ethical fashion causing them to be key focal attractions at this years event due to the nature of their business in encompassing the spirit and theme of the week, ethical and sustainable fashion they are also educating the wider audience on what it means to be ethically sustainable in fashion. There are numerous designers and ways for our fashion to be ethical, however more often than not it comes with a rather expensive price-tag. The real question is, how much are you willing to pay to know that your clothing has been made in a more ethical, sustainable and environmentally conscious way?

We as the shoppers and consumers of fashion, are now  faced with more information and facts than ever before relating to the standards of conditions of the clothes that we are purchasing, so we need to start thinking about that white t-shirt, the journey form beginning to end, and where we want to put our money. We need to be a conscience consumer as we are the ones who are ultimately going to be responsible for this world.