The fashion industry is one of the most polluting and exploitative industries, and that is just the tip of the unethical iceberg. Let us make a new green world.
'Sustainability' is a widely used word in the fashion industry today. It is an important trend for a socially responsible brand with eco-friendly products and vital for catering to the fast-growing demand for sustainable fashion. Today consumers are not just concerned about trendy styles but also about the material used and working conditions of workers in the industry. The fashion industry employs handloom weavers and artisans to create handcrafted products using organic and recycled raw material and up-cycling post-production.
The Australian fashion market shows great concern towards the environment and sustainability. The sustainable fashion movement has created a $28 billion market in Australia comprising of fashion brands, preeminent designers, media platforms and others that have made the continent a powerful voice in the global sustainability conversation.
One in three (34%) urban Australians say that it is important for a brand to be sustainable. However, census data shows that a marginal 17% of urban Australian consumers are willing to pay a premium price for everyday goods that are environmentally friendly. Furthermore, a mere 12% say that helping to protect the environment (e.g. using fewer plastic bags) contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
Leading by example, innovative and creative labels such as A.BCH work to a circular economy standard from their base in Melbourne. KITX is a Melbourne-based brand that works with artisans in India, while Sydney-based label 'Ginger and Smart' considers sustainability in everything from the botanical dyes, raw material and other things used in production to creative reused store interiors. The brand RE-create has located its supply chain in the disadvantaged community of Dey Timey, Cambodia – originally slum dwellers, for empowering women to protect their families and gain lifelong skills for a better future.
The Australian consumers' appreciation for homegrown fashion has been aided by the limited and only very recent presence of fast fashion giants like Zara and H&M. Australia doesn’t have many of the global brands that other countries expect to have on their high street. Australian brands are thinking more and more about this, partly because it is a natural link to the environment. In comparison with the US and European markets, Australia is willing to embrace new sustainable practices by virtue of a scrappy, up-start mentality aided by their creative thinking and innovative design to work differently.
The Australian gateway of ethical fashion and textiles has been empowered by the AFC, i.e., the Australian Fashion Council. The fashion council is trying to make policies to promote sustainable companies like that of the Melbourne designer Amanda Briskin’s A-Esque luxury leatherwear brand. It is just one of many requiring craftspeople to expand globally. Similarly, Louis Vuitton’s purchases of RM William was partially motivated by the firm’s atelier in South Australia. Since the luxury brand is engaging with Green fashion, they have gained acceptance from the Australian audience.
Australia has long had a vibrant, artistic scene that has translated into success in fashion, advertising, and industrial design. Knowledge in this sector is just as important to building a sustainable innovation economy and these new brands are working hard to spread the vision of their artists and craftsmen globally.