Join the slow fashion movement

Find your style and do your bit for the planet at Melbourne Fashion Week.

This year, the event is going carbon neutral and the program highlights how we can make sustainable fashion choices without missing out on our city’s vibrant retail culture.

Fabia Pryor, who advises fashion brands on responsible business strategy, will host a panel discussion between inspiring ‘for purpose’ brands during the festival, called Where do my clothes come from?

‘I’m a strong believer in voting with your wallet.’

Fabia realised the potential of fashion as a force for good at university, and has since pursued this passion around the world, including working with traditional weaving communities in Peru.

‘When I began this journey, over a decade ago, sustainability was a fringe concept in fashion. It’s heartening to see it now recognised as a key driver in business success,’ Fabia said.

‘I’m a strong believer in voting with your wallet. Every dollar we spend is an endorsement of how that product was made. When shopping, I advocate these simple steps:’

FABIA’S TOP TIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE FASHION

1. Research
Before shopping, research different labels to understand their social and environmental practices.

This is not about looking for a company that’s perfect. It’s about looking for a company that identifies their impacts and is on a journey to improvement: are they transparent and do they have clear sustainability goals and targets?

2. Plan
Plan your wardrobe – shop with purpose.

3. Shop better – shop less
Buy fewer, but better quality, garments. If you think about price per wear not just price at purchase, more expensive, better-quality garments often work out to be more cost-effective in the long term.

4. Shop local
Support local, independent labels and emerging designers. Melbourne is renowned for its design culture. To support and grow our local creative industries we need strong consumer support.

The Australian Fashion Council’s Curated pop-ups are an accessible way to shop local labels. They have a unique, curated selection of local, independent Australian labels, all in the one place.

5. Ask questions
Brands care about what their consumers ask. Floor staff feed customer questions back to head office and these are often the catalyst for change.

While there are challenges ahead, Fabia feels optimistic about the future of fashion and observes with excitement how quickly the industry is changing.

‘The fashion industry is coming together in an unprecedented way, with competitors collaborating to find solutions to global social and environmental issues,’ Fabia said.

‘Consumers are a driving force behind this change, with a growing local and international market for responsible products. Nielsen research shows that 66 per cent of global consumers will pay more for sustainable brands, with the figure rising to 73 per cent amongst millennials.

‘My vision is for an industry where sustainability is inherent and where profit and social purpose are given equal weight in business decisions.’

Melbourne Fashion Week 2018 will run from Friday 31 August to Friday 7 September.

Highlights include the new Fashion Forum, an Australian Fashion Council pop-up store at Melbourne Town Hall, and the popular runways, featuring ready-to-wear items from local designers including nevenka, Thurley, Dom Bagnato, Yeojin Bae and ALPHA 60.

View the full program at Melbourne Fashion Week.

OUR CARBON NEUTRAL COMMITMENT
Melbourne Fashion Week will be the first ever Australian fashion event to be certified carbon neutral by the Australian Government. That means we are working hard to reduce our emissions and investing in projects that further offset emissions.

City of Melbourne operations have proudly been certified carbon neutral since 2012 and we are now working towards the same certification for our premier events.

You can do your bit too. Walk, ride your bike or use public transport to get to Melbourne Fashion Week events, download your tickets rather than printing them and be sure to recycle.