Are people looking at 'eco fashion', 'sustainable fashion', 'green clothing' (or whatever people prefer to call it) as a new trend ? How can fashion be sustainable anyway ?
With it meaning different things to everyone, and businesses tending to jump on trends with little substance behind their claims, is the push for a more sustainable fashion industry in danger of passing along with other trends ?
I guess we have always taken a more pragmatic approach here at Rant. Focussing on designing for our customers that have supported us since 2003. We know they appreciate that we are 100% made in Australia, use natural fibres and have our knits milled locally in Australia. They are comfortable paying a little more as they know their garments will be with them for a number of years and are not mass produced.
Having shyed away from the 'fashion' tag in the past, we are becoming more comfortable knowing that 'sustainable fashion' is gaining momentum.
So what do we see as 'sustainable' in the 'fashion' industry?
Buying everything local is really a major key for us. Supporting people in your own community creates a network of people you know and enjoy working with. Not having to ship things all around the world to get the lowest price reduces the energy required for transport substantially also.
As well as our cutters and sewers being local, all our buying is done with Australian companies, with the exception of a New Zealand fabric company. While the reality is not everything can be made in Australia (especially haberdashery), all our packaging and printing uses recycled material, and is majority Australian made. The use of 100% Greenpower is a way we can support the renewable energy industry, and supporting local charities is also important. In the last two years we have donated over $18,000 to the Australian Rainforest Foundation & Widlife Queensland. Very aware that our business relies on the purchase of consumer goods, we wanted to give back to those working to protect our unique native wildlife and rainforests. So customers can be confident when they receive their parcels from us in their rant 'eco bag' saying that a donation is made on their behalf from their purchase, that it is genuine.
I'm sure the idea of 'sustainability' will continue to evolve, as will every persons understanding of it. Of course the risk is that there is always more you can be doing, and reusing what you have is important too, though the Australian fashion industry is in a unique position to spread the word. The arts have always been a vehicle for social change, and clothing particularly represents how people interact with the environment around them. So here's to 'sustainable fashion' continuing to grow and remaining a 'fashion staple'.
Thanks for reading - Jason