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Some really great events and talks about ethical fashion are popping up in Australia next month

IMAGE VIA HOMIE

WORDS BY TIFFANY FORBES

Well and truly taking fast fashion off the radar.

It’s 2021, and if you’ve somehow slipped through the cracks and missed the memo, contributing to textile waste, underpaying garment workers and undertaking mass production to meet sales quotas, just doesn’t make the cut anymore.

Gone are the days of fashion and sustainability being mutually exclusive, and for good reason. Sustainability is fashion now, and it’s heartening to see an abundance of brands and industry leaders putting their upcycled foot forward to champion ethical production, consumption and wear. 


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This week I made it my mission to sift through Melbourne Fashion Festival’s extensive program to find the best events to attend that focus on repurposing, recycling and minimising our collective contribution to landfill. With a reimagined COVID-19 friendly itinerary, the events comprise of both online and in-person initiatives. 

Hoard Repair Lab 

Online, March 11 – 20, 10am – 5pm daily

We’ve all got those perfect jeans that have been worn down to the point of no tomorrow, or that dress you swore you’d wear, but five years later, still hangs in your wardrobe untouched (I know you know the one). It’s time to breath new life into these pieces and the MFF Hoard Repair Lab is here to help. 

Inviting willing participants to surrender their unwanted garments or old favourites to be repaired, redesigned and then returned to their original owners, the initiative seeks to minimise landfill through repurposing. The process will be documented in an online exhibition paired with video demonstrations on a series of repair techniques in hopes that it will encourage others to consider repurposing garments instead of throwing them out. 

The online exhibition will be open daily throughout the festival. 

Fast Fashun Magazine Launch

Friday March 19, 6.30pm 

Siteworks, 33 Saxon Street, Brunswick, VIC, 3056, Australia

Ever wondered what happens to the leftover textiles from previous Melbourne Fashion Festivals? Fast Fashun happens. 

A sustainable twist on haute couture, this event invites attendees to rummage through a giant pile of salvaged MFF clothing and textile waste on-site to create an outfit that can be walked down the runway as part of the event. Participation is encouraged, but not compulsory.

The event will also showcase the latest Fast Fashun magazine launch offering a showcase of collages, visual art, creative writing, commentary on fashion culture and practical information on how to take personal action in the choices you make around consuming fashion.

This is a free event, although registrations are required. 

No. 13 

Thursday, March 11, 11.00am and Friday March 11, 5.00pm 

George Paton Gallery, Level 2, Union House, Tin Alley, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Did you know that approximately 501,000,000 kg of textile goes to landfill every year in Australia? Desperate to bring awareness to this alarming figure, artist Chelsea Hickman has set out to uncover the data behind these garments with MFF’s event, No. 13

In the spirit of grand gestures, she plans on bringing 3000 kgs of textile waste into a gallery where each garment will be counted, sorted and categorised into wardrobes and shelves as a method of data collection, to get to the bottom of which clothing items are being discarded and why. The event hopes to encourage people to think about their relationship with clothing for a more environmentally sustainable future. 

This is a free event and registrations are not required.

Many Hands: The Making of a Garment

Launch: Tuesday March 16, 6.00pm

Installation on display: March 11 – 20, 8am – 6pm daily 

Collingwood Yards, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood, VIC, 3066, Australia

When we go into a store or buy a piece of clothing online, it’s hard to visualise the process that your threads have already endured to get to that place in your very hands. Now’s your opportunity to follow the compelling journey of the many hands that make a garment from its inception to its home in your wardrobe. Expect to meet other ethical makers, learn more about brands that are made locally and about the importance of protecting the rights of garment workers. 

You can buy tickets here now. 

Australian Fashion Summit: The Circular Consumer

Online, Wednesday March 17, 1.30 – 2.30pm 

A global pause in quite literally everything has led to a new lease on life for many of us individuals, but has the pause in operations for the Australian fashion industry allowed them to reconsider their contribution to the planet, people and profits? 

A panel of industry leaders including Alyx Gorman, lifestyle editor of The Guardian Australia, Andie Halas, founder of Thread Together and James Rogers, director of sustainability for The Real Real, will be joined by Audrey Khaing-Jones, the CEO of GlamCorner, to discuss. 

Purchase your tickets here now. 

Homie X Nobody Denim Pop-up

The pop-up will be open daily from March 11 – 20, 10am – 5pm 

Nobody Denim, 396-398 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065, Australia

A MFF event wrap wouldn’t be complete without at least one runway, so the very least you can do is treat yourself to HoMie and Nobody Denim’s collaborative showcase. In the true spirit of both Australian labels’ commitment to promoting ethical production and awareness of social issues, the runway will simultaneously be an exploration into the art of inciting conversation around textile waste, mass production, consumer impact and unemployment amongst youth.

Looking for more events? Browse Melbourne Fashion Festival’s comprehensive program here

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