Ethical fashion events you can join in on at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival

Image via Rahma the Label
Words by Eve Oswald

Shop smart.

The fashion industry is starting to wake up and take action to protect the environment and its workers. More than ever, consumers want to know where their clothes are coming from and who’s making them. We’re seeing a rise in sustainable and ethical brands, helping us fill our wardrobes with clothing we can feel good about wearing.

To further this, Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is hosting a series of workshops, talks and runways in support of the ethical fashion movement and you can get involved. Here are our top picks.

Renew Runway

Local Melbourne artists are uniting to present repurposed pieces and materials at the RENEW runway show. Inspired to tackle the issue of fast fashion and society’s throwaway mentality, sustainable artists and designers will showcase garments from pieces destined for the rubbish tip. This free event will take place in a decked-out Man With A Van removalist truck, making Renew a totally unique event.

Man With A Van Truck, Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC
Thursday March 8, 6.30 pm
Free event

The Circular Economy is in Fashion

Ever felt frustrated and hopeless when thinking about the impact the fashion industry has on the environment? The Possibility Project, Chalk ReDesign and WalkSewGood are coming together to explore ways in which to build a sustainable wardrobe. You’ll learn how to stay well-dressed, without costing the earth (literally).

SO.ME Space, South Melbourne Market, 322-326 Coventry St South Melbourne VIC
Thursday March 15, 5:30pm
Tickets $30

Global Fashion Exchange-Swap

We’ve all gazed into our overflowing wardrobes and felt we had absolutely nothing to wear. Rather than add to the problem with more purchases, why not swap a piece out? Hosted by The Clothing Exchange and Fashion Revolution, the event asks you to bring new or gently used garments to exchange for other fab pieces. It’s the perfect way to spice up your usual outfit rotation.

Location is yet to be announced
Sunday March 11, 11am-3pm
Tickets yet to be announced

Equinox V Vênus

Be transported to an otherworldly experience through a runway performance of sight, sound and scent by local brand Remuse. Showcasing ethical fashion and made with recycled, vegan fabrics, the event will explore how we must be mindful to not contribute further to global warming. A visual extravaganza with a very serious takeaway message. Proceeds also go to supporting the post-Hurricane Maria humanitarian efforts.

The Substation, 1 Market St Newport VIC
Sunday March 18, 6pm
Tickets $25

Sustainability in Design

This panel event is one that can’t be missed. Featuring a slew of influential names discussing important topics surrounding sustainability in design, it’ll explore if any progress has been made. Designers from fields such as interiors, fashion, beauty and furniture will weigh in on sustainability in their industry and offer a multi-faceted insight. With brands under increasing pressure to make more ethical business choices, this conversation is a vital one.

The Establishment Studios, 23 Grattan St, Prahran VIC
Thursday 8
March, 6pm
Tickets $26.09

Fashion as a force for good

You’ve probably heard about I=Change, or at least the influential brands in partnership with it (Camilla, Pandora, Romance Was Born etc). Focusing on female empowerment, I=Change donates $1 of every sale from its participating brands to various enriching international projects. Learn from the founder Jeremy Metlzer about why he started this life-changing platform and how your money is directly impacting others.

Venue to be announced
Wednesday March 7
Free event

Australian Fashion Connect

High tea, Australian fashion and raising money for charity? Yes, please. Grab a few friends and have a night out at Hotel Windsor with a runway showcasing upcoming local designers. While you sip down on your tea, you’ll have the chance to purchase items straight from the runway, with funds going to United Nation Women Australia.

Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring St, Melbourne VIC
Sunday March 11, 1pm – 3pm and 4pm – 6pm
Tickets on sale soon


If you like to mix coffee and fashion, this event hosted by Rahma the Label will be right up your alley. The brand will present its new collection in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. Guests will watch on as models drink and converse, before being invited to join in on the presentation. Rahma’s focus is on ethical textile development, and its objective is to redefine the landscape of fashion in Africa.

Fort Delta, Shop 59 Capitol Arcade, 113 Swanston Street (entry via Howey Place).
Friday March 16, 8pm
Free event with RSVP required


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