Sustainable events to check out at VAMFF this year

Image via VAMFF
Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

For a greener VAMFF.

If you’re getting overwhelmed trying to jam pack your Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival schedule, take a deep breath and let us help.

At this year’s festival, there’s a big focus on sustainability. So, for the environmentally conscious festival-goer, here’s our roundup of runways, talks and interactive events with a sustainable lean.


It’s VAMFF. Obviously, you’re going to want to hit up some runways. Thankfully, there are plenty of designers showing this year that are dedicated to sustainability and the protection of our planet.

One such brand is social enterprise Homie, which will be hosting its own pop-up runway. Expect to see the best in sustainable streetwear trends, and feel good knowing 100 per cent of the brand’s profits go to helping the city’s homeless youth.

At the Royal Exhibition Building, Runway 6 will see seven Melbourne-based labels presenting their most innovative designs. As a bonus, the line-up has been packed with designers who take sustainability to heart.

For more local designers working to make a difference, check out the Fashion Advocate’s Identity runway and garden party. The show is all about exploring Australia’s collective identity, as well as promoting a more sustainable, socially conscious approach to fashion.


One of the best things about VAMFF is the countless opportunities to learn something new. And the best way to do that is to attend an informative panel.

Moderated by Ethical Clothing Australia, Fashion and Ethics: Knowing your Clothes is an in-depth look at sustainable Aussie businesses. Hear stories from designers and industry professionals about their own journeys to a more ethical approach to fashion.

To learn more about how individual consumers can promote change in the industry, head to the Abbotsford Convent for Future Fashion: Is It A Stitch Up? Speakers from the Possibility Project, ELK and more will talk positivity and possibility in the face of what seems like a scary future.

For your chance to pick the brains of the people leading the sustainability charge, LCI Melbourne is hosting Artisans of Fashion: Culture, Community and the Planet. Chat about global issues with industry professionals, including Vogue Australia’s Sustainability Editor, Clare Press.

Studio tours

During the festival, a lot of designers will generously open their studios to the public. Not only can you tour an amazing creative spaces, but you might even learn some well-kept industry secrets.

Sustainable denim brand Nobody is inviting festival-goers to tour its factory and laundry. See where each pair of jeans is dyed, washed and distressed, while also engaging in important discussions on ethics, sustainability and local manufacturing.

Melbourne label Bedroom is all about transparency, which is why its Fitzroy studio will be open for tours throughout VAMFF. Explore the studio, meet the designer and see how your clothes are made from start to finish.


Sometimes seeing isn’t enough. If you’re keen to get your hands dirty, interactive workshops and masterclasses present perfect opportunities to step away from fast fashion and try your hand at a new skill.

Turn humble op shop finds into one-of-a-kind masterpieces at Gun Shy and String Designs’ Upcycled Lewks workshop. Specifically designed for people aged 13-25, the interactive event encourages creativity, recycling and courageous style.

The best way to ensure textiles aren’t going to waste is to turn them into something new and beautiful. Mikan is also hosting a masterclass in bag making, where participants can produce their own purse from discarded Kimono and Obi silks.

Clothes swaps

We all know the importance of a good wardrobe clean out now and then. But once you’ve decided which clothes are getting the boot, it pays to think about where they’ll end up.

Take five items of clothes you’re just not feeling anymore to the Global Fashion Exchange. Not only will they find a loving home, but you’ll have the chance to raid other people’s wardrobes to replace them with free second-hand pieces.

Over at Bunjil Place’s Style Swap, you’ll also have the chance to trade your old clothes for exciting new ones. There will also be a panel discussion, jewellery workshop and styling demonstrations, so you can make the most out of your day.


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