Fashion - What is greenwashing, and how can we avoid being greenwashed?
Oh, greenwashing: the great marketing tool of our generation. The obstacle that stands in the way of caring, well-intentioned consumers purchasing products that reflect their caring, well-intentioned ways. Greenwashing is basically what Kmart Veja knockoffs are to the real Veja’s: an inexpensive way of leeching off of the hard work environmentally and socially conscious brands do in order to maximise their profits.
Fashion - Why bother with ethical fashion?
Ethical fashion. If you say these two words to someone when you first meet, you’re likely to be given back a blank stare and raised eyebrows. Huh? The average person will think of slaves, child labour, and sweat shop factories they’ve seen glimpses of on the news. These are valid points in the discussion of ethical fashion, but they’re only the tip of the iceberg.
Fashion - Is Op Shopping as good as we think it is?
“You’ll be so proud of me, I just dropped off four bags full of clothes to the op shop!” She says, as she grabs another skirt off the sale rack ‘just coz’. When you gather a pile of unwanted clothes, the usual response these days, is to drop them at the op shop, or shove them in those wide mouthed metal donation bins. Although you may think this is the best option for unwanted items, think again.
Interviews - We talk morning routines, conscious businesses, and vulnerability with Elle Evans.
Elle Evans Swimwear is an environmentally conscious company crafting beautiful, made-to-order creations straight out of a Melbourne studio. Elle Evans is a mother, a small business owner, and a self-confessed introvert, and she's also a complete inspiration to anyone wanting to do a bit of good with their business.
Minimalism - How to declutter your home without making your stuff someone else's problem.
Stuff is suffocating. It creeps into our lives unsuspectedly, fills our cupboards, and clouds our minds. The more stuff we have, the more time we spend cleaning, repairing, moving, and maintaining it. Batteries, buttons, laces: they all need to be considered and replaced, and that takes time and mental energy. The more time and energy you spend maintaining stuff, the less time and energy you have for the people you love, and enjoying experiences which create real, long lasting happiness.
Interviews - Meet the man who’s changing the world one pair of jeans at a time: James Bartle.
James saw that something was very wrong, so he created Outland Denim in an attempt to make it right. Not only did James become passionate about cleaning up the messy processof jean production, he also wanted to use this as a tool to rid the world of another dirty industry: the sex slave industry. Now, with a thriving ethically and sustainably made jeanscompany and a circular business model that allows for the employment of women who have been saved from.
Interviews - Meet the woman who's on a mission to make products that do less harm, a better choice for everyone: Frankie Layton.
Frankie “had an income, a squishy chair at the table, and was pretty comfortable.” She had a full-time job, a super busy schedule, and a passion for sustainability. So, she quit.
Interviews - Meet Samantha Sargent, advocate for natural beauty, health and wellbeing, and founder of the wonderful Be Genki.
Before Sam became the founder of a successful Australian business she was, first and foremost, a friend. To help improve a dear friend’s state of mind, Sam concocted a blend of essential oils, and worked with her to the point where self-care rituals eventually ended up taking the place of anti-depressant medication. This oil blend was Be Serene, and this process turned into Be Genki.
Fashion - What it’s really like to be a garment worker and run an ethical business in Cambodia.
There are some things in this world that can only be understood when you’re actually in them. Working as a garment worker in Cambodia is one of those. Sure, you can watch The True Cost, read interviews, and indulge in media coverage, but describing what it’s like to work in one of the world’s most polluting and damaging industries, is near impossible.
Interviews - Meet Elizabeth Bold, the incredible founder of Little Emperor.
Elizabeth had always held a desire to celebrate the beauty of childhood, imagination and playfulness, so she decided to create a company that focused solely on that. As Little Emperor grew, so too did Elizabeth’s knowledge of the fashion industry, and the growing environmental and social impacts it was ultimately having. She soon realised “this business had to be so much more than its end product”, so she switched it up a little...
Interviews - We spoke with Ross Macdougald, founder of the innovative Biologi, about his world-first skincare product.
Ross, an industry chemist who has been developing plant-derived extracts for cosmetic products since 2012, was frustrated. He was frustrated because of the low levels his serums were being used in the commercial products for which they were intended. So, what did Ross do, you ask? Ross created the first skincare company to provide a 100% active single ingredient, organic plant serum. That’s what Ross did.
Fashion - Five steps to a good purchase.
I used to be the type of person to head to the mall each weekend, wallet at the ready with my eyes fixated on all the bargains that were soon to be mine. Now? I avoid the place, I spend my money mindfully and I wait a minimum of two weeks from when I first found an item I ‘want’, before I purchase it.
Fashion - Three ways to break up with fast-fashion.
We’ve all been in that situation where we’ve hit “confirm payment” on an item of clothing we’d just seen on the trusty ‘gram a few minutes before. With all of the “Buy Now, Pay Later” options available to us, it’s become even easier to buy without monitoring how much we’ve actually bought, and without giving any thought to the consequences that come from this extremely easy process.
Minimalism - Could you wear six items for six weeks? Gabi did, and here are her lessons.
For my third year in a row, I’m attempting the month-and-a-half of figurative pain that is the Six Items Challenge (exactly what it sounds like. Choose six items of clothing from your wardrobe and wear them, and only them, for six weeks).
Interviews - Staying raw and real with conscious mumma, Abbylee Bonny.
H + H Lifestyle (health and happiness) gives us all the tools we need to live healthily and happily. Daily body movement, raw foods, gratitude, self-care, mindfulness, conscious consumption, connection, and contribution are at the core of the H + H philosophy, and so too is perspective and balance in this crazy world. Abbylee Bonny, the legend behind H + H Lifestyle, is exactly the type of person the world needs more of.
Lifestyle - 3 ways to participate in ethical fashion when you can hardly pay rent.
Let’s not beat around the bush; ethical fashion is more expensive. The cost of ethical fashion represents the true cost of a garment, where no one is exploited in the process of making it. But no matter how much you know about the truth behind the fashion industry, or how passionate you are about workers rights and sustainability, when your weekly routine is adding up every single penny to see what you have left for food after rent is paid, it’s hard to justify paying $70 for a tank top instead of $5. In fact, it’s often impossible.
Fashion - Why we shouldn't be settling for minimum wage: The difference between a living and minimum wage.
The minimum wage for garment factory workers in Bangladesh, was raised by 51% in December 2018. You may read this and consider it a huge win, a giant success, and complete accomplishment for Bangladeshi garment workers. Sure, it’s a huge step in the right direction, but rather than leap for joy, we’re unimpressed.
Fashion - Is ethical fashion really as expensive as we think?
The average woman wears only 33% of her wardrobe. Dwell on this for a second or two. It’s crazy right? Unfortunately, we’ve been trained to think of fashion like a disposable skin that we can oh so easily strip off, and replace when we are bored. Heck, if a shirt is the price of a coffee, why wouldn’t you buy it in 7 different colours, wear only two of them, and then go back to the mall the very next week looking for something different?
Interviews - Amanda Berry and Charlotte Archer on cutting bad ties for good reasons.
Amanda and Charlotte have both been qualified hairdressers for years, though with their trade came the bags of foil and bottles of chemicals that were being discarded with no care for the environment whatsoever. With a mentality to “either get out of the hairdressing industry or change it”, they decided to do the latter, and we are extremely grateful that they did.
Interviews - We speak to jet setter, trend setter, and founder of namesake fashion label, KOPAL.
Kopal is a powerhouse for creative collaboration - when she isn't producing clothing in India, she is working with organisations and artisan groups to help bring her collections to life. She's also just uprooted from the Big Apple to dreamy Byron Bay, and we cannot wait to see what she does next.
Lifestyle - 11 Things I've Learnt Since I Started Ethical Made Easy.
Today, Ethical Made Easy turns two. Truth be told, I can’t quite believe it. I was 21 back then, and like most 21 year olds, I loved to consume. I started Ethical Made Easy as a way to hold myself accountable to my consumer decisions; a platform to document my ‘green’ changes and …
Fashion - Five mainstream fashion brands you didn't know were ethical.
It is our dream for the term ‘ethical fashion’ to cease to exist. Excuse me?! That’s right; ethical fashion should be fashion. No ‘ethical’ needed; treating a person with respect, and protecting our environment, should be explanatory.
Fashion - Giving people jobs is not an excuse to buy fast fashion.
Talking about ethical fashion is hard. When you begin discussing the topic with someone who hasn’t heard of issues in the fashion industry, there’s a point in the conversation when they realise; the problem is them. They are the consumer, they are wearing clothes made by individuals exploited in third world countries, and they are holding the H&M shopping bags.
Interviews - Meet Alexandra Thursfield, the founder of The (absolutely delectable) Daily Bar.
When Alexandra saw a gap in the market for an extremely healthy, extremely delicious snack that could be eaten daily, she decided to fill it with The Daily Bar. With this, she was also very aware that most snack products available on the market are packaged in plastic, and did not want to add to this already out-of-control problem with the common “a minute on the lips, a lifetime (plus 900+ years) in landfill) mentality.
Interviews - Lois McGruer-Fraser is turning scraps into style with her ethically inclined fashion brand, Lois Hazel.
Thanks to interning in both New York and Amsterdam, Lois already had a super impressive CV before starting her business. Lois is ethically driven in her approach to Lois Hazel, and it is because of this that her voice is relied on in panel discussions centred around ethical and sustainable practices. Talk about girl power or what?
Fabrics - What is rayon and how does it break down?
One of the challenges in buying fashion a little more mindfully lies in the journey to find clothing made with fairly paid, happy employees, and within the boundaries of safe and sustainable practices. After this, the hurdle is identifying the fabrics these clothes were made of, and considering the impacts both the creation of that fabric had on the environment and its decomposition process.
Interviews - Meet Amy Pierce, the interior designer who turned her passion for colour into Paint Nail Lacquer.
Nail polish is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ethically made and sustainably sourced products, but it was for Amy Pierce. As an interior designer, Amy uses a lot of creative energy in her 9-5, and it was in her love of colour and personal style where a different creative outlet was born.
As a consumer, you may well have heard of the common practices that brands participate in when ridding themselves of unwanted stock. Incinerating unsold consumer products is a regular occurrence in France and is executed by the country’s leading fashion brands
Fashion - What is fast fashion?
I don’t know who came up with the term ‘Fast Fashion’ first, but whoever did used the genius of alliteration to coin a name fun enough to talk about openly without putting people off. Imagine if it was called ‘child-abuse fashion’, or ‘earth-corrupting fashion’. Not catchy, and people’ll run for the hills as soon as you bring it up.
Interviews - The Hemp Temple - three words, three people, one incredible vision.
The Hemp Temple was founded on the idea of freedom and responsibility, and also with an urge to do something that would have a positive impact on the planet. Fuelled by yoga, dancing, and caffeine, the three founders are living the vision The Hemp Temple was built on.
Interviews - Laila Bedard-Potvin on the ugly truths of the fast fashion industry and her beautiful alternative.
Harly Jae was born out of Laila’s desire to craft a dream job (and dream life) for herself. She was a Fashion Merchandising graduate who became far too exposed to the disgusting reality of the fashion industry, so she brought her morals to the table and started a company with ethical and sustainable practices at the forefront of its operations. What a woman.
Interviews - Elizabeth Herman is turning old into new with her jewellery business, Argent Silversmith.
After Elizabeth found out about silversmithing, the sky became the limit. She bought her tools, found a suitcase full of silversmithing goodies, and started creating beautiful pieces of jewellery that were not only loved by her but also by those around her. Everything in her jewellery is completely ethically and sustainably sourced, from the recycled silver and gold to the second-hand gems, and she will never have Argent Silversmith any other way.
Fashion - 13 terms you didn't know about ethical fashion.
We’ve all had that awkward word moment. You know, the one where someone’s used a word you’ve never heard in your life and you stand there smiling and waving like the penguins from Madagascar told you to because, well, you literally have no idea what that word means. There are a lot of terms within the ethical and sustainable world that are not often discussed or used in the mainstream sphere but are the cause of these awkward word moments. Never fear, Ethical Made Easy is here! Sorry team, we had to.
Interviews - Meet Ren, the co-founder of the environmentally and socially conscious, Matter Prints.
Being originally trained as a sociologist, this woman knows a thing or two about the wellbeing of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Ren transferred this knowledge and passion into a thriving business focusing on changing the lives of garment workers for the better, and we are 100% here for it.
Interviews - Emma Peters, founder of Aleph Beauty, is putting "vegan" and "high quality" in the same sentence.
Emma’s background as a makeup artist led her to create her own makeup range—painting faces within the television, fashion, and advertising industries for the past two decades made her see the damaging impact low quality products were having on the skin of her clients. From this, and from an interest in holistic health and nutrition, Aleph Beauty was born.
Interviews - Bag making and ethical production with Simétrie founder, Simone Agius.
Together with two other talented leather smiths, Simone crafts exquisite bags and other leather products under the Simétrie name - ethically and sustainably with eco-friendly materials, of course.
Interviews - Meet Erica Gadsby and Deborah de Graaf, the co-founders behind the epic clothing brand, ReCreate.
Erica and Deborah are two young mothers who “wanted to do something that would provide opportunity and employment for women, so the clothing brand was simply the best way to sustainably do this on an ongoing basis.” They originally started ReCreate with an emphasis on empowering the women in the Dey Tmey community of Cambodia, but have moved on to fitting men into this equation as well.
Interviews - Meet Hannah Martin, the eco-conscious mumma behind Salt Trading Co.
Mass-production of their beautiful products was never a driving factor behind Salt Trading Co, but crafting an environmentally and socially responsible business was. Hannah hand-crafts her candles with completely safe and biodegradable materials, and she proves that ethically and sustainably minded businesses do not skimp on luxury or quality.
Interviews - Meet John Pritchard, the entrepreneur creating change with Pala Eyewear.
The fact that there are people in our world who are extremely disadvantaged because of their location and their socio-economic background has never sat well with John. When he created Pala Eyewear, he did so not only in order to produce high-quality, ethically made eyewear but also with a mission to use his business as a machine to help generate social change.
Interviews - We sat down with a couple of epic change makers, Emily and Freddie Carlstrom, who are throwing away the term “disposable”.
Documentaries are notorious for sparking the inner activist and change-maker within the empathetic people who watch them, and that’s precisely what happened to Emily and Freddie. The first season of War on Waste angered and terrified them, so they turned these emotions into motivation and turned this motivation into Kappi.
Interviews - We dove deep with Amber Boyers, founder of Baiia Swimwear, and she’s just as versatile as her award-winning, 2 in 1 wrapsuit.
Growing up in the Solomon Islands, Amber has always been very connected to the beach and the ocean. After an extensive background in fashion—she studied fashion and marketing, went to South America with the goal of employing women to create Latin American garments, and worked at CUE—though realised there were no beachwear labels fully respecting the ocean. So, she plans to change that.
Interviews - Meet Loreto, the founder of Anima by Loreto, a fashion label that ticks all of our criteria and then some.
Sometimes we come across those brands that we just can't look past—the way their products are made ticks all of our criteria, the materials are sourced with sustainability in mind, and the outcome of this sweet ethical collaboration is a product that will not only last a very long time but is also basically a wearable piece of art. Anima is one of these brands, and the founder behind it, Loreto, has one of the most incredible stories to tell.
Interviews - Jon Heslop has the wellbeing of artisans and consumers in mind with his company, Shakti Mats.
Jon said: “I’ve heard that a business is the ultimate expression of your personality—the way it behaves reflects your own values.” If this is true, then Jon and his team must be absolute saints. Not only do Jon and the Shakti Mats crew use the business to empower women but, through their profits, they also support a number of charities that are generating enormous good.
Interviews - It’s Lizzie Turner. You may remember her from such clothing brands as Bare Bones, Arc + Bow, and Mane Project.
Lizzie Turner is a busy boss lady. Not only has she found the time to start two sustainable fashion boutiques, Bare Bones and Arc & Bow, but she's also somehow managed to merge the two together to create a mother brand, Mane Project. Talk about being a busy bee.
Interviews - Alex Nash is using water bottles to make a difference through her company, Yuhme.
Through providing "the world's most eco-friendly reusable water bottle with a purpose", modern day wonder-woman Alex Nash is providing clean drinking water to some of those who need it most. We sat down with her to talk about her motives, her goals, and how Yuhme actually came to be.
Interviews - Many great things came to life in the 90s, and Melanie Lechte's passion for sustainable fashion was one of them.
Melanie has been in the fashion industry since the 90s and has always had an intense passion for creating brands, but a little doco called The True Cost changed all of that for her. With Organic Crew, Melanie admits to having to, in some sense, re-train consumers to expect fewer batches of clothing, though with much higher quality than the regular fast fashion companies they’re used to. She’s raw, real, and driven to inspire and create change, and we are 100% here for it.
Interviews - Getting salty at the fashion industry with Charlotte Cheong, the brains (and beauty) behind Cecile Swim.
With a Singaporean background and a childhood spent by the poolside and the beach, Cecile became inspired at the ripe old age of 18 to express her individuality and creativity through swimwear. However, after discovering the damaging aftermath that comes about from fast fashion through her Conservation Wildlife degree, she decided to create swimwear a little differently.
Interviews - Rhianna's turning old water bottles into new activewear with her company, Team Timbuktu.
Picture this: a young girl hiking in Patagonia wearing some ugly clothes that not only look terrible and feel terrible but were also made in a terrible way. Now imagine her luckily (and very conveniently) having a background in fashion, and holding an intense drive to create a more ethical and sustainable way to craft fashionable, quality-made activewear. Well, that young girl was Rhianna, and that drive is now Team Timbuktu.
Interviews - We had a little chitchat with Sam Leigh, a woman who turned her fashion blog into a hub of ethical and sustainable brands.
When she was made redundant from her corporate event job, Sam had a major shift in perspective. She asked herself what her passions were and how she could turn them into her bread and butter, so she started a fashion blog. This progressively and organically turned into Ecomono and boy, are we glad it did!
Interviews - Tessa Carroll will get your creative juices flowing with her company, Ahimsa Collective.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: it’s annoyingly hard to find plastic-free vegan alternatives on the ethical and sustainable market. Tessa thought this also, so she created vegan products for Ahimsa Collective from vegan leather containing no plastic whatsoever. Tessa's a yogi, a coffee enthusiast, and she also mentions two of our favourite companies as her Movers & Shakers to watch.
Interviews - Umberto and his company Yatay are trying to bridge the gap between Italian designer and ethical.
Umberto and his brother wanted to change the way in which sneakers were made for the better, so they started Yatay with a goal of prioritising not only ethical and sustainable practices, but also to prove luxury does not have to compromise people or the planet. Umberto’s most valued piece of advice, “don’t give up what you want most for what you want now”, is something we wholeheartedly agree with.
Interviews - We sat down with Joel Cooper, to talk ethics, his family, and the beautiful story behind his company’s name: Frank & Dollys.
Joel’s wife, Rachel, actually started Frank & Dolly’s after holding a lifelong appreciation of and passion for fabrics, op-shopping, and crafting. Joel, a former Oxfam employee, later joined his wife on her creative endeavour. The two always had a profound amount of respect for ethical production and sustainable practices, so they naturally implemented this into their own business. Is this a match made in heaven or what?
Interviews - What can the power of a friendship between two ethically driven, like-minded people do? Duffle & Co; that’s what.
After both travelling to India and meeting the incredibly talented artisans competing against sweatshops and factories, Kai and Danny decided to do their part in supporting them and the traditional ways in which they were crafting garments. That’s how Duffle & Co came to be. Now with a bit more experience under their belt, they’re trying to tackle this issue in a few different countries.
Interviews - We speak to Nicki, the less furry half of the milo+nicki team.
The foundation of milo+nicki was built on rock bottom - after a few health scares from both herself and her best friend Milo, Nicki decided to channel this negativity into something incredibly beautiful. Entrepreneurship is no easy feat for anybody, but thanks to adaption, growth and, of course, her little friend Milo, Nicki pulled through and has a thriving, ethically-minded fashion brand to show for it.
Interviews - Eric Phu had a simple idea, and that simple idea became Citizen Wolf.
Eric's words will make you want to become a citizen of this particular community - pun definitely intended. Eric Phu saw a gap in the market for tailor-made everyday clothing, and as the co-founder of Citizen Wolf, he decided to do something about it.
Interviews - Meet Suzie, the beating heart of Velvet Heartbeat.
Meet Suzie, the beating heart of Velvet Heartbeat. When Suzie couldn’t find high quality, cruelty-free products, she decided to make them herself, and voila; Velvet Heartbeat was born. Since that day in 2017, and with a little help from some very strong cups of coffee, Suzie has been designing and creating vegan goodies from her house in New Zealand.
Interviews - Meet Tony and Tracy, the geniuses behind New Zealand grown Au Natural Skinfood.
Tony and Tracy created the Au Natural Skinfood range with the consumer and the environment in mind. Not only was this dynamic duo extremely aware of the nasties that hide in the conventional skincare products so readily available on the market but also of the devastating effects plastic pollution has on our planet. So, they decided to do things a bit differently.
Interviews - Tarj Marvi started out creating skincare products to help with her post-partum melasma. She's now made a business out of it.
What originated from a self-made remedy for severe post-partum melasma developed into a line of products that are not harmful for the environment or for the consumer. She’s completely dedicated to her Australian-made, toxic-free, certified organic range, and she’s also just total mum goals.