There’s nothing better than slinging on an outfit that has you looking sharp and feeling great. But I’m pretty sure no one wants to achieve that at the expense of a kid in a sweat shop overseas. However, life is so busy and clothing is such an easily accessible commodity that it’s easy to grab and wear, rather than be mindful about what we select. But what if clothes were all ethically made? If that was the norm, instead of the exception, wouldn’t the world be a better place?
That’s the idea behind Undress Runways, where the team running the sustainable fashion festival are spreading the message: “We believe in looking good. Responsibly.”
As director Edda Hamar says: “People often think sustainable fashion is a style, but we’re showing people that you can look however you want to look and still be sustainable. Sustainable fashion is about the process of producing the clothes – where they came from and what they are made from. High-end designers are starting to recognise this and introducing ethical fashion techniques.”
Undress Runways hit Brisbane and Sydney earlier this month, and had their grand finale at the Meat Market in North Melbourne on Saturday night, featuring an impressive collection of sustainable day-wear, evening wear, swimwear, and lingerie from designers around the world.
Always one of the best bits about attending these events is people-watching, and there were fabulous outfits galore from the attendees who had the opportunity to sashay up a red carpet and pose for pics before sipping a complimentary vodka and coconut water, which ranged from sleek, patterned jumpsuits to casual, ripped jeans and scuffed-up Converse trainers. My fabulously dressed plus one and I decided recycled vintage was the way fashion-forward, with Theresa looking glam in a hand-me-down pink patterned dress and a high-necked, sexily zipped jacket from a market in London, and I wore a slinky floral dress from a vintage shop on Brunswick St.
But enough about us, let’s talk about the fashion on show. The vibe was high-end casual chic and in our second-row spots, we were presented with an array of beautiful outfits, as well as elaborate head pieces, the briefest of undies, sexy swim wear, and colourful head scarfs, all created using environmentally friendly fibres, produced ethically and using low-waste. While there were a few more creative and outlandish pieces towards the end, the most impressive thing about the show is that its garments were all stylish and ultimately wearable – so much so, I actually forgot it was all “sustainable”, which I do believe was the aim of the game!
We left feeling inspired by Undress Runways’ message of sustainability, and suitably impressed by the showcase of outfits, as well as with a gorgeous goody bag each.
Here’s Undress Runways’ director Edda Hamar’s top tips for becoming more ethical about clothes buying.
- Buy less, make do with what you’ve got, ask yourself, “do you really need that new outfit for tonight?”.
- When shopping, ask the sales assistant where the clothes are made and if they were produced ethically. Get this conversation going wherever you shop and the sales assistants might start asking their managers… who will ask their manager and eventually the CEO will have to answer your question.
- Go to www.undressrunways.com and support the designers we showcase on the runway.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Undress Runways.