It's no secret. We all know that what's happening in our outer world is reflected in what we wear. Fashion trends through the decades decreed this. 70's new sexual freedoms were expressed in tie-dye, long hair and dancing tall in platform shoes. The 80's business boom pushed power shoulders. With the 90's recession, move over colour, and it was back to black.
2021? Beyond the comfy trackie duds of lockdown, and active yoga wear of inner reflection, the current state of the world and its contemporary social issues represents itself in our personal fashion style. Spring boarding out of 2021 and its inward vision, it's time now to look fashion forward. 2022 we're looking at you.
Shockingly, our country is the second highest consumer of textiles per person in the world, after the United States of America. Each Australian consumes an average of 27 kilograms of new clothing per year and disposes an average 23 kilograms of clothing to landfill each year, or 93 per cent of the textile waste we generate.
"“Like other forms of waste, clothing releases harmful carbon emissions as it breaks down in landfill."
“We want this scheme to better protect the environment by creating clothing in a more thoughtful manner, designing for durability, designing for less waste and choosing fibres for future recyclability” Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley declared of the Australian landmark scheme to bring fashion designers, manufacturers, retailers and charities together to tackle the mountains of clothing and textile waste heading for landfill every year.
The Australian Fashion Council, leveraging $1 million in grant Federal Government funding, will lead a consortium of fibre growers, designers, manufacturers, labels and textile waste managers to design and develop the industry-led scheme which is set to drive innovation in the fashion sector.
So what's your fashion style? Buy less, buy better - is a good place to start.
1. Shop Your Own Wardrobe
“The most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe.” ~ Fashion Revolution's Orsola de Castro.
Fashion stylists, including our very own NGS, have been social media spruking this all year, as they created new looks online with what they already had in their lockdown wardrobes. Heck we weren't going anywhere, were we?
Shop your own wardrobe is not only better for the budget, the clock is ticking - it's also time for us to play responsibly, isn't it?
In a world where anything is possible, the biggest step you can take to help our planet is to buy less and restyle what you've already got. Try throwing different things together, pieces you've never combined before. Swap favourites with friends if you shift sizes. Gratitude in handfuls for what we already have helps in other ways too.
2. Invest in Capsule
"Fast fashion is like junk food – cheap but ultimately bad for you and also the planet. It’s a love-hate relationship built on exploitation and micro-trends you don't need and won't remember. But it doesn't have to be this way." ~ Sydney local ethical sustainable clothes manufacturer Citizen Wolf.
A tightly edited capsule wardrobe has always been a recommended fashion foundation. And investment shopping of the classic essentials is always a good place to start any new year. Here you go. Here's how in 2022.
* a little black cocktail dress (or switch it up with midnight blue or deep purple)
* a day frock or two (a shirt dress always looks fresh)
* an androgynous suit (with matchy matchy jacket)
* divine Katherine Hepburn trousers
* stylishly good looking skirt
* plain white good quality cotton shirts and t-shirts (and not white for our not white world)
* quality blue jeans (although I don't own a pair)
* pure wool cardies (cashmere or silk blends, all the better)
* a classic coat (such as a camel hair wrap, or classic trench coat)
* a casual jacket (in denim, or with puffy down)
Throw in some classic accessories, a pair of flats, a couple of pairs of heels, runners, a pair of boots, a shoulder bag, a clutch, belts, scarves, ties, shawls, bangles, earrings, masks and you are ready for any occasion...
3. Inject Free-Spirited Fun
Now that we're free again, beyond those capsule basics that all wardrobes need, it's time to inject more fun into your fashion! Because, don't we all really really really need some fun right now?
Throw new fun fashion pieces onto your hangers - bold patterns, sparkly sequins, embroidery, beading, brights, fluros even. With five fashion labels that we love...
* For when you don't have the words or even if you do - reciting Alix Higgins is as easy as donning his queer fantasy clothing. It's literally poetry, in its newest and most elevated textile form. Alix Higgins gets our contemporary creative crown, that's for sure. He even makes them. Haute print couture. Made to order in Australia, production will take up to 4 weeks.
* Founded the same year as this magazine we resonate with the flattering fits of KITX by Kit Willow created with sustainable materials, sourced consciously from around the world. KITX showcased Resort 22: UNDERWORLD at Australian Fashion Week and as the name suggests the theme was ocean. Love hugs for the endangered message, and more for the upcycled denim which otherwise would have ended up in landfill.
Extra bonus points for KITXCHANGE which gives KITX garments a second chance to be loved and worn. Through the Paddington boutique KITX receives existing garments, restores them and resells them. More of this please!
* Indigenous fashion label Ngali, which translates to 'we' or 'us in a number of Australian Aboriginal languages, aims for an harmonious, sustainable and equitable union of Country and each other. Using Aboriginal and Torres Strait artwork as the hero, the silhouettes bring the artwork to life on fabric through unique print adaptations. Scarves and pleated scarves are sensational in themselves, and create a matching print option for dress choices.
* The Social Outfit delivers its promises with clothing collections that use remnant fabrics donated by fashion industry partners (they've saved 8.5 tonnes of fabric from landfill to date) and supports women from refugee and new migrant communities to kick-start their Australian careers and thrive through employment. Applause. And the bonus, The look good Social Outfit clothes are uniquely comfortably contemporary and street smart.
* Bondi Beach kaftan queen Camilla Franks gives us all, in her unique local style bohemian luxury fashion label Camilla. Super flirty fun , we adore her mini dresses with long overlays. Love. And $1 from every online order to one of three champion causes. Camilla is the 'r' in resort wear, the 's' in Sydney and the 't' in all that!
While we really don't want to in any way encourage disposable fashion by others, we also love op shop and second hand. Because it is conscious, cheap and easily exchangeable, op shop and second hand forms a great choice for flirty and fun injections in our wardrobes.
We love it, we love playing dress ups that are fun and free-spirited, and even more so when they are also sustainable and ethical...
4. Care For People And Planet
"We all know the way we shop is unsustainable." ~ The Ethics Centre
Ethical fashion has a lot of definitions. As its basis, ethical fashion ensures it impacts positively on people and the planet. At its most fundamental, this means that workers are treated fairly across the supply chain, working in safety and with a living wage, and the brand cares about its use of resources. No - not just that simple, but that's a start.
Does your new clothing tick the boxes?
As example, small local designers and manufacturers are putting a strong foot forward, yet ethical fashion has now thankfully entered the mainstream and is being adopted by big brands. UNIQLO in its global recycling drive RE.UNIQLO recycles used garments through its circular sustainability programs. They collect secondhand UNIQLO garments from all over the world for reuse and deliver them to people in need worldwide in the form of emergency clothing aid for refugee camps and disaster areas together with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), NGOs, and NPO. Clothing that cannot be reused is recycled as fuel or soundproofing material. Down and feathers are regenerated into new clothing items. Ticked our box!
5. Suit Yourself Non-Binary
Androgynous fashion has had a turn before. Yet with the newest celebrities at last being able to proudly claim personal pronouns they/theirs, the time has never been more right to blur the male female gender distinctions in clothing.
This year Sydney designers Gareth Moody and Maurice Terzini joined forces to debut NONPLUS, a curated collection of gender-neutral sharp suiting and detailed tailoring designed for the modern creative.
Though androgyny is not new, finally we are getting the be yourself memo and shouting the message loud and clear to the world.
2022? The only rule is. Wear what you want. Wear it your way!