Coffee - Check. √
Vogue Australia March Edition - Check. √
We sat down and had a little afternoon story-time at the AC headquarters, reading March's inspiring Vogue issue.
Ok ... "Let's Talk Shop".
As we scroll through Social Media, walk through cities and stroll past billboards we're constantly being influenced and marketed to.
In Lucy Seigle's 2011 book; To Die For; Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? she estimated that around 80 billion new garments are produced each year. That's 80 BILLION new items which are made from virgin materials.
As an environmental journalist, Siegle wrote in this issue [March 2018] of Vogue Australia, that this figure now seems conservative.
And it's no wonder.
The mere fact that we now speak and separate quality of garments by "slow" and "fast" fashion, speaks volumes as to why we need to stop and reduce these mass productions.
So. Are those $20 dresses or $50 pairs of jeans worth it? Are you going to still love them in two, five or even ten years time?
In an industry where everything is about external expressions, and clothing is our choice. We ask - is it really?
If your clothes could talk, would you agree with what they are saying? Would you happily walk around supporting the message of your polyester made garments; which is that you happily contribute to the production of greenhouses gases that are equivalent to 1185 coal-fires power plants, to produce those garments, etc year.
"Why are we happy to waste money and resources on fast fashion, but then question the cost of an avocado?" Ahimsa Collective, 2018.
Or, would you be shouting the same chant as your single pair of jeans, which, to produce just that single pair, takes more than your life times personal consumption of water. Yep. Those cheap fast fashion jeans just cost the world more than 10,000 litres of water to make.
And you'll likely fall out of "OMG Love" with them in less than a year. In fact, based on a 2017 Retail Analysis report, 1.7 million Australians buy at least one new pair of jeans every four months. 4 MONTHS! What are you doing to your jeans to need new ones every month, people?
It's not all our fault as consumers but we are the ones who need to be in charge and lead the change.
In 2013 when the Dhaka Rana Plaza Factory collapsed, killing 1133 garment workers the Fashion Industry's lack of transparency and work conditions were thrown wide open.
Not only did it force change and action fashion brands to be accountable for their entire end-to-end production processes, but it also opened the doors on all industry impacts; from both a human capital and environmentally point of view.
Aussies are currently the second biggest consumers per capita of new clothing [virgin materials] and other textiles, in the world. Just behind the United States of America.
To read that we are just behind the USA in this level of consumption shocks us. In a country like Australia, where we are very fortunate to have fair work conditions, a good minimum wage rate and many opportunities, why are we happy to waste money and resources on fast fashion, but then question the cost of an avocado?
At the end of 2017, China put a ban on no longer accepting Australia's recycling waste. So now our Government needs to not only deal with our everyday waste, but also needs to deal very quickly with how our recycling waste is managed to avoid this also ending up in landfill.
So, where do we come in as consumers and what can we do to help stop this. It's something we have been taught from primary school: REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE.
Reduce, or Refuse is the biggest impact you can make as a consumer. Make every purchasing decision, a conscious one.
Vote with your wallet.
So, you ready to vote with us?