Fashion Week in Sydney has sparked a lot of conversations about consumerism...
We've talked a fair bit about the negatives associated with overconsumption, so now it's time to talk about the benefits of conscious consuming.
One way you can practice conscious consuming is by buying products made here in Australia. Not only does this help reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry, it also has economic and social benefits as well.
Here are 5 reasons to buy Australian made clothing:
1. You get what you pay for.
While Australian made clothes tend to be more expensive, the products are usually of a higher quality. Large scale clothing manufactures have a reputation of cutting corners by using cheap fabric and cheap labour overseas. Clothes made here in Australia must meet the high Australian mandatory standard which ensures a higher quality in comparison with clothes manufactured in a factories in China or India for example.
2. Australian made means less carbon footprint.
It has become common for clothes to do a lot of travel before landing in the hands of the consumer. Often, the fabric is printed in one part of the world, assembled in another, and then sent to yet another to be sold. All this travel time requires shipping which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and uses a lot of resources. Through buying Australian made clothes, you are cutting out the middle man and reducing the impact your clothes have on the environment.
3. You are voting with your dollar.
It's no secret that consumers are driven by the price tag. As consumers, we seek out the best deal and generally conform to the idea that getting more for your dollar is good shopping. This way of thinking has instilled an ideology of quantity over quality which keeps the demand for products high and keeps manufacturers producing at a rapid pace. By buying Australian made products, you are making a statement that as a consumer, you want quality over quantity. Basic economics teaches us that supply and demand are directly correlated which means that if there is a demand for Australian made products, the market will shift to support that demand.
4. You are supporting the Australian economy.
This goes back to the power of the consumer. When we buy Australian made clothing, we are supporting economic growth within Australia. This also opens up employment opportunities for Australians because manufacturing jobs aren't being shipped overseas, where employment is often unethical.
5. And finally, Australian made more often means ethically made.
The reason the fashion industry has shipped their manufacturing overseas is so that they can take advantage of the cheap labour. Countries in Asia or South America for example have limited to no regulations on working conditions and as a result, factory workers often risk their health and face abuse with limited to no legal standing. Australia has strict standards for working environments which protect the health and safety of the workers. With the help of accrediting organisations like Ethical Clothing Australia, we can more easily find Australian made clothes and take pride in knowing that they were made ethically.
Always remember, conscious consuming does not mean you should go out and buy whatever you like, whenever you want. Conscious consuming actually means buying less, and when you do buy, looking for quality and sustainably produced items.
READ MORE: How can we change the future of fashion
What you can do
Choosing the right low-impact fabrics, buying for quality and durability, and reusing and swapping clothes are all ways to cut CO2 pollution.
Think green when you buy fabrics, fashion and accessories