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MEC

Beauty and Fashion 2.0


The Sustainable Issue
Editors Letter

As we all come down from the excitement of MBFW Australia and Easter upon us I thought
it was an appropriate time to focus on corporate social responsibility and fashion.

I think its fair to say that the emergence and popularity of fast fashion has come at the
expense of our environment. It is shocking to acknowledge that discarded clothing makes
up 4-5% of waste going into our landfills. Furthermore what has become apparent is the
number of companies that have exploited garment workers in foreign countries to keep
costs down and/or keep up with the demand of producing clothing that replicates catwalk
trends.

However what is encouraging to note is the number of people willing to change their
practices. In this issue I have highlighted companies that have been implementing changes
so as to provide clothing that the consumer can feel good about wearing. Not just because
of the brilliant design but comfort in the knowledge that it is ethical and sustainable.

Happy reading

Lauren Turner
H&M Conscious Collection

Concept:
- In 2010 H&M launched its first collection of clothing made from organic/recycled
materials. The CEO also set a company goal to use only sustainable cotton by 2020.
- In 2011 the company launched the first conscious collection featuring clothing made
from organic fabrics such as cotton and linen, recycled polyester and Tencel.
- 2014 sees the launch of the 3
rd
conscious collection designed in collaboration with
sustainable fashion think tank Ever Manifesto and fronted by Amber Valletta.

The Result:
In 2010 H&M used 15,000 tons of organic cotton which is a 77% percent increase from
2009. By 2011 the company was the largest buyer of organic cotton, superseding Walmart.
In addition the companys commitment to improving wages at supplier factories have lead
to an 81% increase in the minimum wage in Bangladesh.

MEC opinion:
H&M is one of the first fast fashion labels to identify the growing consumer interest in
sustainable products and they identified the need to demonstrate their credentials in this
area. This counteracts the concept that H&Ms growth is at the expense of the environment.
Sustainable Showcase at MBFWA

Concept:
- After noticing that there was no organisation celebrating the work of ethical fashion in
Australia, Clean Cut was established in 2013 to foster sustainable fashion designers.
- Clean Cut provides online resources, events and industry consultations to support labels,
retailers, media and industry bodies as they make choices toward fashion that is fair.
- In order to expand their footprint in the industry ,Clean Cut organised the first ever green
runway show at this years MBFW Australia.

The Result:
Held on the fifth day of the fashion calendar the show featured 8 international and local
sustainable brands. All labels utilised sustainable fabrics, exhibited ethical and local
production and have guaranteed fair-trade accreditation. Multiple online news articles
covered the event including Marie Claire and news.com.au .

MEC opinion:
By tapping into the publicity and buzz around MBFWA Australia, Clean Cut had the
opportunity to get consumers thinking about the issues of sustainability whilst
demonstrating that style doesnt have to be compromised.
Australian Ethical Fashion Brands Taking a Stand

Concept:
- On 21
st
March 2014 the Federal Government made the decision to remove all funding for
Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) and to abandon its ethical procurement guidelines.
- Australian brands, including Cue, have expressed their disappointment in the decision
and the risk it will have for ethical Australian fashion.

The Result:
ECA runs an internationally-recognised accreditation program, assisting and supporting
homeworkers through ensuring lawful wages and conditions.
The fear within the industry is that these funding cuts are giving a green light to
exploitation. Cue CEO, Damien Peirce-Grant, warned that these changes could lead to ''the
deterioration or collapse'' of the industry.

MEC Opinion:
The ethical manufacturing of clothing in Australia is a great advantage point for Australian
fashion worldwide, attracting much interest, especially amidst the growing global concern
for ethical clothing. It will be important to monitor the impact this decision has on the
Australian Textiles and Fashion industry as a whole.

Fashion Revolution Day

Concept:
- Fashion revolution day was created to mark the anniversary of collapse of the Rana
Plaza in Bangladesh which killed 1133 people and injured 2500 others.
- On April 24 consumers are being asked to consider who made your clothes. The idea is
for fashion lovers to wear their clothes inside out (#insideout) , take a selfie, hashtag it
and share it on social media.
- The ambition of the initiative is to promote awareness of conditions in off-shore garment
factories. Essentially forcing labels to question their own supply chains and for
consumers to demand that designers produce ethical clothing.

The Result:
Social media presence has already started building with the Fashion revolution Facebook
page recording 4,692 likes and the Australian version recording 299 likes. Fashion revolution
has been tweeted 2,172 times, and #insideoutproject has 10,960 posts on Instagram.

MEC Opinion:
This global initiative is tapping into the power of social media to help build presence and
create widespread mindfulness.
Contact


For more information about any of the articles please contact

Lauren Turner

Senior Manager- Client and Communications

lauren.turner@mecglobal.com

Office : +61 2 8356 0689


Sources

MBFWA Clean Cut showcase
https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/famous/shopping/week-in-chic/article/-/21961085/clean-cut-presents-sustainable-
fashion-at-mbfwa-2014/
http://www.broadsheet.com.au/sydney/fashion/article/clean-cut-and-conscious
http://www.cleancutfashion.com/about-us-1/

H&M Conscious Collection
http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/hm-celebrates-latest-exclusive-conscious-collection-7607294
http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/mass-off-price/hm-issues-sustainability-report-7618859
http://en.vogue.fr/fashion/fashion-news/diaporama/h-m-conscious-collection-spring-summer-2013-lookbook/11584

ECA Government funding cut
http://www.ragtrader.com.au/news/industry-bites-back
http://www.smh.com.au/national/red-tape-swath-raises-fears-of-the-sweatshop-20140329-
35qez.html#ixzz2yw67vcaV
http://www.ethicalclothingaustralia.org.au/news-and-events/government-abandons-support-for-ethical-textile-
clothing-footwear-industry/

Fashion Revolution Day
http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2014/04/08/3981344.htm
http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/fashion-news-20140404-3621v.html

Editors Photos credited to http://snappystreet.com.au/tag/street-photography/
All other images are sourced from Google images