Get involved with the fashion trend that's here to stay

Ethical fashion is the future—and it’s so much more than hemp, second-hand stores, and fabric scraps.

While it’s pretty hard to define in a sentence or two, ethical or sustainable fashion is a movement centred on reducing the negative impact the clothing industry can have on the world.

It’s the opposite of fast fashion, a multifaceted idea that asks us to be more clothing conscious and to make a long-term commitment to our clothes, for the sake of the environment and the human lives dotted along the supply chain too.

Currently, the fashion industry is the second highest contributor to pollution in the world—second only to the oil industry and propelled by our love of fast fashion, quick fads, and the idea that we should never, ever wear the same thing twice.

Speaking to The Guardian following the presentation of her new resort collection at Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week this month, Australian designer Bianca Spender said, "I think [being sustainable] means being careful and respectful. That sounds really simple but it’s really complex in a creative world to be careful with your resources, to be really respectful of every metre of fabric you use.”

Before now, we've seen ethical fashion as being totally at odds with everything we love about style—the sacrifice too great, too expensive, too drab, unstylish, or exclusively made from hemp in neutral, dull hues. But with creativity, new technology, and generosity at the heart of it, many designers are working hard to make ethical practices a part of their every day, and a standard for fashion into the future. 

So forget the ho-hum stereotypes, ethical fashion is the style trend that's here to stay. But how do you get involved, and who is making these ethical and sustainable but still beautiful clothes? Here are seven Australian designers leading the charge: creating super stylish, wear-forever pieces that are also making a big difference. 

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