After many months of determination and creativity, Australian Fashion Designers debut innovative collections, just to watch “Influencers” throw it back into their faces.
It's 2023, we find ourselves thrust back in society scrambling to keep up with weekly trends, continually seeking our next hit of instant gratification. Life is moving fast. It can be tempting to seek moments of pleasure in purchasing cheap clothing that will undoubtedly not last another season.
Whilst it may feel good in the heat of the moment, like many regrets this “convenience” comes at a much larger cost. The negative impacts of fast fashion reaches/ surpasses environmental costs alone, directly controlling millions employed along its supply chain - as well as the integrity of the Industry itself!
One of the biggest temptations fast fashion offers is its unlimited accessibility.
Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week (including public holidays) direct from your personal device, in the comfort of your own home or even en route… And to sweeten the deal, the price points and flash sales are always too good to be true! It's safe to assume most of us have fallen prey to their psychology based marketing, at least once.
The fast fashion framework only entered our existence in the 2000s.
So, in just 22 years we have derailed the entire industry - choosing cheaper, but at what cost?
At this point in time - most, if not all, global production fashion companies have already joined fast fashion forces, compromising quality to compete amongst “low price point mentality”.
A strong voice of concern is heard amongst designers, fashion students and environmentalists alike against the rise to a perpetual regurgitation of “throw away” clothing.
We know industry mimics what the shopper seeks – predicting what to produce next, based on what is in demand now.
Afterpay Australian Fashion Week - AAFW 22/23
An annually celebrated event showcasing 50+ Australian designers and their creations. This fashion filled whirlwind of a week is an opportunity for enthusiasts within our industry to come together, recognise and respect the growth, diversity & development of Fashion, here in Australia.
Unfortunately, the Ecocious team couldn’t help but notice an influx of “social media influencers” flaunting fast fashion looks throughout the week of events, profiting from cheap “knock-off” imitations of Australian designers' clothing.
Considering only the influencer and the Fast Fashion company will directly profit off this exposure, how fair is it really for Influencers to flaunt fast fashion during a dedicated week to celebrate our very own, Australian Designers?
Lets unpack it.
Although Influencers can technically wear whatever they like, their choices do make a statement.
Being proud to wear fast fashion at fashion week is simply viewed as a lack of etiquette, awareness and “care” towards our Australian Designers and Industry as a whole.
We have to ask, did they consider whether it was #sociallyacceptable to parade around in lower than industry standard garments to an event enriched in timeless and meticulous design?
And, that their “knock off” outfit (made under stress and exploitation) has earned itself a seat, next to art?
"BUT, I THINK THEY ARE SUSTAINABLE/ECO FRIENDLY?!"
Companies are still getting away with fraudulent marketing tactics like “greenwashing” which they deliberately use to persuade customers to buy under extreme false pretence.
Influencers are still unknowingly propagating this cycle every time they share, tag & link their latest new “must haves.'
Social media has further cemented the notion that fast fashion is the only way we can:
- Keep up with the ever changing trend.
- Satisfy our need for instant gratification.
- Purchase bulk poor quality single use clothing.
The continual bombardment of advertisements + regular product promotion from popular influencers =
- customers to make purchases without quality guarantee
- ending up with cheaper, low quality adaptations of high-end brands.
- one truck filled with “disposable” clothing is sent to landfill, every second. Globally.
By this stage most of us are aware of the negative impact that fast fashion has on the planet.
If not see: our sustainability page & download our free fashion guide to detect brands that use "greenwashing" and other manipulation.
It is disappointing to realise how many Influencers are “turning a blind eye” when human rights and environmental degradation are on the line.
One could even assume, Influencers attending fashion shows, wearing fast fashion proudly declare it is acceptable to exploit others. That, and the rest of the determinants this corporation brings.
Fast Fashion at AAFW 2022
You don't need to look very far to find examples of countless questionable fashion choices many influencers opted for during AAFW 2022. Their own Instagram, Tiktok and Youtube feeds act as our reference source. Can always count on them to self document in brands such as:
- White Fox Boutique.
- Princess Polly.
- Motel Rocks.
To understand the deeper effect, we uncovered what fashion week means to aspiring fashion enthusiasts.
We had the opportunity to outsource external perspectives by getting in touch with both fashion students and professionals to gain insight into what the general consensus is about sustainability, the fashion industry and how they feel about influencers fashion choices at Fashion Week.
Maris, an aspiring fashion designer, finds AAFW to be an inspiring time that allows designers to express themselves through their collections.
She believes that it gives students, like her, the comfort and motivation to express themselves in their work and studies.
She continues to criticise fast fashion brands for paying influencers to wear “their collections' ' and misrepresenting themselves as luxury brands.
It was interesting to see that Rowan, a student nurse, completely agreed with the fashion student. She argues that influencers have a responsibility to influence their followers positively, and when they wear fast fashion, especially exposed at an event like AAFW, it can encourage others to do the same.
“Buy less. Choose well. Make it last”
- Vivienne Westwood
Our generation can resurrect the fashion industry!
As shoppers, we have the power to make substantial changes in the world – starting with where we shop.
The time for Sustainability and prioritising our environment is right now, if not yesterday...
Environmental impact from fast fashion is significant and can no longer be ignored.
We understand, it can be challenging at first to recognise which brands profit off unethical practices and are dishonest with their customers. Which is why platforms like Ecocious are here to help navigate you through the greenwashing. It is up to influencers to do their own research and ultimately take responsibility for their actions when deciding whether to collaborate with brands.
It is important for shoppers to think about the *true cost* of the clothing they purchase.
Next time you feel the urge to buy a trending item, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I really need this item right now?
- Can I buy this item second hand?
- Can I rent this item if I know I will only wear it once?
- Can I invest in higher quality pieces that will last longer?
- Am I being misled with incorrect information?
A percentage of us in the fashion industry have already recognised the importance of sustainability and have taken steps to mitigate the negative impact that fast fashion has on the environment.
It is time for influencers, designers, and us as individuals to make informed decisions that prioritise sustainability, natural resources & the health of our environment.
By working together, and demanding standards are met, we can push towards a truly sustainable and fair work fashion industry.
The team here at Ecocious are extremely curious to see who will continue on with their fast fashion choices this year at AAFW 2023.
We would like to challenge you, to take a step in the right direction, because even the smallest steps can make a difference.
If you're looking for a more environmentally friendly fashion option, consider shopping secondhand or investing in high-quality, ethically made items.
Are you attending fashion week this year?
I've made a list of sustainable brands that you should check out!
Remember to always shop sustainably! Check labels & use our free download!
It will help our environment enormously not just for you but for future generations.
A few of our favourite Australian Sustainable Brands,
to wear for 2023 fashion week!
- “We provide a beautiful and thoughtful alternative to trend-driven, mass-produced fashion.”
- “The climate alarm bells are getting louder … Businesses are stepping up and we are proud to be part of that movement.”
- “Our long term goal is to design and create products of the highest quality while having as little impact on the environment as possible.”
- “We create product love with high frequency wear, superior quality and creative design while consciously sourcing materials that minimise harm to our planet’s precious resources.”
VICTORIA & WOODS
- “We design with the intention that you will hand pieces down to loved ones and friends and that each piece has the versatility and ability to be worn year-round.”
- “We are committed to being transparent about who we are, what we believe and how we operate.”
GINGER & SMARTS’
- “Nature is not only our life force, but the source of immense inspiration for us. We feel a sense of duty to mother nature, to look after her”