- Story published in Moss Magazine. Words by Ariana Whittingham.

The modern shopper is now looking past labels, inauthentic celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing and "too-good-to-be-true" flash sales. What they desire, is a deeper connection to designers, labels and brands that share their values, ideas, hopes and dreams. 

Its not just about feeling good using recycled packaging or re-purposing fishing net fibres. It's an opportunity – a choice, for you to choose what practices you stand with. By being intentional with your investments into brands and designers that are giving back, you will be part of the side creating a more beautiful world in our future. 

If our purchases have power then we deserve transparency. We have the right to know what it is we are actually paying for.

For many earth-lovers it’s devastating to discover enforced health/safety, sustainability and human rights legislation for importing goods is little to none. Whilst we have acceptable regulations in place for work conducted on Australian soil, a blind eye is turned when goods are brought in from our neighbours in Asia and various manufacturing capitals around the world. 

What is most devastating though, is the realisation that the billion dollar “fast” fashion industry actually thrives directly off taking advantage of this unbalanced profit system, mass producing d-grade apparel (from stolen designs) and leaving a monstrosity of mess and waste that never breaks down in the process.

Our transition into “the online era” is complete. It has never been easier for anyone, anywhere to start their own “label.” Celebrities and Influencers across the globe are all “self-producing” merch that we can only hope hasn’t been sourced from Alibaba or amazon - but who knows! Without enforced legislation the temptation to profit off the unbalanced system is the easier option for most.

“Greenwashing” is more apparent in our market than discovering a genuinely sustainable brand which is leaving modern shoppers confused, frustrated and filled with eco-anxiety. Transparency is rare and “eco-conscious” marketing claims are very rarely backed up with receipts, or even fair-trade certificates!

Why is it so hard to find independent brands we can trust? 

Whilst there is an abundance of innovative designers working tirelessly and passionately behind the scenes to craft respectable work that is ethical, sustainable and of higher quality, they are much harder to find. 

Lower profit margins leaves less funding on the table for full team marketing campaigns, celebrity collaborations, influencer endorsements and throwing outrageously instagrammable PR events, which are all vital to a brands growth in 2022.

This new-age popularity contest isn’t ruled by quality, prestige, innovation or creativity anymore; fuelled by follower count, viral tik-toks and 50% off flash sales every week, which only the fastest in fashion are able to keep up.

The influx of “new drops” and brands each week sends alarm bells off to many of us, wondering, how much longer can this method be sustained? 

In the last few years we were physically forced to slow down, yet the rate of production within the throwaway fashion industry actually increased. More screen time definitely = more sales, even if we have nowhere but our social media feeds to wear it to! 

Slow fashion is timeless fashion. 

By honouring the creative process and taking the time necessary to create allows artists to explore options for making the best possible product with the most appropriate textiles, whilst also being responsible for all resources and impact.

To those of us still unrequitedly in-love with fashion, our natural world and this very existence... our time to choose a side is yesterday.   

Don’t let another year slip by waiting for “the corporation to change, not us.” 

We have power in our choices, who do you choose?

 

WORDS: Ariana Whittingham

CREATIVE DIRECTION: Ariana Whittingham

IMAGES: Jenna Raeleigh Mitchell

STYLING: Clare Anstey

HAIR & MAKEUP: Nina Hoffman

VIDEOGRAPHY: Angus McArthur-Williams

SPACE STYLING: Trader Trove

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