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14
Apr

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The gorgeous plant garlands adorning the walls weren’t the only green things about the recent Clean Cut Designer Showcase. Last week’s eco runway event celebrated the brands producing beautiful, unique (and covetable) designs through ethical and sustainable production standards. The show, running as part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, featured exciting new collections from a range of local and international designers, including Kowtow, Bhalo, Lalesso, Rachael Cassar, Desert Designs and The Social Studio. LUSH styled the Clean Cut models using their natural skincare and makeup products to achieve a minimalist-look to complement the fresh, modern designs. Recently formed by a collective of ethical and environmental fashion advocates, Clean Cut aims to be Australia’s industry body for sustainable fashion, bringing about greater awareness and celebration of the future of Australian fashion. The group consists of Carlie Ballard, founder of online eco retail store Indigo Bazaar; Kelly Elkin, writer and co-founder of ALAS Sleepwear; Lisa Heinze, author of Sustainability With Style; and Yatu Widders Hunt, eco fashion writer, blogger and communications consultant. With the first anniversary of the tragic Rana Plaza garment factory collapse later this month, it’s more important than ever to raise awareness about ethical and transparent production across the industry. Congratulations to those involved in this wonderful initiative – we hope to see plenty more like it in the future!   {continue reading…}

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11
Apr

tsunopeppermint1

Kester Black
We buy it regularly, often without a second thought. But what if by changing our brand of sanitary protection we could make a big difference in the world? That’s the vision behind Tsuno, a range of sustainably-produced bamboo pads and liners from Melbourne-based designer and social entrepreneur, Roz Campbell. Tsuno products look, function and cost much the same as any other brand – but unlike others, 50% of all profits are invested into projects that empower women in developing countries, from health initiatives to education. Since millions of women go without access to adequate protection during their periods (often resorting to old rags, leaves, feathers and other unhygienic and uncomfortable methods instead), it’s fitting that by simply buying your own monthly supplies you can help improve someone’s life. This wonderful initiative is currently running as a campaign on Pozible, and Roz needs your help to make it a reality! Sample packs, subscription packs, business supporter packs and more are available to pre-order now, and as an extra bonus the first 400 subscription pledges will receive a bottle of cruelty-free Kester Black nail polish (valued at $17). What’s more, each box is beautifully designed by an emerging artist (see the talented Erin Lightfoot‘s geometric patterns above), so you feel like you’re opening a present; symbolising the gift your purchase gives to others. Order yours and help change the world – one sanitary pad at a time!

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10
Apr

AIFWIndigenous fashion designers are finally having their moment thanks to the inaugural Australian Indigenous Fashion Week (AIFW). Tomorrow sees two not-to-be-missed runway events happening at Sydney’s Town Hall, with models including Samantha Harris – official ambassador for the event – showcasing garments from the best emerging and established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island labels such as Aarli, Mimi DesignsDjarainjKaninda and more. There’s also a daytime industry trade fair providing the opportunity to meet and purchase from over 40 exhibitors of art, fashion, homewares, furniture and accessories, as well as a creative lab forum and industry discussion panel. The runway shows start at 6pm and 8pm tomorrow (Friday 11th April), with the official after party running from 9.30pm till late! Get your tickets here and help support contemporary fashion design from the world’s oldest surviving cultures.

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9
Apr

3eZ4siy6WvaR0PjS5lvK0HaDCYCZCHFQFpFW6SiQNxgMindful in MayMeditation can grant us precious moments to pause and think about the important things in life – like the fact that millions of people around the world have inadequate access to clean drinking water. Mindful in May have so far raised over $100,000 for global water charities, and looking to top their target this year, are once again on the lookout for meditation gurus and beginners alike to get involved in their 2014 campaign. Your commitment to clearing your mind each day this May will be in the name of raising funds for Charity Water, who help build water wells for communities in the developing world. For those who sign up, local events, a gratitude blog and a team of Mindful Agents will be there to keep you motivated throughout the month – and once the campaign kicks off, you’ll receive weekly audio meditation tracks and daily guidance from the Mindful team. Registrations are now open – form your own fundraising team and get ready to pause for a cause!

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7
Apr

the-bettertarian-philosophyAs food production becomes a more important (and contentious) issue than ever before, it’s vital that we have the knowledge to make the right choices for our health and our planet – as well as the animals we rely on for sustenance. That’s the aim behind the new ’Bettertarian‘ food philosophy launched by Target 100, a sustainability initiative of the beef and lamb industry. The campaign includes a three-part documentary – Journey of a Bettertarian – taking us from paddock to plate at the beautiful Bangor Farm in Tasmania. Presented by TV chef Darren Robertson and sustainable food advocate Rebecca Sullivan, the video features three urban Australians who quiz the farm’s owners about the way their beef and lamb is produced, gaining a better understanding of animal welfare and sustainability practices in the process. This ‘Bettertarian’ lifestyle includes respecting the land and animals, minimising waste by eating the whole animal and, above all, understanding where our food comes from. With horrific factory farming methods recently banned in ACT (a groundbreaking result), but the problem of a growing global population to feed still looming, we believe anything that encourages conversations around better farming methods is a step in the right direction. Visit the Target 100 website to join the conversation, and to find out more about Australia’s cattle and sheep farms and their increasingly sustainable practices.

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2
Apr

Oxfam
While the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh last year might have been the most publicised example of the human toll of a garment industry in despair, unfortunately this incident wasn’t the first – or the last – to claim the lives of innocent garment workers and put the spotlight on workers’ rights. Sumi Abedin, a former factory worker, was one of the victims of the Tazreen Fashion factory fire (the worst in Bangladesh’s history), which killed 112 people in November 2012. One of the lucky survivors, Sumi has since devoted her life to campaigning for labour rights and improved safety standards for Bangladeshi workers – an ongoing battle. Along with Kalpona Akter, a former child garment worker who now partners with the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity, Sumi is in the country for Oxfam Australia to mark the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster. Speaking at two free events this month, on Tuesday the 15th in Melbourne and Wednesday the 16th in Sydney, the pair will be sharing their stories of survival, shedding light on improvements in the industry, and reminding us how we can support garment workers half a world away. If you can’t make it to either event, keep an eye out for live recordings of the duo, which will be available online. And remember: it’s not too late to put your name down in support of Australian clothing companies signing the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord.

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31
Mar

PeaceBombWhen a war ends, soldiers pack up and go home and life starts getting back to normal – or at least that’s what we’d like to think. But in areas where bombs and mines have been laid and remain live, the post-war period can be even more destructive than the time of conflict, killing and injuring countless men, women and children, preventing farmers from using the land and slowing development for decades. This Friday, April 4, is International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, and there’s plenty you can do in recognition. It’s not just the international community fighting for justice on this issue though: in some of the most affected areas, the locals are collaborating with designers and using what once were weapons to create items such as cutlery and jewellery. Check out Mettle, Article 22 and Wilderness Bazaar for some examples of the beauty that can come out of bombs.

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31
Mar

Ethical Clothing AustraliaMost of us know that garment makers in the clothing industry endure poor conditions and low pay, but it’s an issue now drawing increasing media attention: last year’s horrific garment factory fire in Bangladesh killed over 100 people, and in January, Cambodian factory workers’ ongoing campaign to increase their wages (the second-lowest in the world) erupted into violent street riots. Now, Australia is facing its own clothing controversy, following the federal government’s recent announcement that it intends to cut all funding for Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) – a decision that’s divided opinions across the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) industries. {continue reading…}

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28
Mar

The Little ThingsHailey Bartholomew
Often in life, it’s the little things that bring us the most happiness: that first perfect sip of your morning latte, a small hand slipping into yours, a beautiful sunset after a long day. But how regularly do we stop and make the effort to notice these joyful moments? That’s the aim behind the new project from photographer, filmmaker and Peppermint-friend Hailey Bartholomew. She’s one of two finalists participating in The Happy Project, an initiative that funds ideas focused on spreading good vibes to others. Hailey’s idea, The Little Things, involves posting photos of these precious moments up around Sydney to remind people to appreciate the small-but-significant things in their own lives. She’s in the running to receive $12,000 funding towards this project plus any additional funds raised from her Pozible campaign (see the full details here)! We caught up with Hailey to find out more… {continue reading…}

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27
Mar

Quarry Mountain Dead RatsYoung folks, old folks and all folks in between – get ready for this year’s National Folk Festival! With performances from global and local musicians, as well as a program of arts, poetry, dance classes, circus acts and workshops, there’s something for everyone at this Canberra event. The festival runs from 17th to 21st April, and we have two full passes worth $660 to give away (see entry details below). There’s no shortage of excellent acts on the lineup, including the foot stomping Quarry Mountain Dead Rats – our ones to watch out for! We caught up with Locky from the group for a chat about music, inspiration and the origins of their unusual name…

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