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23
Jun

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It’s no secret that we’re big fans of outdoor apparel brand Patagonia. An emphasis on people and planet over profit has always been at the core of the company’s philosophy – from its early years when founder Yvon Chouinard began selling climbing gear out of the back of his car to its current incarnation as a much-loved international brand. We hosted Social and Environmental Responsibility Manager Wendy Savage at our Brisbane Fashion Revolution Day event back in April, and we recently caught up with her to find out more about Patagonia’s groundbreaking sustainability initiatives and why brand collaboration is key for the future of ethical production…

What is your background and where did your passion for corporate social responsibility come from? 

When I went to school, corporate social responsibility (CSR) did not exist.  I studied Sociology and then went on to do a masters in International Business but always knowing that I wanted a job that can help make a difference. I stumbled into CSR by chance and it became my calling. I got to mix my passion for business with my goal to have a job that made a difference somehow. The first 10 years of my career in CSR I worked at a consulting company helping brands set up their CSR programs and educating suppliers on social and environmental responsibility. Part of our job requirement and training was auditing, so I audited factories in many countries and a variety of industries. This field experience helped us all understand the issues and create realistic solutions that could actually be implemented within the supply chain or within a brand. Three years ago I was fortunate to join Patagonia and now manage our global Social Compliance and Traceability supply chain program. I now get to see the real positive impact a brand can have on the environment and the workers making its products. {continue reading…}

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18
Jun

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Need some new threads that blend sustainability with style? Vege Threads have got your wardrobe wants all stitched up. This Adelaide-based eco fashion label produces a range of simple, versatile clothing for women, men and kids. Their Australian-made line is now certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, and their Autumn Winter 2015 range heralds a shift towards increased onshore production, with local processes, ACO dyes and smaller freight runs. All cotton used in the range is 100% GOTS certified organic and knitted in Australia, and all cotton garments have been dyed here, while all tencel processed and plant-dyed in Indonesia is 100% organic.

Vege Threads’ relaxed, easy-to-wear styles and natural colours  are designed to fit every age and shape across all seasons, and the new collection embodies their trademark minimal aesthetic. Characterised by mustard browns and olive greens, bold blacks and indigos and soft greys, the range includes a limited run of cotton knitwear and beanies and new tie dye yogawear alongside classics such as maxi dresses and long-sleeve tees. Make your winter even more wonderful with a Vege Threads Organic Cotton Tank dress (worth $119.95) , as worn by Lisa Mitchell in the above photos! All you need to do to win one of these dresses in a colour of your choice (black, dove grey or grey marle) is comment on this blog post before 4pm on Thursday 25 June and tell us where you’d wear your new threads.  

 

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17
Jun

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Have the beautiful natural dyes of Eastern Weft caught your eye in the current Winter 26 issue of Peppermint? Following ancient Lao traditions, the label’s founder, Samorn Sanixay, is pioneering the use of organic dyes in Australia to add vibrancy to handwoven silk and cotton textiles. Drawing colours from native flora and, in the case of this gorgeous ‘compost scarf’, from salvaged food scraps, Samorn is on a mission to make the creative process of organic dyeing accessible to everyone. Her latest venture is a program of Natural Dye Workshops at Sydney Community College in Rozelle. Taking place during June and July, the sessions span three hours and begin with a walking tour of the local neighbourhood to forage for berries, leaves and flowers. Samorn then teaches participants how to make vibrant dyes from the found materials before applying them to fabric to create multi-coloured patterns. At the end of the session, each participant will take home the pure or Eri peace silk scarf they dyed during the workshop – a truly priceless souvenir. There are two workshops scheduled for the coming months – visit the Sydney Community College website to reserve your spot and learn the art of natural dyeing from one of Australia’s best!

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16
Jun

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If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then surely sanity must equate to change. Today, at the Ethical Fashion Forum‘s SOURCE Summit 2015, I find myself in a room full of people who collectively feel that in the fashion industry, this must be the case. Everyone here is a change maker, a trail blazer, a pioneer… so what is it that this one-day conference is offering that has brought business leaders, designers and ethical and sustainable fashion start ups out in their droves, some of them even flying in from abroad?

Sarah Ditty, Editor in Chief of SOURCE doesn’t pull any punches in her introduction to the day. ‘People don’t trust brands anymore’ (according to Havas Media Meaningful Brands) – a pretty powerful opener to SOURCE Summit 2015. She talks about how disasters like the Rana Plaza, the horse meat scandal and the latest Fifa corruption contribute to a general feeling of distrust from consumers. In the case of fashion and textiles, Baptist World Aid Australia’s Behind the Barcode report, suggests that 91% of companies still don’t know where their cotton comes from, and with consumers gradually asking for more and more transparency, this is just not good enough.

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People are beginning to expect brands to not only be more transparent, but to play a bigger role in their communities and in their collective wellbeing. ‘If you’re still seeing your business as a factory… then you’re going to be left behind and you need to “take a ‘quantum leap into the future,”‘ Sarah quotes Havas Media Lab Director, Umair Tarique. It’s 10 am in the morning and the tone has been set for a future thinking forum, and for the day’s debate and conversation on transformative ideas and technology within the ethical fashion world. {continue reading…}

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4
Jun

LAUNCHPARTY

Come and help us celebrate the launch of the latest issue of Peppermint at a crafty evening with our gorgeous new covergirl, Maryann Talia Pau! A designer, artist and weaver, Maryann is the founder of One Million Stars to End Violence – a project that aims to raise awareness of all forms of violence by bringing people around the world together to weave an incredible one million stars by the year 2018.

Join us for a fantastic evening of community, chat and crafting at the beautiful Vieille Branche in Albion, QLD from 7-9pm next Tuesday 9th June – and help Maryann reach her target! Tickets are $15 and include…

– All star-making materials, and tuition from Maryann

– Crafting alongside other readers and the Peppermint team

– Refreshments from Spiral Foods, Buchi Kombucha and Soma Organics

– An A4 poster from Peppermint’s ‘More Than Words’ poster series (printed on FSC certified paper)

– And, of course, a copy of our beautiful new Winter Issue 26, featuring Maryann Talia Pau with our special feature ‘It’s Cool to be Kind’ (worth $11.50)

There are limited tickets so get in quick; click here to book yours. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!

 

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3
Jun

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Inspired by her long-term love affair with textiles and the stories woven through them, Sydney-based costume designer Teresa Redrup founded carefully curated online store Bashful Garter (taking the name from a passage in the Hans Christian Anderson story, The False Collar). With a focus on local and ethical design, Bashful Garter certainly isn’t shy about stocking a range of gorgeous garments from high-end eco labels: think organic, fair trade cotton basics from Kowtow, monochrome silk dresses from Ovna Ovich, naturally dyed separates from Celeste Tesoriero and cosy NZ-made coats and jumpers from Penny Sage. Teresa explains that each and every item on the site has been “lovingly chosen with great respect to the designer and the hands that make it, with all efforts made to lessen negative impacts (and create positive ones) on our environment and community” – making it the perfect place to pick up an outfit that speaks volumes about your style and ethics. And Teresa also produces her own beautiful shoots featuring clothing and accessories from the Australian and New Zealand designers featured on Bashful Garter, so you can plan your seasonal wardrobe with confidence! Check out the full range here.

 

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1
Jun

The Planting

Hanging for a mid-year break? Take a trip to Woodford, home of Queensland’s beloved Woodford Folk Festival, for The Planting: three days of talks, presentations, performances and – of course – tree planting. Twenty-one years ago, the Queensland Folk Federation launched The Planting as a working-bee weekend to help restore and regenerate the Woodford site, which was a dairy farm before its transformation into a cultural parklands for the annual Folk Festival. Since the first Planting in 1997, over 100,000 trees have been added to the site, bringing shade to the thousands of campers who flock there every December for a week of arts, culture and community. The Planting is now a festival in its own right, and this year’s packed program has something for all the family, including music, comedy, workshops, cooking classes, walks and children’s activities. Acts include Sloe Gin Junkies, Catherine Deveny, Sparrow Folks, Sahara Beck, Kell O’Shanassy and Ronni Kahn, but make sure you check out the full line-up here. The fun kicks off this Friday 5 June and runs until Sunday 7 June, so book your tickets quick sticks and get ready to plant some shade!

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29
May

oxjam for oxfam peppermint magazine

Get ready to get down for a good cause, because the world’s biggest ‘party against poverty’, OXJAM, is about to make its debut in Australia. One of Oxfam‘s most important fundraising campaigns, OXJAM is a month-long celebration of live music that uses the universal language of song and dance to raise awareness and money for anti-poverty projects worldwide. In the UK, OXJAM has already been on music lovers’ calendars for around a decade, with the likes of Coldplay and Fatboy Slim headlining past bills. OXJAM Australia will feature a program of live concerts from yet-to-be-announced acts, curated by music taste makers such as MTV, I Oh You and Goodgod Small Club. As well as taking over public venues across the country, OXJAM is designed to be celebrated in your own living room: register online to host an OXJAM party and raise money for one of Oxfam’s three development project streams: gender equality, disaster relief or water security. Follow along on Facebook for more updates – including the full line up of OXJAM events, set to be released later this month – and don’t forget to register your own fundraising gig here. Jam out!

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27
May

Abrinq Foundation + Save the Children

We love fashion statements that make us do a double take – and these new ads from Save the Children and Brazilian ad agency Lew’Lara/TBWA are no exception. With all the hallmarks of a glamour shoot, on closer inspection, you’ll see that models aren’t just dressed this way because stripes are on-trend. Bold stripes, in fact, are being used as a motif for a much bigger issue: child labour. And peeking out from between the prison bars are tiny hands and faces, representing the estimated 215 million children worldwide who are engaged in underage work.

Simply captioned ‘A Tunic Shouldn’t Cost a Childhood’, this image speaks directly to the issue of child labour in the fashion industry. Up to 11% of the world’s under-18 population are illegally employed in sectors such as agriculture and mining, but according to UNICEF, “Child labour is a particular issue for fashion because much of the supply chain requires low-skilled labour and some tasks are even better suited to children than adults.” All over the world, from cotton picking to dyeing and sewing fabrics, children who work in the garment industry are at a higher risk of being underpaid and suffering work-related injuries and illnesses. There are various bodies that certify against child labour, including Fair to Wear, an agreement that is currently signed by more than 120 fashion labels. Let’s hope this eye-catching campaign inspires zero tolerance among more brands and consumers.

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26
May

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Melbourne-based social enterprise PVBS have an appetite for change – and that’s why they’ve partnered with FoodBank Victoria to launch a great new initiative, Hungry 4 Change, to tackle poverty. After funding education projects in Cambodia and Africa, PVBS is going local: one in 10 people in Melbourne struggle to feed their families each week, and that includes low-income and single-parent families. Intent on breaking the poverty cycle, PVBS and FoodBank Victoria are providing basic food boxes to families in need every week – and the good news is that you can help. For every item of PVBS clothing sold, four people can be fed. So hop online and check out the PVBS range of school leaver jackets and jumpers for women, men and children – it’ll satisfy more than just your shopping appetite.

 

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