Perth may be a long way from other Australian cities, but it may be much closer in helping to bring eco fashion into the spotlight with the recent Eco Fashion Week, staged over five days in the sunny Western Australian capital. Founded by Zuhal Kuvan-Mills, a designer with her own sustainable label Green Embassy, the event showcased many up-and-coming and established independent designers to the audience of photographers, bloggers and enthusiasts from the eco fashion community around the country. Speakers at the Disposable Planet seminar included Fashion Revolution Australian co-ordinator Melinda Tually talking about the powerful impact the ‘Who Made My Clothes’ campaign has had since the collapse of Rana Plaza and Jeff Hansen, Managing Director of Sea Shepard Australia, warned of the disastrous effects that microfibres have on the ocean eco system. Jane Milburn, Textile Beat sustainability educator and author, spoke on the loss of skills in today’s society and how her slow clothing philosophy aims to inspire change in the way we engage with what we wear for the health of ourselves, others and the planet. The nightly catwalk shows saw over 50 designers (from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Spain and more), presenting their innovative ranges – all with sustainability, the environment and people in mind. Several shows were conceptual in nature and design in order to drive a message of zero waste, plastic reduction and conscious consumerism (like the impactful, plastic-strewn show of Senorita Awesumo). Highlights included Alteva (pictured above), Lima Jordan, Elle Evans Swimwear, Merino Country, Vitamin by Sonalika, Studio Membrane, Zuhal’s own label Green Embassy. Other standouts were the Upcycling Challenge from Marilyn Wilson that saw preloved men’s shirts reimagined as various garments by international designers from 12 countries, and headliner Jeff Garner from US-based label Prophetik, who paired his collection with upcycled wooden jewellery from Sunshine Coast designer EcoBling. For the full list of designers check out the EFWA website. We can’t wait to watch EFWA grow and develop – fashion that is fair and mindful should always be front and centre we say!
To have a peek at more of the photos from the shows we attended, check out our gallery on Facebook.
PHOTOS BY KELLEY SHEENAN