Rise and Shine

A ‘Cheap and Dirty Breakfast’ might invoke the smell of hash browns and sausages in the morning. However, last week 3things – an initiative of Oxfam Australia – put on an event in Sydney that focused on ethical fashion rather than food (but with a selection of delectable vegan treats on hand for the peckish amongst us). To commemorate the anniversary of last year’s Rana Plaza factory disaster, this early morning line-up featured a range of ethical fashion folk: Simon McRae, National Manager at Ethical Clothing Australia; Lisa Heinze, author of Sustainability with Style; Melinda Tually, Regional Coordinator for Fashion Revolution; and Nishan David, co-founder of ethical streetwear label Bloodless – and with such a diverse range of speakers on the panel, there was certainly plenty of food for thought! Simone O’Connor, coordinator of 3things acted as the facilitator, encouraging the panel to discuss issues such as workers’ rights, fast fashion and the future of our clothing industry in Australia. Simon McRae offered incredible insight into fair labour campaigns stretching back over the past few decades and touched on the complexity of disasters like Rana Plaza. Lisa Heinze and Melinda Tually gave tangible options for those wanting to consume more ethically, offering resources and practical skills for acting with awareness, and, lastly, Nishan David was a great example of the next generation of exciting brands adapting positive change through ethical production. All in all, the event was a good mix of the sobering realities behind the production of our clothing, as well as the new wave of enthusiasm and action that is taking place right here in our own backyard. See the video above for more from the day, and follow the 3things #hidden campaign to find out more about where your favourite brands make their clothes.