In order to make informed decisions about where you shop, you need reliable information on each brand's practices. For this, I used the app Good On You. It's very simple to use and rates stores across three areas: Labour (fair wages and working conditions), Environmental Impact and Animal Welfare. I did find some brands haven't been rated in the app yet, however the most common chain stores are almost all included.
Below are some of the brands we shopped at during our session as they not only fit my client's style and wardrobe needs, but also got the tick of approval from 'Good On You'.
Brands such as Witchery, Country Road, Trenery and Levis scored the highest when it came to stores for male and female everyday casual wear.
Cue and Veronika Maine scored highest for corporate wear. On a side note, both brands still manufacture much of their product in Australia.
During my research I found other brands that impressed me and, while they did not suit my client's style, I will be sourcing looks from them in future.
And don't forget Witcheryman, Levis and Country Road.
When I asked my client what started this journey for her, she mentioned the documentary, The True Cost. If you haven't seen it already, I recommend it. After watching it, some people want to throw away everything in their wardrobe and start again, shopping ethically. It's not an approach I would recommend - a decision to shop ethically in future doesn't mean you need to throw away clothes that don't conform to your new ideals. Discarding them before their time is wasteful.
On the topic of unethically-produced fashion, a friend of mine recently asked me if I felt stylists exacerbate the problem by encouraging mindless consumerism. In fact, I believe a stylist does the opposite. A good stylist should help their client be mindful when shopping, guiding them to garments that are well considered and reducing the likelihood of impulse and wasteful purchases.
Hopefully this article has left you curious to question what small changes you could make to your shopping behaviour. We can all make an impact.
Anna Mabin | Fashion Stylist Brisbane & Gold Coast
Anna Mabin is a personal stylist to clients in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and regional Australia.
Anna Mabin Styling | Unit 3, 130 Fernberg Road , PADDINGTON QLD 4064