Ethical Fashion with Mel Tually

Ethical Fashion with Melinda Tually One area of slow, intentional living that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, is ethical fashion. As my personal philosophy has shifted towards one focused on sustainability, equality, social justice and humanity it’s become clear that the things we buy, the places we spend our money, the companies we support, matter. And they matter a great deal. Recently someone told me that the fashion industry is second only to oil in terms of environmental pollution, and it floored me. All that for clothes? Clothes that almost all of us own too many of, buy without consideration, and donate without wearing more than a handful of times? Clothes that are, to us at least, cheap and disposable? There is something fundamentally broken with that system, and while I think a lot of it could be eased by simply wanting and buying far less, there is still a massive disconnect between those of us who buy the clothes and those who make the clothes. Child labour, substandard and blatantly unsafe work conditions, huge environmental impact, and we simply don’t think about it. This is another deep-dive episode of the poggie, where I chat with Mel Tually, the co-ordinator of Fashion Revolution in Australia and NZ. Fashion Revolution was started in response to the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh, where more than 1,100 garment workers perished. The tragedy shone a bright light on the garment industry and the substandard conditions many of the workers are forced to endure, in the name of cheap, fast fashion. We talk about the importance of ethical fashion and the transparency that is starting to appear in many well-known labels around the world. But we also talk about the importance of being intentional with the choices we make, opting for quality over quantity (or brand name, for that matter) and simply buying less fashion. Mel also has some fantastic advice for those of us who feel completely overwhelmed by the problems facing the fashion industry, and the inevitable paralysis by analysis when we begin to look a little deeper into the clothes we wear. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions for this episode too. There were some incredible ones asked over on Facebook, and we have some super helpful and practical advice for you throughout this episode, including what red flags to look for, where to find ethical fashion and how to take care of the clothes we own in order to keep them for longer.


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3 Responses to Ethical Fashion with Mel Tually

  1. Yay! Great podcast. I got very excited when I heard my facebook question. Thank you for asking about evironmentally friendly fabric. I was a bit suprised about bamboo, I was under the impression it was a better option.

  2. This is so great! And so timely. I have spent this year buying nothing new and breaking up with fast fashion. Now that I am ready to update a few items to go travelling, I’m exploring ethical and sustainable fashion, and I only want to buy fair trade.

    I do wear a lot of active wear, standard Aussie mum uniform right? I just checked out the 11 Ethical Activewear labels on good on you…gosh I haven’t even heard of them.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Brooke,

    I’m Shabu Anower, from Bangladesh. Somehow I’ve landed on your site and was reading this post!

    I’m really amazed by your thoughts about our child labor. In your situation, it’s a wise thought. But if you stay in Bangladesh and have a deep look in poor areas then you’ll think otherwise.

    These children’s are not forced to work by factory owners, they are forced to work hard by hunger, nothing else. Nobody wants to push their kids to work.

    Collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building was an accident, death count increased because we don’t had enough instruments to handle such situation.

    If western countries stop buying clothes from Bangladesh, our garments factories will be closed. Millions of peoples will suffer along with their families.

    I’m not from the garments industry but I’m worried about this sector because this sector providing growth to the country.

    Current situation: Last week I was passing a garment factory, there was a sign in the front door. It was saying: No jobs for below 18

    Just thought to share my personal opinion with you, nothing else :-)