Thursday, May 24, 2012

Environmentality 23 May 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Jaime and Bridget hosted a special show today, focusing on sustainable and ethical fashion!   The co-presenters spoke with Georgia McCorkill from The Red Carpet Project, and Andrea from the Social Studio.  Both had much to say about eco-fashion, starting up sustainable ventures and increasing awareness of the environment within the fashion industry.

The Red Carpet Project is a design practice with a focus on women’s fashion for special occasions.  Georgia is also undertaking a PhD in sustainable fashion.  Georgia obtains her materials that are recycled from other fashion houses.  The Red Carpet Project promotes that garments worn are returned, reworn or reused.  Their website:

Image courtesy of Red Carpet Project

The Red Carpet Project designed a dress for Zoe Tuckwell-Smith worn to the Logies in 2011.  Such events can be used as a platform to raise awareness about sustainability in the fashion industry, issues such as pesticide use in cotton production.  Georgia uses a lot of silk in her work, much of it is from left over pieces from other dress designers.  She has a special practice of silk dying with dye derived from eucalyptus leaves. She collects leaves wherever she finds them, and extracts the dye that is used on her silks.  

Image courtesy of Red Carpet Project

The Social Studio is a social enterprise based in Collingwood.  It is a community space where clothing is created ‘from the style and skills of the young refugee community, transforming recycled and excess manufacturing materials into original design’.  The Studio is open most days, and includes a café, a retail component and school.  The idea for the enterprise originated from a brain storming session amongst talented youth in 2009. 

Image Courtesy of the Social Studio

The Social Studio have a number of fabrics kindly donated to them from local manufacturers and textile schools, which are often one-of-a-kind fabrics.  Many of the refugees and migrants working in the studio have a background in textile design. The Studio helps to link young people to employment opportunities with them or elsewhere. See:

Another impact of clothing on the environment is the way we use and care for our clothes.  Georgia raised the point that in general people are washing their clothes more than they need to, thereby wasting water and electricity.  What constitutes clean and unclean?  Maybe we can also save electricity by not ironing at all, like Jaime!   

And natural fibres may not necessarily be a more environmental option than synthetic fibres.   The way we make our ‘natural’ cotton fabrics is not necessarily a natural process.  Synthetic fibres can be washed at a lower temperature saving electricity.

Jaime succinctly summarised how we can be more sustainable in our purchasing and use of clothing:

1. Do you need it or not?
2. Is it good quality, will you reuse it?
3. Don’t wash it unless absolutely necessary!

Thankyou for visiting our blog.  Remember that you can listen to our podcasts if you missed this or another show.

1 comment:

  1. Hi guys,
    Thanks so much for having me on the show, I had a great time and also loved the opportunity to hear a bit more about The Social Studio.
    Wishing you all the best,


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