Hot Fashion Cooling the Climate
One’s career in retail can often be charted against one’s loss of faith in humanity. Grumpy customers demanding lower and lower prices are held at one end whilst greedy fashion houses stand at the other. Usually on a yacht. Fanning themselves with money. In the middle are tired, under paid employees attempting to stay sane whilst supporting their family or just clawing their way through a degree. And of course a gradually deteriorating planet.
Walking down the revitalized Oxford Street in Paddington, it seems that there is hope yet within the grasps of humanity.
Inside Tluxe store on Oxford Street, Paddington
The High Street’s unfortunate brush with death in 2014 saw many brands yielding to the power of the ultra shiny Gruen transferring glaze of Westfields and international megachains pumping out hundreds of new designs in bi-weekly drops at a fraction of the cost. It was not long however before customers started questioning their own complacency in industrialized poverty and extreme pollution levels.
Fast fashion has a heavy carbon footprint. The t-shirt you are wearing is likely to possess a six kilogram footprint even if it’s cotton. According to Environmental Health Perspectives the manufacturing of increasingly popular synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon are high energy consuming products that produce toxic carbon emissions during manufacture and are non-biodegradable when we eventually throw them away. Not to mention they are terrifically uncomfortable and sweaty under that pesky hole in the ozone layer hovering above Australia.
Quite a few of the next generation of designers popping up along Oxford Street possess a vested interest in the future of our planet. Lifestyle label, ‘Tluxe' produces high quality products made in Australia that are designed and promoted as long term staple pieces that survive the washing process far better than most products on the market. Kit Willow’s ‘KitX’ sources their silk from artisans in developing countries earning a living wage who produce the fabric using traditional loom techniques that have little to no impact on the environment. Online, customers of both labels are able to find information on the steps taken to reduce negative impact on the environment.
The success of these labels in setting up shop on Sydney’s High Street despite the competition of an aggressively over saturated fast fashion industry speaks volumes about the direction our society will hopefully take.