First weapons of defence: Knowledge and Research

Susta-style by Holly Royce

Did you know

Almost 70 per cent of Australians would pay more for their clothes if they knew overseas workers were paid a decent wage and that garment factories had safe working conditions, according to a new Oxfam Australia survey.

The survey, which examined attitudes to Australian clothing retailers after more than 1100 Bangladesh garment workers died when their factory collapsed in April, revealed 84 per cent of consumers want Australian companies to sign onto an accord to improve safety at Bangladesh factories

Last night’s Four Corners episode “Fashion Victims” was a heart wrenching look at Bangladesh garment factory workers in the most appalling conditions. We have moved our regular Wednesday post forward this week in order to respond to the massive out cry for action.

As an individual you have the power to affect change, and your first weapons of defence are always knowledge and research. The more we know about where our clothing is coming from, the more we can avoid the bad and encourage the good.

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Jo Kellock – CEO of the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries Australia said the following in an interview with Craft Australia, 2011 –

‘Last year Australia purchased one billion units of clothing and 90% of this was imported. This happens because it can be delivered faster and cheaper. However, this faster, cheaper, easier model is not sustainable. Not only are there serious consequences for the environment and social issues in the supply chain but, there are also serious consequences for the Australian textile and fashion industries.’

Here are our proactive shopping tips from our WEAR fact file:


•Check for Fair Trade, Organic and other ethical or sustainability certifications
•Find clothes that are unbleached or bleached with hydrogen peroxide only
•Low-impact dyes
•No wrinkle-free treatments
•Shop at vintage or second-hand stores
•Make your own clothes out of sustainable fabrics
• Knit sweaters with low-impact yarn
•Look for clothes that do not require dry cleaning
•Buy from local designers and up-cyclers, re-fashionistas etc.

There are two excellent data bases to check out to research post-purchase

The first is Ethical Clothing Australia, the second is Eco Fashion World.

Their features include information on brands, online stores, eco-criteria and country.

Make sure you check them out before your next 1st hand clothing purchase!

We want to hear from you! Where is your favourite second hand shop in your area? Do you shop their as your first choice?

This was the fourth post in our susta style journey, Knowledge and Research.

The Susta-Style journey

Recycle, Share & Swap
Care & Cleaning
Repair & Rebirth
Knowledge & Research
Return on Investment

For more information on how to transform the way you live check out our website: we are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at

2 responses to “First weapons of defence: Knowledge and Research

  1. Wonderful second hand clothing store in Yass (NSW) called Label Love. Beautifully appointed, well displayed stock, friendly staff. What more could you ask for. I bought three useful items as well.

  2. Pingback: Susta-Style: Return on Investment | 1 Million Women·

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