Thursday 11 August 2011

a green melbourne fashion fling

I just had a fabulous long weekend in Melbourne (we took the train of course).  The past couple of months all my spare time has been spent working on my book and all I wanted to do was eat, drink and relax, oh, and shop, of course. What would a trip to Melbourne be without shopping?  I wanted to keep everything as green as possible, too, and Melbourne was the perfect destination.

Here's a rundown of the eco-fashion highlights of my weekend:

hunter gatherer
I scored 2 dresses, 1 skirt, 1 poncho and 1 amazing retro jumper for the hubby between the Fitzroy and City stores.  I will certainly be back next time I'm in Melbourne. Actually, I may have to make up an excuse to get back sooner than planned I love this store so much.

I was overwhelmed by the range of vintage clothing and furniture in this corner of Melbourne, suitable for a range of tastes and budgets. I also loved the pride for local fashion in this area. The Rose Street Markets are held every weekend featuring handmade pieces by local artists, and Tomorrow Never Knows is a funky, friendly shop filled with Melbourne-made pieces, mostly made of 100% cotton, and they also sell Otto and Spike scarves and beanies knitted from surplus materials of the wool industry.

I was disappointed to discover The Social Studio was closed when I arrived on Sunday afternoon, though, I should've planned better. In this studio beautiful, unique pieces are created by young refugees in the area using recycled and excess fabrics -  a wonderful shop with a wonderful ethos - luckily I can shop online!

And after wandering along Johnston and Smith Streets, I know where I'd be buying amazing secondhand furtniture if I lived in Melbourne.  I'm slightly jealous . . .

Located in Manchester Lane next to Design a Space for local designers, Zoologie creates modern fashion pieces designed to stand the test of time, aiming to be the antithesis of fast-fashion.  The label also relies solely on local manufacturers in order to guarantee good work conditions and to treat people fairly - a very socially sustainable business practice not present in many modern fashion labels.  I bought these fabulous equestrian-inspired pants and a mod-fab mini and I'm definitely hooked.

I've long been a fan of Gorman, and it rates really well on How Big Is Your Eco, too.  I was thrilled to find this bomber jacket made of Tencel plus a beautiful cotton and silk dress for a wedding I'm in later this year at the outlet store in Richmond.  As I was in the fitting room the hubby graciously used his iPhone to look up Tencel and its eco-credentials: it's made of wood from sustainably harvested forests, which you'd never guess when you feel its silk-like texture; the chemicals used in production are less harsh than those required for bamboo; and 99% of the chemicals are reused so it's essentially a closed-loop production process. Pretty amazing for such a luxurious fabric.

I try to reduce and reuse as much fashion as possible, but every now and then I just have to buy some new items - I love fashion too much to give up all the new stuff.  But I was a conscious consumer the entire weekend and ended up with some fantastic eco-fashion finds.  I have none of the guilt of my previous shopping sprees (both my wallet and the environment were less damaged this time around), and I'm even left feeling optimistic about the state of the eco-fashion world after easily finding so many sustainable options.  Thanks Melbourne for a gloriously green weekend!

Stay tuned for my next installment of Melbourne in a few days - a green food special.


  1. Oh Lisa, the "M" bomber jacket for hubby is too much! J'adore. And the mod skirt from Zoologie - I can see you rocking that at The Greenhouse come spring. I adore trips to Melbourne too, so much to uncover and explore. My faves are the markets at Camberwell (always fab for loved jumpers and jackets at bargain prices)and the hot jam donuts at Queen Vic Markets, a family tradition. I want to go back already! Melbourne is a place I could live. Sar

  2. Thanks Sar - and I was totally excited about the M jacket for the man, too! I'll have to check out the Camberwell markets next time around for sure. This was the first time I'd visited that I seriously thought, 'yep, I could live here.' Loved every second!