Monday 27 January 2014

sustainable Australia Day style

While some people choose to express their Australia Day style by wearing flags as capes, painting their faces green and gold, or tugging around an inflatable kangaroo, I stuck with a classic 'Red, White and Blue' theme.

I was thankful for the unseasonable chill in the air -
any excuse to break out the poncho!

Poncho : vintage, from Hunter Gatherer in Melbourne
Dress : organic cotton and modal blend, Made in the USA, by a new fave, Amour Vert
Lipstick : Red Sinner by Poppy King, the Lipstick Queen (not strictly natural, but no nasties and the best red I've found)
Boots : old faves, have been resoled at least twice

What did your Aussie Day style look like? Let me know on twitter!

Saturday 25 January 2014

Clean Cut and 1 Million Women reblog

Have a read of the article by my business partner, Yatu Widders Hunt, as she explains Clean Cut's vision of sustainable fashion to 1 Million Women.

Yatu Widders Hunt and Carlie Ballard, two of my partners at Clean Cut.
(I'm the one behind the lens!)


This guest post is written by Yatu Widders Hunt, Communications Director of Clean Cut, a new collective bringing a more sustainable focus to the Australian Fashion Industry.


Last year, Lisa Heinze, Carlie Ballard, Kelly Elkin & I came together to form Clean Cut, a collective which is all about generating greater awareness and celebration of the future of Australian fashion.

I guess you could call the four of us sustainable fashion advocates. We were drawn together by a common goal of wanting to support and perhaps gently nudge the industry, in a greener, fairer and more ethical direction.

Equally, we wanted to support other fashion lovers like ourselves, to make purchasing decisions that were more in line with their values.

There’s a lot I could talk about when it comes to the idea of
‘less is more.’


Like most others, Clean Cut would like to see less greenwashing and more honesty in advertising, less garment worker exploitation and more transparency, less ignorance and more awareness of how the fashion industry is impacting on our environment.

But the one thing that stands out for me, that makes Clean Cut unique, is the way we approach encouraging a more sustainable industry. We believe that the best way we can make a difference, is to promote the good work being done, to celebrate achievements and set the sustainability standard by example.

In a nutshell, I suppose we want to see less negativity and more celebration of the huge number of Australian fashion labels who are moving in the right direction.

Sure, there are lots of things that still concern us about our industry, there are a whole raft of areas where we can do better and undoubtedly, we need to keep the pressure up and call out bad practice when we see it.

We just don’t want the conversation about the future of our industry to be dominated by the companies and individuals whose practices shouldn’t be part of it. We want to make more room for the movers and shakers who are breaking boundaries, agitating for change and putting Australian ‘clean cut’ fashion on the map.

And there has been lots to celebrate.


Last year, iconic homegrown label Sass & Bide released a second ethical accessory collection, Manning Cartell became ethically accredited through Ethical Clothing Australia and Undressed announced it was spreading its wings and heading south to Melbourne.

So this year, I am going to commit to spending less time giving oxygen to the labels that are doing the wrong thing and more time supporting and actively promoting the ones who are leading us into the future of fashion.

To find out more about Clean Cut visit


And now, off to my next Clean Cut meeting. (That's right, at 8.30am on a Saturday morning - the future of Australian fashion doesn't have time to sleep in!)

Sunday 12 January 2014

sustainable summer style

I definitely love glamming it up, but I don't want you to get the impression that all my days are filled with glamorous NYE parties and nights at the Opera House. Here's a look that is extremely common as I enjoy Sydney's summer:

Shirt: David Atwell, Organic cotton, locally made, hand-painted
Shorts: Vintage Wrangler shorts from the Round She Goes markets
Shoes: Breo thongs (calm down Americans, I mean flip-flops), made of recycled plastic and oh-so-cushy
Hat: My hat is not too sustainable, but Greenpacha makes fabulous eco-Panama hats and gives 2% of their profits to weaving communities in Ecuador.

How do you create your sustainable summer style?

Tuesday 7 January 2014

sustainable style : at the office

This week I'm excited to be starting a contract at my old stomping ground, the Green Building Council of Australia, following my departure nearly two years ago.

Since I haven't been working in a corporate environment since then, I found I needed to enhance my office-appropriate wardrobe. A fabulous opportunity to celebrate 2014 as the Year of Sustainable Fashion if you ask me!

Here are a few new pieces destined to become staples in my 9-to-5 gig.

Autonomous top
100% certified organic and Fairtrade cotton
Available at EcoBird

Skinny pants from Ethical Clothing Australia
accredited Veronika Maine

Geometric pencil skirt from Ethical Clothing Australia
accredited Veronika Maine

White blazer and fabulous dress from Cue,
also accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia

Ethically made Thomas Sires tweed skirt
from my LA sustainable shopping excursion.

Secondhand dress from Dear Gladys, which also
supports Fitted for Work.

You may have noticed that not all items are made from sustainable materials. I definitely find office-wear one of the hardest styles to buy sustainably (not to mention secondhand). At least I can rest easy knowing I bulked up my office wardrobe with ethically-made quality items that should last for years.

How do you build your sustainable work wardrobe?

If you're back at work this week as well, I hope your first couple of days haven't been too painful!


PS - I typically don't advocate buying so many new clothing items in such a short period of time. I'm claiming extreme circumstances given my past couple years of travel and moving, which meant much culling of the wardrobe. 

Thursday 2 January 2014

sustainable style : NYE

Happy New Year!

I have been thrilled hearing from so many of you supporting 2014 as the Year of Sustainable Fashion - I can't wait to see the changes we make this year.

I don't always go big for NYE, but after a rough 2013, and so many things to look forward to in 2014, my hubby and I decided to go all out and celebrate in style at the Sydney Opera House. AMAZING.

I felt like I was inside a firework! They were going off all around us!

To create my NYE sustainable style, I decided to go for a fabulous little black dress of mine. Reuse is an extremely 'eco' way to ring in the new year of sustainable fashion, don't you agree?

Not the best quality pics, but you get the idea!

I bought this dress for my hen's night (that's bachelorette party for you Americans) over 5 years ago, and it is still one of my favourite things in my wardrobe. It's a little silk Sass & Bide number featuring playful rouching and gorgeous, floating cap sleeves.

My friends have definitely seen this little beauty pulled out time and again over the years - here are just a couple pics from 2008 and 2009.

Hen's night picture on the left, and the dress and bolero again
from a friend's birthday party over a year later.

I love this LBD. It has enough personality to keep me interested, but not so trendy as to go out of style too quickly. While the $400+ price tag seemed high at the time, it has definitely proven to be an excellent fashion investment. (I bought the sequin bolero around the same time, actually, another classic piece.)

Sass & Bide have recently teamed up with the International Trade Centre's Ethical Fashion Initiative on their Made in Africa collection, helping empower African women through trade. I have a special place in my heart for the people of Africa after my time spent there in 2012, and fully support any initiatives that provide much-needed work to the people of the region. (I think I may need to invest in the black bag in the collection.) Seems like Sass & Bide got the memo early that 2014 is the Year of Sustainable Fashion - I can't wait to see what else they add to their Made in Africa collection this year!

Until next time, enjoy 2014.