When you know the facts about the fashion industry, supporting Australian made, ethical fashion is an easy choice to make. You have the power to make positive economic, environmental and humanitarian impacts every time you shop, so start small and support local.
By shopping local, you’re reducing pollution, waste and harmful greenhouse gases that are generated by global transportation. Supporting Australian made labels also closes the loop; local garments are designed local, made local and delivered local, dramatically reducing your own environmental footprint.
You're supporting the designer, their fairly-paid workers, our local suppliers, and the greater community. By shopping local, you're making a positive impact and you're ensuring a future for Australian fashion.
I was eight years old when I learnt how to use my Great Grandmother’s 1970s Janome sewing machine, and I can still remember how magical it felt making something tactile from scratch.
I went on to launch my own fashion label straight out of school, and worked everything out the hard way: 4am starts at local design markets, spending hours upon hours stooped over a domestic sewing machine, pouring every ounce of blood, sweat and tears into building my label from the bottom up… As glamourous as the fashion industry is, the beginning of every fashion brand is everything but.
With increasing competition from international labels, readily available cheap fast fashion and constantly changing trends, the task of sustaining an Australian made label is a tough game – but it’s worth it. 168 million children are forced into labour exploitation worldwide, and millions work for wages so low that they’ll never escape poverty.
I want to live in a world where locally made, ethically manufactured and sustainably sourced clothes are ‘normal’ instead of niche, so I launched The Dress Collective in 2015 as the first step towards this goal. When you shop online at The Dress Collective, you’re not just supporting the local fashion industry – you’re contributing to a better fashion future on a global scale. Making conscious fashion choices is easy: buy less, choose well and shop local. Every garment counts.
Claire Goldsworthy. Founder, The Dress Collective.
THE DRESS COLLECTIVE
Based in Melbourne, The Dress Collective is the largest online store that sells only 100 per cent Australian made fashion. We're transparent about the garment lifecycle, which is why you'll find each designer's story attached to every single garment we sell. Where and how our clothes are designed and made is important information, and we want to share it with you.
Our ethos is simple: to create a liberal and dynamic future for Australian fashion. By promoting ‘slow fashion’, Australian made fashion, and ethically and sustainably created fashion, we’re ensuring a future for our own industries. We want to create a market that our Australian fashion designers can thrive in, instead of struggle in.
We're more than just an online shop for Australian designers though; we're a support network and creative foundation, built on a vision of positive and sustainable growth for the future of the Australian fashion industry. We’re not solely focused on 'trends' or seasonal collections, because it can sometimes create the ideal of ‘past season’ or ‘out of fashion’. Instead, we’d rather help you make long-term decisions about your wardrobe by introducing you to high quality, trans-seasonal and unique pieces of clothing.
The Dress Collective's range of fashion designers and independent labels embody the Australian fashion identity, an identity that is innovative and unique. We believe in quality over quantity, so all of our designers ethically produce their collections locally in Australia with accredited manufacturers. You can read about each designer, their ethos and how they create their pieces here.
67.5 million tons of clothing is made and released into the world every single year, and Australia’s contribution to the world’s 'fast fashion' problem is sending over $500m worth of clothing to the tip annually. To combat this environmental issue, The Dress Collective promotes 'slow fashion', so you can shop online with a clear conscience knowing that you're making a difference. Our Australian fashion labels produce small run collections or 'make to order', which means they are actively reducing production waste and fashion pollution.
For every $1 million that is new or retained manufacturing business for Australia, the following effects flow through the economy:
- $713,400 worth of GVA (gross value added) is generated
- Six full-time equivalent jobs are created
- $64,900 worth of welfare expenditure is saved
- $225,300 worth of tax revenue is generated