Fashion and Ethics: Knowing your clothes
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In this panel discussion, moderated by Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) National Manager Angela Bell, Australian designers and industry figures will share stories about their journey to create a responsible and sustainable label, and explore changing consumer interest in ethics and sustainability. We will tease out what Australian businesses are doing to produce ethically and sustainable clothing and why they remain committed to making in Australia.
ECA is an accreditation body working towards a more transparent and accountable fashion industry in Australia—one that values ethical business practices and the welfare of garment workers. Melbourne Museum is proud to present these contemporary stories and exchange ideas for a thriving, sustainable future.
The ECA program protects Australia’s hardworking and skilled people who are an integral part of local industry by ensuring that they work in safe conditions and receive the appropriate pay and entitlements. The organisation also helps connect brands with local makers as a way of strengthening Australian fashion and supporting local skills.
Angela Bell (moderator), National Manager of Ethical Clothing Australia, an accreditation body commonly known as ECA®. Angela oversees a small team that works closely with clothing brands and manufacturers that are making in Australia, to ensure their Australian supply chains are legally compliant.
Aleksandra Nedeljkovic, Chief Operation Officer at The Social Studio. Aleksandra is an accomplished social impact executive who has worked at the crossroads of purpose-driven business, fashion and technology. Throughout her career, Aleksandra has focused on solving complex social problems through sustainable and ethical business practices and innovation. As COO at The Social Studio, Aleksandra oversees growth of the not-for-profit’s social enterprise activities, improving organisational capability, sustainability and impact. The Social Studio has won the Small Business of the Year Award at the Victorian Training Awards (2010), Sustainability Design Award at the Fashion Group International Awards (2011), and Ethical Enterprise Award (2015).
Jade Sarita Arnott, founder and creative director of Arnsdorf, a contemporary womenswear brand. The label’s mission is to create modern archetypal clothing for women of both style and purpose while continually driving transparency across all levels of the fashion industry. As a result the company is the leading voice for transparency in Australia, revealing the costs associated with each garment made, as well as the origin of the fabrics and materials used in each product, with the hope to lead and inform a new generation of sustainable customers.
Courtney Holm, founder and creative director of A.BCH, an independent fashion label founded on hyper transparency and circular design. Creating highly considered fashion and lifestyle pieces for an enduring wardrobe, A.BCH is making responsible fashion desirable while removing many of the barriers customers face when seeking out healthier alternatives. With an aim to usher in genuine change within the fashion industry, every piece created at A.BCH is developed with intent, from responsibly sourced, circular raw materials, ethical supply chains, focus on the user phase/s and finally garment afterlife. A.BCH founder and creative director Courtney Holm is a pioneering voice for a new fashion system, one that demonstrates radically responsible creation alongside the simplicity of beautiful design.