Thanks to the pandemic and global movements such as Fashion Revolution and Black Lives Matter, the USD$1.3 trillion apparel industry is having its year of reckoning. While mainstream fashion brands such as J Crew, JC Penney and G-Star Raw have all declared bankruptcies, some sustainability-focussed businesses are flourishing.
One such business is Australia’s leading zero waste and eco-lifestyle store, Biome, which opened its mecca for sustainable fashion in Brisbane this month, located at Biome Collective next door to its flagship store in Paddington. Making it easier for Aussies to shop ethical brands, Biome’s carefully curated men’s and women’s slow fashion and accessories range features local and international ethical labels including Outland Denim, Frank & Dollys, Luna + Sun, Hemp Clothing Australia, RBCCA KSTR and One Happy Leaf.
All labels stocked at the store have been meticulously researched and selected to ensure it meets the pioneering eco shop’s sustainability standards (Biome was founded in 2003). From the use of natural and eco-friendly fibres such as linen, organic cotton, Tencel, hemp, clay, recycled materials, bamboo and FSC certified Birch Plywood, through to fair compensation for workers, customers can rest assured that the business has done the legwork.
Biome’s focus on making sustainable fashion accessible to Australian shoppers is welcome. The global fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, with roughly 63% of textile fibres being derived from petrochemicals and approximately 8,000 synthetic chemicals used to turn raw materials into textiles. In Australia, roughly 500,000 tonnes of leather and textile waste is dumped into landfills every year.
“Australia is now the second largest consumer of new textiles averaging 27 kilograms of new textiles per person every year, and as a nation, we are dumping more than six tonnes of fashion waste into landfill every 10 minutes,” founder of Biome, Tracey Bailey, said in a press release. “Fast fashion issues span from textile waste to human rights violation, the use of toxic materials and dyes to big brands burning excess stock.”
Buying slow fashion and supporting fashion designers and labels making conscious efforts to reduce environmental impacts whilst upholding fair labour standards is one way shoppers can vote for positive change.
Bailey agrees. “The slow fashion movement is the antithesis of fast fashion. It champions transparency, sustainable fabrics, fair treatment of those who make clothes, environmentally responsible production, and innovation.
“Slow fashion is about respecting a slower process, loving a garment for longer, knowing the maker, appreciating fabric, building a wardrobe of beautiful staples and banishing the idea that outfit repeating is a sin.”
With growing customer desire for sustainability in fashion and a recently released report revealing that 18-29 year olds prefer to buy from eco-conscious brands, Biome is right on the money.
Biome’s slow fashion mecca is located at 2 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington, Queensland. For more information visit biome.com.au.
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All images via Biome.