Reduce your fashion footprint, not your style footprint!

By | Fashion, Featured, Planet

ecofashion

Most of us are aware by now of the impact that our clothing can have on the people who make it. Since the Rana Plaza factory collapse last year, the spotlight on unfair and unsafe working conditions endured by garmet workers has gotten a lot bigger, and for good reason.

But what about the environment? The kind of clothing you buy can also have a huge impact on the health of the earth. Keeping an eye on your fashion footprint is just as important as choosing fashion from brands that care about labour rights, but it can also be just as confusing! In keeping with our commitment to doing the homework for you, Good On You has put together an eco-fashion primer for people who love the feeling of slipping into a perfect new outfit – but also like living on a healthy, happy planet!

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Bling Without the Sting: Six Ethical Jewellery Brands We Love

By | Tips | No Comments

zefyrjewels

The party season is well and truly underway and our outfits have more sparkle than a David Jones window display.  Whether it’s for yourself or for a gift, Christmas is a great time to invest in some ethical jewellery.  Here are six brands that bring you bling with out the sting.

We love the great work they do empowering local communities, recycling used materials and keeping our fingers and toes looking fancy.

Zefyr Eco Jewel

zefyr jewellry earrings

Zefyr make jewels that are carefully handmade from recycled brass and lovingly plated with 18ct gold or sterling silver. Their philosophy is to create beautiful jewels that are earth-friendly without sacrificing style or glamour. www.zefyrjewels.com.au

Article22

article22peacebomb

Produced in Laos from Vietnam War bombs, plane parts and other aluminium scrap, each PeaceBomb is hand-poured and cast in wood and ash moulds. The enterprise provides a sustainable source of income for local artisans. article22.com

Soko

sokonecklace

This brand works with artisans in emerging economies to hand make jewellery using natural and upcycled materials. By providing artisans with computers and technology solutions, Soko helps designers mange their production and sell to a global market.

Faire Collection

Faire collection

Designed in New York and crafted by fair trade artisans in Ecuador and Vietnam, this social enterprise is deeply committed to providing dignified wages and holistic social programs.  shopfaire.com

Raven + Lily

raven and lilycrop

Handmade in Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Cambodia, Pakistan and the USA, Raven + Lily employ marginalised women and provide them with fair trade wages and safe jobs, as well as health care and education.  They produce clothing, accessories and jewellery like these gorgeous leaf earrings.

Mettle

A girl with a white dress and very white haor wears mettle fairtrade jbracelets

Creating beauty from beasts, Mettle use remnants of bomb shell metal from the Khmer Rouge and recycled Lucite to craft jewellery . Made in Cambodia and Indonesia, collections are crafted by non-profit organisations training artisans in a fair trade environment. Available from www.greenhorse.com.au

Product images via brands

Handpicked by: Julia McAlpine

By | Fashion, Featured, People, Planet

Julia McAlpineJulia McAlpine, 24, a Fashion Copywriter and Good On You volunteer from Orange County in California, likes feminine styles from quirky to classic. She also likes strong labour protections and fair trade. She says,

“As a result of my innate indecisiveness, my style changes regularly, flailing about on a spectrum that extends from possibly-too-girly to wannabe-French-icon. Working in the fashion and beauty industry has taught me that no matter my current style or obsession (cat prints!), I can always find similar items offered by a range of brands. You’d think this realisation would be overwhelming for a fashion shape shifter, but as someone who cares about fair trade and labour rights, this awareness has allowed me to establish common ground between my irresolute style and solid concerns. Knowing I can curate looks I love using products I can trust were made under ethical circumstances results in an easier (and far more meaningful) decision-making process. And since ethical clothing tends to be very well made, my purchases go the distance, meaning my faux leather jacket will be good as new in two years’ time if I’m not feeling the rocker thing today.”

See more at the Good On You Clothing blog!

A personal guide to better fashion choices

By | Fashion, Featured, People

Colourful shirts on hangers

By Kate Halliday

What are the issues?

Decent wages, a safe work environment, time outside of work for family and friends: these are the things I know I want for the people that make my clothes. But what specific issues should I be looking out for when I start examining my choices? Obviously, items manufactured in Australia are going to have different risks linked to them than those made in third world countries.

When you start searching online for labour issues you’re really opening a can of worms. Uzbeki cotton, sandblasting of denim, industry versus NGO multi-stakeholder initiatives – the issues are complex and ever evolving. Read More

Quick tips for responsible jewellery

By | Featured, People

responsible jewellery

The Responsible Jewellery Council lists 306 member organisations that have been independently audited as complying with their Code of Practices. RJC sets standards on responsible business practices for diamonds, gold and platinum group metals. The RJC Code of Practices addresses human rights, labour rights, environmental impact, mining practices, product disclosure and many more important topics in the jewellery supply chain. The Responsible Jewellery Council is a certification standard accredited by the ISEAL Alliance (other members include Fair Trade, Rainbow Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council and so on). Read More

Global fashion brands — how do they stack up?

By | Fashion, Featured, People, Planet

global fashion brands

Some of the world’s largest “affordable” global fashion brands have opened stores in Australia or are headed our way. What’s their record like on sustainable and ethical production?

Zara and Top Shop have opened stores in Sydney and Melbourne. But this is just the beginning of a deluge, with reports of 15-20 new stores to be opened by both brands, and 25 stores on the way from Japanese mega retailer Uniqlo. Swedish giant H&M has opened in Melbourne and also has plans for Sydney.

How do these mega brands stack up when it comes to fair working conditions and sustainable practices? Read More

Three must-see sustainable jewellery sources

By | Featured, People, Planet

 

sustainable jewellery

Back in January, Otter investigated the ethical issues surrounding jewellery. From dirty gold mining to blood diamonds, it turns out shiny trinkets are as good at distracting from their questionable production processes as they are at diverting attention from a bad hair day.

One of the things we recommended was to look out for Fairtrade or recycled materials, to avoid the negative effects of dirty mining practices and ensure the beautiful ornaments you buy aren’t made by exploited workers. We’re always on the lookout for new places to buy sustainable jewellery, and here are three local Australian shops we’ve stumbled upon that don’t sacrifice quality or design when it comes to responsibly-sourced glittery goodies. Read More

Death, taxes and underwear: a guide to better undies

By | Animals, Fashion, Featured, People, Planet

undies

We wear them every day, they don’t last forever, and they’re not something you can easily buy second hand or make yourself.

When it comes to unavoidable purchases, socks and undies are at the top of the list! While it can seem like there are few ethical options out there for basics like socks and undies, a number of local and international companies are working hard to provide fair and green underwear options for lads and ladies alike. As we approach the silly season (where socks and undies are stocking-filler staples), what better time than now to check out a few ethical options?

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Fast fashion – can you keep up with global trends sustainably and ethically?

By | Fashion, Featured, People, Planet

sustainable fashion

Last year, Otter published a quick review of the environmental and social sustainability of global fashion retailers. With all these new developments it’s a great time to look again at the performance of the major international clothing brands recently (or soon to be) available in Australia. Of course no one has to shop at these brands, so we’ve also ranked one of the most online sites, ASOS, and thrown in some sustainable fashion alternatives with good rankings.

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Welcome to Good On You!

By | Featured, The Big Picture

Do you care about the impact of what you purchase, but don’t have time to give it much thought?

Sometimes find yourself wondering how your t-shirt or laptop was made, but wouldn’t know how to find out?

Concerned about global warming, toxic pollution, animal welfare, or labour rights, but wish someone else would do the homework and tell you what to buy? Read More