Welcome to Sustainability in Style!
Here, we live by a few key beliefs
* That the only eco conscious way to consume fashion is to not buy anything at all, however the reality is that it’s socially unacceptable (in most parts) to walk around in your birthday suit, so at some stage you will need to clothe your nuddy self. Its also a whole lotta’ fun to get dressed so we don’t want to rob you of that daily pleasure by saying you have to walk around in in the nude (or worse still, in scratchy hemp pants).
*Individuals matter! No arguing please, you actually do. In this big thing we live in called the ‘global economy’, the production of goods (‘goods’ sound boring and a little dirty so lets call ‘goods‘ handbags from this point on) is driven for the demand for handbags. So if you as a consumer demand less handbags, less handbags get made, which means less demand for resources to make handbags, and less to chuck into landfill when you get bored of said bags. Simple!
*Fashion and Style are not the same thing…believe it or not. Fashion is something decided for you by the powers that be. At Sustainability in Style we would like to think it comes from a creative and elegant place (somewhere where stiletto clad women who eat croissants and sketch beautiful line drawings of dresses all day). Where in actual fact a lot of the ‘high street‘ fashion actually is decided for you by a few stressed individuals in a cramped office with hash-brown crumbs on their shirts who give the nod for garment samples that were bought in Europe to be sent to China for EXACT replication. High street fashion is fast and nasty, and when your twenty dollar bargain dress dissolves in the wash you’re not the only person who looses out (but we will talk about this later). Style on the other hand is a expression of the individual and something that is unique to each and every person. Its how you take whats given to you and make it your own.
So with millions of tee shirts, dresses and shorts, crammed in the back of cupboards globe wide. There is no reason what-so-ever that individuals like you (yes, you there on the other end of this screen sipping your soy latte) can’t assess the content of your wardrobe and start using your buying power for the good of the planet.
Before you scream with fear at your monitor, leap from your seat and run from the visions of poorly designed eco pants lurking in corners of your brain, I want to assure you that change can be painless, and fun (and free from scratchy hemp pants)! Tune your eyeballs to Sustainability in Style for lots of interesting style, environment, and economic tidbits that will help you assess your current wardrobe, evolve your purchasing habits, and get involved to make a change in the way we consume apparel.
So who is this mystery woman behind Sustainability in Style, I hear you ask?
My name is Katie Roberts, Environmental Scientist by day, dog walker and blogger by night. I spent a long time
procrastinating researching how I would launch my baby, Sustainability in Style, into cyberspace. So long so, that a good friend of mine decided to threaten me that if I didn’t start blogging she would get very mad, and I really don’t want to see her mad. So here I am at my desk writing to you on what is close to being a daily basis.
I am originally from a series of very small towns, with weird names in country Victoria, my parents moved around a bit. Mum and Dad were the original ‘sustainable living’ gurus (VW Kombi van and all). We had everything we could even need produced on our own hobby farm and I was lucky enough to grow up with the most delicious home grown produce and meat.
In a fit teenage rebellion upon graduation I decided that I needed to up and leave the countryside, move to the middle of the city, and start a career in extreme consumption. So I left the eco-nest headed to Melbourne and studied Textiles, Clothing, and Footwear at RMIT.
I was lucky enough to work in all aspects the fashion industry both nationally and internationally as a designer, buyer, and frontline retail assistant. I had initially entered the fashion industry with the belief that it would be a well paying outlet for my creative self, however, upon further inspection, found out it was a place where creativity came to die, and exploitation and consumption ‘reined supreme’.
Bored shirtless and crushed by the weight of my decisions I did some soul searching (and a crazy bike ride through Vietnam and Cambodia to raise money for OXFAM), packed up, skipped town and moved to sunny Queensland to study Sustainable Tourism.
It turned out a year into Tourism that I was actually quite good at science (who woulda’ known) so long story short here I am, an Environmental Scientist with a major in Sustainability on the path to studying my masters in Environment with a major in sustainability education.
In 2011 I started ‘Sustainability in Style’ as a series of clothing Swap events at the University of the Sunshine Coast. These clothing swaps were motivated by the need to create a sense of community on campus, get people thinking about the way they consumed clothing, and a great way to update my wardrobe as a starving Uni student.
Skip forward to 2015 and Sustainability in Style is now my platform for sharing the world of consumption and the fashion industry with you. I don’t claim to be an expert on fashion and consumption just a regular person like each and every one of you, trying to reduce my impact on our planet.