AURA Studios, creator and designer, Hannah Culshaw explains the Sustainable Fashion Industry and the practices of her new conscious brand AURA Studios.
How does the fashion industry impact the environment?
“Australian’s are the world’s second-largest consumers of fashion. On average, they consume 27kgs of new clothing and textiles every year,” (ABC) with approximately 23kgs discarded!!
With the increasing speed of fast fashion, we have seen the influx of new trends monthly, fortnightly or even weekly. This fast-paced fashion causes an overconsumption habit as consumers are buying at a faster rate. This act of buying and wearing low-quality clothes for a shorter time produces huge amounts of waste.
Fibres and notions
Many fast fashion brands opt for cheaper synthetic fibres (such as polyester, nylon, satin), when washed these fibres release microplastics into the ocean. Further, as the synthetic garment is made from plastic once discarded it will not break down, polluting the environment.
Why do we need sustainable fashion?
Sustainable and Ethical Fashion is vital to slow fashion in order to reduce the industries impact on the environment. The slowing of fashion can be achieved through:
- Consumers buying for longevity through quality. These garments should be bought considering the cost per wear showing the greater value, rather than lower quality/less wear garments.
- Finding pieces to value and love can create a greater experience wearing them, meaning more care towards them again contributing to longevity.
- Choosing natural and organic fibres contributes to no microplastic, no plastic waste and fewer pesticides used in the process.
- Finding brands that use deadstock fabrics which are fabric waste in the industry will utilise this waste source.
- Buying local brands supports the local industry and buying ethically and locally made also saves carbon emissions from transport.
If we are being conscious of what we buy, eat or our carbon impact, there is no reason we shouldn’t be conscious of what we wear and where we buy it.
Why did you start a brand in the Sustainable fashion industry?
My journey into sustainable fashion developed through my time studying fashion, developing knowledge surrounding ethical fashion and seeing facts about the state of the environment. I saw a need for change and the potential for change in all stages of the production cycle of a garment.
Whilst conducting research for my honours thesis I was fascinated with the notion of craftsmanship and how our value towards clothing has been lost. Further, how the Industrial Revolution saw the mass production of goods and the loss of the handmade.
From being informed, I became rapidly passionate about reducing waste, alongside my studies I made a personal lifestyle shift away from single-use plastics. It was a Plastic Free July that help commence shopping at bulk food shops and markets. I was very intrigued by everyday alternatives and love to research plastic-free products. It is empowering being able to proactively make better decision in everyday life for a better impact on the environment. Yes sometimes it can be overwhelming but every little change helps.
With my passion for reducing plastic waste and seeing the potential for change in the industry, I decided to commit to the sustainable fashion Industry.
How do you find and buy authentically sustainable fashion?
The sustainable fashion industry is growing, there are many local brands popping up which is so great!!
Different brands in the Sustainable Fashion Industry may perform different sustainable and ethical practices. It is a good idea to do some research brands and find ones that align with your values. A few of my favourite personal tips are to avoid trends and go for good design, this will hold longevity in your wardrobe.
Avoid greenwashing, which is where brands may say “100% sustainable” where when you research more you find their practices don’t match. It is good to look at what the garments are made of, the level of quality, where the brand is based, where the garment is made and what are the values and ethics of the company.
How will AURA Studios contribute to the Sustainable Fashion Industry?
Value. Longevity. Quality. Intricate Design. Reducing Waste.
AURA Studios focuses on re-establishing the loss of connection we have towards clothing and reducing waste. This is achieved through care in the design process, a conscious choice of fabrication, an emphasis on value and the incorporation of craft through natural dye and silver work.
AURA Studios reduces waste by utilising deadstock fabrics from local suppliers and makers. Eliminating the need for nylon zippers in the design process, only using buttons made from corozo seed and using biodegradable elastic. To conquer microplastics we use natural fibres and have used organic where we can, we are always researching and seeking fibres that will minimise our impact on the planet. In the design process, we do not follow trends as this is one of the most important steps to slowing fashion and increasing the longevity of the garments. We are proud to say that we send our garments out with all plastic-free packaging. The tags and cards are made from recycled cardboard and the garment labels are cotton, all made locally.
AURA Studio's mission is to inform others and create quality, valued pieces that have longevity.
Shop the full AURA Studio's range now.