Sustainable Fashion Events at Melbourne Fashion Week 2018

It's super exciting to see how many of this year's Melbourne Fashion Week events centre around ethical, sustainable fashion. From runways to exhibitions, talks and workshops, here are a few of our picks to check out..

Natural Dye Conference


What: A two-day event for industry on the creation and use of Australian botanical colour in textiles. 

The Natural Dye Conference brings the textile industry together to connect with natural dye services and expertise. Hear from professionals in farming, processing, manufacturing and natural dyes research.

When: Friday 31 August and Saturday 1 September, 8.30am - 5pm.

Tickets here

Where Do My Clothes Come From?


What: Hear from designers, retailers and industry bodies on how the industry and consumer approach to ethical and sustainable fashion is changing and what you can do to get involved.

Panelists will include Sally Townsend of Outland Denim, Marnie Goding of Elk and Angela Bell of Ethical Clothing Australia.

When: Wednesday 5 September, 5pm - 6pm.

Tickets here

AFC Curated Pop-Up Store


What: Find a curated collection of Australian independent fashion labels, brought together by the Australian Fashion Council (AFC).

The AFC supports local labels through direct industry mentoring, a series of business development workshops and exciting retail activations.

Meet the labels:  A.BCH, Allora, Autark, Avila, Gehrich, Gloria Dulcie, Guerrilla Theatre Brand, Harlow, IVY NIU, Jude, Kholo, MAUDE Studio, Millicent Elizabeth, MNDATORY, Oneiric, Rbcca kstr, Remuse Designs, Salty Fox, Scott Benedictine and Vincent Li.

When: Friday 31 August to Friday 7 September.

Free to visit

Street Runway Two


What: Highlighting Melbourne’s multicultural and sustainable identity through its diverse fashion culture, Street Runway Two will showcase collections by designers of social and environmental sustainable focus and of African, Asian, Indigenous and Middle Eastern heritage, with the iconic Union Lane as a backdrop.

Designers include Asiyam, Beekeeper Parade, Keegan, Remuse, RKM, SZN and The Social Studio.

When: Wednesday 5 September, 12pm - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 2pm.

Free event

Street Runway Three


What: A runway featuring Australia's independent and emerging labels, presented by the Australian Fashion Council. (You can shop the pieces afterwards at the AFC Curated pop-up store, located in Melbourne Town Hall).

The show will take place in iconic Melbourne bar Section 8, and spill out into Tattersalls Lane.

When: Thursday 6 September, 1.30 - 2pm and 4.30pm - 5pm.

Free event

The Sea Between Us: The Illuminated Sea

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What: An exhibition that takes the sea of plastic that we as consumers have created and discarded, and transforms this sea into materials for making, lacelike structures, crotchet, knitting and illusive/elusive remnants of luxury.

The Sea Between Us is a project between the fashion students of Anhembi Morumbi University in Sao Paulo Brazil and fashion students, researchers and designers from RMIT University in Melbourne.

When: Friday 31 August, Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 September.

Free event


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What: A workshop focusing on transforming discarded materials into works of art, taught by Box Hill Institute's sustainability fashion teacher. The event will discuss sustainable design concepts such as zero waste, upcycling, re-cycling and mending.

When: Saturday 1 Sept, 9-1pm and 1.30-5.30pm.

Tickets here

The Colour of Eucalyptus


What: An exhibition exploring the potential of eucalyptus to colour textiles. The culmination of research into the colour produced from over 200 species of eucalyptus at the Australian Botanic Gardens will be on display at Kuwaii’s city store for all to enjoy.

This exhibition will be put on by The Festival of Natural Dyes, a program of events in and around Melbourne for ethical, curious and botanical minds looking to explore the potential of local colour.

When: Monday 3 - Friday 7 September.

Free event

Rags To Runway: Great Southern Style


What: A runway featuring pieces created by Kangan Institute’s fashion students from recycled materials donated by Red Cross Shops. The designs are inspired by the Australian landscape, our flora and fauna and iconic Australian fashion designers.

When: Tuesday 4 September, 6.30pm - 8pm.

Tickets here

Shopping For Change Talk


What: A talk by the founder of Australia's fastest growing social enterprise tech start-up, i=Change. It will discuss how it uses technology to make it simple for online retailers to give back to women and girls in need, with 100% transparency.

When: Wednesday 5 September, 6pm - 7.30pm

Tickets here

Underground Runway One


Now sold out, but worth checking out online.

What: A runway in an edgy, iconic Melbourne setting - Degraves Underpass. This show will feature some innovative, sustainably minded labels such as Kuwaii and Lois Hazel.

When: Sunday 2 September, 6pm - 6.30pm.

More details

Access To Fashion

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This event isn't centred around environmental sustainability, but I wanted to include it anyway as it covers some important topics.

What: A panel discussion and runway show featuring disabled models, highlighting the need for more accessibility and authentic representation in the fashion industry.

When: Saturday 1 September, 3 - 5pm.

Tickets here

First Reborn


What: A Runway celebrating fashion from remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, utilising old traditional methods of bush dyeing.

In the modern world we live in today, these artists continue to tell their traditional stories of culture through rock wall art and paperbark, to now the new age of fabric printing and designs.

When: Friday 7 September, 3.45pm - 5pm.

Tickets here