Sustainable Fashion Events at VAMFF 2019


Excitingly, this year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival has lots of sustainability focussed events, reflecting just how mainstream this way of thinking is becoming - which we reckon is fantastic news.

Henrietta and I kicked off our Festival at the sustainable fashion IDENTITY garden party and runway on the weekend at Como House, presented by The Fashion Advocate. With an emphasis on local labels, ethical production and minimisation of waste, the whole event celebrated the diversity of slow fashion.


We loved that instead of plastic goody bags filled with plastic wrapped trinkets, as is often the case at runways, these goodie bags were made from hemp, emblazoned with “LESS IS MORE” and filled with thoughtful products from more socially and eco aware brands.

(Like MAYDE tea, a Byron Bay based tea brand who package in glass jars with steel lids, scrunchies made by Colour Coded from deadstock fabric + shampoo/conditioner bars from one of my favourite plastic free beauty companies, Ethique.)

Isn’t this how all goodie bags should be? Full of good things which are thoughtful?


The IDENTITY runway was an uplifting way to start the Festival, because there were so many fantastic Australian brands using natural fibres, or deadstock fabric, or giving back to the community with their profits and production values.

But there’s lots more still to come in the VAMFF line up this year which features slow fashion, ethical production, sustainable fibres + discussions on how the industry is responding to change. Consumers (yes, that’s us!) are demanding greater transparency, and an increasing sector of the fashion industry is listening. Here’s our roundup:-

Sustainable fashion events at vamff 2019


  • Runway 6 (Sat March 9) features some of our favourite sustainable local Melbourne designers & makers, like ABCH, Lois Hazel and HEW.

  • Micologia by R E M U S E (Wednesday March 6). We’re great fans of this fresh, young slow-fashion brand, and looking forward to the new collection which is inspired by the magical world of fungi.

  • HoMie (Sat March 9) is a brand that uses 100% of its profits to support youths experiencing homelessness. Melbourne made, it’s a social enterprise which produces streetwear fashion to help people in need.


  • Fashion & Ethics: Knowing your Clothes (Wednesday March 6). A panel discussion by Australian designers focussing on how they created sustainable, socially-responsible labels and where to from here.

  • Changemakers: A New Normal in Fashion. (Thursday March 7.) A talk exploring the changing tastes of consumers for more transparency in production and desire to support brands which make a positive social impact.

  • Global Fashion Exchange (Saturday March 9). A huge clothing swap at the Plaza, just outside the Melbourne Museum. Bring up to 5 items, and swap them for something “new” from somebody else’s wardrobe. Because as they say, a change is as good as a holiday.

  • Beach Couture: A Haute Mess (now until Saturday March 30). I saw this travelling exhibition in Hobart (review here) and it’s not only thought provoking - it’s quite mesmerising! Highly recommended. It’s a quite stunning collection of wearable pieces entirely made from rubbish found on beaches in Sydney and Los Angeles.

  • Artisans of Fashion: Culture, Community and the Planet ( breakfast Thursday March 7). Panel discussion by industry thought leaders (eg Clare Press, Sustainability Editor Vogue Australia) and sustainability and socially focussed designers (eg Caroline Poiner, from Cloth & Co) to discuss global issues and solutions to sustainability in fashion, with an emphasis on climate change and the environmental impact of fast fashion.

  • Style Swap (Sunday March 10) is a full day event held out of the city, including a free clothing swap meet (using tokens which are given in exchange for clothing donations, then used to “buy” other donated items). There will be a Styling Demo by Ironic Minimalist Jenna Flood, explaining how to maximise the use of your existing clothes + your “new” second hand ones. Other attractions are recycled jewellery workshops and a panel discussion on Ethical and Sustainable Practices in Fashion.