Fairly Fashionable 2014 - The Fair Trade Fashion Show

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“Good designers don't just consider the aesthetics of an object, but how that object comes to be - right down to the growth and manufacture of it.” - Fashion Revolution

When you purchase a garment, do you ever wonder where, how and who made it?

Fair Trade Freo and the WA Fair Trade Collective organised Fairly Fashionable?, to challenge designers and consumers to ask themselves those exact questions.

Fairly Fashionable? commenced on Fashion Revolution Day, April 24th, the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory fire in Dhaka Bangladesh, where more than 1000 lives were lost and hundreds were injured. This disaster shone a spotlight on the fashion industry and its dependence on third-world production to create clothing.

Antonia Taylor and Gaelle Beech are the masterminds behind Fairly Fashionable?, a challenge for professional and aspiring local fashion designers to create a garment or accessory in just fourteen days by incorporating a piece of original Fair Trade fabric in their design. The fabric originated from countries like India, Peru, Uganda, Cambodia, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

The designers were given such a short period of time to complete their garments to represent the challenges faced by producers in an industry increasingly under pressure from the demands of fast fashion. The fabric was supplied by members of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand, and designers were allowed to add their own fabric to complete their work as long as it was recycled, up-cycled or ethically sourced.

A runway show took place on Friday, May 9th, the eve of World Fair Trade Day at MANY 6160 in Fremantle where the designers showcased their finished pieces. I was lucky enough to attend the show and was blown away by how beautifully intricate and detailed the final pieces were.

With events such as Fairly Fashionable? the awareness of issues in the fashion supply chain grows. But it's only when consumers begin demanding more ethical fashion, that we will start to see designers and fashion houses change the way they produce and source their garments.

Piece designed by Saffira Mattfield and includes fabric from Uganda and from BETTER WORLD ARTS.

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Right: Dress designed by Louise Hedley. Left: Designer Tayallan Rajalingam

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Dress named "Shivani", designed by Rebecca Di Lucia.

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Right: Designed by Angie Parker from label Arose. Left: Outfit designed by Jeanette Giroux.

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Right: Dress designed by Emily Gibbs

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Right: "Crystal Grandfather" by Sally Bower from Happy Yess. Left: Piece designed by Saffira Mattfield and includes fabric from Uganda and from BETTER WORLD ARTS.

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Outfits by Karina Pontre and Erin Mai.

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Right: Dress designed by Isobel Macauley. Left: Outfit designed by Angie Parker from label Arose.

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Dress designed by Louise Hedley

Dress designed by Louise Hedley

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Right: Angela Ferolla designed this creation called "Aubersheen". Left: A jewellery set including necklace,bracelet and earrings called "Ushas" designed by Vidya Kri wearing 

Outfit designed by Fiona Caripis called "Cambodian Coastline".

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Right: Designed by Dee Alford. Left: Designer Rubi Hatton

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Right: Designed by Cordelia Gibbs. Left: Dress designed by Cynthia Chong.

Right: Dress designed by Joanne Shoobert. Left: Jasmin Jones wearing her own jewellery from cambodian fair trade silk.

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Outfit designed by Hannah Ranford.

A public exhibition of designed work is on display at MANY 6160 (formerly the Myer building at Kings Square, Fremantle) from World Fair Trade Day, May 10 - 18th, 2014.

Lei xx