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Brisbane’s First Pop-Up Info Session from Ethical Clothing Australia


Ethical Clothing Australia's First Brisbane Pop-Up Info Session!

What happens when you put a group of likeminded and passionate people from the local fashion industry in a room together? Great things! Our Brisbane team experienced that first hand when they recently hosted the first Ethical Clothing Australia Pop-Up Information Session at Practice Studios in South Brisbane! 

Practice Studios was the perfect location for our first event – it includes a retail store stocking independent local designer, a workshop for alterations and a gallery space. Owner Kat Walsh generously opened the space for the Ethical Clothing Australia team and invited guests including designers and small business owners, representatives from the local manufacturing industry, sustainability consultants and representatives from the fashion schools at QUT and TAFE QLD.  

Guests heard from QLD Accreditation Advisor Louisa Ramsay, who outlined Ethical Clothing Australia’s history and purpose and shared practical information about the process of accreditation including costs, steps and benefits. Caitlin Moriarty, Ethical Clothing Australia’s Partnerships and Community Project Officer who is based in Brisbane, talked about working with likeminded brands and organisations to promote the work of Ethical Clothing Australia and the plans the team has this year for Brisbane and QLD.  

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The green washing and the ethical washing are really confusing for consumers, so I wanted to make it as transparent as possible for my customers.

Chamani Weerasekara from accredited brand CHAMANI

The presentation finished with a Q&A with Chamani Weerasekara from accredited brand CHAMANI, who shared her story and spoke openly about what it means to her business to be accredited.  

‘The premise of my brand is to give back through the supply chain of fashion,’ said Chamani.  

‘I love the idea of supporting local here in Australia,’ she continued. ‘It wasn’t initially the plan but because of COVID my direction changed, and it was a blessing in disguise. I’m so glad to manufacturer here now for quality control and it makes logistics so much easier.’

‘I think it’s important, because I was so naive when I started this brand. At the beginning I didn’t realise that even in Australia there are people who aren’t getting paid properly.’

‘The green washing and the ethical washing are really confusing for consumers, so I wanted to make it as transparent as possible for my customers.’ 

Union representatives Fiona Peck and Ngan Ly were also part of the event, sharing more details about the process of an audit and supporting local outworkers.  

‘It’s about being collaborative,’ said Fiona when asked about the work of the union. ‘And we love helping businesses with their questions and their plans. I want prospective and accredited businesses to know they can pick the phone up and run something past me and I can support them.’ 

The relaxed setting of the event encouraged lots of connection and conversation, and we had some fantastic questions from the group at the end of the presentation. It was so amazing to see all the people from so many different parts of the industry joining together to share their experiences and meet the local Ethical Clothing Australia and union teams. 

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Guests enjoyed snacks from Hope St Cafe, a social enterprise that provides training to people who experience barriers to employment, and organic wine from Half Moon Wine store.  

We look forward to many more of these info sessions this year!