By Andie Carlson | @andiecarlso
Clothing brand, From Found, is setting the trend for ethically made clothing in Adelaide by empowering women from all backgrounds through the manufacturing process.
Created in 2017 after a successful crowd funding campaign, the not-for-profit social enterprise employs women refugees and asylum seekers, alongside those born in Adelaide, to create a range of clothing and accessories.
From Found’s vision is to see consumers choosing ethical and sustainable fashion while empowering women with skills and training, and they invite others to ‘join the revolution’.
The products are made with recycled materials they collect and find with custom pieces also on offer.
Creative Director, Hannah Materne, said From Found grew out of the need observed by co-founders to equip these women with transferable skills and experience that could assist them in further work or study.
“The idea developed to create a fashion label that ethically employed these women as machinists in Adelaide and used recovered, recycled and up-cycled textiles – ‘found’ fabrics,” she said.
From Found connects with refugee and asylum seeker women by working with the Australian Refugee Association, and through board members with similar backgrounds to utilise their strengths in sewing and creativity.
“In the future, we would love for From Found to be an organisation that is made up and run by thriving women from refugee backgrounds.
“Through working at From Found, we hope to see them strengthen their skills and take up roles within wider areas of the organisation: leadership marketing, design, and management.
“Our other hope is to open a retail space so people can shop and connect with From Found in person,” Ms Materne said.
The move against fast fashion comes in light of Australia’s contribution to the international problem, with 6000 kilograms of clothing and fashion waste made every ten minutes.
Fast fashion describes the manufacturing and consuming behaviours where clothing is made quickly with low-quality materials, and shoppers purchase large amounts of these cheap garments, before throwing them out.
Landfill and waste is an international epidemic with organisations around the world calling for change, some even adopting a zero-waste policy where waste is recycled.
The issue extends beyond fashion, with plastic and food waste also contributing to the global environmental crisis.
Rachel Stevens is currently completing her masters after studying International Aid and Development at Adelaide University and recently purchased a From Found custom-made dress using recycled materials.
“The reason I buy ethical and slow fashion, and make it myself, is mixed in with both my faith and with what I learned at uni about the impact we have on a global scale,” Ms Stevens said.
“This dress represents ethical and slow fashion.
“I love wearing it knowing no one was harmed or taken advantage of in its making.
“Some of the most vulnerable in our community… were empowered in its creation as they were taught skills and language, enabling them to step into independence and relationship both inside the workplace and out in their community.”
In the midst of the overwhelming statistics on waste in Australia and around the world, there are initiatives like From Found that aim to reduce the impact we have on our planet.
The hospitality industry has slowly introduced waste-saving measures, with many cafes offering discounts when customers bring their own takeaway coffee cups, as paper cups cannot be recycled.
Second-hand clothing stores are also helping to combat fast fashion, allowing people to donate old, unwanted clothing and purchase pre-loved fashion.
While the impact of waste is significant, real change can happen through small steps to reduce our waste, by recycling and reusing and purchasing less.
Image Source: From Found/Facebook