Fashion; the word itself can be associated with plenty: fashion trend, fashion designer, fashion stylist, fashion magazine, fashion student. Yet one that consumers so often overlook is fashion pollution. Fashion pollution is something the world is suffering from severely.

Ecowatch.com reports how the industry harms our planet, “Pesticides used in cotton farming, the toxic dyes used in manufacturing and the great amount of waste discarded clothing creates—but also the extravagant amount of natural resources used in extraction, farming, harvesting, processing, manufacturing and shipping.”

And that is only the beginning with garment creation, the cycle of waste continues with consumers.

1MillionWomen writer Bonny Rebecca reported that, “Over 6000kg of clothing and textiles are going to our landfills every 10 minutes.”

The war on waste is now turning the light on our closets, as we begin to understand the destruction being caused from the clothing we wear.

Luckily with growing awareness on this issue, Australian corporations are making a stand for sustainable clothing.

Bizwear Business Development Manager Jacquie McGowan, has recognised the growing consciousness for fashion pollution, “Since I started working with Bizwear, I have noticed an increased awareness in both society as a whole and brands that we work with.”

Bizwear is a textile business which designs, manufacture’s and supply’s corporate apparel to some of Australia’s most recognised brands including: Coles Group, Flight Centre Travel Group, Bunnings and many more.

With fashion pollution being a cause close to her heart, Jacquie is very supportive of Bizwear’s roots in looking after our environment.

“Bizwear has always had a strong commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing, our factory partners are all BSCI accredited… Organisation’s are always going to need uniforms, however we don’t want our uniforms to come at the cost of people or our planet. We want to make sure that what our customers wear have been made in a safe, clean and fair way.”

“We have a responsibility to find environmentally sound product and service developments, not only are we having a positive impact on the world around us, but we are delivering ethically sourced products to our customers.”

Bizwear continues to be an advocate for this cause and does this through business models and building relationships.

They have a strong seven year relationship with The School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT, helping to contribute in teachings of ethical garment creation to the next generation of the industry.

“Michael Gluning, Bizwear’s General Manager sits on the RMIT Industry Advisory Group for The School of Fashion and Textiles. Kiri Delly Deputy Head was aware that one of Bizwear’s customers had some upcoming wet weather jacket obsolescence. Kiri asked Bizwear if they would donate 60-80 jackets for the students to use in their Studio work.”

“We could see the educational value in providing the wet weather jackets for this studio and offer students an opportunity to appreciate the impacts of mass production and end of life considerations, and to understand how – as designers – they can have an impact in this area.”

Fashion Design Honors student Emily Schuster, worked on the Bizwear and RMIT collaboration,“Bizwear gave us 60 bomber jackets and parkers. We took apart the jackets completely, stripped and unpicked them, taking them from the lining to recreate an outfit.”

“We laid it out in pieces, like a flat pack. Then we designed the top and we used the measurements from the fabric we could recover… You don’t have excess, you design and measure to what you have so there isn’t any waste…You take more care in the used fabric because you only have limited amounts.”

Georgia McCorkill is Emily’s teacher for the Bizwear collaboration project  and said it was very interesting to work on and amazed by what the students have come up with.

“We were predominantly interested in the process of developing upcycled garments. We were hesitant to make students work with one garment type for a whole semester, but I have been amazed with how they have taken to the project and the outcomes they’ve produced. One group wants to continue to develop their project through to the end of semester assessment.”

Georgia also believes that Bizwear is taking a great step forward in finding solutions to reduce fashion pollution.

“Bizwear is showing really great initiative in exploring various options for end of life solutions, as well as ways products can be designed at their inception with end of life in mind that they can take back to their clients.”

With collaborations like this, it aids in the revolution of brands, designers and consumers working towards new ways they can divert fashion from being wasteful.