Fri. May 24th, 2024

Tanya Plibersek reveals surprise fashion secret as she highlights Australia’s ‘throwaway’ clothing culture<!-- wp:html --><div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">When she was little, Tanya Plibersek had only two “special” dresses: one was inherited from her cousin, whom she idolized, and the other was made by her aunt.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Now she is one of Canberra’s most fashion-forward women, hard to miss in the halls of Parliament in her colorful two-piece pantsuits.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Speaking at the launch of eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund on Wednesday morning, the Environment Minister confessed that she is far from perfect when it comes to her fashion choices, but said that all consumers, along with businesses and Governments have a role to play in promoting sustainable fashion.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“The scenario, you’ve all seen it, and occasionally you’ve done it: You’re scrolling through social media and you see an outfit worn by an influencer. You buy it with the click of a button,” he said.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">‘It becomes one of the 56 items of clothing the average Australian buys in a year. You wear it maybe once or twice before it loses its shape, or you decide it doesn’t fit you.’</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Speaking at eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund expo on Wednesday, Tanya Plibersek confessed that she is far from perfect when it comes to her fashion choices, but said that all consumers, along with businesses and governments, have a role to play in promoting sustainable fashion choices.</p> </div> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Tanya Plibersek’s passion for fashion began as a child (pictured in her favorite dress)</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Plibersek told the crowd that most Australians are trying to do the right thing from now on. They put it in a bag with the rest of the unwanted clothes and take it to a charity bin.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“But like most Australian charities at the moment, they are overwhelmed by the volume of low-quality fast fashion they end up with.” There is no market for it and it ends up in landfills.’ </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Plibersek shared her personal relationship with fashion growing up. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">In stark contrast to many of today’s girls, she had two nice dresses that “made her feel like a princess.” One was secondhand and the other was handmade.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Those really special things that you love and treasure,” he said.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Back then, clothing was high quality and the expectation was that it would last for years or decades.”</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">In fact, Plibersek said that even today, in 2024, he still owns, wears and cares for clothes he bought in the 1980s, 40 years ago.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">He noted that biker shorts and slip dresses are back in fashion, and that the biggest difference between today’s fashion and that of the 1980s is “the extraordinary acceleration of production and consumption.”</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="splitLeft"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> </div> <div class="splitRight"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Now she is one of Canberra’s most fashion-forward women, hard to miss in the halls of Parliament in her colorful two-piece pantsuits.</p> </div> <h2 class="mol-para-with-font mol-style-subhead news-ccox">“Increased affordability of clothing is a good thing”</h2> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Ms Plibersek has no problem with the downward pressure placed on clothing prices, which is, in part, a response to the wide range of options now available on the market.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Parents should not have to choose between paying the electricity bill and buying a new pair of shoes for school,” he said.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The problem, he argued, is in the promotion of “throwaway culture.”</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It is marketing strategies that tell us that we must buy a new suit for every event, that we must have the latest trend to be fashionable, which is the root cause of the problems facing the industry.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">‘We’re not talking about someone who buys a cheap t-shirt that their kids wear over and over again to school. That’s fine,’ she said. ‘There is certainly an unequivocal place for that.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">‘I’m talking about a system where people buy something, use it once and it ends up in landfill. There’s too much of that.’ </p> <h2 class="mol-para-with-font mol-style-subhead news-ccox">Poisoning the world with good intentions </h2> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Australian charities spend millions of dollars each year sorting and managing donations they receive that are not fit for purpose.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Plibersek said consumers often have the best intentions when they bring their used clothing to donation stores, but the reality is that many can’t keep up with the large amount of clothing they receive.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“This is money those charities should be spending on helping Australians in need,” he said.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Not dealing with our guilt for parting with our single-use garment.”</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">To put it in perspective, Plibersek told the crowd that products made from synthetic fibers will take 500 years to decompose.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">‘Those yoga pants made with carbon fuels will outlast you for many centuries.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Our beautiful natural world has become a dumping ground for clothing that we can no longer even call used, because the relationship with that garment was so brief that it can hardly be called love.”</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Plibersek said consumers often have the best of intentions when they take their used clothing to donation stores, but the reality is that many can’t keep up with the large amount of clothing they receive and end up in the landfill.</p> </div> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Plibersek told the crowd that products made from synthetic fibers will take 500 years to decompose.</p> </div> <h2 class="mol-para-with-font mol-style-subhead news-ccox">The eBay Solution and the Way Forward </h2> <p class="mol-para-with-font">On Wednesday, eBay awarded $200,000 in prizes to three companies committed to promoting and improving circularity in the fashion industry.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">First prize winner Dempstah recycles Australian textile waste into freshly spun yarn, giving it a new life. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">This yarn can be made into knitwear, home goods and furniture.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Founder Guy said he hopes to establish a factory in Tasmania to encourage local production and create more local and environmentally friendly textile jobs.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Ms Plibersek said: “If we can extend the life cycle of clothing, if we can repair it, sell it or reuse it, that’s fantastic.” </p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">First prize winner Dempstah recycles Australian textile waste into freshly spun yarn, giving it a new life.</p> </div> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Founder Guy said he hopes to establish a factory in Tasmania to encourage local production and create more local and environmentally friendly textile jobs.</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">‘Can we exchange clothes? Can we rent them? Can we embrace saving, as my children have done?</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The Environment Minister said that increasing the life of a shirt by a factor of three (from an average of 20 uses to 60) reduces that piece’s water and carbon footprint by 66 per cent.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“As someone who still uses things I bought in the ’80s, that makes me very happy,” he said. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“The fashion industry that makes a profit has to be responsible for doing better for the environment…We shouldn’t have to rely solely on consumer preferences to change the way we consume fashion.”</p> </div><!-- /wp:html -->

When she was little, Tanya Plibersek had only two “special” dresses: one was inherited from her cousin, whom she idolized, and the other was made by her aunt.

Now she is one of Canberra’s most fashion-forward women, hard to miss in the halls of Parliament in her colorful two-piece pantsuits.

Speaking at the launch of eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund on Wednesday morning, the Environment Minister confessed that she is far from perfect when it comes to her fashion choices, but said that all consumers, along with businesses and Governments have a role to play in promoting sustainable fashion.

“The scenario, you’ve all seen it, and occasionally you’ve done it: You’re scrolling through social media and you see an outfit worn by an influencer. You buy it with the click of a button,” he said.

‘It becomes one of the 56 items of clothing the average Australian buys in a year. You wear it maybe once or twice before it loses its shape, or you decide it doesn’t fit you.’

Speaking at eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund expo on Wednesday, Tanya Plibersek confessed that she is far from perfect when it comes to her fashion choices, but said that all consumers, along with businesses and governments, have a role to play in promoting sustainable fashion choices.

Tanya Plibersek’s passion for fashion began as a child (pictured in her favorite dress)

Plibersek told the crowd that most Australians are trying to do the right thing from now on. They put it in a bag with the rest of the unwanted clothes and take it to a charity bin.

“But like most Australian charities at the moment, they are overwhelmed by the volume of low-quality fast fashion they end up with.” There is no market for it and it ends up in landfills.’

Plibersek shared her personal relationship with fashion growing up.

In stark contrast to many of today’s girls, she had two nice dresses that “made her feel like a princess.” One was secondhand and the other was handmade.

“Those really special things that you love and treasure,” he said.

“Back then, clothing was high quality and the expectation was that it would last for years or decades.”

In fact, Plibersek said that even today, in 2024, he still owns, wears and cares for clothes he bought in the 1980s, 40 years ago.

He noted that biker shorts and slip dresses are back in fashion, and that the biggest difference between today’s fashion and that of the 1980s is “the extraordinary acceleration of production and consumption.”

Now she is one of Canberra’s most fashion-forward women, hard to miss in the halls of Parliament in her colorful two-piece pantsuits.

“Increased affordability of clothing is a good thing”

Ms Plibersek has no problem with the downward pressure placed on clothing prices, which is, in part, a response to the wide range of options now available on the market.

“Parents should not have to choose between paying the electricity bill and buying a new pair of shoes for school,” he said.

The problem, he argued, is in the promotion of “throwaway culture.”

It is marketing strategies that tell us that we must buy a new suit for every event, that we must have the latest trend to be fashionable, which is the root cause of the problems facing the industry.

‘We’re not talking about someone who buys a cheap t-shirt that their kids wear over and over again to school. That’s fine,’ she said. ‘There is certainly an unequivocal place for that.

‘I’m talking about a system where people buy something, use it once and it ends up in landfill. There’s too much of that.’

Poisoning the world with good intentions

Australian charities spend millions of dollars each year sorting and managing donations they receive that are not fit for purpose.

Plibersek said consumers often have the best intentions when they bring their used clothing to donation stores, but the reality is that many can’t keep up with the large amount of clothing they receive.

“This is money those charities should be spending on helping Australians in need,” he said.

“Not dealing with our guilt for parting with our single-use garment.”

To put it in perspective, Plibersek told the crowd that products made from synthetic fibers will take 500 years to decompose.

‘Those yoga pants made with carbon fuels will outlast you for many centuries.

“Our beautiful natural world has become a dumping ground for clothing that we can no longer even call used, because the relationship with that garment was so brief that it can hardly be called love.”

Plibersek said consumers often have the best of intentions when they take their used clothing to donation stores, but the reality is that many can’t keep up with the large amount of clothing they receive and end up in the landfill.

Plibersek told the crowd that products made from synthetic fibers will take 500 years to decompose.

The eBay Solution and the Way Forward

On Wednesday, eBay awarded $200,000 in prizes to three companies committed to promoting and improving circularity in the fashion industry.

First prize winner Dempstah recycles Australian textile waste into freshly spun yarn, giving it a new life.

This yarn can be made into knitwear, home goods and furniture.

Founder Guy said he hopes to establish a factory in Tasmania to encourage local production and create more local and environmentally friendly textile jobs.

Ms Plibersek said: “If we can extend the life cycle of clothing, if we can repair it, sell it or reuse it, that’s fantastic.”

First prize winner Dempstah recycles Australian textile waste into freshly spun yarn, giving it a new life.

Founder Guy said he hopes to establish a factory in Tasmania to encourage local production and create more local and environmentally friendly textile jobs.

‘Can we exchange clothes? Can we rent them? Can we embrace saving, as my children have done?

The Environment Minister said that increasing the life of a shirt by a factor of three (from an average of 20 uses to 60) reduces that piece’s water and carbon footprint by 66 per cent.

“As someone who still uses things I bought in the ’80s, that makes me very happy,” he said.

“The fashion industry that makes a profit has to be responsible for doing better for the environment…We shouldn’t have to rely solely on consumer preferences to change the way we consume fashion.”

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