Australia, bushfires and why the fashion industry still has a long way to go

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Now a lot of the time, being a creative we talk about how wonderful the industry is and how much we enjoy being a part of it- which don’t get me wrong, I completely do. It’s one of the most interesting sectors out there and I’m glad every day for choosing it. However, there are times when you consider how important your work really is whilst millions of animals are dying and near 5 million hectares of land are burning on the other side of the world. I completely understand that not every job needs to save a life else we’d all be doing the same and this incredible industry wouldn’t exist. Although, with so much money within fashion, it would only make sense for companies to help out when things like this happen.

I don’t think I really thought about this aspect until I was looking through my emails and they were completely filled with news and headlines regarding the sales, new lines and offers that ASOS and all the other brands are having. Nonetheless, one particularly stood out to me and that was an email from Novo Shoes titled, ‘We Stand With You’. It got me thinking about what exactly they were talking about and the screenshots below explain their initiative. For the next 24 hours, they are donating all of their profits towards the bushfires and helping those affected. I thought it was incredible and led me to research if any larger companies were doing the same.

Surprisingly or unsurprisingly, nothing. The only 2 large names I could find were Alex Perry and Christopher Esber. Both of whom, alongside Novo Shoes are all Australian brands/designers. Now this makes complete sense as to why they would also donate their profits towards the fires, but I think the industry is forgetting that just because it isn’t close to home or not happening to them doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. This in no way disregards the fact that designers may be donating their own money privately, away from the public eye which is fabulous but why aren’t we seeing brands like Topshop, Zara or H&M send emails like this? It’s worrying how we’re still focused on New Year sales when there is such devastation in some parts of the world.

This is where I feel that as as industry we can do so much more. We can use social media to target our audience into donating money every time a product is bought or setting aside a certain percentage of profits made, to help causes like the bushfire relief and ensure we aren’t ignoring real life events by making small contributions along the way. I hope progressing through the years we can make this change and do something crucial with the voice behind the industry and the power we have to project it to millions and millions of people internationally.

So come on everybody, we can do better and all it’s gonna take is a small change from each and every one of us.

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