Style Conscious with Deborah Gates
"What led you to Ethical Fashion?"
"Like many people, I had been well aware of the issues for many years, but to be honest, felt it was all too complicated to consider. My internal conversation was about how difficult it was going to be to find out about the ethical stance of different labels, and could I even afford to buy ethically made clothing. "
"Early 2016, I saved the Ethical Fashion Guide to my iBooks and started to check the ratings given to various labels as I considered my purchases. I studied how the ratings are decided and read through the the 2016 Australian Fashion Report. Later in 2016 I watched the movie "The True Cost". I was challenged and convicted in such a way that I simply could no longer ignore the impact of fast fashion and my role in it. At the same time, I started doing some casual work for an 'affordable' Australian made label and figured that there must be other affordable Australian made labels out there also."
"Through my blogging work, I started to come into contact with other labels producing stunning designs who were either designing and making their clothing here in Australia, or designing here and partnering closely with offshore businesses, building relationships to ensure that all workers are paid properly, provided with safe work environments and treated with dignity and respect."
"In some cases, the pricing of of these garments is the same as other labels that don't produce their garments here and sadly receive a poor rating on the Ethical Fashion Guide. Others are more expensive, however between knowing that my clothes are ethically produced and that the quality of these garments is far superior to much of what is being mass produced, I find myself moving to that place of being happier with less but better. "
"How did you get started on Instagram?"
"Having blogged for a number of years, I found myself growing quite tired of fashion blogs and felt that I wasn't offering anything that couldn't be found elsewhere. I also felt that grown up women don't need to be told how to dress and what to wear... they need to be encouraged to simply be themselves and wear whatever the heck they want. As a very visual person, Instagram made sense. I find most of my style inspiration by looking at what other 'real' women are wearing and hoped that maybe I might inspire and encourage women to find their own style, try new things and dress for themselves."
I love the way you wear black.. tell me more!
"I have heard it all over the years! First it was "your too young to wear black", then it was "women shouldn't wear black over 50" . I have been wearing black since I was old enough to choose my own clothes. Some people find their variety in colour, but my need for variety is met through different shapes and silhouettes. Black says everything I want it to say on any given day. "
"I have a very strong positive emotional response to black. Put very simply, I like it. Paraphrasing something a very stylish friend of mine one said, Black “gets” me on so many levels – particularly on emotional levels which express my message. Black embodies the qualities of mystery, quietness, intelligence, formality, and simplicity. It is powerful and can be conservative, edgy, avant garde or elegant in turn. These qualities are the message I wish to convey – these things are me”
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