Words by head Captain Penny Lane of Alterior Motif. With 14 years of trade in the Sunshine Coast, Alterior Motif is an institution; it is not just a boutique but a lifestyle store involving all aspects of fashion, art and coastal inspiration. We talk to her about her evolution into supporting more ethical brands and what Fashion Revolution means to Alterior Motif.
We have noticed a real shift in your store to supporting more ethical brands, what has lead to that choice?
In a nutshell, education. If you took some time out to look at the massively detrimental effects of fast fashion and the consequence of manufacturing on our environment then you would be more inclined to take take steps in reducing your footprint in this industry.
How important is it to your store that the brands you stock are transparent about their supply chains and manufacturing processes?
The more educated we are about the positive aspects of sustainable brands, the more important it becomes.
The evolution of stocking sustainable brands is still underway and for small boutiques it is a work in progress. For us as a team it is a discussion that is had nearly every time we meet with suppliers, and more often than not it is the brand that is putting forward their efforts into being a more sustainable business. We have stopped stocking a few brands that weren’t wholly transparent but we are also working with suppliers that are still putting things in place.
Are customers in store who are also consumers of fast fashion interested in learning more to change their buying habits towards locally made or ethical focused labels?
Yes and no. I think it is really important not to judge or make anyone feel bad about purchasing from fast fashion businesses. Not everyone has the choice of being able to spend a bit more on ethical clothing. We are all becoming more aware of the impact but not everyone is ready to make that change yet.
What do you think can be done to educate more people about thinking twice about how they consume fashion?
I think something that would be the most effective would be doing the math for people on how changing the way they spend their money on fashion can actually save them money. People think that buying lots of cheaper items all the time saves them money but in fact it is the opposite! If you buy quality but buy less you will tend to spend less money. Fast fashion retailers trick you into thinking you are getting great deals but the reality is they are getting massive margins for really low cost and low quality garments so they need to create the want/need constantly.
Unfortunately some people think it's the other way around. We are definitely not profiting like the chain stores, our margin is way less, but that is the sacrifice. We love what we do and what we represent.
Why do you think we need a fashion revolution?
Because garment manufacturing is sadly credited to being in our top polluters globally. Furthermore, Australia is the second largest consumer of fast fashion in the world. Something has got to give.
What is your hope for the future of fashion?
That we have a united sense of responsibility to change.
Thank you to Penny Lane and Alterior Motif.
Fashion Revolution goes from the 22nd-28th April. Follow. Get Involved. The more people who ask #whomademyclothes, the more brands will listen.