Camille Reed is the founder of The Australian Circular Fashion Conference. The first big conference in Australia which is focused on sustainability. The conference was held for the first time this year in Sydney and will take place in Melbourne in 2019. Read further to get to know Camille and to learn more about her ambition in sustainable fashion.
NAME: Camille Reed
PROFESSION: Founder of Australian Circular Fashion Conference, Responsible Fashion Advisor, Textile Design Specialist
FAVORITE CITY: Milan / Melbourne (Home-Home)
FAVORITE HOT SPOT: On the matt, ready for Yoga
3 ITEMS IN MY HANDBAG: Lipstick, Sunglasses, BYO Shopping Bag
I NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT: My jewelery
ROLE MODEL: My gosh, too many to mention! Local and international talents!!!
1. What inspires and motivates you to do what you do?
Camille: For a long time my motivation came from my desire to positively impact and affect our environment by an industry movement. Fortunately I can say that’s definitely my underlying motivation now, which fuels my drive by evolving my inspiration continuously. Meaning, I’m constantly inspired on a day-to-day basis by the people I’ve come to surround myself with, including the extended network I’ve built over the past 12 months and continuing to build. My motivation is the encouraging ability I’ve seen within the local Australia fashion industry to embrace the ‘new’ change towards smarter, efficient, responsible business practice.
Currently the work I’m doing is based on the success from the first big fashion conference in Australia, focused on sustainability within our industry. With much research and development ahead I’m building Australia’s newest industry-peak body to support brands and retailers with new tools, resources, education, consulting, etc. to ensure they have every possible ability to become more conscious and successful in their mission towards a circular economy.
This also includes planning 2019s Australian Circular Fashion Conference in Melbourne.
2. One thing you would like to change in the politics regarding the fashion industry?
Camille: The politics need to be harsher for every country responsible for producing apparel – not making it, but the brands and retailers who sell apparel for profit.
Personally, legislation changes on an International scale (enforcing a new world order) would favourably push our efforts in the government recognising the issue and working on changing our policies.
There’s extremely strong support from a number of local sustainability expert’s (from different sectors) for strong political backing on a national level in new policies and regulations around textile and apparel waste management, importation and pollution.
Creating uniformity across every country which sells apparel, where they have to comply with a strict sustainability policy in collecting and recycling textile – that would create a resounding push to quickly innovate how we treat textile waste and how it is in fact a valuable commodity. The opportunities to amplify the benefits to
The first biggest change in Australia would be textile waste diversification from landfill and facilitating textile recycling here in our country.
3. What do you say to girls and women who say: “Fair Fashion is not sexy or I don’t know where to shop ethical fashion or I can not afford it!“ ?
Camille: Shoppers who are hesitant and not quite sure about ‘Fair Fashion’ aren’t getting the full picture. A little more Google searching wouldn’t go a astray. There’s a huge number of boutique fashion labels producing responsible fashion and the best way to stay up to date is by signing up to newsletters via fashion bloggers who are dedicated to the cause. For example there’s a number of Australian fashion bloggers with an international following promoting a large range of shopping options. Also adopting this new style will happen gradually, fashionistas learn to build on their collections and it takes time in adapting and refining how we shop. Getting the latest information online is the best option to evolve with the responsible fashion movement and become more and more informed about what it means and how individually personal choices can have positive environmental impacts.
One thing to consider, shopping ethically does not have to be expensive or done in department stores, markets, garage sales, online swapping, online renting and thrift shops are a phenomenal resource! Have you ever considered taking some items to a dressmaker or tailor to have them altered to fit or mended?
4. How do you see the future of the fashion industry?
Camille: The future of the fashion industry is set to be immensely collaborative, innovative and forward thinking. 2018 has been the biggest year to celebrate a number of international bodies coming forward. Their endeavours are to work closely with the world’s largest apparel producers and retailers, in order for them to understand business can remain profitable, successful, adaptive, fashionable and most importantly relevant in the next 5-10 years.
There is much work to be done together, while a fresh vision has to be set for how we interpret fashion to be sold to our customers and what message fashion and style gives for those who buy it. The downfall of creativity and the blend between so many brands in the low price margin category to those at a high street level is so blurred that we’re basically selling the same message to customers worldwide – ‘everything is cheap, inexpensive and not special’.
Human connection, company goals and brand’s stories will play vital roles within companies coming onboard as quickly as possible to show they’re in support of adapting for the long-term. We can’t expect miracles overnight and the fashion industry is one of the most complex worldwide, with more processes within individual manufacturing sections that any other FMCG industry, we have to be reasonable and offer support and guidance.
It’s an exciting change, one that hasn’t been felt for over 200 years in the fashion industry.