By Jane Milburn Textile Beat founder and sustainability consultant
Textile Beat founder Jane Milburn clothed in wool garments given a second life using eco-dye. Photo by Ele Cook
My campaign on clothing waste has been a lifetime in the making. It began as a child learning hand-making skills and continued as a student upcycling big old dresses and thrifted finds.
I made many of my clothes for decades then rediscovered op shops in 2011 after a Fashion for Flood fundraiser. I began visiting op shops and particularly seeking out natural-fibre garments – wool jumpers with a hole, linen shirts with a missing button. The waste of resources troubled me because I grew up on a farm and have an agricultural science degree. What was happening to our clothing culture I wondered?
Having once been a part of the fashion scene, West Australian maker Jemma Edwards is uniquely placed to comment on contemporary clothing culture which she left behind a decade ago due to the influx of poorly made cheap alternatives.
Jemma Edwards created a jacket embellished with bespoke floral prints for The Slow Clothing Project.
No one is too old or young to learn a new skill. That’s why south-east Queensland textile artist Wendi Trulson believes everyone can learn to create their own garments by just giving it a go.
Wendi Trulson wears her eco-dye upcycled wool and cashmere swing top for The Slow Clothing Project
Wendi’s passion is bundle (eco print) dyeing because of its sustainable and earth-friendly. It makes one think not only of the material waste but the chemical destruction that poisons the waterways of the world.