Mariana Kirova is a professional upcycler, an eco-fashion educator and an agent for change. She transforms rescued clothing into unique timeless pieces through her Perth-based business Eco Fashion Sewing which she established after studying fashion design in Western Australia.
Mariana Kirova wears an eco-fashion statement ensemble she created for The Slow Clothing Project.
Mariana said it is sad to see lots of fashion students graduating in Australia each year yet only a few stay and work in the fashion industry. “If Australian fashion brands have their production at home, this wouldn’t be happening,” she said.
When you dressed this morning, did you spare a thought for how your clothes came into the world? Do you know what country they were made in, from what type of material or who stitched them together?
Most likely not – too busy rushing breakfast, timelines, meetings, commitments, social media, what’s for dinner, first-world problems, shopping for more, weekend planning …
The disconnection between ourselves and our clothing has grown in direct proportion to the amount of affordable, ever-changing garments on offer through global supply chains. The majority is sewn in third-world factories then presented in all sizes and shapes in a store near you.
Fiona Saunders’ life has always included handmade, recycled and repurposed clothes. From a very early age her Mum taught Fiona to sew, sitting at the table with her, cutting out dolls clothes from scraps, using a needle and thread to sew them up. “When I was about eight, Mum she started to teach me how to use her new Pfaff machine with its decorative stitches. I have now started teaching my granddaughter to sew. She is only three but loves sitting next to me at the machine, passing me pins and sewing small scraps with a needle and thread into lovely lumps!,” Fiona said.
Fiona Saunders wears upcycled silk and lace garment she created for The Slow Clothing Project