Wednesday 18 August 2010

Offsetter Sarah: in Australia ...

Our Offsetter Sarah spent two months in Australia researching into everything green! She kept us updated with snippets of her exciting stories and findings while she was there.

The Forefront of Ethical Design: Australia

Desperate to get a grip on Australia’s bubbling Green Scene, I took a trip to the other side of the world. Taking in some of Australia’s finest cities,Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, devouring hip craft mags, and seeking my next interview catch. 

Hot, beautiful blue sky, exotic birds and trees and super friendly people, you couldn’t ask for better surroundings. It was in one of Melbourne’s gritty hip, graffiti stained alley caf├ęs that I meet up with Designer and Personal Consultant, Kim Kneipp. It is here that I have the chance to find out about Kim’s company, Frockerphilliac, the craft movement sweeping across Australia, and surprisingly, the non-recession.

Skirt transformed by Kim into gorgeous neck scarf!
Having exhibited, and supported Australian fashion design both at home and internationally in Singapore, Kim is informed and intent on change. She spent three years running mental health workshops between Montreal and Quebec with a focus on our clothes. Using clothing as an emotional metaphor, and drawing a parallel between the deconstruction of our clothing and the layers of human excess baggage. A really inspiring approach, as we peel back the layers we are able to learn more about what is inside, I really like the transience of using clothing in such a way.

Kim offers more than personal styling; she offers an emotional overhaul too. 
Present a sustainable design and personal styling service, Kim will cull your wardrobe, dividing clothing into the good, the bad and not so ugly/potentially beautiful pile! Assessing and working to the individual style, and body shape of the client. The importance lies on the customer, there feelings, and their approach to their self image. It seems Kim’s’ help works on many levels, topromote a positive change in the customers approach to not just styling, and dressing but self value and happiness.

Before: Op Shop Suit

After: Kim's Op Shop Suit turned into an I-Want-It Dress!

Op shopping is the new cool, that’s Op for opportunity shop or charity shop as we know it. Kim regularly brings clients to Op shops and flea markets with the intention of enlightening the once resistant customer banishing the myth of 'second hand = second rate'. The desire for individual, and crafty pieces is promoted in the media, from the humble free newspaper to magazines such as Frankie actively encouraging what Kim Kneipp, referred to as ‘nana fashion’, harking back to the 1940’s ideals of make do and mend, and remake tips all in the name of saving money and the environment. 

As for the future of Ethical consumerism and design development, parades and events are held regularly to promote sustainable and environmental awareness, such as the Sustainable Living Festival. A solar powered dream, Australia is a beautiful and sparse country, and there is much to learn about the environment. Students have a healthier understanding and respect for the environment, which puts future designers and change makers in a great situation. 

And just to confirm it is business as usual in Australia, and you’d be silly for thinking the recession ever happened. 

Sarah (Offsetter).

Our ”Offsetters” are a group of writers, comprising of anyone who has a personal passion for ethical development.

Why not contribute to our blog and networking pages through short updates? Inspire our readers to be ethical by giving them a taste of exciting people and news you’ve come across, and tell us about all the interesting, ethical things going on we don't know about!

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