LEE | SUSTAINABLE FASHION & CANBERRA

SOURCE: Vogue  Vivian Westwood fair trade bags made from recycled materials which include:  ...tent cottons, electrical wiring, and plastic bags. “It was important to use recycled and end-of-the-line materials from Kenya. We wanted to buy as little as possible,” she said. “Working with whatever was available and finding solutions based on these restrictions was interesting.”

SOURCE: Vogue 

Vivian Westwood fair trade bags made from recycled materials which include: 

...tent cottons, electrical wiring, and plastic bags. “It was important to use recycled and end-of-the-line materials from Kenya. We wanted to buy as little as possible,” she said. “Working with whatever was available and finding solutions based on these restrictions was interesting.”

Following up on my in-store observation of the department of the exterior, I met with long term customer Lee Wallace.

Lee Wallace, is a stalwart in the Canberra sustainable fashion and locally made product scene. Lee previously ran a blog called Project Remake, which provided information on sustainable fashion initiatives such as refashioning out-of-use garments, celebrating makers and community sharing.

Lee works for the Department of Climate Change, is 50 years old, uses her iPhone camera to take 'notes' and mind-maps all her ideas.

We asked her some questions about her favourite Canberra boutique Department of the Exterior.

Questions

Why do you shop at exterior?

I like to support stores that take a risk and have a passion for the clothes.

What garments have given you the most ongoing use?

An Akira felted wool jacket that features raw edges, Vixen pieces and Von Fustenburg printed garments.

What factor/s contribute to your decision to purchase?

Local, natural fibre, colour, Australian made, connection with the designer, original prints, supporting young designers, price, fit, style and one-off.

Does a consideration for sustainability inform your decision making?

I choose according to design first, and fabric second, which leads to questions about the fabrics production.

Discussion

  • Consider 'no sew' options before dissembling second hand or vintage garments
  • How you can remove the history of a garment/fabric by giving it a new treatment
  • Reappropriating fabrics into other industries products
  • exterior's boot covers adapt a 'boot look' to a market of people would didn't fit regular boots
  • Find a core idea and a way for others to apply it to their own materials
  • Just-in-time production, reduces waste and excess - the consumer will wait and it adds a level of exclusivity
  • Don't put restriction, time limits or a filter on how you present your work
  • Design with longevity in mind or the ability to rework components
  • Six Degree architects have used a reappropriation approach to their construction material input
  • Susan owner of exterior use to recycle garments from her own wardrobe 
  • Lee can change up to 4 times a day, enjoys wearing her clothes and playing with the styling
  • Micro-patron funding and crowd-funding - predetermined consumer demand
  • Technological developments in biometrics will aid online trading