In response to the looming global issues of climate change and environmental degradation, recent decades have witnessed increasing scrutiny of the ecological impacts of fibre production for the fashion industry. Articulated by the discourse of eco-fashion, such scrutiny has exposed the emerging need for fashion to take responsibility for the damaging impacts of industrial fibre cultivation, by seeking alternative, low-impact modes of farming. As yet, the specific topic of sustainability in Australian wool production has not been broached by eco-fashion literature in any systemic sense. This paper provides an overview of a research project that addresses this topic by reviewing the raw production stage of the wool supply chain. The paper outlines alternatives to some of the ‘unsustainable’ aspects of wool production, such as exportation and industrial agriculture. The research draws on theories of sustainability prevalent in contemporary environmental philosophy that see local production and consumption as integral to solving complex environmental dilemmas. Consequently, the research focuses on the merits of wool as a local Australian fibre. This cross-disciplinary study explores the intersection of fashion, sustainability and agriculture, with the aim of contributing to current discussion of ecologically-sound practices in the Australian fashion and wool industries.
|Keywords:||Sustainability, Australian Wool Production, Eco-fashion, Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Philosophy, Local Production and Consumption, Biomimicry, Bioregionalism|
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
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