Local, Low-impact Fibres: Approaches to Sustainability in Australian Wool Production

By Tali Warmington.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.365-378. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 906.084KB).

Tali Warmington

Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Tali is a recent graduate of Queensland University of Technology (QUT), in Brisbane, Australia, where she obtained a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Visual Arts) (Honours). After completing her degree in Visual Arts, Tali undertook her Honours studies through the School of Fashion at QUT. Her interest is in eco-fashion research and uncovering ways of ‘greening’ the supply chain, with an emphasis on reconnecting the creative pursuit of fashion with its fundamental, ecological roots. Tali is a member of the Brisbane-based fashion collective, The Stitchery Collective, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to connect fashion with social welfare through offering workshops, exhibitions and events to the local community.

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