Good On You: Fashion Assistant

It’s time to make feeling guilty about your fashion choices a thing of the past. Discover brands that do good by the planet and its inhabitants with Good On You.

Image: Instagram

Good On You is a free app that rates fashion brands on how ethically they make their clothes. With a 4.8 out of 5 rating on the Apple App Store, being ethically conscious in your fashion decisions has never been easier. Over 1,000 brands have been rated since its launch in 2015, including household names like Nike and Zara.

The app began with the realisation that consumers wanted to make better choices when purchasing but didn’t have the information on hand to make those better choices. It was established by non-profit organisation Ethical Consumers Australia and rates companies on a scale of one to five, with five being the most ethically conscious.

Image: Good On You

Good On You generates its ratings by analysing all public information from over 50 certification schemes in order to bring transparency from brands to their consumers. Users of the app can browse by names of brands, product categories, even by ethical issue (e.g. vegan, fair trade, country made, etc). When a brand is searched, Good On You will recommend alternative brands that are similar in style and price but carry a higher ethical rating.

Information doesn’t just flow from app to user either; suggestions and questions are encouraged to be sent in so that improvements can be made to make ethical shopping an easier experience. Users can recommend brands for Good On You to rate, too.

Image: Instagram

Good On You empowers brands that are committed to creating a sustainable fashion industry. If you want to start buying smarter and greener, look no further. Download the app now, available on iOS and Android.

 

Written by: Celina Foong

Find Good On You here.

 

Perth is a Plant-Based Donut Heaven

Who doesn’t love donuts? The iconic treat has been a household favourite for generations and now it has never been easier for a vegan to get a hold of them.

Image: Yo Donuts Perth

Veganism in Perth is an ever-growing movement and as a result, there are a plethora of options available for the consciously inclined.

We did some underground investigative work and found two boutique donut makers in Perth’s North and South regions, who are slowly developing their identity within the plant-based community.

Image: Yo Donuts Perth

Yo Donuts Perth

A delicious donut maker situated South of the River, Yo Donuts offers high-end donuts and cupcakes that look and taste like a work of art. Yo Donuts produces fresh goodies by order during the week, and orders can be made for a box of 12 or more. From Oreo and chocolate sauce filled delights to strawberry pistachio ring donuts, Yo Donuts Perth provides a mouth-watering alternative for people who are after an amazing experience, minus the cruelty.

Instagram: @yodonutsperth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yodonutsperth/

Image: 2 Fat Frenchies

2 Fat Frenchies

As the name suggests, this adorable North of the River business is a donut maker that produces aesthetically pleasing treats and not to mention has two French Bulldog mascots! The two fury friends belong to the owners of 2 Fat Frenchies, and photos of them are just part of the parcel. Enjoy the quirkiness of this unique brand along with some of the most stunning donuts you will ever see, not to mention a flavour extravaganza in your mouth!

Instagram: @2fat_frenchies

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2FatFrenchies/

Image: 2 Fat Frenchies

Both Yo Donuts Perth and 2 Fat Frenchies are still hidden treasures amongst the vegan community and the donuts produced by both donut connoisseurs are made with an incredible personal touch.

Be sure to make your next donut orders with one of these two Perth gems.

 

Written by: Krithika Ramnarayan

ASOS X Puma X Crayola: All In The Name Of The Environment

As if ASOS isn’t already the best online store already, they’ve gone ahead and outdone themselves with their latest collaborations with big time labels, being the already popular Puma and the unexpected pairing we didn’t know we needed: Crayola — our favourite childhood crayons creating the brightest nostalgia yet. These brands are all stepping up the fashion and beauty game in the name of the environment and it couldn’t be a better time. Cruelty free and sustainable items are more in demand than ever.

Image: Instagram

Now that the threat of global warming and humans’ effect on the environment is becoming a more spoken about conversation of all ages, it was only a matter of time before more mainstream, accessible brands would act on these issues regarding the fashion industry and its carbon footprint. While there are still brands that still decide to turn blind eyes on the subject, ASOS and Puma joined forces in order to create an affordable, sustainable street style collection to start introducing the word to the younger generations. The collaboration is producing economically friendly menswear and womenswear for us to all shop with a guilt-free conscious. The ‘Sustainability Pack’ debuted a range of t-shirts, hoodies, track pants and more, with the entire collection being created with environmental impact in mind and a promise that each piece possesses a zero-carbon footprint.

Image: Hypebeast

The ASOS X Puma collection is of course made with 100% organic cotton and is crafted in regions that are more local to countries that they’re available in, ensuring that the working conditions are considerably better, having social and environmentally-certified health and safety systems in place. This effectively works to reduce the levels of carbon being discharged in transportation.

Image: Puma Catch Up

This alliance consists with sustainable designs including bold colours to natural tones. From seafoam green hoodies, cream and rainbow crewnecks and old school style printed tees they create smart-casual everyday wear. Those bright colours still don’t cost the environment because all the colours and prints selected to show their fun designs for the collection are free from harmful chemicals, so you can look fab (clearly) and flaunt your support for sustainable practices. There are 40 items in total for you to shop until your debit card drops and I couldn’t be prouder of the way the industry is moving. I can definitely feel a new trend coming out of this.

Image: Twitter

With so much happening at ASOS there’s still no stopping there. Soon after the Puma range dropped, announced was another collaboration with the stationery brand Crayola. This is by far one of the most bazaar alliances in beauty history, but it totally works. The British online retailer and Crayola announced the range was to be stocked on the ASOS Face + Body sector with it all being purely vegan and cruelty free. Crayola made news years ago with their goal to decrease its carbon footprint by using renewable solar and wind energy as its factories go vegan. The new beauty collection offers 58 cosmetic products, including a total of 95 shades, targeting us millennials and generation Z, encouraging buyers to ‘colour outside the lines’. Crayola’s company slogan is, if you remember, ‘Go play’, inspires shoppers to entertain their inner child’s desire to draw, smudge and paint with the products that will be familiar to many of our childhoods. The beauty partnership claims to have the only face crayon product of its kind in the beauty market that can be used to highlight lips, cheeks and eyes, making for a convenient all-in-one product. They also offer 24 shades of stick foundations, mascaras, highlighters and palettes. This is one of the most dynamic and up-to-date ranges to be accessible, supporting all the issues around the world regarding animal rights, global warming and even gender diversity for the range is also gender fluid. All rejoice ASOS and their creative work.

 

Written by: Darcey Weaven

References:
https://www.finder.com.au/puma-asos-collaboration
https://www.livekindly.co/crayola-beauty-launches-95-vegan-and-cruelty-free-shades-in-asos/

The Vegan Community’s Best Kept Secret: Sylvia’s Vegan Cuisine

The options for the plant-based community seems to be rapidly increasing. Veganism is easily the fastest growing movement and choices are becoming more mainstream, accessible and affordable.

Through our thorough investigation, we were able to unravel a compassionate gem amongst our niche! Introducing, Sylvia’s Vegan Cuisine, a boutique vegan catering and meal preparation business based in Perth Western Australia.

We had the pleasure of interviewing the woman behind this cruelty free business:

Why did you start Sylvia’s Vegan Cuisine?
I have been a massive animal lover all my life! I started my own vegan catering company to promote veganism and encourage others to make the change to a plant-based diet or at least eat less dairy, eggs and meat. The most effective way for me to promote change in people’s diet is through delicious food. It’s certainly what gave me the final push into veganism. To eat something delicious, fresh and cruelty free means that as a vegan, you don’t have to miss out on amazing, tasty food. I especially love it when Omni’s eat my food and can’t believe its vegan!

I became a Vegan almost three years ago now and before that, I was a vegetarian for most of my life. It wasn’t until I became vegan that I developed a real passion for food. I became really interested in modifying and altering non-vegan recipes to suit the vegan diet. It’s amazing how you can recreate flavours and textures without using meat, dairy and eggs. Cooking really excites me now and I want to show others how vegan cooking can ignite a passion for food and cooking in them too.

Can you tell us about some of the things Sylvia’s Vegan Cuisine does?
We cater for events and functions, either finger/party food or hot and cold dishes. We also provide individual weekly meals most weekends so people can order lunches and dinners for their week ahead. There are usually two options to choose from. We also provide a volunteer service for events such as the Greener Pastures Animal Sanctuary, who do fundraisers on a regular basis, like Yoga in the Pasture. You get to do morning yoga with the goats and the pigs then we provide a lunch afterwards. GPA are an amazing non-profit organisation run by Rachael Parker who cares for over 150 rescued farm animals. They are always in need to donations and support.

How do you source your amazing recipes?
The internet is a vegan’s best friend! Any recipe, food question, health query or general inquiry associated with veganism is fully covered online…. Just Google! Vegans are very well connected locally, nationally and internationally. I’ve been amazed by this. Bosh has great online recipes and so does Vegan Richa. I scope the odd magazine here and there for recipes and ideas. If I eat something delicious, I’ll ask the cook to share their recipe!

Why is spreading the message of veganism so important?
So many reasons. For me, first and foremost is to stop the suffering, torture, exploitation and death of animals. Animals are someones not somethings. We have a deep connection to all other sentient beings so to do what we are doing to them goes against our true nature as human beings. Also, animal agriculture is literally killing the planet. Health-wise, I think it’s pretty common knowledge now that it’s really not good for us to eat any animal products. We can certainly live wonderful, healthy lives without them.

Who are some of your vegan inspirations?
Every Australian vegan know James Aspey! He is a legend. James has dedicated his whole life to veganism and I really admire and appreciate the work he does. One of my cooking inspirations is Veet from Veet’s Cuisine in Byron Bay. I get to see her when I go on yoga retreat every year or so. She provides the delicious food for us yogis and its always organic, healthy, fresh and delicious. Veets always willing to share recipes and offers me advice and handy tips. There are vegans in my life who are the unsung heroes and inspire me on a daily basis. Rachael Parker who looks after the 150+ animals at Greener Pasturers with a small group of volunteers. One of my best friends, Caitlin Donaldson constantly inspires me. She’s studying law so that one day she can help make positive changes in legislation pertaining to animals. Caitlin also does a lot of volunteer work for places like GPS in her spare time. And then there’s young Alyssa Jade who also does a lot of volunteer work at GPS and helps run Perth Pig Save. Alyssa bravely approaches the pig trucks on their way in to Linley Valley abattoir in protest and to offer solace to the poor pigs.

How can we book you for an event or order one of your weekly lunch orders?
Easy! You can go to our Facebook page and leave a message or email us at info@sylviasvegancuisine.com. Give us a call on 0401 906 869 or visit the website sylviasvegancuisine.com

 

Written by: Krithika Ramnarayan
Images: Krithika Ramnarayan

Cultural Appropriation: The Do’s, Dont’s and Definitions

If you’ve been keeping up with all the fashion madness over the last few years you’re bound to have heard the term ‘cultural appropriation’. You might have seen pictures from Coachella with influencers sporting dreadlocks and cornrows, liked and commented on their posts, and not realised the consequences. Wherever you look, it’s basically a topic that has everyone split which is hard to ignore. No one really seems to fully understand it—big time fashion designers, celebrities and even us average Joes.

Cultural appropriation is defined as ‘the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect their culture’. And while that seems simple enough, in our social media globalised society, the lines between trying to be ‘on trend’ and something that is obviously offensive can be blurry.

Image: Joel Ryan/ Invision/ AP

In recent years, there have been numerous high-profile cases of well-known and respected brands in the industry getting it, well, wrong. Early this year, Gucci was criticised for styling turbans on their models who were not Seik. Many ethnicities declared the move as a huge sign of disrespect, stating that the turban is a symbol of faith and not an accessory. A similar controversy came about back in 2016 after Marc Jacobs used dreadlocks on mainly white models, where the designer stated: “To all who cry cultural appropriation or whatever nonsense about any race or skin colour wearing their hair in any particular style or manner- funny how you don’t criticise women of colour for straightening their hair”. He did later apologise for the debacle and statement he issued realising just how big the issue actually was in the world.

Image: Backgrid

In terms of trends, costumes and fashion, cultural appropriation makes certain styles seem cool and edgy for some, but too ethnic for people for others. Standards of professionalism in many business places actually ban African American women from wearing their natural hair in cornrows, dreadlocks or an afro, making them chose between appearing as they naturally would (as people suggest), or succeeding in their workplace. But influencers such as Kylie Jenner, are somehow praised when they choose to wear cornrows or dreadlocks. This doesn’t sound so fair does it?

The world shared a collective gasp when it was revealed what exactly Chanel’s newest item was a $2000 boomerang featuring their signature logo. People immediately saw the issue with the disgusting appropriation of Aboriginal culture. An Indigenous project officer, Nathan Sentence, of the Australian Museum spoke out about the issue, pointing out that the $2000 boomerang cost almost 10% of the average annual income of Indigenous Australians. Regardless, what can be described as worldwide outrage, the boomerang remained on their website listed under ‘Other Accessories’ amongst Chanel tennis racquets and surfboards.

Image: Twitter

Celebrities have the fan base and influence to really make a change with this growing issue. Some who rely heavily on their fanbases, often do apologise for ignorantly flashing dreadlocks or native headdresses as fashion, and some do the opposite of the right thing. One of them being Jeffree Star, who proudly shared on Instagram him playing, holding, throwing and hoping his ‘other accessory’ would return to him as advertised. As Chanel went on and operated their brand unaffected by the backlash, designers often do go on unscathed, seemingly existing above this level of scrutiny, to only later issuing a simple, sentence, eyeroll apology over social media.

It’s important to pay homage to artistry and ideas, and ultimately acknowledge their origins. Cultural appropriation was at the heart of Met Gala in 2015 when the announced theme was “China: Through the Looking Glass”. This extravagant event for the fashion industry where many expected to be a bombarding overflow for accidental racism. Instead the red carpet showcased some of the most admirable examples of cultural appropriation done right. Rihanna navigated the theme with her bold robe by Guo Pei, a Beijing-based Chinese couturier. The ‘imperial yellow’ worn was a shade reserved for the emperors of ancient Chinese dynasties.

Image: Getty

It’s a minefield out there on whether you are respecting or ripping off a culture but just know that it would be wrong to say that engaging with other people’s cultures is always out of line. There is always a time and a place. Henna has been problematic but getting it done at a special event where you are surrounded by people of the culture, you’re using it as a means to relate them in that environment where nobody can make profit off you wearing or flaunting it. This is appreciating someone’s culture, not mimicking it at Coachella. Angelina Jolie is always visting Pakistan to support the communities, where she is surrounded by women in hijabs, so wearing one herself as a means to fit in and show respect toward the culture.  Being in the appropriate environment, refusing to participate in known traditions can be shown as disrespect and insulting.

The tip to positively reflect cultural appropriation, like Rhi-Rhi did so elegantly at the Met, is to treat a cultural exchange like any other creative collaboration — you must give credit and consider royalties.

 

Written by: Darcey Weaven

References:
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/cultural-appropriation-appreciation-difference-meaning-fashion-examples-chinese-prom-dress-a8332176.html
https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/10/the-dos-and-donts-of-cultural-appropriation/411292/
https://fashionista.com/2015/12/cultural-appropriation-in-2015

Fashion Under Capitalism: Inequality In The Meritocratic Ideal

The fashion industry has been labelled many things – shallow, exploitative, unsustainable, unethical – the list goes on and on. But where do these labels come from, and does fashion truly deserve these names?

In an environment revering limited edition pieces for the price of an arm and leg, it’s no wonder that fashion gets a bad rap. How can the average consumer afford a $500 shirt from Vetements, or a Supreme hoodie at an even higher price point, when that amount could easily feed a family for a month? The show of affluence through fashion has been a practice for centuries, if not since the beginning of fashion itself. And it makes sense; if you have it, why not flaunt it? The underlying problem though, is not this display of wealth, but the glaring inequalities that are showcased through it by the capitalist system it represents.

Image: Reuters / Lucas Jackson 

Although capitalism has mostly been referenced as a political or economic model, it goes without saying that it affects even the most private areas of our lives. Without being consciously aware of it, our values, needs and wants are heavily influenced by capitalist ideals. The emphasis on independence and innovation as drivers for success has given people the hope that they too can change the circumstances of where they began in life. It’s a system awarding an individual’s ability based on merit regardless of their social background, proving that anyone and everyone can ‘make it big’. Finally, all are seen to have equal opportunities, as success is causally linked to hard work and perseverance. This meritocratic ideal has since been idolized, throwing success stories of people going from ‘rags to riches’ into the limelight and praising the underdogs of our century for their relatability. But how equal are our opportunities really?

Image: The Guardian 

The idea of meritocracy is appealing for obvious reasons. To be able to move beyond what we are born into solely by dint of talent and effort gives the illusion of a fair playground for all, and spits in the face of social immobility that prevailed until the 1800’s. But this utopian system of fairness is just another way to disguise inequality, making it acceptable, even praised. Meritocracy disregards certain privileges people are born into, reiterating the idea that if you just worked hard enough, you would be able to get to where you want to be. Jo Littler discussed this topic in her article, saying that, “those who could not draw on existing reservoirs of privilege were told to work harder to catch up.” Not only is the same level of success expected from everyone, but the failure to reach this level is the fault of the individual rather than external factors they can’t control. Merit is undoubtedly manipulated to benefit the wealthy, feeding society with the idea that everyone begins at the same starting line when certain opportunities are only presented to those with privileged backgrounds.

Image: Heroine

This quite obviously permeates into the fashion industry. Our obsession with owning high end fashion pieces began with meritocracy, as it is a symbol of social status, proof that anyone able to indulge in luxury can move up the social ladder. It also legitimises social inequalities by completely disregarding the structural conditions of opportunity. When we hear of the ‘self-made man/woman’ in fashion, they usually revolve around those of the top tier, publicised in a way to perpetuate the illusion of an open society. Not everyone can spring up out of nowhere without a push in the right direction. Knowing the right people and having a pool of resources all contribute to becoming noticed. Of course, talent and hard work makes a big difference and shouldn’t be disregarded, but privilege works much like a stack of dominoes. A little help in the beginning will continue to open up doors of opportunity, always placing those coming from privilege one step ahead of the average person.

Image: Teen Vogue

Take the runway as an example. Gigi and Bella Hadid have exploded all over the media in recent years, seemingly out of the blue. With a mixture of winning the genetic lottery, charisma and hard work, they have become household names and respected models in their own right. However, far from the typical tale of the underdog rising to success, the sisters already came from an affluent background, with a mother previously working in the modelling industry – a definite advantage leading to their success.

Image: Heroine

Then there’s Kendall Jenner, rising to equal fame with the support of her family’s social media reach. It’s obvious that, although these women worked for their coveted positions, they were given opportunities any average person would not have access to. Whilst the modelling world has moved away from aristocratic roots, its portrayal of the down to earth, girl-next-door that anyone can become is a far cry from reality. Picking models who are seemingly normal may appeal to meritocratic values, but it is only a mask for the ingrained elitism still prevalent in fashion, when these models are clearly selected from a homogenous pool of wealthy families.

Image: IMG Model News

The result then, is an overshadowing of less prominent models who have equal potential but are at an obvious disadvantage to those born into wealth. As Martin Lerma says in his article, “There are countless stories they can help tell, campaigns they can front, catwalks they can traverse and young people they can inspire, but fewer and fewer people are interested in developing those nascent talents into professionals.” Fighting for a place in fashion is made so much harder when there’s an identical expectation of success for everyone, in an industry still uninterested in the average individual.

Maybe the meritocratic ideal is not so fair after all.

 

Written by Tiffany Ko

References:
https://www.heroine.com/the-editorial/Model-Meritocracy
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/20/meritocracy-inequality-theresa-may-donald-trump