SUSTAINABLE FASHION EDUCATION: Unveiling the beauty of heritage and sustainability

SUSTAINABLE FASHION EDUCATION: Unveiling the beauty of heritage and sustainability

As an advocate for sustainable fashion for the last few years, I have worked on multiple initiatives to promote ethical practices and conscious consumerism within the fashion industry. But one of my proudest moments came to fruition during the Australian Supermodel of the Year Program 2023 in Bali. We created the first-ever sustainable fashion round in any beauty pageant, the “WITH LOVE FROM MUM” round, where the finalists showcased cherished family heirlooms passed down through generations on the grand finale runway. This heartwarming event not only celebrated the beauty of history and heritage but also highlighted the significance of sustainable practices. Today, we will explore the depth of sustainable fashion, dispel prevailing myths and misconceptions, and delve into what we believe are the transformative pillars—local sourcing, local making and local selling—that shape a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry.

The “WITH LOVE FROM MUM” Round: A moment of history

The Australian Supermodel of the Year Program’s 2023 edition will forever be etched in my memory as a milestone for us in sustainability and heritage celebration. Each participant brought forth a cherished outfit that had been lovingly handed down from their mothers, grandmothers and even great-grandmothers, and in one poignant instance, from a great-great-grandmother.

As the girls graced the runway adorned in these timeless pieces, pride and emotion filled the air. The garments became living artefacts weaving stories of generations past and preserving the essence of familial love and history. This powerful moment struck a chord not only with the audience but also with my esteemed friend and collaborator, Bandana Tewari, a prominent fashion journalist and sustainability activist, who was touched to witness the profound impact of these heritage pieces on the young participants.

Disrupting myths about sustainable fashion

The “WITH LOVE FROM MUM” round was not just a beautiful showcase of cherished garments, it was also a powerful statement against the myths and misconceptions surrounding sustainable fashion.

Myth #3: Sustainability is detached from emotion

Often, sustainability is seen as a dry and technical concept detached from emotion and personal connection. However, the “WITH LOVE FROM MUM” round defied this notion, revealing that sustainable fashion is a celebration of history, memories and emotional ties to cherished garments. By fostering an emotional bond between the girls and their heirlooms, the round exemplified how sustainable fashion can transcend mere consumption, becoming a testament to the beauty of heritage and sustainability intertwined.

Myth #4: Sustainable Fashion is only for the elite

Another misconception is that sustainable fashion is a privilege limited to the elite and financially privileged. However, the “WITH LOVE FROM MUM” round shattered this belief, demonstrating that sustainable practices can be deeply ingrained in everyday lives. By showcasing garments handed down through generations, the round reinforced the idea of circular fashion and how conscious consumption can be accessible and empowering for all.

The “WITH LOVE FROM MUM” round at the Australian Supermodel of the Year Program 2023 was not just a display of beautiful garments, it was a testament to the transformative power of sustainable fashion. The experience resonated with participants, audience and industry insiders alike, underscoring the beauty of sustainability and heritage intertwining. By embracing local sourcing, local making and local selling, we can cultivate an industry that preserves history, empowers communities and respects our planet’s resources.

As we continue our journey towards a more ethical and eco-friendly future, let us remember that sustainable fashion is a celebration of history, emotions and conscious choices. Through sustainable fashion education, we can dispel myths, inspire empathy and empower individuals to be agents of positive change. Let us walk hand in hand, fostering a fashion industry that cherishes heritage, celebrates craftsmanship and embraces a brighter, sustainable tomorrow.





XPLAINED is our initiative to share, collaborate, learn and communicate with absolute transparency. The author, Kal Kalim, is a Melbourne based fashion photographer, brand strategist and communication designer who has worked with fashion and lifestyle brands in Europe, Asia and Australia over the last two decades. He believes in the power of authenticity, creativity, originality, kindness and purpose. Purposeful and meaningful communication is at the core of every campaign or collaboration that he likes being a part of. Kal especially loves working with brands & businesses that strengthen local communities and are inspiring the next generation of creators, designers, thinkers and entrepreneurs to be authentic, creative & kind.

Kal also manages an educational & learning-style beauty pageant & modelling academy called ASOTY ( Australian Supermodel of the Year ). ASOTY is focused on helping girls discover their inner beauty and the true supermodel within them. And prepare them for the fashion and beauty industry through relevant coaching & ongoing mentoring. A similar program for men was initiated in India too during the pandemic. CDMTM ( Clothes Don’t Maketh The Man ) is world’s first hybrid program focused on coaching and grooming men towards becoming a better version of themselves. 

Kal loves travelling, and collaborating with people who want to make this world a better place through their word, walk and work.

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Discover India Studios is a collaborative project by Julia Lazareva & Kal Kalim in association with Jeans Corporation Australia & Clarence Models 
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