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Name: Sian Murray
Occupation: Creative Director and Co-Founder of Pleasant State
Where were you born? What is your heritage?
I was born in Melbourne, Naarm, Australia. I spent most of my life there until I moved to Noosa, Gubbi Gubbi land three years ago. I descended from European settlers and migrants.
Tell us a little bit about what you do?
I’m one of the co-founders of Pleasant State, an Australian start up that’s looking to help forward thinking people switch to healthy, zero-waste and effective just-add-water cleaning and personal care products. I’m an advocate for adventure, conscious living and creative endeavours. I’m passionate about the environment and believe that we exist in a pivotal time in which it’s our responsibility to protect and change the way we interact with the planet.
What does the Fashion Revolution movement mean to you personally?
To me fashion isn’t about the latest trends and big-name brands. It’s about finding yourself and using what you wear to display it proudly. The fashion industry tries to convince us that we need the latest in order to be valid, to be valued. We’re trained to be so worried about becoming outdated that we make purchase after purchase. When instead, the focus should be identifying our value, and using timeless fashion to embellish it. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, but the power still lies with the individual. One small change, one small suggestion or op shop visit instead of an online shop can have a massive roll on effect. The Fashion Revolution is just one example of a full-scale revolution towards protecting people and planet that is going on all around us.
This year's Fashion Revolution theme is all about fashion, money, power - do you think the fashion industry has a positive or negative impact on international power dynamics? Why?
The fashion industry is consuming global resources at an unsustainable rate. Taking more from people and the planet than it ever has before. The industry contributes massively to Greenhouse gas emissions, but it also comes at a human cost. Textile workers, who are predominantly women, are paid unfair wages, working long hours in horrible conditions. I believe this has a huge impact on international power dynamics. This kind of work continues to marginalise women across the globe, women in already disadvantaged nations. The western world spits out fast fashion, we consume it at an unsustainable rate and then throw it out. The equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second. And we know that dealing with waste has been a struggle for Australia, recently playing into international power dynamics between Australia and China.
How do you think we could harness the fashion industry to have a fairer and more balanced global economy?
To start with, the culture of over consumption needs to be stopped. I’m not sure this can come from big business though. That kind of shift needs to come from the people. We need to start holding businesses accountable for the products they create. Stop buying products made with plastic fibres, microplastics are a huge issue. A recent study found microplastics in human blood! The effects of this are largely unknown and research is being conducted but we do know it can’t be good! To help businesses move away from these fabrics customers need to ask them to be better. Send a DM to your favourite brand and ask them about it, see what they say!
By forcing the fashion industry to slow down, my hope is that the obsession with huge profits at all costs should hopefully subside and textile workers can work in better conditions with fair pay. To help drive this it’s important to understand where and how your clothes are made and factor this into your purchasing decisions.
What do you normally wear every day?
Living on the Sunny Coast means calls for light breathable fabrics, flowy dresses and playsuits. I’m six feet tall and long limbed so I love a short loose fitting dress paired with my chunky vegan Doc Martin boots.
What is your favourite piece in your wardrobe?
A loose fitting Gingham Dress with oversized buttons at the front that I picked up at a Vintage store.
Do you have any favourite sustainable brands, or favourite second hand shops?
My go to brands at the moment are Afends and Opia Byron Bay. There’s also an amazing vintage shop in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland called Collective Haus.
Do you have a style icon?
Any woman wearing what she loves with a bad ass attitude.
What is your favourite style of Mighty Good Basics?
The Granny Knicker, 100%! All about that comfort and coverage in case the wind catches my dress!