We sat down with Brittanie Dreghorn from Britts List an online fashion publication dedicated to telling the stories of ethical and sustainable Australian and New Zealand fashion brands! We’ve long been a reader and we sat down with Britt to find out how she started, and what her predictions are for the fashion industry:
Where are you based? Brisbane, but I’m from Mackay, Qld
How old are you? I’m 25 (26 later this month!)
Favourite thing to do on the weekend? Read, write in my diary, go to the markets, go for hikes, have brunch with friends, chill at home with my partner.
Your favourite ethical brands both locally and overseas? The brands I buy the most from are Kuwaii and Veronika Maine. But there’s many more that I love. I try to only buy from Australian and NZ brands these days as it’s what I’m promoting and there’s just so much local talent I don’t feel the need to go offshore.
What music do you listen to when working? There’s a great Spotify Playlist called The Office Stereo which is practically always on in my office. It’s pretty chilled vibes, Triple J music. When we get sick of that I put on an epic mix of 70s and 80s tunes.
What piqued your interest in sustainable fashion? I think I’ve always been interested in sustainability and challenging myself and others to do better. I’m an extremely empathic person so when I found out that clothes aren’t always ethically made, I started to ask questions and look more into the industry. Saying that, I was already kind of into sustainability because we didn’t have much as kids. My Dad used to take me op shopping and I had some really nice thrifted clothes when I was 17/18/19 which none of my friends were really into. After that I started to attract more people who were eco conscious and a bit more educated in the scene then I was. I learnt a lot from colleagues along the way and it all pushed me along this path to consume less.
When did you start Britts list? I started Britt’s List in September 2017 after procrastinating for a really long time. I knew I wanted to do something like it but I didn’t want to add to the noise (lots of existing eco blogs). I wanted to do something truly helpful that educated shoppers about the issues in the fashion industry while promoting brands that are doing the right thing by their people and the planet. I decided my niche would be to focus on home grown talent (Aus & Nz) and to tell the warts and all stories of running sustainable fashion brands, because I know for sure that it’s not the easy option for designers.
What were you doing before you started Britts list? Procrastinating a lot probably haha!
Is this a side hustle or your main gig? If so, what do you do when you aren’t doing Britts list? This is a side hustle, which I’m hoping to incorporate into my main hustle. Along with my business partner, I run a content marketing agency in Brisbane called The Content Division. The plan is that eventually Britt’s List will be sponsored by value aligned brands so the platform itself becomes sustainable for me to keep running. At the moment it’s just me doing everything in my “spare” time (read weekends, week nights, and in my down time at work).
Have you seen any significant changes to sustainable fashion in the last few years? If so, what? Definitely. Sustainably produced fashion options have increased dramatically for a start. When I first started looking for ethically made clothes, my options were quite slim. These days you can buy everything (including bras and undies) ethically made and for a reasonable price too. As far as industry innovation goes, there’s so much happening. Brands are being really forward thinking and looking to make their labels zero waste or circular, they’re removing processes that are damaging to people and the planet, and they’re looking for ways to reduce water. The industry is moving quite quickly and it’s exciting to be a part of it.
What are the current trends in sustainable fashion? Circularity in the production model is definitely a buzzword at the moment (circular economy, circular fashion, closed loop production). For those who are unaware, the closed loop model is a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling. This is in contrast to a linear economy which is a ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production. Another trend is designing for changing body shapes/sizes – designs like wrap dresses and multiple buttons for changing sizes. Brands are doing this to attempt to extend the longevity of an item in our wardrobes.
What guidance would you give someone just starting on their journey of buying more ethically minded fashion? Take your time. The most important part of building a sustainable wardrobe is consciously buying the things you need. You should have a running list of the garments you want to buy and consider what brands you want to support before you buy anything. Shopping becomes a much more proactive action when you’re looking for ethically made goods that meet your needs. There’s no room for quick, reactive purchases.
Do you think sustainable fashion will become mainstream? If so, how? I really, really hope so, but not if it’s up to consumers alone to make sure of it. Getting women out of poverty and saving the planet is the job of shoppers, brands, industry bodies and governments all working together.