Fashion, Opinion

Vogue Online Shopping Night – An Ethical Approach


Vogue Online Shopping Night (which is today! 28th October) makes my brain go a bit haywire.  So many brands, so many beautiful brands, with large store-wide discounts that I can shop from the comfort of my couch. Each year more retailers join, with more products to buy, at even greater discounts.

But these wide-scale discount events (think also Click Frenzy or Cyber Monday) have huge potential for wasteful, unconscious buying. How many times have you bought something and said “I’m not sure I even like it, but it was on sale.” This “I only bought it because it’s cheap” mentality drives the consumption of fast fashion and contributes to the disposability of fashion.

BUT I don’t want to be a total Debbie Downer. Shopping can be great. Shopping and getting a bargain can be great. But like any consumption in the 21st century, it’s up to us as shoppers to be informed and make the right decisions. We can’t leave it up to corporations to do what’s right for the planet or for workers, we must educate ourselves and (even though I find this saying lame) “vote with our wallets”.

So with that said, here is how I would go about shopping at VOSN tonight.

Ground Rules

  1. The 30 wear rule. I first read about this in Lucy Siegel’s book To Die For. It’s a simple idea – if you can’t be sure you’re going to wear it 30 times, don’t buy it. That principle should serve you well during tonight’s click-fest.
  2. Revisit your wish list. Rather than scouring through pages and pages of clothes trying to find something you might not like when you wake up tomorrow, check out what you saved in wish lists. If you still love it and crave it as much as you did when you added it, chances are you’re going to wear it 30 times (See rule #1).
  3. Buy less, spend more. VOSN is the perfect excuse to purchase a forever piece. With most brands having storewide discounts, you are able to get a cheaper price for core items that aren’t usually marked down. So avoid seasonal, trend-driven pieces and spend a bit more money on quality basics you will wear again and again. Think organic cotton tees, quality leather shoes (sandals, boots, flats), denim, fine jewellery and simple jersey dresses in block colours or stripes.
  4. Identify your gaps. Buying multiple of the same item is a huge waste of money and a drain on resources. You don’t need 5 pairs of white boyfriend jeans, truly you don’t. Have a flick through your wardrobe and identify a couple of key pieces that will work back with other things you own and breathe life into your daily outfit options. Then invest in that style (see point #4) rather than buying several cheap versions of clothes you already own.


Brands to Shop

Here is a list of brands that I would check out based on personal preference and some research into their ethical credentials. They are not all perfect ethical brands (what brand is??), but they have some credibility, are made in Australia or are accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia.

Holly Ryan – an amazing jewellery designer. Products are designed and made in Queensland. 25% off with code VOSN2015

Ginger and Smart – a registered Ethical Clothing Australia brand. An Australian design staple, great prints. 25% off with code VOSN2015

Manning Cartell – another Ethical Clothing Australia brand. Gorgeous dresses. 20% off with code VOGUE20

Bassike – as the name suggest, they have beautiful basics made mostly from organic cotton and in Australia. 20% off with code bassikexvosn

Gorman – while there are some things about Gorman that don’t stack up ethically (constant influx of product, very seasonal, no ethical accreditations, owned by a fashion conglomerate), they are conscious of sustainability issues and Lisa Gorman has been vocal about this. You can read about how they try and use eco fabrics, swing tags and shop fit-out materials here. 20% off storewide. No code required

Nico Underwear – Made in Brisbane under ethical conditions, using mostly eco fabrics like bamboo and organic cotton. 30% off with code VOSN2015


2 thoughts on “Vogue Online Shopping Night – An Ethical Approach

  1. I really like the rule of thirty idea. My housemate is attempting a capsule wardrobe at the moment and says she finds it very liberating not wading through mountains of clothing in the morning. I am the type of shopper who knows I should just buy a plain t-shirt but ends up with a fuzzy striped crop top that is both too hot to wear in Summer and too cold to wear in Winter!
    I see you have listed a few ECA brands and I was just wandering if you know how R.M Williams has both ECA accreditation and a D- on the Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion guide? That has been confusing me since I first looked at it.
    In other news, I wrote a blog post about the 6 best Australian Ethical Bloggers and you feature! I really enjoy how well researched and analytical your posts are.
    Jess – author of Slave Label
    P.s Do you have a Facebook page or Twitter account?


    • Hi Jess,

      Thank you so much for the feature and the kind words! I don’t have a FB page, but I’m on Twitter as @maddynewman and instagram @ahistoryablog.

      Yeah I need to look more into the ECA brands, I’ve noticed some discrepancies. But then also with the Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion guide, I was surprised to find super cheap, mass produced brands like Cotton On Group score relatively ok. It’s so hard to get a true picture of supply chains because brands are so protective of their manufacturers!


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