MEJ Masthead

We’ve become Fashionably Numb

Bronwen Stead

I have loved fashion for as long as I can remember.

As a child and teenager, I recall certain items that I lusted after fiercely (hello tensile denim jeans), some things I wore to death (RIP Stussy overalls) and others that were acquisitions that never even made it into medium rotation (such as the silver Doc Martins I never managed to break in). Then as a uni student working in retail, it was literally mandatory to constantly consume – to regularly purchase and wear new, even if last season’s items were still in perfectly good condition.

My love for fashion continues to this day, and while my personal style continues to evolve due to certain influences (my mother’s voice in my ear), it has had to adapt and align with other passions and priorities in my life.

As a society, I believe we are becoming more aware of the ethics (or lack thereof) of the fashion industry, which impact on our consumer behaviour. These days, op shopping is socially acceptable at any age and stage – personally, I find it even more joyful. You have no guarantee of what you might find (if anything at all) but when you do find that item that fits you perfectly, fills a need in your wardrobe, is a fraction of the price you would pay for new AND saves another item of clothing from landfill, well, those good vibes are pretty special.

Increasingly, it’s more appealing to purchase an individual, unique piece – be it from a local designer, a second hand store or swap find – than to have a new dress that you risk seeing four other women wearing at any given event. Beyond our inward-focused desire to be able to express ourselves through fashion, we also want to know about the origins of our purchase and increasingly, consumers are voting with their wallets and purchasing more sustainably.


However, when we think of ethical and sustainable fashion, some of us still picture a dull hemp sack type dress which, while being good for the earth, might do little for our personal expression or experience in wearing it (note: if the plain hemp sack dress if your style, rock on sister – you do you). But this perspective is not only outdated – it is simply no longer even true.

There will be no better demonstration of how far sustainable and ethical fashion has come than at the inaugural Fashionably Numb Twilight Ethical Fashion Market. The market will be an opportunity to meet the designers behind the pieces, shake the hand that has stitched the seams and potentially be inspired to invite in some new items to your own collection. As well as the opportunity to increase your wardrobe, there will also the opportunity to increase your knowledge by attending a ticketed Fashion Panel that will discuss the latest in sustainable and ethical practices in design.

Free with purchase will be the good vibes of knowing you have made a socially responsible decision and indicated to the broader fashion industry that you care about the origins of your fashion.

As consumers, we have untold power to persuade companies to adopt more ethical and sustainable practices in their production. I invite you to vote with your feet and attend Fashionably Numb and am sure you will be tempted to follow up with a vote from your wallet.

the essentials

What: Fashionably Numb
Where: The Dairy Road Precinct
When: Saturday 11 November

TWILIGHT ETHICAL FASHION MARKET: 2pm – 530pm (Open to the public, free entry)

SUSTAINABLE FASHION PANEL EVENT: 6pm- 9pm (tTcketed event) Tickets via TicketTailor


To celebrate the launch of Fashionably Numb you can win a weekend of ethical fashion, design style, art and luxury including:

  • A two night stay at Hotel Hotel in NewActon
  • 2 x VIP tickets to the Fashionably Numb industry panel event
  • Exclusive invite for two to the opening of the Design Canberra Festival 2017
  • A style session with The Fashion Vault
  • A gift voucher from ethical designer label Pure Pod

All you have to do is go to @fashionably_numb_au and @hotel_hotel on Instagram to find out how to enter!

Bronwen Stead

Bronwen loves to celebrate life and all things Canberra, which is why she is passionate about writing for HerCanberra and promoting the amazing people and activities that Canberra contains. She is a mother, wife and a creative with a passion for wellbeing and health. More about the Author

Cartier – Open Now – Leaderboard