Hessian Magazine Launch, Brunswick Street Gallery, 322 Brunswick Street Fitzroy Words - Julia Howland

Photos - J Forsyth

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As I've said before, I like cheap stuff. “Cheap thrills” should be the tagline of my twenties. When you're traveling/partying/trying-to-figure-things-out the last thing you're going to do is spend $300 a night at some hotel, probably covered in hundreds of miscellaneous forms of DNA, when you could crash on a sofa or pitch up a tent. I'm reminded of the poignant and timeless question posed by many hip hop artists of our time: Whatchu know 'bout ballin on a budget?

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Well I know a lot. Clearly. However, I am beginning to understand the realms of my life that do require those few extra dollars. A wiser man before me once claimed there are only three things that one must never buy cheap: toilet paper, tomato ketchup and bin liners. An accurate life hack but mildly narrow. As buying local and free range food as become increasingly more popular and widely available, the same sentiments in fashion are finally beginning to gain the same momentum. Or perhaps I've just only now begun to realise it.

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It's taken me a while to come to terms with the fact that even though I'm broke, it doesn't make it ok to give into the harsh world of child labour and environmental strife that the monopolised fashion industry has created.

And to be honest, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Ok, you can blame me, I've shopped at H&M a lot.

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So now lets redeem ourselves and buy those wonderfully crafted bits and bobs that are made in Australia on ethical terms.

Don't know where to look? Don't worry babes, I got you covered. Or at least the ladies at Hessian Magazine do because thats where I'm looking these days for all things beautiful and locally made.

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Violet Snow has developed a wonderfully approachable concept: ethical without being boring. Her magazine showcases some of the most pristinely designed fashion without forcing feminism or harsh veganism down your throat. She and her go-to lady Grace Easton describe their philosophy in a very simplistic way, in that one shouldn’t focus on buying fair trade/local because its fair trade/local, instead we should buy from these brands because they are in fact what we want as a product, but we simply didn't know they existed. And hopefully through this shift of the subconscious, the notion of “sustainable consumerism” will simply become “consumerism.”

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Anyway, they say it a lot better than I do. And to be honest, most of the brands they promote aren't any more expensive then going to one of those horrible shops on Bridge Road. So check it out.

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