By Nicolletta De Gennaro
A distaste for the wasteful fast fashion industry has been the driving force behind a Perth university students new online fashion label.
20 year-old Aimee Kilpa is the creator behind the Mafia Collection.
Her passion for human rights, the environment and fashion drove her to create a label that embodied her own values by making eco-friendly, ethical and high quality garments.
“My issue with the fast fashion industry is the low wages of international workers in sweatshops, slaving away on pieces that are eventually wasted after a few wears, as well as the impact this wastage has on the environment,” she said.
In Australia, 85% of textiles are sent to landfill. And because they commonly use synthetic fibres, that are derived from petroleum, it makes it almost impossible for these clothing items to breakdown.
Kilpa believes that fashion is a globalised industry that has had an astronomical impact on both the environment and sweatshop workers worldwide. Because of this she wants to change the way women view fashion and wants her products to show the power of reusability and recycling.
Fremantle Oxfam store manager Cornelia Schmidt, believes it’s important to empower women worldwide and stand together against the popular fashion companies that pay their workers as little as 39 cents an hour in countries like Bangladesh.
“Our goal is to both support and empower women to lift out of poverty, while getting larger companies to pledge to work towards offering liveable wages for these women,” she said.
This inspired Kilpa to create her fashion pieces from home, sourcing quality, ethical and eco-friendly fabrics from around the world.
All of her items are designed so that consumers can wear each item two or three different ways, embodying her beliefs that less is more and reducing the need for consumers to constantly buy new items in order to not “outfit repeat”.
“The Mafia Collection is just a small step to less wastage and more appreciation for design structure,” she said.
Kilpa’s love for fashion and the intricacies of design are something she wishes to share with young women around the world. She wants to prove to them that quality, fair-trade, eco-friendly products can be just as fashionable as products within today’s high-fashion market.