YATU WIDDERS-HUNT

FOUNDER AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS FASHION

Tell us why you are passionate about the Fashion Revolution campaign?

I am passionate about the Fashion Revolution campaign because I believe that the fashion industry has an opportunity to impact more positively on the world around us.  As one of the world’s biggest industries, it has the chance to reflect on how it can contribute to a better future, by embedding environmental considerations in actions, appropriately valuing workforces and addressing some of the world’s biggest social challenges. There are lots of issues that need to be confronted and acted upon by the global community and Fashion Revolution creates a framework, platform and movement for people in the fashion industry to help lead that.

What does sustainable fashion to mean to you?

As an Indigenous Australian, sustainable fashion simply means continuing a 60,000 year tradition of Indigenous design. In our communities, we are born with the responsibility to care for the earth and contribute to our communities and if you look at Indigenous cultures in Australia, you will see incredible examples of how sustainability has been an anchor for design practice for tens of thousands of years. Sustainable fashion to me, really means getting back to our fundamental cultural values and remembering that this is not a new concept, but a continuation of tradition and way of living- in fact, part of the world’s oldest continuing tradition.

How important do you think it is for fashion brands to help tackle poverty and climate change (please explain why/and or how you think this can be achieved)?

I think it’s incredibly important for a couple of reasons. I think brands have a major responsibility and role to play in contributing to the kind of communities we live in. They help to set standards of behaviour, influence values and also drive the way we consume. A lot of big organisations and corporations have also unfortunately contributed to some of the issues we face in the world today so I think it is also their duty to confront and address that.

I also really like to take a strengths based approach to thinking and look to the opportunities for brands to be game changers and leaders. They are in positions of influence and power and actually have positive opportunities to drive practical change.

How important do you think it is for Fashion Brands to share where their garments are made from and the source of the raw materials they use?

As we become more conscious of our individual impacts on the earth and how our consumer behaviour impacts other people, I really think increased transparency helps us to all make better choices and ask more informed questions. This kind of transparency not only helps us drive better behaviour but also helps to set the standard for other industries whether that be food, manufacturing or design industries.

I also just think it’s just a lovely thing to be able to share more about the story of garments because it adds to their social and cultural value and it helps to deepen our connection with our items. A huge part of Indigenous fashion is about storytelling and that’s one of the things I love most about it, so to see that across the board would be amazing.   

Do you have a love story in your wardrobe? If so, what it is?

My biggest wardrobe love story is a piece from Indigenous fashion brand Mainie. It’s a gorgeous silk wrap with a Paper Bark design. I love it because it helps me proudly represent my culture and a really significant part of the Australian story. It’s also an amazing feeling to know that the artwork represents ancient stories that we have an opportunity to share in ways that are contemporary, accessible and fun.

Fashion is one of the ways, I keep culture alive and share it with the world and I think there’s just so much power in that.

What is your favourite MGU style and why?

I love the Granny Knickers! Comfort is my number one priority and I love a good old school, high waisted pair of undies. I love the gorgeous grey colour and they look great paired with a singlet as a matching set.

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