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How to ditch fast fashion for good [and save money]

October 3, 2021 · Life Style

If you’re like a lot of people out there, you are ready to throw fast fashion on the scrap heap or at least have an appetite to explore that further.


We saw a stat on @citizen_wolf [a fantastic Australian-made ethical t-shirt brand] that 1 in 5 people have now started shopping more ethically and sustainably since the pandemic began. This is fantastic news, and the beginning of a new, beautiful movement in fashion. That’s 1 in 5 people who have said no to the slave labour, destroying the environment and animal cruelty of fast fashion.

However, for real change to occur, we need to see more people making the transition. And, if we don’t, we have all seen the reports that detail the environmental devastation we are likely to see in as little as 10 years. So, yesterday was the best time to start making a shift in how we consume.

Of course, educating people about the issues that exist and how their clothes are really made is part of the solution. But, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that most people already know about this.

As we see it, the next step is helping people to make that leap. Because for some of us we know it’s important we take this step, but we feel it’s a loss to us.

We do not want to discount those feelings. Fashion is deeply emotional. It’s a representation of ourselves. And, with every piece we shop, we satisfy a need within us. It becomes part of us. So, the brands and pieces we regularly shop become very personal to us.

There are many reasons people may continue with their same shopping habits (and there may be more, so please feel free to share with us!):

  1. They think that by buying less, but higher quality, they are still losing. Our brain loves to equate quantity with more, and better. Fast fashion brands play on this. The truth is, you’re only gaining by buying less, but better quality.
  2. They think it’s unaffordable. Fast fashion has trained us that clothes need to be frequently replaced at high volumes. The truth is, if they are fast fashion, they do need to be replaced. However, if you are buying true quality pieces, they will last. You will not need to consume at the same rate and they will go further for you – this will actually save you money.
  3. They don’t know where to start. It seems overwhelming and hard. We will help you with this.
  4. Shopping fast fashion is convenient. Trust us when we say, only in this very moment right here. Only at the point of purchase. It’s inconvenient in every other way, including how often you have to throw out and keep shopping, and how it’s destroying our environment, well-being, jobs and community. Once you get yourself going on the new way, you will realise how exhausting the old way is!

So now we know that you are not losing, it’s not unaffordable, it’s easy to start AND it’s more convenient, let’s talk about how to transition to buying more ethically and sustainably.

The Theia Dress.

Firstly, please focus on progress, not perfection.

Replacing an entire wardrobe in one go could be the most fun and exciting thing you can think of OR it can seem completely overwhelming. If you’re the former, great go for gold and enjoy every moment of it. If you’re the latter, please understand that you do not need to be perfect at this or do everything at once. Part of a transition is experimentation. Focus on replacing your wardrobe one quality piece at a time, try out new brands, try out new looks, don’t be afraid if you don’t get it perfect the first time. You are learning. Once you get a handle on it and you look into your wardrobe with love and excitement instead of shame, you will realise it’s the best thing you’ve ever done.

Also, if you really love a particular brand but you know it’s not as sustainable as you’d like, you don’t necessarily have to ditch it altogether. Just shop it less, and shop quality, ethical, sustainable brands more. Think of it as treating yourself to a little chocolate every now and again.

Do your research.

This can seem like a lot of hard work upfront, but do your research to find those little niche brands. Part of their appeal is that not everyone is wearing them, so it can take a little longer to find. Trust us when we say once you find them, you’ll never want to let them go though. Search Google, Instagram, ask around for recommendations, read websites. There is a lot of greenwashing going on. Avoid buying from places that manufacture in areas known for human rights abuses. Focus on those who don’t mass produce, and even have made to order models. Yes, you will have to wait a short time longer for your piece, but you can wear it in confidence that you’re being a great global citizen.

If a brand is not upfront with their manufacturing practices, avoid them like the plague. There is a reason they are trying to divert your attention away from that.

Look for transeasonal, timeless pieces.

Sometimes it’s fun to buy something a little on trend so don’t be afraid to do that every now and again. But for the most part, focus on transeasonal, timeless pieces that will never age and last generations. These are pieces you can wear for summer, layer for winter and style for Spring and fall. It’s amazing how different an outfit can look with styling as you take it through the year. It also means it’s always on trend because it’s timeless.

When it comes to kids clothes, high quality brands will last through multiple kids and still be beautiful enough to be packed away in their treasure boxes for if they have children of their own. You just can’t beat that!

Define what ethical and sustainable means to you.

While there are some blanket decisions you may make in order to shop more ethically (for example, vegan leather), please avoid fabrics you don’t love. For example, linen. If you hate the crinkle, and the ironing, don’t buy it just because it’s more ‘sustainable.’ It becomes very unsustainable if you don’t wear it because it annoys you. Sometimes it takes thinking outside the box to work out what sustainable means in your individual context. Instead, you might prefer cotton, or a cotton blend. And sometimes, pieces with a little polyester can hold their shape better and last longer. Yes, we need to consider what our pieces are made from, but we also need to consider how often we will wear and love them. The latter can also make them more sustainable.

We do believe that how we shop will become a reflection of our social reputation and part of our role in being a good citizen. The best time to start is now so you’re not left behind.

That wraps up our tips for how to begin your journey to ditch fast fashion. If you have any others, please feel free to comment on this blog, we’d love to hear them!

Happy shopping!

FOLLOW OUR DIARY @officialstellaphoenix




Purchasing and Returns Info

By providing your email address during the order process you are consenting to us contacting you about your order. This includes updating you on the progress of your order, contacting to resolve issues with your order or following up with you if your order is incomplete.

Please choose your purchases carefully as Stella Phoenix does not accept returns or issue refunds for change of mind, natural wear and tear or incorrect sizing. 

We provide a comprehensive size chart on our website to help you choose the correct sizing. Please refer to our size chart prior to making a purchase as we are unable to exchange sizes due to limited stock availability.

Stella Phoenix takes reasonable steps to ensure that the products we supply correspond closely to the samples and images on our website, social media and in our lookbooks. Due to variations in production runs, computer monitors, device screens, printing colour differences and natural imperfections in fabrics (especially natural fibres) there may be slight variations in colour, embellishment, pattern or construction from time to time. Stella Phoenix is not liable for these differences and will not accept returns on this basis.

Stella Phoenix has stringent quality control processes to ensure the quality of our products, including two separate quality control checks. It’s therefore highly unlikely for a customer to receive a faulty product. It is your responsibility to check the product immediately upon delivery, but in any case within at least 30 days, and advise us of any faults or damage so that we can resolve the issue for you. 

If you have received a Product with a fault, damage or defect, please contact us immediately at [email protected] and provide evidence of the fault, damage or defect along with proof of purchase.

The faulty Product must be returned to us prior to us processing your exchange or refund. 

To return the Product to us, please arrange to post the Product to us by registered post so that the Product can be tracked. In the event the Product is deemed to be faulty, damaged or defective, we will refund your return postage costs, so please keep your receipts. We won’t refund return postage costs of products that aren’t faulty, damaged or defective.

If the Product is confirmed to have a major fault, we will repair (if possible), exchange or provide a refund for the Product to your original payment method, as elected by you. 

If the Product has a minor fault, we will offer a store credit if a replacement is not available due to stock limitations or a full refund at our discretion.

Please allow up to 10 days for the refund or exchange to be processed.

Nothing in this clause is intended to exclude any of your statutory rights as a consumer under Australian Consumer Law.

While it is always our aim to minimise impact to customers, given the unprecedented impact of Coronavirus, there have been some temporary service interruptions to our business (like with many other businesses).

Stella Phoenix has stringent quality control and safety practices to keep our staff, contractors and customers as safe as possible. COVID-19 has affected our business in a number of ways, including fabric shortages, supply chain issues, limitations on business activities such as photoshoots, participation in fashion shows and other events, manufacturing and also worldwide shipping delays and
cancellations. COVID-19 has caused a global reduction in flights. Subsequently, all locations are likely to have shipping delays, including express post in Australia. We ask customers to factor in potential delays when they place their order and to understand we cannot guarantee usual shipping times. We are also unable to guarantee an item will arrive on or before Christmas Day.

In addition, in the current climate, shipping routes are subject to be cancelled by postal carriers and couriers due to COVID related challenges without notice. Customers who order from destinations where shipping routes are cancelled will have their items made and securely held by us until these shipping routes re-open. We will keep you updated on developments.

Despite the significant increase in shipping costs, we will continue to cover shipping on full-priced statement pieces over AUD$129 as an ordinary part of shopping with us. Please note our free shipping policy does not apply to items on sale, or during sale events. This policy is subject to change.

We thank all of our customers for their continued understanding and support while we do our best to continue to serve you during this time while managing a fluid and often ambiguous global climate.

Made-to-order is the future of fashion. Ethical and sustainable fashion is good for humanity, the environment, local jobs and our global communities. In line with these values, Stella Phoenix is now only releasing items for purchase via made-to-order whereby a customer submits their order and payment, and Stella Phoenix will subsequently make the ordered item/s. Stella Phoenix will provide an estimated timeframe for your items to be manufactured [which is currently 10 business days from the date we receive your order] and shipped, however we cannot guarantee manufacturing or shipping timeframes and have no liability for such delays. Please note: an order is not considered received until we have confirmed it via email and received payment. We may, from time to time, release samples, or other ready made items, at our discretion, where it doesn’t compromise our values.

All garments have a care label and care instructions are also available on our website. Customers are responsible for following the care instructions correctly. Stella Phoenix will not accept return of items where damage has occurred due to incorrect cleaning or care.


Stella Phoenix generously provides free express shipping on all orders delivered within Australia totalling more than AUD $129. For orders totalling less than this amount, a flat rate will apply and are subject to change in line with shipping costs. The flat rate applicable to your destination will be calculated at the check out. Please note that our free shipping policy does not apply to items on sale, or during sale events. This policy is subject to change at our discretion.


Stella Phoenix generously provides free standard shipping on USA and Rest of World orders totalling more than AUD $129. Please note that our free shipping policy does not apply to items on sale, or during sale events. This policy is subject to change at our discretion.

For orders totalling less than this amount, flat rates will apply and are subject to change in line with shipping costs. The flat rate applicable to your destination will be calculated at the checkout.

Rest of World: AUD $25

Stella Phoenix uses third party courier companies and mail carriers to deliver customer orders. Each company has their own terms, conditions and processes which are outside of our control. Parcels are delivered according to the terms and conditions of the selected courier or carrier. Stella Phoenix is only responsible for your parcel up until the point it leaves our physical care. All risk in the Product shall pass to you upon delivery.

It is your responsibility to take care when opening the Product or packaging so as not to damage it. From the time when risk passes to you, we will not be liable for loss or damage to the Product except as otherwise provided below.

A person must be available at the specified shipping address to sign for delivery. If the courier company allows, you may grant them authority to leave the Product at a designated area (for example, at the front door) when placing your order. If you do, you understand and agree that this authority gives us and/or our couriers permission to leave the Product unattended at the place specified by you without obtaining a signature confirming delivery. In such circumstances, you understand and agree that by granting authority to leave the Products, we and our couriers are released of all responsibility and liability for the Products delivered and left unattended, and that this responsibility and liability transfers to you upon delivery.

Customers will receive an email confirming who is managing the delivery of their order, along with a tracking number. If your parcel does not arrive as expected, your first port of call is to contact the courier company or mail carrier, quoting your tracking number. If unresolved to your satisfaction, please make contact with us as a second step.

Stella Phoenix is not liable for delays or failure in delivery for circumstances that are outside our reasonable control (including third party policies and processes). For example, error or omission by courier companies/mail carriers or customs/importation processes. We are also not liable for delivery issues associated with limited access to the property or inaccurate/incomplete contact/address information provided by customers.

Delivery timeframes:

Delivery timeframes are approximate and provided as a guide only. Actual delivery times will depend on the courier service and your location.

We estimate our orders will be made in 10 business days from the date we receive your order. It will be packed and shipped by us within 1-2 business days of receiving the finished item/s from our sewing team.


We use Express post. Once shipped, please allow 1-3 days for Australia Post to deliver your order.

Rest of World

International deliveries will be sent via DHL and may take 7-14 business days depending on where you are located.

We recommend our customers make adequate time allowances for shipping delays when ordering to avoid disappointment. If your order is urgent, please email us at [email protected] prior to ordering.

The order price does not include or cover any applicable importation charges, taxes and duties for customers in the country where the order is to be delivered. The customer is responsible for such taxes and duties. Stella Phoenix has no control over customs or importation processes specific to each destination. We are not liable for customs delays or non-delivery of items due to customs policies and processes.

We reserve the right to refuse any order placed with us for any reason, at our sole discretion.
Only approved Stella Phoenix wholesalers are permitted to wholesale our product.
All orders placed with Stella Phoenix are for domestic use and products must not be resold unless previously organised.

Any retailer interested in wholesaling Stella Phoenix pieces is required to fill out a Wholesale Application Form.

Approved retailers will be required to sign a Stella Phoenix Wholesale Agreement. All terms and conditions pertaining to our wholesale relationship will be as per this agreement.

Please note that minimum order amounts apply and product must be paid for upfront. Stella Phoenix does not wholesale on consignment. For drop shipping arrangements, product must be paid for upfront and a quarterly warehousing management fee applies.

If retailers wish to avoid this fee, it is recommended they ship the product upon purchase and manage their own warehousing.

Stella Phoenix may decline a Wholesale Application, for any reason, at our discretion. We reserve the right to revoke our Wholesale Agreement at any time, for any reason.

This contract is governed by the laws of Queensland, Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia and such other laws which are applicable in the country where the consumer is resident.

Stella Phoenix puts a lot of effort into providing a personalised service to our customers. If you have any questions or feedback please email us at [email protected] as we love hearing from you.

Please also email us if you have a complaint. We will endeavour to respond to your complaint within 5 business days of acknowledging our receipt of it. If you submit a complaint and do not receive a written acknowledgement, please contact us again to double check it has been received.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our customer service and will make every reasonable attempt to resolve a problem or complaint to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.

In the event that you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may refer the complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

From 2019 onwards, all new Stella Phoenix pieces come with a certificate of authenticity. Each certificate will have a tracking number and other security features to prevent certificate fraud. If you receive your new item without a certificate of authenticity, or you suspect you’ve received a fraudulent item and certificate, please email us immediately at [email protected]

Please note that any suspected copy or fraud of our products, certificates, branding or IP will be referred to law enforcement agencies and vigorously pursued.

Please ensure you keep your certificate safe. If you decide to apply to ‘sell back’ your items in our pre-loved program, you will be required to provide it.

Stella Phoenix may choose to offer samples for sale at a discounted price. These items may have been worn and may also have minor faults or defects. The known faults or defects will be disclosed to the customer prior to purchase, however the customer accepts that there may be other faults or defects unknown to us. The customer purchases the product knowing it may not present or perform to the standard of a new, full priced garment. Stella Phoenix is not liable for the faults and defects on sample items and will not accept returns.

Please note that any third-party website or platform advertising discount codes for Stella Phoenix are not authorised by us, nor will be honoured.

Stella Phoenix cares first and foremost about the safety and wellbeing of our little customers. We therefore have stringent safety practices that we implement in our design. Our pieces undergo stringent quality control before being shipped to customers. This safety warning is a friendly reminder for parents, guardians and supervising adults.

Our pieces may contain small parts, including but not limited to sewn-in buttons, removable buttons, studs, sequins, beads, appliqués and other embellishments that may present a choking hazard to babies and small children.

Stella Phoenix Gift Certificates are valid for a period of 3 years and expire either on the expiration date as specified on the certificate, or in the case that the company ceases to trade or goes into liquidation.

Gift Certificates are not transferrable for cash, must be spent before the expiration date and are non refundable.

The Gift Recipient is non transferrable.

In instances where the purchase total is less than the Gift Certificate amount, no change will be given.

To redeem a Gift Certificate, customers must use the unique one time code on their certificate at the check out. Gift Certificates cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or discounts.

In instances whereby Stella Phoenix suspects Gift Certificate fraud, the order will not be honoured, at our discretion.

If a customer submits a PayPal claim (or other third party payment provider claim) for a refund and that refund is awarded by PayPal or the other third party, the customer has 7 days to return the relevant item/s to Stella Phoenix at their own expense.

If the item is not returned within the specified timeframe, is lost or otherwise not received, without valid reason, Stella Phoenix will vigorously pursue criminal charges with law enforcement for stolen goods at our sole discretion.