Ethical Melbourne labels star in sold out MFW show


A shed under the Bolte bridge was turned into a fashion runway. Photo: Zainah Mertakusuma

The Dockside Runway at MFW 2022 highlighted positive trends toward inclusivity and sustainability in the local fashion scene

October 11 2022: Among the issues the fashion industry grapples with are the ethics and impact of fast fashion, and a history of exclusion (on racial, economic and other grounds). 

Accordingly, sustainability and diversity loomed large over Melbourne Fashion Week (MFW) 2022 – and were themes explored by one event in particular which was labelled the Dockside Runway.

This year’s MFW was the first after the pandemic, as Australia’s most politically progressive city emerged from the lockdowns of yesteryear.

Supported by a Lord Mayor and council keen to bring life back into the city, Shed 21 under the Bolte bridge was transformed into the Dockside Runway, which served as MFW 2022’s contemporary fashion showcase against the backdrop of Melbourne’s skyline.

The sold out event shone a spotlight on local labels like Erik Yvon and Toilé Studios and positioned itself against fast fashion, choosing to focus on the work of sustainable and ethical Melbourne brands like reborn.homie and A.BCH.

In addition the event championed the welcome trend towards inclusivity in fashion, highlighting designs by refugee and migrant creatives from the not-for-profit fashion school The Social Studio.

Diverse models across the different labels took to the catwalk (including plus sized models, BIPOC models, models wearing headscarves, and models using crutches and wheelchairs).

Zainah Mertakusuma is completing a Bachelor of Fashion (Design) at RMIT University