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Model who was horrified by waste in industry launces zero waste fashion boutique without the guilt

While we are all aware of the waste that comes with owning a fast fashion wardrobe, only few do something about it and boycott the buy-now, wear-once culture. 

This is true of Emily Kate Symes. The 32-year-old former model from Sydney was so horrified by the extent of the waste in her industry when she first started out modelling that she took matters into her own hands and decided to do something different.

The result is Eko Luv – Australia’s first zero-waste boutique where you can hire sustainably-sourced dresses and clothing or indulge in your love of It items without the guilt. 

Model Emily Kate Symes (pictured) was horrified by the amount of waste she saw was in the fashion industry while she was overseas – and so she decided to do something about it 

The result is Eko Luv - Australia's first zero-waste boutique where you can hire sustainably-sourced and made dresses and clothing or indulge in your love of It items without the guilt

The result is Eko Luv – Australia’s first zero-waste boutique where you can hire sustainably-sourced and made dresses and clothing or indulge in your love of It items without the guilt

‘I was disturbed to find that the average woman buys around 27kg of clothing per year and throws out about 23kg of that amount,’ Emily told FEMAIL.

‘The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluting industries in the world, as one season’s It dress can quickly become obsolete after the season ends.

‘When I started modelling overseas in 2011, I knew I wanted to do something different.’

'I was disturbed to find that the average woman buys around 27kg of clothing per year and throws out about 23kg of that amount,' Emily (pictured) told FEMAIL

‘I was disturbed to find that the average woman buys around 27kg of clothing per year and throws out about 23kg of that amount,’ Emily (pictured) told FEMAIL

The 32-year-old (pictured) had always been into fashion, but she had also been into op shopping and sustainability and so started sourcing pieces she could put out for hire online

The 32-year-old (pictured outside her boutique) had always been into fashion, but she had also been into op shopping and sustainability and so started sourcing pieces she could put out for hire online

The 32-year-old (pictured) had always been into fashion, but she had also been into op shopping and sustainability and so started sourcing pieces she could put out for hire online

And so she abandoned modelling and put all of her energies into finding some of the country’s ‘best runway fashion from successful Australian and international designers’.

Now, Eko Luv hires out clothing to fashion lovers, thereby reducing people’s carbon footprint – and it also offers only sustainable fashion, whether that’s vegan or cruelty-free fashion, vintage finds or fair trade pieces.

There is also a standalone store in Sydney’s Paddington – which has become Australia’s first zero waste boutique.

Now, Eko Luv hires out clothing to fashion lovers, thereby reducing people's carbon footprint

It also offers only sustainable fashion, whether that's vegan or cruelty-free fashion, vintage finds or fair trade pieces

Now, Eko Luv hires out clothing to fashion lovers, thereby reducing people’s carbon footprint – and it also offers only sustainable fashion, whether that’s vegan or cruelty-free fashion, vintage finds or fair trade pieces

‘I’ve always been into sustainable fashion,’ Emily said. ‘I guess I just wasn’t always that conscious of it.

‘I’ve spent a lot of time with my mother over the years who is very into it. Her wedding dress was $6 from an op shop so I’ve always been keen to hunt down op shop items and not spend hundreds of dollars on clothes.’

Emily said it’s possible for everyone to be a little bit more sustainable too:

‘By hiring a dress, buying second hand or upcycling clothing you can help divert waste from landfill and save the earth of its precious resources. 

‘Not everything you buy needs to be new.’

'By hiring a dress, buying second hand or upcycling clothing you can help divert waste from landfill and save the earth of its precious resources,' Emily (pictured) said

‘By hiring a dress, buying second hand or upcycling clothing you can help divert waste from landfill and save the earth of its precious resources,’ Emily (pictured) said

Among the many virtual rails on Eko Luv are thousands of pre-loved items that are ready for a new temporary home.  

Emily said some of the most popular pieces are from Zimmermann as because it’s such an expensive brand, it ‘makes more sense economically to hire an outfit for a few hours’.

‘We also have the most beautiful cocktail and evening gowns which make the perfect outfits for formals, weddings and black tie events,’ she added.

Speaking about her tips for other women who want to become a little more eco-conscious, the 32-year-old explained it's all about starting off simple

You should analyse your buying habits

Speaking about her tips for other women who want to become a little more eco-conscious, the 32-year-old explained it’s all about starting off simple – you should analyse your buying habits

Speaking about her tips for other women who want to become a little more eco-conscious, the 32-year-old explained it’s all about starting off simple.

‘Take a look at your buying habits and your own individual consumer footprint. Are you buying because you need what you’re buying or are you buying things to have them constantly sit in your wardrobe?’.

Emily recommends decluttering your wardrobe to ‘bring it back down to basics and essential pieces.

‘You can always build your wardrobe from there,’ she said.

Emily subscribes to the 30-wear rule, whereby if you buy something you must wear it 30 times for it to reach its potential.

‘It’s much better to spend more on an item that is tran-seasonal and will last you season after season than that cheap $20 dress that may fall apart in a couple of months,’ she added.

Emily (pictured outside her Paddington boutique) subscribes to the 30-wear rule, whereby if you buy something you must wear it 30 times for it to reach its potential

Emily (pictured outside her Paddington boutique) subscribes to the 30-wear rule, whereby if you buy something you must wear it 30 times for it to reach its potential

Finally, Emily said you should never be afraid to ask the important questions.

‘Who made my clothes? Where and how were they made? And what are they made from? 

‘These questions will help you to identify if you’re buying mindfully with respect for people and the planet,’ she said.

To find out more about Eko Luv, visit the website here. You can also follow Eko Luv on Instagram here



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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