For founder of The Reform Store, Lara Tome, the inspiration to launch an online marketplace was based on a simple frustration. One that more and more Australians share.
“I was frustrated with big supermarkets not banning the plastic bag. It’s not just on the consumer to educate themselves on sustainability, the major power lies with big brands and retailers. If they implement change, it becomes easier for the rest of us to follow,” Lara says.
After working in the retail and wholesale industry in product development, design and sales for 12 years, Lara has a deep understanding of the role brands need to play in changing consumer purchasing habits.
“I felt like there just wasn’t a site out there doing a good enough job at making it easy for consumers to find accessible brands with ethical and sustainable practices,” Lara says.
“So I created The Reform Store.”
The Reform Store difference
Unlike many online stores, The Reform Store has a strict policy on the brands it features. It only partners with brands who share its values, through thoughtful designs made with ethical and sustainable production processes.
It makes guilt-free shopping easy by finding and curating products that are made with a conscience, from a range of brands that are involved in the slow fashion movement. This means less markdowns and overproduction, more good quality materials and a longer life cycle for the products.
“Our brands need to meet one or more of our Reforms; Australian Made, Australian Owned, Ethical, Sustainable, Made To Order, Vegan and Gives Back,” Lara says.
“Currently all of our brands meet at least two of these and all of our Australian Owned brands are taking the right steps by ensuring BSCI audits are in place, that they are familiar with their factories, are using sustainable materials, and are affiliated with a charity partner.”
The Reform Store places a particular focus on Australian made and owned brands.
“We really want to promote our home grown talent,” Lara says.
“The great thing about buying from Australian made brands is they are generally higher in quality and more often than not made in smaller runs.
“We also have a small number of international brands like SuperGa Organics collection, Teva Vegan Sandals and Cecilie Copenhagen Linen Trans-Seasonal Fashion.”
Versatile design is another key factor for The Reform Store.
“We choose to partner with fashion brands that take a trans-seasonal approach to their designs. This could be by designing styles that can be worn in all seasons and by using sustainable materials that adapt to the season like linen, certified organic cotton or Tencel,” Lara says.
“I’m really proud of the brands we are working with and showcasing.”
Practice what you preach
Lara says The Reform Store takes a number of steps to minimise its own environmental impact.
In particular, the brand only delivers with carbon-neutral couriers, opts for Heaps Good Packaging to ship in biodegradable and waterproof satchels, and proudly partners with 1% For the Planet, where it gives directly to highly vetted, non-profit environmental organisations.
In addition, Lara says no plastic is used in any packaging. Any soft plastics that are sent to The Reform Store are collected and disposed of at its local REDcycle program.
Changes you can make
The Reform Store targets online consumers who have thought about shopping more sustainably but aren’t exactly sure what that means or how to do so.
The store’s key demographic is women aged from 24-40 who are shopping for themselves and their families, and Lara says “it’s not as hard as you might think” for those consumers to do better in their fashion purchases.
“Like anything in life, awareness the key. Be aware of what and how you’re consuming and make those small changes that can really go a long way,” Lara says.
If you’re new to the slow fashion scene, Lara has shared a few simple steps you can take to start your journey into this world.
- Replace your plastic bags with reusable cotton bags. This goes for produce bags as well.
- Skip the takeaway coffee if you don’t have a reusable cup. Know that cafes are offering contactless pours to accommodate this in COVID-19.
- Replace your soaps with soap bars using recycled packaging.
- Be prepared to spend a little more and get something that’s better quality.
“We are on a mission to help consumers try to unlearn the predisposition of ‘new is good’. Instead, get back to the basics in your wardrobe and shop trans-seasonally as much as you can,” Lara says.
“The Reform Store wants you to fall in love with quality clothes and be proud to wear them again and again.”
Britt’s List readers can get 10% off at The Reform Store with code TRSBRITTSLIST at checkout. Learn more and shop here.
This article was produced in partnership with The Reform Store.