Ethical Style Series: Ecopreneur Elisabeth Van Roosendael

Kira Simpson

Melbourne native Elisabeth Van Roosendael is an ecopreneur, Global Fashion Exchange ambassador, and founder of soon to launch zero waste bag brand Fortune Fold.

A sustainable fashion advocate, Elisabeth’s style is uniquely her own. Always beautifully put together with most pieces sourced from consignment stores around Melbourne. Proving that shopping sustainably doesn’t mean sacrificing style or quality.

Below she shares her style philosophy, favourite ethical fashion brands, and lets us in on Melbourne’s best vintage and consignment shopping secrets.

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Name: Elisabeth van Roosendael

Age: 29

Occupation: Creative Ecopreneur

When did you become aware of the ethical and sustainable fashion movement?

Through social media, attending fashion events on ethics, and speaking to makers, designers, and business owners over the last couple of years I’ve become aware of a community that is advocating for better treatment of people and planet in the garment industry.

Style Philosophy

Create with your values!

Below left: Second-hand dress from BRUCE and a vintage bag from my Grandmother. Right: Vintage Max Mara dress from Yesteryear Vintage Clothing. and second hand Salvatore Ferragamo shoes also from BRUCE.

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Fashion items you reach for the most?

In winter it would have to be my durable black triple threat of polo, block heeled boots and cotton cord pants. To tie these faves together is a wonderful second-hand camel coloured coat I found in a consignment store. I love these items because even with a lot of wear the style stays sharp as the garments are quite durable.

The same can be said for my go-to summer items; a detailed cream skirt, a white short sleeved blouse, and tan sandals. It’s one of those outfits I feel great in and can be worn casually to work or out for an event.

The one thing you always feel amazing in

My vintage Lanvin suit is always so wonderful to wear! It’s such a change from my everyday minimalistic faves, though it embodies the maximalist detailed expression I value so dearly.

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Vintage Lanvin suit from Eurotrash and second-hand top from Secondo

Favourite brands/places to shop

For second hand I can’t go past Bruce in Clifton Hill. Its array of stunning high-end designs will make you rethink what waste actually can look like!

When it comes to basics I can trust with my values and my sense of style; I’d have to say ecomono. I found my reliable Dorsu polo, ethically made out of waste fabric, from Sam’s store. I was put onto ecomono through Sarah from Pulka The Label who is apart of Before March Store, a small collective of ethical designers using deadstock fabric to create exquisite garments.

A few doors up from them in Northcote is Neisha, a fantastic designer who goes far and beyond to make clothes that sing of a greater cultural narrative. Insightful conversations and delightful garments are to be found in this beautiful place. I know the meaning of my Neisha active wear I have in a way that brings value not just to my style but also my sense of self.

Below left: Leather bag I made from repurposing a pair of vintage leather pants. Right: A.BCH GOTS certified organic linen dress styled with a vintage belt from Yesteryear Vintage Clothing.

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Fashion go-to places and platforms to circulate my garments

When I feel like I would like to explore my style and not break the bank or the planet I love The Clothing Exchange for clothes swapping as it’s an exciting way to find new threads without increasing your wardrobe size.

Tumnus Melbourne is fantastic for clothes borrowing. It’s a peer to peer lending service, free to sign up and a great circular fashion option. Recycle boutique is another great place to consign with as they do their best to take on as many good quality items as they can.

Mutual Muse is another consignment store based in Melbourne. They know what their customers want and what will move, so they’re selective with what they take. The upside is that they pay on the spot or give in-store credit for garments they consign knowing that they will find a new home quickly and go back into style circulation.

You can follow Elisabeth on her Instagram here and Fortune Fold here.

Kira Simpson

Kira Simpson is an environmentalist and sustainability expert. She started The Green Hub as a blog in 2015, which has since grown to become one of Australia’s largest education sites dedicated to helping people live a more sustainable lifestyle.