SATURDAY 16TH OCTOBER
The Performance Space @ Library at the Dock
Dress To Impress is a STEM Sisters initiative addressing the fashion norms that STEM women are expected to follow. We aim to identify and understand what immigrants or women of colour in STEM undergo while adhering to these established notions of professional attire. We also want to highlight the struggle related to dressing in a certain way to feel accepted and respected in a male-dominated industry. This initiative will boldly acknowledge the need for a sustainable circular fashion economy and raise awareness for environmentally-friendly alternatives to fast fashion. We are grateful to the City of Melbourne Waste minimisation and innovation fund 2021 for their support and for the mentoring and training provided by Circular Economy Victoria.
Dress to Impress will also participate in the Melbourne Fashion Week 2021, bringing the initiative to the forefront of the fashion world. Here, we plan to promote circular fashion by organising a clothes swapping and donation event, providing access to high-quality professional outfits that accentuate the unique features of the participants and build a sense of confidence.
Through this initiative, we hope to create a welcoming and supportive community for immigrant women and international students and encourage them to join us in our sustainability efforts.
Dress to impress
Women in the corporate/professional workplace can sometimes feel like they must dress and behave like men to gain acceptance, validation or even succeed in their careers. This can breed insecurities and misalignment with their sense of wellbeing. These insecurities can ultimately affect a woman’s potential and reduce her overall performance in the workplace. Furthermore, reduce her ability to achieve her goals.
Knowing and wearing one’s personal style appropriately for the workplace means having the freedom to express yourself through style. It’s about being authentic and feeling true alignment between your inner self and external expression. Having this freedom can boost self-esteem and increase confidence in women. This gives women the fortitude to enhance their professional performance and overall wellbeing. It allows women to feel safer and more comfortable in their own skin. It can unlock the flow of intelligence and creativity blocked by workplace traditions and cultures that make women feel they cannot fully be themselves in a workplace-appropriate manner.
Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. According to the UN, the fashion industry is accountable for 10% of emissions contributing to climate change. Currently, the industry is manufacturing about 150 billion garments a year, and there are only 7.9 billion people on the planet—about 85% of clothes manufactured end up in landfills. An ABC TV report stated that we throw away 6,000 kg of textile waste to landfills every 6 minutes in Australia. Therefore, in the quest to support STEM SISTERS with personal style to boost wellbeing and performance, sustainability must be the foundation for this project.
Talks and discussions
- Women of Colour in STEM
- What concerns do STEM women of colour have
- The power of personal style
- The meaning and importance of sustainable fashion.
- Sustainable style
- Incorporating style personality into the workplace.
- Using personal style to lead.
The restyling demonstration will use a volunteer to show different ways of reusing one dress in 5 different ways for various types of occasions. These are easy style hacks that help women buy less clothing, reduce textile waste, look and feel amazing on any budget.
The fashion show a sustainably styled runway show. It will showcase a combination of ethically manufactured brands, repurposed and preloved outfits from op shops and upcycles to display and inspire the audience towards sustainable clothing.
Clothes swaps can be on or offline. People give clean, (preferably quality) clothing to someone who likes it and will use it. If it’s online or through an app, the giver posts the item for someone to claim. If it’s in-person, the participants bring items that are all collated into a pool of clothes. Participants can try on and take home items of their
STEM Sisters is home to a diverse group committed to an intersectional approach for empowering women of colour in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields.
Gender Bias is a massive contributor to the issues women face in trying to secure a STEM job. Additionally, racial bias plays an equally trying role for people of colour in Australia. The difficulty is elevated when both biases combine and require focused solutions to support our STEM women of colour in Australia and STEM Sisters is the first and leading organisation dedicated to addressing this challenge.
We offer a wide range of initiatives to empower our community. Over efforts were recognised by the Australian Academy of Science in 2020 as a STEM change maker. We have developed strong partnerships with many Victorian Universities, Government Organisations such as Study Melbourne and the City of Melbourne and leading STEM industry organisations.
Sponsors and colloborators
Creating, promoting and conducting STEM Sisters initiatives would not be possible without sponsors, partners and supporters who just like you, care about a better future, and want to do something about it. We invite you to join us and support this one of a kind initiative, which we assure you will deliver an outstanding return on your investment and your organisation.
We can work together to achieve more and we are open to discussing different types of sponsorships with you individually. Our sponsors are important to us and we hope to grow strong and beneficial to the relationship that helps to support not only our community at STEM sisters but also your business and the STEM industry as a whole.
Acknowledgment of Country
STEM Sisters, recognises and respects the Ancestors, Elders and families of the Boonwurrung, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri of the Kulin who are the traditional owners of land in Victoria.