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

Dress To Impress is a brand-new initiative from STEM Sisters focusing on the following key objectives.

1. To challenge the norms that STEM women must wear a certain way to be accepted and taken seriously by the male-dominant STEM industry.

2. Provide affordable professional clothing (donated or swap clothes) that assist migrant women, and international students thrive, build confidence and take pride in their professional journey.

3. To contribute to the circular economy of fashion and addresses the sigma around donated or swap clothing.

“One pair of jeans produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car at over 80m/ph. “

“It takes 2,700 litres of water to make one cotton shirt.”

The fast fashion industry thrives on convincing people to purchase weekly trends of new fast fashion apparel. This super-fast turnover and the linear system is unsustainable. This cycle fuelling the clothing throwaway culture has created these alarming levels of landfill waste. Without intervention, these levels will continue to rise. We must disrupt this pattern. While donating to op shops is a great way to divert from landfills, sadly, op shops can only resell about 15% of donated clothing. Plus, it is not a solution.


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.

restyling demo

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.

Fashion show

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 swap

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

about us

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.

Connect with us