What if the answer to fast fashion was once you got sick of that t-shirt or skirt, you popped into into the blender, chopped it up and put it into your garden compost where it broke down into organic matter? No landfill. No worries.
Fashion students at the Canberra Institute of Technology are tackling that kind of scenario as they grow their own "vegan leather", completely natural material that can ultimately be composted rather than added to land fill.
CIT Creative and Design Industries head of department Julianne Abbott said fast fashion - cheaply-made, readily discarded clothes - and textile waste were huge issues across the world, and in Australia.
"The textile industry is the second biggest polluter in the world," she said.
"Six thousand kilos of textiles and clothing are going into landfill every 10 minutes. Fashion is a big problem.
Ms Abbott said CIT was all about preparing students to fill future jobs and experimenting with the vegan leather was part of that philosophy, the early prototypes possibly leading to real fashion alternatives in the years to come.
Especially fashion that used less energy and created less waste.
"There is a huge demand for this kind of thing," Ms Abbott said.
"I've just been to Europe and Europe and Scandinavia are all about climate change and the fires here are at the top of their minds at the moment. Australia, it seems, is a bit more in denial. Not the public, but other parts of our systems."
The students make the leather-look fabric using scoby, which is used to make kombucha, and mushroom spawn; the microorganisms literally growing materials .
Fungio owner Peter Wenzel has been working with the fashion students in his area of expertise, mushrooms. He said the mushroom spawn was simply mixed with sugar and water in a tray or a container. It could grow to any shape it was placed in and potentially could grow as large as a room if it was allowed to. The scoby acted in a similar way.
Mr Wenzel and students such as Isabella Raco had made items including a shoulder bag from the mushroom material, still extremely delicate but a step forward in design.
He said there was the potential for the vegan leather to also reuse the waste of fashion, such as cotton trash, as it was just a matter of adding the material and letting the spawn consume it.
Second-year fashion design student Lisa Wilson said challenges when using the scoby was to make the resulting fabric more durable and to get rid of the vinegar smell. But she was excited about the possibilities from such basic ingredients. "It's all about mixing sugar and water and nature," she said.
Ms Abbott said another advantage of growing fabric was that it could be done in very small spaces. "You don't need crops," she said.
"You could grow a huge amount in a very small cupboard."
It was going to be difficult to change attitudes around fast fashion but these kinds of organic processes might be the answer for those who didn't want to give it up, she said.