A guide to researching Australian and international fashion, designs, designers, industries, textiles and fabrics, patterns, tailoring, dressmaking, uniforms, accessories, and body art.

Fashion industry

The fashion industry dates back to the 18th century. For an overview, try these catalogue searches:

For each search, use the options given on the left-hand side for refining your search.

Clothing factory, c.1943,  H99.201/3559


If you wish to find information on more specific industry details, such as statistics, market research, as well as company information, go to these research guides:

For information on designs, trade marks  and patents see these research guides:

Journal articles

For general articles about the fashion industry choose the Articles option from the dropdown menu next to the search box on our catalogue and enter keywords.

Access to full text articles is available within the Library, and if you are a Victorian registered with the Library you can access the full text from outside the Library.

See this keyword search on fashion merchandising. Use facets to narrow results and modify your search.


New shapes and colors for summer, 1898, H2000.180/226

Statistics and reports

Sustainable fashion

"Business and usual, or more to the point, fashion as usual, is not an option." - Kate Fletcher, Sustainable Fashion and Textiles (ebook)

While fast evolution or trends and decreasing purchasing costs may have contributed to the democratization of fashion, consumption practices have an increasing environmental and ethical impact at every stage of production.

To find books and articles on this topic use search terms such as 'ethical fashion', 'eco fashion' or 'sustainable fashion'.

Online ethical fashion resources


A sweaters' workroom in Melbourne,1890, IAN01/07/90/1

Books from our collections

Slave to fashion

Slave to Fashion brings in the facts, stories and actions we must take to eradicate modern slavery.

Eco-chic : the fashion paradox

In a comprehensive survey of this highly pertinent subject, leading academic Sandy Black examines the way the fashion industry is changing to accommodate the environmental concerns of the twenty first century.

Textile Visionaries : innovation and sustainability in textile design

Technologized textiles and sustainable fabrics are among the most innovative designed today, and together they are driving the rest of the industry dramatically forward.