Fashion is INCREDIBLE and I love it so so much but it's really not worth the mistreatment or death of any person
Sustainability has become a major topic in the fashion industry and as I took the time to learn a little bit more about it I realized the way I go about shopping as well as my plans for production of clothes have changed drastically. I don't know about you but I haven't gone clothes shopping since June of last year. I do love me some new fits but at this point in my life - quality far exceeds quantity.
What does it really mean?
"More sustainable fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects" - Dr. Brismar (The Green Strategy)
Basically, not simply paying attention to the quality of garments, but also the entire supply chain, production processes, and the product's afterlife.
Listening to a BOF podcast last year really pushed me to look deeper into Sustainability in the Fashion Industry; an insightful conversation between Imran Ahmed and Dana Thomas who's book 'Fashionopolis' I highly recommend to anyone who puts clothes on and lives on planet earth. The book really goes deep into production in the fashion industry the waste of resources, and how it all affects our environment and inevitably us in the long run. I'm still on the book and learning so so much about this industry. People really don't care and that's a problem.
I realized how much I had changed when I visited ZARA with my parents when they came for a visit. I didn't touch a single item. Not because they weren't absolutely beautiful but fast fashion is crippling not just the industry but the earth as a whole. Knowing I would probably wear whatever outfit I would buy from ZARA or HM a couple of times in a full year before it fades or wears out and end up being packed away never to be seen, so I can move on to the next outfit in the display windows is disturbing to be honest.
Besides saving money, which is a huge plus, knowing that there are workers who are not being paid or treated well are producing these clothes to survive is crazy. Production of fabrics used may be poisoning a family's source of water and no one's really paying attention. Fashion is INCREDIBLE and I love it so so much but it's really not worth sacrificing a life for its production. So many people have lost lives, loved ones, because companies aren't paying as much attention as they should.
Things are looking up though...
On the bright side, there are companies that are really focusing on creating a safe and humane environment for their workers, as well as finding sustainable fabrics to create beautiful clothing! It takes a lot of money, planning and good work ethic to be a Sustainable brand but it's not impossible - One step at a time.
My advice to myself and anyone who reads this is to take the time to research brands that make sustainable clothing. You may not know how the clothes are made but you can find out from these brands. Ask questions, read more, do the research, don't just throw anything on because it's trending or easier. There are very affordable, well made sustainable clothing out there.
Here's a list of my current favorite ones but if their silhouettes or styles are not for you...don't be lazy, do the research
Wearing Everlane Denim pants in these photos: Comfy, good stretch, made with transparency in production process, and will last much much longer. Also has my lil booty looking right.
Being conscious of who's making your clothes and how its being made really changes your perspective on clothing and helps you cherish them a little bit more, but you could equally thrift shop; sell or give your clothes away so there's very little waste.
In the book Fashionopolis I learned that the excess clothes that aren't bought or used in America are shipped to third world countries which also end up being a huge waste because there are just too many clothes! Most of these countries can't refuse them because of the different ways America contributes to their welfare, so they end up having excess clothing dumped on them more frequently than they are consumed. Hmm.
For now, we can all:
Consume less, and purchase wisely