I already know why you’re here, reading this blog. You love fashion, you adore shopping and putting outfits together, and you just can’t seem to stop scrolling through Zara’s newest sales and collections. But on the other hand, you can’t help but think about how badly our consumerism is influencing the world.
If that’s you, well, yup, it’s me too.
It all started with one video by Vice I watched about sustainable fashion, where I learned that the fashion industry is the second-biggest polluter on the planet, right after the oil industry. And honestly, it blew my mind, because I never thought about it like that before. In my mind, it was always just about outfits and happy shopping, just harmless fun and style. Turns out, it’s far from it.
A 2015 study reveals that 97% of materials that are used to make clothes are new resources, and just 3% of them are recycled. This generation, well the majority of it, has proclaimed that fast fashion is out. It’s not even that trendy to be flaunting an H&M or Zara haul on social media anymore, as the consequences of fast fashion are being discussed more than they are being purchased so it seems.
In this blog, we wanted to highlight the situation, and offer much more sustainable and fashionable alternatives for all our fashion girlies out there. Just because you want to save the environment doesn’t mean you can’t look good while doing it.
Sustainable fashion saves animals
This one isn’t as shocking I hope, as it makes a lot of sense that with the environment, animals would be collateral damage in the name of fashion too. Just to put things into perspective, the leather industry alone is butchering and killing more than 430 million animals every year. Yeah, this industry loves to kill for fashion.
On the other hand, sustainable fashion is looking for the environment and animal-friendly alternatives which do not exploit nor murder animals in the name of style. From faux fur, all the way to plant-based sneakers, polyester made from all the trash that people have been throwing into the ocean, and so on.
And fun fact, did you know that one of the best and most practiced methods of creating faux leather is by using pineapple leaves? Yup, there is always an alternative to exploiting the environment and the life in it, but big corporations and companies will always choose money over consequence.
Sustainable fashion is better for your own health and the environment
Clothing items within brands under the fast fashion rule go through many processes filled with heavy chemicals before they are nicely hung up on mannequins in shiny stores. Common Objective tells us that around 8000 types of intense chemicals are used to bleach and dye all of these clothes so that they would be appealing and wearable to the greater public.
Sustainable fashion aims to do the exact opposite. With all of these materials and chemicals being both used on the clothes we put directly on our skin and being dumped in the environment once no longer needed, we can’t really see any good sides here.
Sustainable fashion doesn’t exploit workers and does not support child labor
One of the biggest points and arguments for folks against fast fashion is the exploitation of its “cheap” workforce workers, which sometimes even includes very small children.
And they are hitting these hard-working folks with all the wrongs in the book. From painfully minimum wages to unacceptable working hours and a hostile work environment. This ugly industry is infamous for verbal violence against its workers, who usually originate from 2nd or 3rd world countries, barely trying to get by.
The documentary film “The True Cost” would provide you with much more insight into what goes on behind closed doors and bright colored changing rooms. It’s truly horrifying how exploitative this industry is, all for money and folks who want to follow the latest fashion trends and feel pretty.
What can we do?
For starters, we can educate ourselves on the products that we consume and buy, especially if they have a heavy and bad impact on the world around us. We can start slow, because it is the change that matters here, one by one. It starts with the clothes we choose to buy, then the products we use daily, all the way to the food we consume.
The more of us make this change, the less demand there will be, which would eventually lead to no demand at all…In a perfect world.
Here are our favorite Sustainable fashion brands
You didn’t think we’d throw this pile of unsettling info on you, but not share amazing sustainable fashion brands? We would never.
To start things off here is one of my personal favorites:
This Parisian brand is one of the first French sustainable fashion brands to hit the scene. Creator Morgane Sézalory says: “It means that we are a little closer to becoming the brand we desire to be at our essence. We’re surrounded by noise and pressure to do things a certain way, yet Sézane has always been a means through which we could celebrate ‘la liberté Française’. Create, undo, challenge, and improve. B -Corp is astringent, independent validation of what we stand for.”
This brand was created and specifically made as a counter-fast fashion culture and response to the horrific scene the fast fashion industry has created. Its mission is not to create new trends but to make sustainable, eco-friendly, and fashionably timeless clothes.
3. Bite Studios
Their number one mission was to create sustainable clothing, so this Stockholm-based and minimalism-inspired brand uses organic fabrics that contain 20 specific styles that are reworked seasonally, to ultimately create clothing that would last you a lifetime.
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Winner of the 2019 Queen Elizabeth II Prize for Design, Bethany Williams’ work in women’s rehab centers and food banks sure has made its noise and debut in the fashion world. With clothes, her goal is to rework the traditional process of creating fashion, by producing highly sustainable and very fashionable streetwear. And it’s to die for, take a look and see for yourself!
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One of New York’s most influential designers, known for the level of elegance her clothing lines and items bear, Gabriela Hearst truly made a name for herself. Around 25 percent of her clothing lines and collections are created from deadstock, a fabric that would have formerly been used in landfills!
Sustainable fashion won’t make you mindlessly follow cheap fashioned trends
I’ve seen so many women and girls lose sleep over trends they see online, or their current “inability” to follow them or feel like they are a part of that whole world. From the Y2K reincarnation in fashion all the way to trendy bags and items, no matter the price, people will go out of their way to try and find the next best trend.
This way, most of our individuality gets lost in this chase, and no personal style is being developed. In a grand scheme of things, this doesn’t seem like it matters that much. But to us individually, on a more personal level, self-expression and style are pretty important in terms of character building and happiness. This way, you’ll look stylish in whatever way you want, without having second thoughts or guilt about buying fast fashion items.
So put yourself, and the only planet we can call home first, and cheap thrill fashion trends in the recycling dumpster where they belong!