It’s Fashion Revolution week this week, so here’s the first of five daily instalments of short and snappy sustainable fashion info and practical tips.
While many sustainable fashion designers, bloggers, researchers and retailers have been gearing up for this for a while, it’s a new concept to many. And that’s ok. Because we bet that you already care about sustainable fashion more than you realise.
- Hands up if you care about women’s rights! Exactly. Fashion is a very labour intensive industry. Even though technology has of course progressed, there are always people involved in making our clothes. The vast majority of these people are women, so if the thought of women’s working conditions moves you, then you’ll want to know more about where your favourite labels produce their clothes. This isn’t about boycotting certain countries. In the first instance, it is about asking the question. But it’s clearly also about being aware that buyers from many large fashion labels that produce in lower income countries put their suppliers under time and cost pressures, which all too often makes for uncomfortable and sometimes undignified or downright dangerous working conditions for our fellow womankind. Food for thought.
- Do you choose fairtrade products? In the UK in particular, we are encouraged that in some food categories great quality fairtrade products are readily available – coffee, tea, some fruit, and increasingly spices and chocolate. You probably think that this is a good idea and often choose products that are fairtrade certified. The motivation behind sustainable fashion is really just the same – respecting the people behind the product.
- We bet you’ve had moments of frustration about the way politics are going. Ignorant, uncaring, out of touch politicians taking decisions that you worry will impact negatively on your future. Did you know that fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world? To put a positive spin on that, you have a chance to vote for a greener planet everytime you decide to buy clothes. And for most of us that is much more frequent than elections.
- Do you recycle? We could probably all do better - let’s face it, nobody is perfect. But most people, probably including you, think it’s better for our magazines and milk cartons to be recycled rather than end up in landfill. Clothes recycling facilities, however, are not widely available to many of us, and much of our discarded clothing ends up in landfill. A good way to start having a positive impact is therefore to buy fewer things, buy beautiful quality, and throw less poor quality, fast fashion in the bin. And that doesn’t even require putting out the recycling bag.
- We love looking good. And whether we admit it or not, deep down it’s nice to know we’re on trend, too. Not only since some of high street’s fashion giants have jumped on the bandwagon do we know that sustainable fashion is on the rise in a major way. Karlie Kloss has invested in the coveted sustainable fashion brand Reformation, Emma Watson is all over the topic, Livia Firth is a sustainable fashion advocate with brains and style… and just take one look at the Instagram accounts of Ecocult, Model for Green Living, Literally Nataly, Kate Arnell, Peppermynta….that’s the cool crowd of tomorrow. Time to get on board!
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