Sustainable Fashion, Where to Start?
Meet the sustainability-conscious activists and brands that will help you navigate the strong force that is the sustainable fashion movement.
With the alarming statistics that are coming in each day, sustainable fashion is not a trend but a necessity. Being able to go shopping and know that you didn’t impact the environment is getting much easier. There is almost no reason to not do it.
From Vogue Australia highlighting the upcycling movement on its July cover, to countless blog posts and articles we see on capsule wardrobes and thrift shopping, the conscious fashion is entering the bloodstream of fashion, slowly but steady.
When diving in the whole subject of sustainability, it becomes very clear that fashion, until very recently, wasn’t very transparent. Fashion is generally an elitist and a very secretive industry, yet we all wear clothes. Fashion is part of all of our lives and it’s important to learn about what we wear, where it came from and who made it?
There are more and more progressive young brands that are popping up and allowing the general public behind the curtain. For us to asses the full impact of our shopping habits we all need to know how that cool T-shirt or that pair of shoes will impact the world around us.
One of the best things you can do is to learn, learn, learn! Watch TED talks, follow activists and brands that take it personal. There is truly no shortage of finding information in this day and age.
Fashion Revolution is a great resource to start your sustainability education with their no frills approach to information. They publish statistics, great articles and lots of general information on the subject.
The Old is the new New
Upcycling is seriously in at the moment. Take the time to research the subject of the capsule wardrobe. Created in the 70s, the idea is that you are working with your existing clothes and creating a refined collection of clothes that will interchangeably go with each other.
Say you have a base of 36 pieces of clothing, that includes shoes and accessories, and the goal is that you are able to put any of the items together. For example that skirt will go perfectly with this shirt and those flats. As the season changes, you swap that shirt for a jumper or a cami top, but the core of your wardrobe stays the same.
That honestly sounds like a dream! It takes the decision making fatigue ( I swear it is an actual thing) off of your shoulders. It is still your style and your clothes but no more overflowing wardrobe.
Anna from TheAnnaEdit is massive source of inspiration for the modern take on the capsule wardrobe. Her take on it is very relatable and easy to understand and she has loads of videos dedicated to capsule wardrobe.
Switch it Up
Clothes switch is an amazing concept and a great way of shopping without actually spending money. I absolutely love Big Clothes Switch hosted by Stories Behind Things regularly in London, but I am sure there is one happening somewhere near you. No luck? Start your own! It’s a great way to create a community of likeminded people, meet new friends and contribute to the sustainable fashion movement. We might not save the world alone but if each of us does a little, it will count on the global scale. We just need to start.
Influencers of Good
There is no denying that influencers and bloggers are extremely responsible for overconsumption. Thankfully the trend of giant clothing hauls is dying down and people are more concentrated on shopping at thrift shops and styling items together that they already currently have. There is obviously lots of room for improvement but as we can choose with our wallet where to shop, we can also choose who to follow online, what videos to watch and what posts on IG to like and comment on. At the end of the day, an influencer is a person that you chose to be influenced by. Choose wisely.
In case you don't know her yet, Greta is a 16 year old activist who has taken the world by storm by giving a very powerful speech to the EU leaders: "If our house was falling apart our leaders wouldn’t go on like we do today ... if our house was falling apart you wouldn’t hold three emergency Brexit summits and no emergency summit regarding the breakdown of the climate and the environment."
Lucy and Yak is a small family business founded by Lucy and Chris at the back of their van named Yak, it's focuses on ethically created dungarees. High quality and great design, these dungarees come in so many different colours and variations. Most notably, they are made in India, where the staff is happy and looked after. Give the story of Lucy and Yak a read, it's a good one.
This will make your life so much easier, an ethical fashion must have. You can check ratings for clothing brands based on their ethics and sustainability practices. It also allows you to discover new sustainable fashion labels from around the world.