I have always loved fashion. I am known for planning my outfits well in advance of a dinner out or a trip. If there’s no dinner or trip I’ll get dressed up for fun and bribe my bf into doing a photoshoot.
But it can be an expensive passion. Of course, it is unrealistic for most of us not to “outfit repeat” (repeatedly!) or to be able to buy everything we want.
Fashion is also not without controversy. There are the big issues of waste (think: cheap, on-trend “fast fashion”) and the harmful impact the fashion manufacturing industry has on the climate and ecological systems. The problems are only getting worse as we produce and buy more clothing.
The average person throws out 37 kg. of textiles each year (meaning, it ends up in a landfill). It takes about 6,813 litres of water to produce the amount of cotton needed to make one pair of jeans. Wastewater from textile plants and cotton farming dumps microfibers, dyes, fertilizers and other toxic chemicals into soil, oceans and rivers. Globally, the apparel industry accounts for 10% of all carbon emissions.
But, this isn’t meant to be all doom and gloom. I’m about awareness and knowledge, and each individual making their own choices -no shame or guilt.
I actually stumbled on a lot of this information while writing this blog. It was originally going to be focused on vintage and luxury resale stores, but I quickly found myself getting deeper and deeper into the whole textile world.
Am I going to stop buying new clothes? No. I must admit that I have done a lot of online shopping since the Pandemic. But, I will try to be a bit more mindful when purchasing.
Fortunately, there are clothing manufacturers (big and small) and fashion designers committed to making fashion more sustainable and ethical -aka “slow fashion”. The Montreal based company, Norden (www.nordenproject.com), is making award winning outerwear from recycled plastic bottles, and offers Buy Back and End-of-Life programs (they will recycle for you). Levi’s has their Wellthread sustainable collection and has introduced new water saving production technology.
Before I was aware of the environmental benefits, I was already a big supporter of pre loved items; mainly, because I was looking for things that were vintage and/or I could get cheaper than buying new (designer bags). Below are some if my vintage lux finds!
I love hunting through my favourite consignment websites like @therealreal, @vestiaireco, @whatgoesaroundnyc, for a special item. My thrifted/ pre loved finds are always more special to me than anything I buy new.
Like I said before, fashion is an expensive hobby that can have negative effects on the planet, but by making simple adjustments to how you shop and view the fashion industry can make the process more sustainable and ethical.
- Maybe start prioritizing quality or quantity when it comes to clothes. Invest in a few good pieces that will last years rather than something that will be thrown out after the season.
- Shop local whenever possible!
- If you are ordering online, try to order directly from the store’s website instead of using Amazon. When ordering online, be aware of where your items are being manufactured and if they are done so ethically.
- Find reputable organizations in your neighbourhood where you can donate pre loved clothing, shoes, etc. Try to commit to donating before dumping any of your unwanted things.
“Style is the only thing you can’t buy. It’s not in a shopping bag, a label, or a price tag. It’s something reflected from our soul to the outside world—an emotion.”—Alber Elbaz