A few years ago, my eco-friendly older sister told me about The True Cost, the documentary that illuminates why our current fashion industry, errr, sucks. She told me about how much she’d learned from it and expressed her horror at the human rights violations and wastefulness that result from our fashion choices. If you’re reading this blog, I’m sure you know a thing or two about the embarrassing amounts of waste and suffering our cute, cheap outfits cause.
Fortunately, as a result of illuminating documentaries and awesome people, there are now many companies that focus on sustainable fashion. Sustainable fashion is all about creating a fashion industry that is mindful of the Earth and her inhabitants (including humans). Being sustainable means producing less waste, recycling waste when possible, and having ethical workplace practices (i.e. being nice to your employees). As a consumer, there are many ways of engaging with and supporting the sustainable fashion industry, including taking advantage of H&M’s textile recycling program, learning how to fix your clothes so they last longer instead of throwing them out after they get holes, and shopping at thrift stores. Kate Pepler, Our Positive Planet’s founder, wrote a whole article last year about companies that are reducing textile waste — check it out for some ideas about where to go.
Personally, I’m glad to see companies like UnCo. Official producing clothes that are not only sustainable, but also cute. For a long time being environmentally conscious and mindful of consumerism also meant your options for fashionable clothes were limited. I think it’s a good sign that there’s enough demand for slow fashion, for cute second-hand shops, for ethical wear, and for clothing recycling to justify so many burgeoning sustainable fashion companies. I dig that; it shows that as a society, we’re really starting to question the industries that sprang all too quickly into existence. I also like to look cute, so it’s appealing that I can do so and not feel terrible about where I shop. It’s nice to look nice and for that not to interfere with the environment, animals, or the welfare of human beings.
What do you do for your closet to be eco-friendly? Do you have a favourite sustainable brand? Do you give clothes new life by shopping second-hand, or do you do something that I haven’t even mentioned? Tell us your hippie fashion tricks in the comments below!