Fickle Fashion Trumps Sustainability

Instead of telling you more about sustainable fashion and why it’s a better option, I will tell you about the negative effects fickle fashion has. If you have no idea what fickle fashion is, let me go ahead and describe it. Fickle is defined as likely to change and is instability in a nut shell which closely relates to this topic.

In a report, it is known that fickle fashion is killing off sustainable clothing with consumers admitting to buying items they never wear and throwing away their clothes instead of recycling or donating them. Related I looked into clothing habits around the world, “In a Onepoll survey of 18- and 35-year-olds commissioned this past September and October by London’s Fashion Retail Academy, 83 percent of the 2,000 respondents confessed to buying clothing they never wear. More damningly, nearly one quarter—22.5 percent—said they have purchased more than 10 items they have never worn. More than one-third (35 percent) of respondents outrightly refuse to buy used clothes, and 12 percent said they bin their castoffs instead of recycling them. ”

Recycling clothing or even buying/trading secondhand is not the most common thing, but it is the most effective. When people decide to buy fast fashion, they see it as a trend-setting type of motivator, trying to be up to date. One can transform old clothing into new without having to add damage to their ecological footprint. With most consumers buying and sometimes never wearing those clothes, they need to think and act more responsibility. It isn’t always about setting a new trend, but recreating an old one.

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Photo by: Just-Style

Fickle fashion is easier, don’t get me wrong, but if you think of the impacts that it has on the environment makes people want to do something a bit harder for a better outcome. Looking into what damage is being done, I found some startling statistics. “According to a 2013 report, the global apparel industry produced 150 billion garments in 2010, enough to provide 20 new articles of clothing for every person on the planet. And it’s only gotten worse since then. Today, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry on earth. And the primary culprit is fast fashion—well, that and the culture of throwaway clothing that it has inspired.”

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Photo by: Ecowatch

 

Think about it, you have a lot to do with this pollution. This is the world you live in each day, so why not make it a beautiful one? People have many options to make a change such as recycling, rewearing or trading. Make your mark through fashion, just make it a good one.

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Change the World in 100 Days

With sustainable fashion making a bigger mark, some people are learning how to individually take a stand towards a better tomorrow. Julia Mooney, an eighth-grade teacher that lives in Moorestown, New Jersey, wore a simple gray, button-down dress 100 days in a row.

Said in USA Today, “In a project that’s drawing national attention, the 34-year-old art teacher at William Allen Middle School has vowed to wear the dress every day she teaches for the first 100 days of the school year.” WBRZ2 News found some background information on her project and sees what exactly she is changing by doing something like this. “The art teacher wears an apron during class time to avoid stains. Mooney says she washes the dress and even has a backup. Mooney ultimately hopes her sustainability project will serve as an example for students. She plans to continue documenting her progress and sharing lessons about green practices through an Instagram page.” By tracking her progress and sparking this type of discussion, little does she know she would set an example for the world rather than just her small classroom.

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Photo by: WBRZ2 News

She is simply not feeding into the fast-fashion consumer habits that have significantly increased over a small amount of time. Sustainable fashion is not just about disposing of clothes, but how we choose to purchase them. This is saying that it is not required to follow the trends and take a stand towards a more eco-friendly path. She is generally raising awareness of the fast fashion that has taken over our closets that are overflowing with garments that should’ve been recycled a while ago.

USA Today interviewed her, trying to see what exactly she stood for. She wanted to get the word out and push away the peer pressure children have when they feel as if they have to keep up with the latest fashions. ““There is no rule anywhere that says that we have to wear a different thing every day,” she says. “Why do we ask this of each other? Why do we require that we each wear something different every day and buy more clothes and feed into this fast-fashion culture?” It isn’t about constantly refreshing the wardrobe or “keeping up with the Jones’s,” per say, it is about wearing clothes in a better way, buying fewer items of the fashion fashion chain, rewearing and eventually recycling the left over material.

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 10.58.25 AM.pngAfter consumers sees this happening, they begin to care about more than just themselves. They see the damage that is caused by them just through the fashion industry. “At first people began caring more about the sustainability and healthfulness of what they put in their bodies. Then they started paying attention to what they put on their bodies. Now they’re thinking more about the sustainability of what covers their bodies.”

 

Festival of Sustainable Fashion

Events that aim towards consumers to do better with the clothing in their closet are usually ones that succeed. They are not only the ones that makes people aware of what goes on in the environment and the effect they have on it, they are the ones that make it fun. Located in Cambridge in the United Kingdom, a festival will be held for solely sustainable fashion.

From an article from BBC the event was said to be inspired by a French organic lingerie designer who witnessed the pressures on the industry’s suppliers. The organizer of the festival by Cambridge Carbon Footprint claims clothing accounts for about 12% of global greenhouse emissions. During this, participants will be able to swap their clothing and gain some fashion advice on recyclable fabrics and labels.

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Photo by: AmaElla

Looking a little into what it is about, BBC interviewed the organizer Nicole Barton who claimed that this is just a simple step to take in the right direction to a better future for the environment and the closest of all consumers. “The problem is the way people consume,” she said.”At first the concept seemed so niche, but it is a process. People don’t realise it takes 10,000 litres of water to produce one T-shirt out of conventional cotton. There is a lot of work to do but we are on a positive path.”

The French designer, Julie Kervadec, who founded AmaElle, will discuss her experience that she had of the demands that the fashion industry has when she was working as a buyer. As she took her experiences and made them into great new ones, her line is said to be anything but ordinary while also having a positive impact on the world she is trying so hard to protect. Looking at the story behind AmaElla, we see that she is a proper speaker for an event such as this one. “We want women to feel bold, beautiful and confident in their skin- our exquisitely designed organic cotton lingerie and nightwear is created with you in mind.”

As all of the fashion industries become more aware of the effect they have on the world, and as labels take steps into having more of

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Photo by: AmaElla

a positive impact, we can see a huge shift in what fashion is suppose to be and what it currently is. It is about making the consumer feel beautiful in their own skin and have a special, new way to represent themselves. This festival will look into influencing consumers to proper shopping tips while also showing how sustainable fashion is just as beautiful in the eyes of others and the environment.

Meghan Markle Supports it Too!

We all know the beautiful wife of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle. She has not only has been in the tabloids with all great stories, but this one is one that stood out for me and this blog. For her first royal tour through Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Kingdom of Tonga, Meghan Markle attended 76 events and changed outfits multiple times a day said by Elle. Some of the outfits were made out of….I’m sure you know where I’m going with this…sustainable fashion!

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Photo by: Elle

What else could someone do of spreading the word of eco-friendly products other than having a famous fashion guru wear it? When it comes to sustainable fashion, we see a giant shift in the fashion industry working towards the common goal of reducing the footprint consumers leave when buying and disposing of clothing. If you’re new to my blog, you probably have no idea what sustainable fashion even is, let alone what all it stands for. It means that the companies that create the clothing do things such as using safe chemicals and dyes, making recyclable clothing, and make efforts to be socially responsible when it comes to sourcing their materials and hiring.

When it comes to the tour in general that Meghan was a part of and all the wardrobe changes she wore, we see that she is a strong supporter in taking the step in the right direction and encouraging her fans to do the same. Elle stated that she wore a mix of local sustainable brands, like Maggie Marilyn and Outland denim, and old favorites, like Stella McCartney, who has long been committed to sustainability and using vegan materials. She also wore contemporary labels like Reformation, which prioritizes minimizing its environmental footprint, and Rothys shoes, made of recycled plastic. This just proves that the new look is something that stand out but also doesn’t have any effect of the environment.

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Photo by: Rothys Shoes

With a celebrity like this, wearing clothes like that, you can bet that most consumers are going to want to match her good deeds and also make some of their own. Fast fashion is coming to an end, or at least having some modifications made to it to make it a little more sustainable. As companies merge into finding the goal of leaving a good mark on the world, they help the workers that put their efforts into making the clothing and the ones that also wear it, a step closer to reaching that goal too.

Everlane Speaks of Change

An event held on Tuesday, Oct. 16th, was hosted by Everlane founder Michael Preysman, along with investors Natalie Massenet and Nick Brown. The brand spoke about their plans to eliminate the use of all non-recycled plastic in all of its products by 2021.

Everlane took this opportunity to show off its ReNew blankets and fleeces that are now made with recycled plastic. The fashion industry emits greenhouse gases often and this is just a small step being made to help the cause fast fashion has on the environment. Everlane isn’t the only one trying to make a difference, Glossy magazine names a few more that are taking steps towards a better future. “Brands like Outland, which Meghan Markle is reportedly a fan of, make their products with recycled plastics and other materials to reduce the overall impact fashion production can have on the environment. Brands like Finisterre, Outerknown and Veja sneakers all make partially or fully recycle goods. On the luxury side, sustainable fashion icon Stella McCartney has made recycled plastics in polyester and nylon goods a central part of the brand since its inception.”

Everlane about page shows shoppers what they stand for and why they should shop with their company. They are open to change and they believe they are making a difference every day. “That’s why we partner with the best, ethical factories around the world. Source only the finest materials. And share those stories with you—down to the true cost of every product we make. It’s a new way of doing things. We call it Radical Transparency.”

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Photo by: Everlane

This event was to show the steps being taken and why they should. Glossy tells us “plastic in particular is a major problem. Greenpeace estimates that 10 percent of the 260 million tons of plastic produced each year ends up in the ocean.” Consumers are now trying to become more aware of facts like this and what they can do to make a difference. They also look at the practices done by their fashion industries that causes damage on the environment. Glossy goes on to say, “this is evident in their shifting relationship with ownership. As circular fashion companies like Rebag and Rotarity have demonstrated, customers are fine with renting and reusing fashion goods rather than buying new things constantly only to throw them away.”

Even though consumers are showing dramatic changes in their purchasing habits, the fashion industries must make the change first to gain full support. Everlane is not only speaking out about issues the environment faces, they tell us that they are taking action within their word. Anywhere from making strong connections with the factories that create big brands that are well known, to only using eco-friendly fabrics, all the way to offering an easy way to dispose of clothing, Everlane is a big contributor to the change that needs to be made. This event that was held to show off their new products and offering a goal by 2021, I can say that I agree that they are a brand making a difference.

Sustainable Fashion Exhibit by Activist and Artist

The sustainable designer and environmental fashion activist, Isabel Varela, addresses the psychological effects fashion has on the people through an art exhibit at the Caelum Gallery located in New York.

The exhibition titled “Clothes Minded” will be displayed October 10th-13th. This event has intrigued many to become aware of the reality of fashion and what consumers can do to improve it. Erie News Now states that the art will revolve around multimedia art, sustainable fashion and a thought-provoking, compelling conversation about the industry.

She showed off three separate designs, which includes a 10-foot sculpture that contributes to the mentality that fashion sets for consumers. They know how to make art speak for themselves and makes sure that visitors of the exhibit see the ways the fashion and art effects them. The art is intriguing while also having a strong message to back it all up.

Erie News Now also reports on the designer herself, Varela is a social activist, environmentalist, visual and mixed media artist whose video about being a minimalist and eco-friendly designer has gone viral with 80K views. “I went from a fashion addict to a fashion advocate. With $100,000 in debt all due to fashion, I realized I needed to change. I am choosing to share my story with the world to help change it,” Varela said. With the help of National Geographic artist, Asher Jay, she has found out how easy it is to get her voice out there in a positive way.

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Photo By: Erie News Now

Jay has helped with her prior exhibit, “Message in a Bottle”, at the National Geographic Encounter in Times Square. Continued on Erie News Now, “Art has a unique power to transcend differences and connect with people on a visceral level to compel action. The issues of today not only need to be articulated in an emotionally empowering vocabulary but inherently offer up solutions to the viewers. Conservation can no longer be marginalized. Today, we need everyone,” Jay said.

The role they both are aspiring to do is to inspire men and women to become more informed and cautious when it comes to shopping for their wardrobe. Their are many unethical practices when it comes to creating and throwing away the clothing we have, and they want to make sure all of these issues come to light and are address in a firm manner.

Art has a unique way of making visitors think and interpret the message they are trying to convey. This exhibit may be in a clear form, but at the same time it is open to many possibilities. They provide many sculptures to make their message speak loudly on how sustainable fashion should be a priority to all those who own clothes, and we know that applies to everyone.

If you are interested in the event or even wanting to find out some more information, there are many ways to contact the artist. To join the #ClothesMinded2018 event, please visit isabelvarela.com. Follow the sustainable movement on Instagram @iamisabelvarela.

 

 

St. John’s Panel

Have you ever stopped and thought about what materials your clothes are made of? Have you ever wondered where or who it came from? In the St. John’s panel, we take a look into it within the theme of “Careers in Sustainable Fashion.”

The Torch explained that the panel, moderated by the chair of marketing, Dr. Iris Mohr, hosted three prominent workers from the sustainable fashion industry: Carla Mota, who has designed her own sustainable clothing brand, C. Mota Studio, Bridgett Artise, the designer of Born Again Vintage and Jane Potter, a fabric merchandising manager from the clothing brand Theory, were all present to speak about their careers in sustainable fashion and the importance of the rising industry.

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All of these women, went into these fields after discovering the truth of unsustainable fashion and how harmful that the clothes that they wear can be. They spoke about how this change can happen and why it should. Not many are aware of the chemicals it takes to produce clothing or how these toxins can sit against their skin all day. Nobody actually thinks of the right way to dispose of their clothing, they just want the fast way to get things done. This is scary to think about due to the fact that fashion is the second biggest cause of pollution in the world.

When it comes down to it, most don’t even think who is behind the scenes of making the clothing causing all these ethical issues. Most of our clothes are produced overseas, mostly in China. The Torch goes on to say how consumers think and what is actually happening when they shop. “It’s an amazing feeling to find a cute top on sale at Forever 21 for $9.75, or to come across a ‘buy one, get one deal’ at H&M, but have you ever stopped to think about the factory workers overseas who are making as little as a few cents per hour for you to have that shirt? Lots of these workers are barely making enough to support themselves, let alone their families!”

One of the woman explained how the problem with today’s fashion industry is that we don’t even have stories about who makes our clothes anymore or their day to day problems they face to try to get our clothing to us. Fast fashion has become so normal, that consumers are reported to buy at least one item per week. The mindset that us shoppers have need to change to make a big jump into the sustainable world.

As for the sustainable brands, it is a little more expensive to be eco-friendly. What would happen if this became the new normal? What if we actually cared about the materials, how we dispose of clothing or even respecting that someone put their seat and tears into our closet. There are many ways to redress our old clothing or even just pass it on. This panel summarizes the change and makes sure that their voices are heard. If consumers would just listen and make the change, sustainable fashion could save you and the world.

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