Transparency is the key

I've now started working on my thesis and I've noticed that there's a few words and terms I keep trying to avoid. One of them is sustainable fashion. It's a term I use a lot but now I've started to ask myself, what does it really mean? What are we trying to sustain? Sure, you can use less toxic materials and ensure that the people making the clothes get a fair wage and safe work environment but if you're pushing out a dozen collections a year, is that really sustainable? When fast fashion companies can claim that they're making sustainable fashion, does the term have any meaning anymore? I know this is an unpopular opinion but there's nothing sustainable about fast fashion, the business model is based on exploitation and over-consumption. I would argue that the best way forward and a way stop all the greenwashing nonsense is to focus on transparency. This will not go down well with many, fashion is all about illusions after all but if we truly want to change this industry transparency is the key. Who's making the garments? Who's making the materials and what methods and chemicals are they using? Who owns shares in…

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Read This Book!

I had a class earlier this year where we had to read a chapter from Tansy E. Hoskins book Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion. Unlike many of the other readings we had to do for the course, I read the chapter really fast and immediately decided that I had to read the entire book. I was already aware of many of the things Hoskins examines in this book but I had never had them all compiled on one plate and served to me with such razor sharp straightforwardness. This book has forced me to look long and hard at my own consumer habits and all the industry myths I buy into. After reading this book I can't justify buying fast fashion anymore, even if I'm only buying those very basic staple garments that I know I will wear until they falls apart. What's so great about this book you ask? Chapter by chapter Hoskins examines the very many ways the fashion industry exploits and destroys people and nature. She debunks myths about high end fashion and exposes how most of the industry is ruled by a few conglomerates. At the same time she describes how all of it…

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Would you wear a borrowed garment?

Renting evening and bridal wear is quite common but what about clothes for everyday life? You've maybe borrowed a garment from a friend or a sibling but would you do the same from a company? With the tons of garments ending up in landfills do we perhaps need to reconsider ownership of clothing? When I first heard of clothing libraries and other renting services a few years ago, I thought it was a great idea but couldn't really see myself using them. Now that I understand how these services could help decrease the amount of rarely used garments at the back of our closets I'm willing to reconsider. There is still a part of me that s a bit hesitant. Maybe it's because I'm very clumsy at times and I'm worried about ruining the garment while I'm renting it. It probably sound very crazy but you haven't seen the oily red sauces I eat and stains they cause. If I think about it rationally though, these companies have thought about tomato sauce and turmeric stains and have policies for them. Lately I've been really trying to pay attention to the garments I own and how often I use them. My…

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Approaching Sustainability

Talking about sustainability (especially in fashion) feels at times as an impossible task. It's such a big and complicated issue and it's easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless as an individual. However, giving up and saying there nothing we can do is simply not an option so I think the best way of tackling a giant of an issue like this is to find a place to start. Reduce, Reuse, Repair, recycle. I want you to memorise that. I want you to remember these words the next time you feel like you have nothing to wear, the next time you're going shopping or emptying out your closet. The goal is to think about the clothes you own and how you buy and wear them. It's about taking the time to figure out what you actually need and use and giving some thought to where those garments came from. Reducing for example doesn't only mean reducing the number of garments, it can also mean reducing the amount of ill fitting garments or reducing the number of bad quality garments in your closet. I've been reducing the amount of things I own for some years now but even I occasionally struggle with  impulse purchases…

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The True Cost

As fashion revolution week draws to an end I would like to remind you of this great documentary from a few years ago that I think everyone should watch, The True Cost. It shows the devastating truth behind fast fashion. I recently watched it in a Sustainable Fashion class and now I'm trying to figure out what I can do to change this industry. The documentary is quite heavy so  I suggest that you watch it with someone so you can discuss it afterwards. I want to write more about sustainable fashion and what we can do as consumers (and designers) to change the industry. Sustainability is an incredibly complex subject and I'm definitely no expert but I'm trying to live by the motto "When you know better, do better" and I'm hoping that by sharing what I've learned so far can help you make more sustainable purchases. I'll be putting whatever I write on the subject under a new category, Understanding Sustainable Fashion. You can still take part in Fashion Revolution week, see the links below. More about the documentary Fashion Revolution

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