When I decided to change my buying habits I tried to understand where to direct my efforts.
Being a sustainable consumer is not easy.
In my case the collapse of Rana Plaza factory building that two years ago killed more than 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh and wounded others 2,200, made me reflect on the conditions of workers in factories. I began to ask myself about my role as a fashion consumer; who make the clothes that I wear every day? in what kind of conditions these workers live and work?
But I was not ready for a real change, that contextually assumes a research and focus on a range of information that may be boring.
The next step was to start thinking about what to do and how to be sustainable.
Buy less, or buy the same but ‘eco’, or buy nothing, or recycle everything, or…?
- Do I need this?
- Do I want it?
- Do I have something like it already?
- Will I wear it 30 times?
- Will it make me happy?
From here it began my search for brands and shops where that meets my style and my pockets.
… All this before I ever bought something.
I can absolutely see why being an unsustainable consumer of fashion is a lot easier.
It’s quicker, it’s simpler, and it’s a bit more fun as well (because you haven’t got to ask yourself any of those awkward questions). In the short-term, it’s also cheaper.
And I’m not going to blast someone for being an unsustainable consumer of fashion because, no-one likes being told off and everyone is at a different stage in the complex journey of understanding, comprehending and caring about things like environmental impact.
With my experiment, I just hope to tell a story that can inspire even one person to do the same.
In fact there is a large number of brands that use ethical practices in the production process and which make wonderful super stylish clothes. The companies that I list below, are some of my favorites. They could give you some idea on how to create a wardrobe made by a few minimal and interchangeable pieces.
Everlane is all about transparency. They spend months finding the best factories around the world—the very same ones that produce our favorite designer labels, and then they build strong personal relationships with factory owners to ensure their factory’s integrity and to maintain ethical production practices at every step of the process.They believe customers have the right to know what their products cost to make and where they were made. They reveal their true costs and share the factory and production stories behind each piece of clothing. Their minimal, modern aesthetic makes them a personal favorite!
Zady recognizes the systemic issues behind mistreated workers, toxic chemicals and disposable wears within the fashion industry and they’ve built a company that proves there is a better way. They are a lifestyle destination for conscious consumers and carry a curated collection of clothing, accessories and home items for women and men that respect both people and planet.
JAN ‘N JUNE
Jan n ‘June: it is an idea of Jula and Anna that comes from love for fashion, trends and cares for clean fashion. Jan June garments are produced in Poland and India, and you can track their origins. The manufacturer are strictly forbids to pass the order to third parties so they can guarantee full transparency. With only one supplier they can keep it simple and transparent.
The materials used are 100% organic.
FREEDOM OF ANIMALS
Freedom of Animals produces bags without using animal skin. The brand we always dreamed of, minimal design and ethically respectful of animal life. They only use recycled materials such as organic cotton and plastic bottles. The process to finish these fabrics requires 70% less energy than other synthetic fabrics The brand also supports Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, in conserving wildlife and rehabilitating orphaned elephants and rhinoceroses. www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org