I feel like when we as a society discuss sustainable fashion, many do not understand really what that means, and not only is it crucial that we stop supporting fast fashion, it is equally as crucial that we begin to embrace sustainable fashion as a whole; this is really what is going to make a change with our clothing waste epidemic.

Wiki says it best in case you are wondering what sustainable fashion is : 

Sustainable fashion is a part of the growing design philosophy and movement towards environmental and social sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility.” Wikipedia

I believe society gets confused by what information is offered in the media and so many confuse serious and valid facts as trends instead of actual truth.The TRUTH is that fast fashion and the way we waste is absolutely destroying our earth. If you do not know what fast fashion is, the short explanation is this: 

“Rapidly produced, low quality and low cost fashion that for the most part is manufactured internationally, with unfair business practices on many levels towards the garment workers producing these fashions.”Erin Bass, Fashion Designer

These mass market retailers are producing clothing at an alarmingly fast rate, and we continue to greedily purchase, and then toss it just as quickly. It is time to start supporting sustainable brands and not taking part in what is harming our earth. There are many forms of sustainable fashion and you do not have to participate in just one! Sustainable designers that are creating new clothing with sustainable practices are becoming more relevant and known, however the cost can be high for the consumer, which simple is not possible for some to support that avenue of sustainability even if they want too. Sustainable fashion should not just be for the rich; these brands need to learn how to still create ethically, but have affordable options as well. I also highly advocate up-cyled clothing that has been crafted from secondhand clothing; that is something I do as a designer and it is a way to save those used fast fashion pieces from ending up in the landfill. And don’t forget vintage, thrifted, borrowing programs, clothing swaps ,etc; not only is is easier on the bank, but it is still helping the environment to give these used clothes a second chance.

There are many ways to be more environmentally, socially, and ethically conscious towards a more sustainable future, but it is time to stop pretending that it is a trend and recognize that by not doing your part, you are contributing to the waste that is filling our earth.  Here are some tips for easy ways you can contribute:

 

1.) Research ethically made brands

Do your research carefully; not ALL American made clothing has fair business practices, but by the same token not all internationally made clothing is bad! There are ethical brands all around the world. Do your research before you buy, and seek out businesses that support fair trade principals ( more info by clicking Here)

2.) Donate to thrift shops

Repeat after me : I will NEVER throw out clothing”. That is the absolute worst think you can do with unwanted clothing , as that just contributes to harming our earth. Instead do your research and donate appropriately to thrift shops. Q’s to ask: what happens to your clothing you don’t take or sell? Make sure the continued chain is remaining sustainable.

3.) Redo your own closet

I am sure you have clothes in your closet that don’t fit yet you still keep them around, or how about those favorite jeans and t-shirt that you can’t bear to rid of but are completely falling apart and just collecting dust in the back of your closet? Why not hire an upcycled designer(ahem, shameless plug) to bring new life into old? There is so much life left in these old pieces, we need to see that rather than see them as trash. Even if you may not want to re-wear them, have you ever thought of having them turned into pillow covers? Patchwork blankets? Purses? The possibilities are truly endless.

 

These are just a few ideas to get you started on your journey to a more sustainable future. And remember, even if you simply cannot afford to do anything financially, you can at least spread the word on what fast fashion is doing to our earth, and how YOUR community can start supporting and instilling more ethically inclined life practices.

 

XOXO –

Erin Bass

*Fashion Designer*Creator*Unicorn Whisperer*

 

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