As we explore deeper into eco-fashion, I think it’s important to feature designers who are making strides toward eco-conscious, ethical fashion. Stella McCartney, a luxury fashion designer, is someone I’ve recently discovered who is dedicated to creating a sustainable brand. What I value most about her is that she acknowledges she is not perfect in her venture of sustainability. Stella McCartney is a designer who is living proof to the fashion industry that eco-fashion can be made into a successful business.
Here’s what Stella McCartney stands for:
- Responsibility: The brand takes responsibility for the impact their business makes on the planet, as well as the people and animals on it. They are making leaps by using recycled fabrics. wood, organic cotton, and vegetarian leather.
- Honesty: Staying transparent and acknowledging the flaws in the supply chain is crucial to gain the trust of your customers. The company knows they have not reached perfection, but they are dedicated to always progressing forward.
- Vegetarian: None of their products use animal testing or fur! I love that she makes “no fur-fur”.
- Ethical trade: Stella McCartney is part of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), a leading alliance of companies, unions, and NGO’s, that work together to create respect for workers’ rights across the globe.
Learn more and shop at www.stellamccartney.com
Recycle Your Clothes
Recycle your clothes to eliminate landfill waste. This is more important than ever. Only 15% of textiles are recycled every year meaning that the other 85% is thrown away into our landfills. When textiles are decomposing they release methane and other greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming. Also, most of the dyes we use on our clothing are not sustainable to begin with so they contaminate our soil and groundwater, leading to effects on human and wildlife.
Here’s some options for your recycling your textiles:
- Donate: This is the most common way to recycle and reuse. You can do a quick google search to find donation centers and bins near you. There’s also pick-up services available such as Purple Heart which supports combat-wounded U.S veterans and their families.
- Hand-down: Find a little sibling, cousin, niece, or nephew to give your items to. For instance, I give my younger sister my good quality clothing that I no longer fit into.
- Resell: This is becoming more and more common to sell gentle used clothing. There’s great websites, such as Vinted, that allow you to sell your items online. I’ve also seen women start Instagram accounts specifically for selling gently used clothing from their closet. You could set something like this up, too, and use all your profits to support a cause of your choice.
- Recycle: This option is one of the less common because to be honest, people can get lazy to do the research to find places to drop off at. I recommend using sites, such as Earth911 that allows you to search for centers near you. I just found out that a lot of stores such as Puma and H&M now allow you drop of clothing at their stores for recycling. A common misconception is that if your textiles are damaged, stained, ripped, etc, that you can’t recycle. That’s simply not true. Those can be recycled and reused to create carpet padding, insulation, or even made into other clothing.
- Buy to Last: While we can make better strides to make our used clothing more sustainable for the environment, the best option of all is to buy items to last. I’ve talked about this before, but this is by far the best option for our global health. If you purchase eco-friendly clothing and pieces that are versatile, there will be less textiles we need to recycle.
Slow Fashion vs. Fast Fashion
Slow fashion is similar to the “slow food” movement – avoiding fast food. There is a movement to avoid fast fashion and change the values of the fashion industry. The fashion industry has developed into a high consumption, globalization rate in what seems overnight. There is a growing group of people who are realizing the damage being done and want to literally slow down – Slow Fashion.
We used to be a society who valued clothing as something to be kept for repetitive use, now people will literally throw away their clothes. 85% of textiles end up in landfills each year! Through increasing technologies, fast fashion brands such as Zara or H&M can design, outsource, and produce an entire shipment in as little as three weeks. The traditional fashion-selling model consisted of preparing and marketing clothing lines that would come out for specific seasons. While it might be nice to see something new every couple weeks in such stores, their effect on our world far outweigh us swiping our card for an item we don’t really need.
Slow fashion challenges that by valuing quality, versatility and styles that are timeless. It’s not even necessarily about where your clothes are made, but how they were made. Slow fashion values mindful-consumption rather than a world full of over-consumption.
Consumers have become increasingly attached to the price sticker. A fast fashion dress only costs around $20, but a slow fashion cost $100. You can see why the fast fashion would win. But the point of slow fashion is to reuse something you know met the production cost as well as meeting the living wages of garment workers and respecting our environment. Where you spend your money is equivalent to where you vote. It’s important to consider your purchases and make your purchase count.
This transition into slow fashion is not something that can be done overnight, but companies can make strides to be responsible with our environment and people. At the end of the day, business need to make money, but you can create fashion lines that are profitable while controlling your carbon footprint and valuing human rights.
Photo credit found here