Is it Sustainable Fashion?
Happy day, reader dearest!
One of the odd things about writing a blog…
And sometimes the two tangle.
Lots of life is like that. Bits and pieces. Crossing over. Getting tangled. Sometimes connecting. Sometimes missing.
Like when you are putting together a puzzle and the piece you try doesn’t quite fit…
Sustainable Style and Sustainable Fashion are a bit like that. They are two concepts that overlap in places and not in others. What is Sustainable Style? and What is Sustainable Fashion? are two different questions.
Each with more than one answer!
Sustainable Fashion can be a part of Sustainable Style, but Sustainable Style encompasses so much more!
By 2017, one garbage truck of clothes (5,787 pounds) was burned or sent to landfills every second.Sofi Thanhauser, Worn: A People’s History of Clothing
I’m not going to get too into the weeds on Sustainable Fashion. There are more articles than you can read in a lifetime about the damage the fashion industry does to the environment daily, not to mention documentaries and other media. They evangelize more effectively than I ever can.
Ideally, Sustainable Fashion has a lower impact on the environment. (Lower is a squishy word.) Sustainable Fashion can mean using organic fibers to prevent pesticide pollution or changing dyeing processes to use less water. Sustainable can mean vegan leathers made from mushrooms or pineapple. Yes, those are coming and they’re super cool!
Beware greenwashing… Even fast fashion brands are getting on the sustainable wagon.
I will get into the distinction between Style and Fashion.
Fashion is your clothing. The stuff you wear. Style is HOW you do that.
So if Fashion is the stuff we put on our bodies and style is how you do it, Sustainable Style takes more than Sustainable Fashion into account. You get to decide what Sustainable Style means for you.
Sustainable Fashion is one piece of Sustainable Style.
Budget is the unsexy element of Sustainable Style! If you spend more on your clothing than you can comfortably afford, that’s NOT sustainable. Although budgeting and money are not topics people want to talk about, everywhere you look you’ll see articles: New Wardrobe for $249! OR Look how cheap this was! AND What a great deal I got! These articles make me cringe. I understand that being able to choose quality and pricepoint is a privilege, but you can be discerning at any price point.
Buying Less is an often overlooked piece of Sustainable Style. You may have seen the #buynothingnewin2022 hashtag floating about. A shopping fast is one way to do it. Creating boundaries for your shopping is another. (Like the French 5?) Unsubcribing from retailers who tempt you helps. (Believe you me…) Buying Less is the reason I encourage you to #shopyourwardrobe #shopyourcloset AND why I don’t liketoknowit…
Preloved Buying is a great way to smallerize your wardrobe spending AND makes for less clothing waste. Double win. If you find buying preloved creepy but want to give it a try, start with accessories. Shopping preloved online may be less creepy, too. If that feels hard, here’s are 5 Strategies for Success. Related to Buying Preloved is…
Remaking or Upcycling
These two are growing (again) in popularity. YAY! I say again, because Remaking is the way humans did wardrobing for millenia. In the latter half of the previous century, we shifted into disposal mode and are paying the price. If you aren’t a talented stitcher, a seamstress can be your best friend when it comes to updating and restyling garments you already own.
Plays Well with Others
We think of plays-well-with-others as a tick box on your Kindergarten progress report, but it’s also a BIG part of Sustainable Style and a Sustainable Wardrobe. Think of it as versatility. You need a wardrobe with Balance, made up of pieces you can play with to create different combinations over multiple seasons. That’s far more sustainable than a closet full of disparate outfits that only work for one or two seasons. Do you think in Outfits or Separates?
How About You?
Is Sustainability something you consider when you make decisions for your home? Your wardrobe? Other parts of your lifestyle? Has it always been? Or is Sustainability nudging you to pay it some mind? Which pieces of Sustainable Style can you see trying? Or which do you do already? Do tell! I love to hear from you…