How did you celebrate Earth Day? 2017’s campaign main focuses were all about environmental and climate literacy.
Join The Eco-Friendly Fashion Revolution! Become aware of the current state of our environment and take steps to work towards a cleaner future.
Thanks to new sustainable innovations being put to practice in the business of fashion, we as consumers no longer have the dilemma of choosing between being eco-friendly or fashionable. The fashion industry refers to ‘eco-friendly’ as the practice of inflicting minimal harm on the environment. Fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry behind oil, requiring the substantial use of water and chemicals for production, and resulting in much-discarded waste.
In case you haven’t noticed, Greenery is the new black! – inspired by nature, the yellow-green shade is also a symbol of new beginnings. “This is the color of hopefulness, and of our connection to nature. It speaks to what we call the ‘re’ words: regenerate, refresh, revitalize, renew. Every spring we enter a new cycle, and new shoots come from the ground. It is something life-affirming to look forward to.” explained Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute to The New York Times. There is a noticeable adoption towards more mindful approaches to Eco-friendly lifestyles. The age of authenticity has arrived and the consumer is demanding changes in this billion-dollar industry. Increasingly people are motivated by social issues as well as economic – (health, climate change, fair trade, and corporate social responsibility) – using collective purchasing power to influence suppliers away from environmentally harmful practices in an ethical movement. Ethical consumerism is a form of activism based on the notion of “dollar voting”. In other words, is how consumers influence brands to adopt sustainable manufacturing practices when catering to their changing demands.
Data has proven millennials “the green generation” have influenced a big market shift for more eco-friendly products in the market. A 2015 Nielsen global online study found that the generation continues to be willing to pay extra for sustainable products. The expression “ethical consumer” was originally publicized by Ethical Consumer, a UK magazine that identifies themselves as “the hub of the ethical consumer movement”. For over 25 years the magazine has focused on campaigns challenging corporate businesses to improve their chain of supply, and providing resourceful information to consumers on how to lead a more eco-conscious lifestyle.
But how can we become more environmentally conscious and still lead a fashionable life?
There are several ways in which you can contribute to a more sustainable fashion future. In the same way, it has been proven that leading a healthy lifestyle as opposed to crash dieting is more conducive to achieving a clean bill of health, sustainability should be approached with a similar attitude. Adopting an all-around lifestyle based on the mindfulness of being sustainable in different aspects of our life is key. Choosing organic foods, eco-friendly cleaning products, recycling, and repurposing are some of the ways we can incorporate changes in our everyday living. Recycled tote bags are one of the easiest ways to take steps towards protecting the environment. I used my tote bags as my go-to bags when shopping for groceries, as a school bag, beach bag, storage, and even gift bags! Earth Day was celebrated around the world on April 21st. An ideal way to observe this celebration and contribute towards the well being of the environment is by planting a tree. If you think you are at a disadvantage when living in an urban area like myself, lookout for ways to volunteer through a local community garden or through your town’s parks and recreation organizations.
And relax, attempting to be eco-conscious in the fashion world doesn’t mean that you have to buy a new wardrobe. Caring for the pieces you already own is one of the most accessible ways of putting to practice an eco-conscious lifestyle.
Start with these simple suggestions:
- Re-wear it! Everything comes back around, especially in fashion. Find ways to revamp old pieces at home with fun and therapeutic DIY projects. Denim cut-offs is just one example.
- Have a swap party with friends. Bring unwanted good condition items to swap with others. As the saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”
- Always keep a mending kit with needle and thread handy Replace missing buttons, zips, and alter hemlines on the pieces needing a bit of TLC.
- Choose cold water versus hot water. You’ll cut electricity usage by half, and will keep your clothing from fading. In fact, every home that makes the switch to cold-water eliminates about 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
- When possible, air dry or hand wash. It’s not only beneficial to saving energy and money, but it also gives your clothing’s life cycle more longevity.
- When you no longer want or need them, always make sure to recycle. Data shows that an average American throws away about 80 pounds of used clothing per person. Donate or sell your good condition items to thrift, second-hand stores, and friends.
The spring season is marked as a time for regeneration and detoxification. Depending on the type of region of the world we might be living, some of us will be shedding physical layers of clothing from our daily attires. The land will be equally shedding its layer to make way for a new generation of natural botanical life. Take this time to shift and bring an abundance of light and space into your habitat. Keep in mind, quality over quantity. Invest in transitional quality pieces that can be worn alone or layered. focus on sourcing standout pieces that aim to be utilitarian and stylish.
Make purchases with the aim to build an Eco-friendly wardrobe by shopping sustainable brands.
Being mindful about the state of our environment has gotten easier thanks to a new crop of fashion brands making sustainability the main element of their production practice. These brands use Eco-friendly manufacturing practices by acknowledging fair labor laws, and working with new innovations in terms of sustainable textiles development and re-purpose.
These are some of the new Eco-friendly fashion brands making environmental consciousness the new black.
Everlane’s slogan “Beautiful basics. Radical transparency. No middlemen” encompasses the core of the brand’s mission. Michael Preysman founded the direct-to-consumer brand in 2005 out of a passion for great design and frustration due to the lack of innovation in the retail market. Everlane’s “radical transparency” motto believes customers should have the right to know how and what it cost to make their products. Everlane discloses the factories they work with, the product’s cost and their markup.
EDUN (“nude” spelled backward, to suggest both “natural” and the Garden of Eden) is a global fashion brand based in New York part of the LVMH group. Founded by Ali Hewson and Bono in 2005. EDUN’s long-term goal is to foster sustainable growth opportunities by supporting manufacturers, community-based initiatives and partnering with African artists and artisans. In 2009 Edun and the Invisible Children society founded the CCIU (Conservation Cotton Initiative Uganda) which aims to support farming communities displaced by the civil war in Uganda.
When it comes to clothing manufacturing, SVILU takes into consideration all aspects of its design process. From the environmental impact of the materials they use, the brand makes an effort to make their clothes from responsibly sourced, and sustainable fabrics, to the conditions and standards of the factories they partner with. SVILU choices reflect their mission: mindfully made.
Arkins was founded on the idea that comfortable, quality clothing should be produced in a socially conscious way. Part of the brand’s mission is to cut the negative impacts of fashion through sustainable design and innovation. Arkins focus on sourcing renewable fibers from farmers with honest, straightforward practices. “Simply put, we believe people and the planet are worth far more than profit.”
Even Though the number of brands working towards sustainable practices is increasing more each day, the economic social class-based element can inhibit less affluent consumers from adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle. This is where Miigle comes in. The social impact tech company is working on ways to make sustainable products accessible to all social classes. Miigle helps facilitates the discovery of sustainable brands through technologies, while making it easier for consumers to see social eco-friendly alternatives when shopping online.
The Earth evolution is happening. Are you ready to be part of it?
This piece was originally written by me in collaboration with Radisson Red.