Fashion Enthusiasts with Ethical Principles by Nico
Everyone wears clothes and most often than not we buy so much more than we need. I bet most of us have pieces which are still with the label attached or forgotten at the back of their wardrobe.
I love clothes and for me clothing is a form of expression, but I can’t deny that most of the brands are anything but ethical or sustainable. We consume with such a rapid pace whilst being bombarded by media everywhere we look, making us believe that what we have is not enough or is outdated. This is the fast fashion monster. But mind over matter, we need to start realising that a) this is who we are and this is our style so there is no expiry date on any clothes we own and b) we need to be more aware from where and under what circumstances the clothes were made – an issue that we are disregarding way too quickly in this day and age. It’s quite easy to fall into the trap really, social media is designed to make you crave more, and without knowing you’re filling that basket to have it delivered right to your door. It’s that easy to get new stuff, not fully aware of the humanitarian and the environmental impact these impulsive unnecessary purchases are causing.
It’s time for change. Over the past year we have seen a massive increase in consciousness; be it about the environment (especially the plastic consumption), veganism awareness, equality and equity around us. This is all so great and such a beautiful time to come together to better what we all share and call HOME. Fashion Revolution is another movement which has been going on globally for quite some time, recently also in Malta, raising awareness about various humanitarian and environmental issues that the fashion industry is causing and bluntly ignoring.
So, how to be ethical and sustainable in this fast-paced industry you may ask? Be your own boss. Know your brands. Do your research and let your morals guide you.
Love it & Wear it out:
Learn to truly love your possessions and not just toss them away. Any piece of clothing can be worn over and over for different occasions. Get to know what you really love and have fun styling these pieces in different ways to make use of them. Clothes have no expiry date. Let’s break the cycle of Fast Fashion and stay true to our style and what we really like.
Doubling the useful life of clothing from one year to two years reduces emissions by 24% – Time out for Fast Fashion, Greenpeace.
Check out Fashion Revolution University of Malta’s #haulternative video : https://www.instagram.com/p/B_NPoXZHYxS/
Buy what you really need; fix that ripped jeans, sweater or any other damaged good instead of replacing it by another 3 pieces. Alter clothes that no longer fit or hand me downs, swap, up-cycle… the list is endless. So many ways to reduce this consumption.
Treasure hand me downs/ get familiar with thrift shopping:
This is a personal favourite and it is for most of the bargain hunters, fashion lovers and vintage seekers. From jackets, shirts, bags, hats to jewellery – so many unique one-off pre-loved items with character waiting for a new owner to restart their journey. The hunt is beautiful and the finds are magical. This personally satisfies my soul much more than any brand new piece, but if bargain hunting or antique/vintage items is not your thing, you can still benefit and be part of the hand-me-down cycle. Let’s take kids for example. On average a baby is showered by one to many bibs, jammies, socks… the list goes on. So much, that the baby has already outgrown them before the tag is removed. Kids grow so fast, so they’re the perfect candidates for clothes swapping, sharing and handing over to other families.
Open your wardrobe, go through what you have – you will find pieces which you have forgotten about. Remove the ones you no longer feel comfortable wearing or do not have space for and donate them to families, NGOS, organisations or charity shops. So many people need what we might just perceive as outdated. Clothes are essentially a basic need and what we might take for granted and disregard based on style and personal taste is of good use for people in need. The simplest way to extend the life of your clothes is by giving them to a new owner.
It starts with purchasing only what you love and need to avoid having a pile of unwanted clothes, getting creative with the ones you don’t like as much anymore, or hand them over to others. This keeps the cycle flowing and breaks the habit of tossing and replacing.
Given that we are not going out as much, we shouldn’t have the need / desire to purchase new clothes. Alternatively, we should use this free time to get to know our clothes, the ones we have forgotten all about. Experiment with styles to find what really works for you and not what this Fast Fashion cycle makes you believe should be in your closet.
However, it’s not just about reducing, fixing and opting for the second hand clothing. As consumers we need to start asking: #whomademyclothes. Buying new clothes is somewhat inevitable, and as much as second hand and reducing in clothes purchasing is beneficial for the environment we still need to think about those new clothes that are being made. And this is where our morals come in. This is where we need to put our conscious buying hat on and know the brands we are choosing. How ethical are they? Are you supporting humanitarian issues such as child labour and poor working conditions when purchasing and wearing that brand?
Fashion Revolution Week has kicked off (20th-26th April) & it is the perfect week to get to know more about ethical and sustainable fashion, and this year we have more time on our hands to know our clothes, get creative with what we have, and get ready to swap or donate (when this pandemic is over) the ones we have no room for.
We have solutions, but the first step is building awareness and have the will to change, and this goes beyond fashion. Thankfully, we are all using this time to realize how damaging our ways are. We can no longer consume without any second thought or understanding of who or from where did that item, whether it’s food or clothes, came from. We are responsible for our actions, we are shaping up and creating a world which is becoming so hard to live in, so why should we stick to these ‘normal’ ways?
Join the Revolution. You are the Revolution.
Malta Social Handles: