What is sustainable fashion? Dictionary.com explains ‘sustainable’ as ‘capable of being maintained at a steady level without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage’. So, what exactly does ‘sustainable’ have to do with the fashion industry? Unfortunately, it has a lot to do with it! So, what is fashion’s dirty little secret??
This is shocking to hear! Right? I never really thought too much about this until I started reading about climate change and the pollution caused by the oil industry (the 1st most toxic polluter in the world). Many reports have said that the fashion industry is actually the 2nd most polluting industry in the world, but there are conflicting reports as to how you can measure this due to the lack of transparency in the industry. I have read a lot about how single use plastic causes pollution in our water but did not know the major impact that the fashion industry has on our environment. When I dived deeper into this awareness, I found that not only does the industry have a direct effect on our environment, but it also affects our lives socially, culturally and economically. This is tremendously troubling to me as I have spent many years working in the fashion industry and not one company that I worked for ever talked about sustainability.
This revelation to me in the fashion industry brought me to where I am now. I felt I couldn’t align my personal beliefs and values to those practiced in the fashion industry. Being a long time veteran in fashion (having worked for major companies in NYC and LA), I was really disillusioned with what I’ve seen and learned along the way in my career- from child labor, social and gender inequality, pollution and waste in production and insecure, unsafe work environments – I was not in a place I ever thought I’d end up in. So many times, I wondered what I was doing and why? I will get more detailed in future blog posts on the impacts of the industry but the current climate in fashion is not sustainable.
Young people are inheriting problems before they are even born.
I’d like to rewind back to 2009, when my husband, Dave, and I had started a company called ‘THE YOUNG 1S’. It was a kid’s line of tees and onesies with catchy phrases in different languages. We offered 100% organic cotton in all the styles. Our motto was to ‘Unite babies of the world’ in this ‘wee generation’. This was right before our daughter Stella was born. Where we ahead of our time then? Where our ideas radical? We wanted to introduce organic cotton, we wanted to use sweatshop free factories and we wanted a better future for our (soon to be) daughter.
Our company does not exist anymore but our core values, hopes and dreams for the world are even stronger now. Breaking down borders and uniting babies of the world. We could use some of that right now. Some unity. Or a lot of it actually. We could do better for our environment. Supporting what is important and educating ourselves is a perfect place to start.
I truly believe the future of fashion is sustainability.
Will you take this sustainable journey with me? I hope you say Yes!
Xoxo A Sustainable Love 💚