Fashion + Sustainable Practices 01.
When I returned to school at FIDM to further pursue my career in the Fashion / Design world, I was surprised to learn about so many issues with Fashion and Sustainability. Though I was aware and concerned with sustainability and environmental issues before, there had not been light shed on the Beauty and Fashion industry’s role in these issues.
We all know of today’s environmental issues. There is pollution, global warming, issues with trash and waste, - however I did not realize that in fact the fashion industry is one of the leading causes of waste, pollution, toxic materials, exploitation of human lives, and more in the world. I only knew what I knew about Fashion and Beauty Production, and have quickly learned that in fact I was quite Nieve about most realities.
When do we stop to think about why some clothes are so cheap? How are these Companies & Manufacturers making a Profit? Who is making my clothes? What are my clothes made out of? Where are these materials being sourced from? Are these processes harmful for the environment? How do they ship all of these goods all over the world? What do they do with the shipping containers after? What happens to all of the clothes after they are dumped at goodwill or other donation sites? Who is paying the price for clothes to be made so cheaply? Who’s responsibility is it for all of this?
It was a shock to learn further about these issues, and how my choices were directly supporting a system that knowingly continues these practices and systems, even when there are many sustainable solutions out there. I have had many discussions in my classes and personal life regarding who’s responsibility is it to enforce these changes out of harmful systems to systems that are better? The Government? The Fashion Designers and Manufacturers? There is one things we all have in common : we are all Consumers, and we are all responsible. Despite Designers constantly pursuing and creating solutions, the fact is that the power is in the consumer’s choices, and only when the consumer becomes more informed, and acts based on that, is when things will change. The power is in the Choice of the Consumer.
The past few years as I have been slowly shifting my lifestyle to embrace my passion for being a part of that change no matter how small my choices are they are still making a ripple towards a change for the better. Once you become aware of something, it becomes hard to ignore.
I plan on discussing more about this, sharing what I do and don’t buy, how I base those decisions, and what we can do to truly make a change in this world for the better.
For those of you wanting to learn more, I highly recommend starting with watching The True Cost. This is a documentary that truly opened my eyes to the Fashion Industry and shifted my view on what I will and will not purchase, why, and the reality of the cost behind my clothes, and left me wondering, Who Made My Clothes?