A post by @jillematthews | @suttonandgrove on Last Layer
It is so easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of destruction and damage that is happening to our beautiful planet every single day. The more we get involved in learning about the environment and its current state of health, the more we start to feel helpless and often start to think, “Well how on earth can I simply make a change”. We are all consumers, and there’s no doubt about it, especially living in Western society where we are fast paced and continually consuming beings. No matter what we look like or where we come from, most of us have to wear clothes on a daily basis to cover up our naked bodies and keep us warm. And whether you are aware of it or not, that means that we all contribute to the fashion industry and are responsible for the outcomes and wastes produced in this industry. Just like we eat food every day, we wear clothes every day. Starting to make positive change in any kind of area, all starts with your mindset, so here are 3 easy and simple things to think about when it comes to buying your next outfit.
1. Avoid buying from fast fashion brands and support local and slow fashion businesses.
Fast fashion brands are brands that churn out garments at an incredibly fast and cheap pace. The turnaround is so fast and the quantity so large, that factories struggle to keep up and meet deadlines, so they outsource.
This is where the issues really begin. Its super common for factories to take on an unachievable work load to then outsource it to other factories, who will then outsource it again. This leaves the supply chain completely untraceable and non-transparent. Fast Fashion brands are here to make money, to produce and sell at the cheapest prices possible with no regard of their impact. By supporting fast fashion labels, we are blinding voting with our dollar towards the destruction and disrespect of our planet and exploitation of workers.
We need to take a minute before getting excited over that $5 T shirt or $15 maxi skirt. Stop and think about why this garment is so cheap, where your money is going and what behaviour that will support.
Support sustainably made! There are incredible options around, ethical brands that show transparency and are making better choices in regards to materials and take care of their workers, and they deserve your support!
2. Reuse! Buy second hand, trade with friends, upcycle.
Op shops and vintage shop are a great place to go. Not only do you find one of a kind pieces, vintage materials and just all round amazing items, you also are giving that garment a second chance at life. What a beautiful thing you are doing for those clothes! Garments have a lifetime, like us humans. They are made, sold, worn and then disposed. By buying second hand and vintage we are contributing to a circular system which see clothes going through their life processes a number of times before ending up in the landfill.
The way consumerism has conditioned us, its left a disconnection between people, planet and product. Sustainable fashion is quite a new concept for a lot of people and they need more education. When people understand, they want to support. Education is key. Change starts from you, and that means starting to spread the truth and positive word of conscious fashion. There are so many subtle ways that we can start to spread the word and educate others, but the most powerful is to live by example. When you start to make changes in your habits, beliefs and routine, then others will notice and start to question why and what you are doing. That is your chance to stand up for your beliefs and start to inform and educate others about what is really going on in the fashion industry and how they too can help make a change. We all need to be advocates for what we believe, activists for what is right and stand up for our planet and our beautiful Mother Nature.
Join us on this journey :)
Written by Meg Wall
It was only a few years ago that my clothing purchases were based predominantly on the style and price point of the piece. My priority with fashion had always been putting together great, comfy outfits at budget price. While I did shop mainly at secondhand clothing stores, I couldn’t help being drawn to the alluring bargains and styles by other designers or fast fashion stores at times. Being uneducated and oblivious about the importance of fabric origins and qualities, what the labels read were rarely a deciding factor.
A few years and a lot of research later, my approach to consumerism has drastically changed. I’m continually more aware of the products I’m buying, the materials they are made of and ultimately the companies I am investing in.
Plastics, being the enemy of our environment are an obvious evil invention that we need to phase out immediately. Plastic bottles, straws, packaging are items that we can immediately recognise and eliminate but unfortunately not all plastics are that easy to identify.
Every day and night we are surrounded by fabrics; Our clothing, our furniture, our bed sheets, car seats, our upholstery. Some of the most common fabrics getting around are Polyester, Rayon, Arcylic and Fleece.
These are what we call, Synthetic Fabrics, they are often made from dihydric alcohol, terpthalic acid, polycrylonitriles, causeic soda, ammonia, acetone, sulphuric acid, petroleum and perfluorinated chemicals.
Synthetic fabric is toxic, cheap and affects your health as well as the health of our planet.
Every time we wash these polyester and acrylic pieces, they shed thousands of micro plastics down the drain.
Micro-plastics are tiny fibres and fragments of plastic and are among the most abundant form of debris in the environment. The fibres that are released, travel to your local wastewater treatment plant where majority of them will pass through directly into our rivers, lakes and are often found on the ocean surface, the deep sea and the marine food chain.
We can’t see it, we can’t clean it up and we are generally clueless to this pollution that doesn’t degrade and inevitably ends up in the stomachs of our animal friends.
Fortunately, their are natural alternatives out there!
We just need to be aware, educate others and invest responsibility. Take the time to read the labels, research the brand and look for well-made products that use linen, hemp and organic cottons. Quality clothing may seem expensive and in some cases overpriced but raw materials are more superior, and take time and love to be woven into beautiful fabrics that are soft and durable on opposed to chemically treated disposable pieces. These are worth the investment.
Changing the path of consumerism begins with us making simple changes in our lives.
Using multidisciplinary practices, Eben Goff explores natural processes in material and mineral forms. Goff fuses natural and manmade matter such as concrete, wood, metal and carved wax to create juxtaposition artworks.
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