5 Sustainable Fashion Misconceptions
I'll be the first to admit that if a few years ago, someone mentioned 'sustainable fashion', I would have immediately thought of my vegan sister's hemp clothing. In fact, I'm not sure I would have even put the two words in the same sentence. When I began my search for sustainable and ethical clothing brands, I just grabbed a post-it note, positive I wouldn't even be able to fill that up. 6 pages in a notebook later, I had to take a break. Taking a minute to reflect on what I had found, I was absolutely astounded at the selection! So with this thought, we debunk myth #1:
Sustainable Fashion Just Isn't My Style
The sustainable fashion world is not limited to Patagonia, much to my initial surprise. There are hundreds of brands producing beautifully-made clothing, shoes, accessories (and even lingerie!) for every type of consumer. Reformation makes the best form-fitting dresses, Zady has an impressive collection of classic pieces for the professional woman and Kowtow makes the coolest minimalist clothing. And there are many, many more. From my earth-trodding sister to my fashion-forward husband, there is literally something for everyone. Just like I found, a quick search online will prove it!
Sustainable Fashion Isn't Good Quality
Okay this one, I find ironic. We automatically assume that if a product has a designer label, it is of the highest quality. However, when you consider that it is mass-produced over a short time for a lot of consumers, there is not really enough time for craftsmanship. Clothing made in a workshop rather than a sweatshop, not only gives the consumer peace of mind, it also gives the consumer that quality, as the garments are made in smaller-batches over a longer period of time. Not to mention, these clothing brands use more non-toxic fibers, such as organic cotton, which are more durable and long-lasting than the cheaper materials well known fashion brands may use to keep their costs low.
Sustainable Fashion is Too Expensive
Ask yourself: how can some fashion brands be so cheap? Buying a camisole for $6, we can safely assume the workers who made the shirt are not being paid a living wage. Let's check the materials; for that price I would say we're looking at a cheap polyester or nylon blend, probably not organic silk. Yes, most times sustainable fashion is more expensive. Though there are great brands like Everlane where you can get a t-shirt from $15-$35, in general, it is more expensive than big brand names like Forever21 and H&M, where you can buy an item of clothing for the price of a coffee. I get it, it's hard to buy that $55 cami when you know you can get half a dozen for the same price. But getting a higher-quality garment that doesn't negatively impact the environment or deny a poor worker basic human rights, makes it worth every penny. Every. Damn. Time.
It's Hard to Find
Stop what you're doing and go check out Reve en Vert. It's like a sustainable Nordstrom.com, full of Melissa Joy Manning Jewelry, Baserange and Fillipa K, to name a few. Cora Hilts and Natasha Tucker founded it in 2013 and have established it as the premier e-commerce site for sustainable luxury. They basically did all the hard work for you so reap the beautiful, wonderful benefits and shop to your heart's content.
It Won't Make a Difference
*Insert Ghandi Quote*
Fashion is one of the largest polluting industries in the world, with 2,700 liters of water used to make just 1 t-shirt. When enough consumers start to demand that the fashion industry change, they will have to listen. Their livelihood depends on our purchasing-we have the power. When the world has more conscious shoppers, they will be forced to clean up their act. So get loud, get feisty, get conscious.