When I saw a tweet announcing the release of the book ‘Clothing Poverty’ by Andrew Brooks, I didn’t know how fast to run to an online bookstore to order it. The subtitle of the book being ‘the hidden world of fast fashion and second-hand clothes’, this book could not be left unreviewed on my blog. The focus of this book lies mainly on illustrating the social and economic non-sustainability of the fashion industry. A very interesting and also highly political and difficult subject, not a light read. Therefore, I thought I’d break down some of the highlights of the book for you!
What a maze. Do you have any idea what kind of certifications there are in the clothing industry, what they actually mean (IF they actually mean anything relevant for you), and how to make good use of them while shopping? Well I didn’t. I had heard of GOTS before, because of my own involvement with a sustainable clothing label, and of course about ‘something’ fair trade. But there is more, apparently. Below I have listed 4 important certifications available in the sustainable (clothing) industry, with a short indication of what they actually mean. So if you have plans to shop more sustainable (which you should!), make good use of this list. Remember some of them and in that way reduce the risk of being ‘greenwashed’. By the way, if you have any suggestions for other certifications that I should include, let me know!
On February 19th, New York Fashion Week concluded, having showcased the newest designs for next winter. Being considered the number one trendsetting fashion week in the world, you might expect for the organization and designers to have something to say about one of the major topics in the fashion industry at the moment: sustainability. However, no explicit statements were made during or surrounding the event. David Dietz of sustainable fashion platform Modavanti feels like NYFW has dropped the ball on sustainable fashion. Being, of course, a strong advocate for the sustainable cause (and also having a commercial interest in this, I assume), he states that at a moment when the sustainability movement is becoming stronger and stronger, the subject should at least be picked up in some form by the main shows. While my initial reaction was to agree with Dietz, I think there are two different lines of argument in this discussion. Continue Reading
On my search for innovative and stylish sustainable fashion collections, I stumbled upon Dutch brand OAT shoes. As you can see in the picture above, these are not just your regular shoes. As discussed in the article regarding the definition of sustainable fashion, the fashion lifecycle goes beyond the production process. That is a concept that these people have understood to the core. You buy sustainably produced shoes, and after wearing them out, you can plant them in your backyard, the shoes degrade on their own without leaving behind any toxic waste, and your garden will have an extra touch of green! Amazing, right?
I want to start with asking you a question. If buying clothes would be an addiction; on a scale of 1 to 10, how much of an addict would you be?
During my research for this post, I came to realize that a lot of our behavior as consumers of fashion is relatively similar to the behavior of drug addicts. We are looking for instant and cheap gratification of our need for something ‘to look good in’, something new. This need pops up on an awfully high frequency. Enough is never enough. More is always better. When you want to cure a drug addict, what is it you do? Take away all the drugs, all the bad influences. Let them go cold turkey and make sure that afterwards, the ex-addict is only surrounded by positive influences, or can resist the bad influences on his own, or at least I think so. Would that work in fashion as well? Who has the responsibility to cure us fashion-addicts? With us, society, or within the fashion industry?
A couple of weeks ago, I informed you about an upcoming series on this blog, about sustainable fashion. I already thought it would be an interesting, but complicated ordeal. This turned out to be very true. So much to read. So many opinions. So many experts. Today I proudly present you the first post in the series ‘Discover the world of Sustainable Fashion’.
Sustainable Fashion Definition
I love definitions. Often times they make life easier. They are also a great topic for discussion. In the case of sustainable fashion, it might not surprise you that there exists no formal definition. It seems impossible to formulate a definition of sustainable fashion that would be applicable to the current fashion industry.
The past few weeks I took my first steps in the sustainable fashion world. First impression: how in the *@^(^$ does this work, where do I start with learning about it?! There is SO much I don’t know. A lot going on, experts writing books and giving talks, from a thousand different visions and angles. And I don’t know a thing. I don’t even know how normal clothing lines are being produced, how the traditional fashion industry operates, let alone sustainable clothes.
There is a whole unexplored world lying at my feet, and it excites me as much as it scares me. So what the heck, I just take the leap and start. Start by reading, talking, writing about it with people who know a thing or two. With experts in the field and with newcomers. First (big) book on my reading list? The Sustainable Fashion Handbook by Sandy Black - amazing if you ask me.