“But radical transparency isn’t easy. Critics say that the most radical thing about Everlane is its marketing — a charge the company vigorously denies.”
– Sarah Kent, Business of Fashion Case Study: Lessons from Fashion’s Journey to Radical Transparency
Finally… it’s been said!!!!!
Brands can deny it all they want, but cheap clothing and actual sustainability go together like the Exxon Valdez spill and seagulls. Meaning… they don’t.
Yet by perpetuating the viability of fast fashion in the sustainable movement- both as a bandaid for the larger industry in free fall and also as a cure all for our earthly woes… the expectations of these brands should actually be even higher.
Therefore, we as both consumers and also those in the industry who support, promote and work with these brands need to be more than the surface value of what we wear… and start embracing, supporting, promoting and working with brands pursuing actual sustainability. Meaning… we should be saying “thank you, next” to disposable fashion.
Because now more than ever consumers are pulling back Oz’s Great Green Greenwashing Curtain… which makes it imperative that we promote sustainable fashion in a way that allows it to transform from a trend into an actual reality and not follow all the other fashion brands into their race to the bottom.
Power is in the hands of the consumer… therefore all that’s needed are the tools to succeed! Now, what do those tools actually look like? There are many, but as a wise turtle once said, slow and steady wins the race. So, let’s start with the basics…
(1) Buy Less… and from a former shop-a-holic… it’s actually easier than you think. However, don’t get me wrong because I still like to shop, I’m just not buying one-hit-wonders!
(2) Buy Better… no, a $20 tee isn’t going to last… nor was it made taking the environment, humans or anything else into consideration. So put it down. Seriously, back away and go check out Groceries Apparel or MATE the Label or Santicler or Industry of All Nations or even Buck Mason.
And of course there's my personal favorite, Stella McCartney. She's walked her talk for decades, and while still luxury, through her partnership with The Real Real Stella is now accessible to many, many, many more.
(3) Buy for Keeps… over the years I’ve forgotten about some of my favorite pieces in my closet. I think we’ve all been there. Right? Well, what’s “old” is now very new, and the best part is that I’m “hunting” for vintage without leaving my home!
In the end, if we are defined by what we do, remember that even the smallest of stones can create a gigantic ripple and we can all do #JustOneThing!
Photo by Cara Harmon for Cove Collective.