"Fashion is what you're offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose." —Lauren Hutton
Truth be told, we didn’t know who Lauren Hutton was until we came across her quote about fashion and we couldn’t agree more. What we do notice all around us is how somewhere along the line, the majority of us treat both fashion and style in the same way. If its in fashion, we’ve got to have it. In other words, following trends and having a wardrobe the size of a clothing store (metaphorically speaking), is ‘normal’.
The term fast fashion was coined to describe mass production of inexpensive clothing in response to the latest trends. They don't often follow seasons but churn out new collections a lot faster- often every 6-8 weeks. Some of the fast fashion brands you would've come across are- Zara, H&M, Gap, Primark, Uniqlo and Topshop. Sadly, with the ability to produce cheaper and larger quantities of clothing came the 'use and throw' mentality and we're getting accustomed to cheap clothing that only lasts a couple of washes. We know that this item is easily replaceable and there is always someone less fortunate to hand it down to. Our grandparents and every generation before them would often use a piece of cloth and reuse or repurpose it till its end-of-life stage. It would then find itself a new life as a hand-me-down. Our consumption habits have driven this industry to the point it is at and it continues to do so.
The documentary 'The True Cost' points out very well that even after we have given our clothes away to the less fortunate, they now are of the same mentality too and so we have a larger amount of textile waste ending up in landfills. Fast fashion brands keep producing and we keep buying and throwing! In the UK alone, 235 million pieces of clothing were said to have been sent to landfills in spring 2017. This number is only growing. Only 0.1 percent of all clothing collected by charities and take-back programs is recycled into new textile fiber, according to H&M's development sustainability manager, Henrik Lampa. The true cost documentary also showcases the effect of fast fashion on people and the environment. When fabric is dyed, it is done using toxic chemicals which pollute waterways. Wood-based fabrics like rayon, modal and viscose contribute to deforestation. Cotton is a crop that is grown in bulk and is known as the dirtiest crop. It is a pesticide and water intensive crop. Polyester fabrics washed in domestic washing machines shed plastic microfibers which make their way to into drinking water and aquatic food chains which eventually reach us, humans. Garment workers are paid below the minimum wage and overworked in unfair and adverse conditions.
To sum it up-@thesustainablefashionforum have come up with 6 reasons to ditch fast fashion and we couldn't have said it better ourselves:
❎ It's cheaply made and designed to fall apart
❎ It leads to a huge amount of textile waste and environmental pollution. 20% of global production waste comes from the textile and apparel sectors
❎ It exploits garment workers and has claimed the lives of many
❎ It's often harmful and many cases deadly to animals
❎ Fast fashion Giants are notorious for copying indie designers
❎ It creates a throw-away mentality that makes us believe we need to constantly buy more
This industry is also the second-biggest consumer of water, producing 20% of wastewater while also generating more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
Research collated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation suggests that global clothing production has doubled in the past 15 years, with garments on average being worn much less and discarded quicker than ever before.
This is why Australia needs to wake up to sustainable fashion!
Slow fashion is a concept wherein we as a brand produce at a slower pace, keeping our environmental impact and the ethical standards of production in mind. And you as a consumer, buy at a slower pace goods that are of better quality, built to last longer, use fabric made from natural, decomposable fibres and are timeless. Our collections don’t renew at the same pace as fast fashion and high street brands. We learn to care for these clothes, upcycle them & hand them down to others. Look for brands that respect and aspire towards these goals.
At Bud and Bloom kids, we aspire to adopt circular fashion practices and are developing a ‘take-back’ program where we accept back our apparel at the end of its life and find alternative ways to use, recycle and compost it.
Here’s what you can do to help-
- Look for brands that support ‘taking it slow’ with their collections
- Support small scale business (the impact on the environment is bound to be lower)
- Buy clothes made from existing (dead stock) fabric
- Say no to completely man-made synthetic clothing like polyester that contributes immensely to ocean pollution
- Look for items that are versatile and can be styled in different ways
- Most importantly, create your own style as trends come and go but the planet won’t!
At Bud and Bloom kids, we aspire to be a brand that adopts sustainable fashion, including circular fashion practices. We have developed a ‘take-back’ program where we accept back our apparel at the end of its life and find alternative ways to use, recycle and compost it.
What is your take on Sustainability & Fashion? Comment below.