Doesn’t it feel like the more clothes we have in our closet the less we have to wear? Sometimes, I have this feeling. My closet is barely able to contain all of my clothes, but this doesn’t fulfill me on the inside. It’s a drama of keeping up with the trends to look relevant, an over consumption fed by fast fashion.
In the past two decades, a lot of us have fallen victim to the social norm of cheaper faster. Me too, I’m well aware of the fact that I’ve done it too, no lies. But now more than ever, I’m realizing the disconnect between my closet and what I stand for.
Put simply, the world is heating up fast and women are still dealing with unfair wages and abuse in the workplace. I think of it this way: with 1 in 6 people working in fashion globally, the industry has a giant footprint that I can influence by voting for products that support rather than break down people and planet.
As consumers, we actually have more power in our hands than we might think, even with an occasional shopping spree, we can definitely draw the line between what we need, what is extra, and what creates jobs with dignity.
The fewer, better shopping method outsmarts fast fashion.
This doesn’t mean we can never shop for the sheer pleasure of it. With resources like Remake’s sustainable brands list, filtered through our rigorous sustainability criteria, it’s easier to buy smarter. The criteria addresses a brand by focusing on the human element of maker well-being and extending through traceability, environmental sustainability, raw materials and leadership.
I found some cool sustainable brands on the list, and wanted to share because they caught my eye for being both stylish and sustainable, helping me wear my values:
One of my favorites! Neococo’s woman-powered t-shirt line creates job opportunities for refugee women that are overwhelmed with circumstances and an unpredictable future. To help with this transition, they create job opportunities for women so they can work from the comfort of their homes helping them resettle. They train and hire women through refugee resettlement agencies such as the International Rescue Committee and work with local mills and factories in Los Angeles to have control over quality and logistics. Every t-shirt is symbolic of women expressing freedom, transcending issues of conflict, abuse and women’s rights.
Older brother is a genderless clothing line that is cut, sewn, and dyed in Los Angeles. Made with small batch organic or synthetic plant-based fabrics, their collections are hand-dyed and can organically decompose at the end of their life cycle (their colours spring from hibiscus, sustainable wood bark or turmeric to play across their palette). The brand’s mission is to celebrate every Body, creating clothes that are equally tailored to fit men, women and people. They believe that self-definition is what guides us personally and they believe it guides their community, too.
Org by Vio brings you beautiful, boho chic, eco-friendly jewelry, accessories and bohemian fashion handmade by indigenous Amazon artisans. Their projects aim to create viable and environmentally sustainable economies for indigenous Amazon communities, so they can choose to remain in their lands as the stewards of the forests, while improving their quality of life. Their work supports Amazonian culture, traditional artistry, livelihood and self-determination. Their motto is “Adorn. Save Trees. Empower.”
For over 25 years, People Tree has been a pioneer in making environmentally sustainable clothing, partnering with artisans and farmers in developing countries to produce look good, feel good, fashion. They do everything Fair Trade, organic, and natural so that they can—and do a lot to connect consumers with the people and stories behind their clothes. On the environmental side, People Tree opts for sustainable, cleaner, greener, and handmade whenever possible. They promote natural and organic cotton farming and avoid using damaging chemicals in production (where possible, they use recycled biodegradable substances instead). People Tree also tries to recycle everything they can, always aiming to protect water supplies and forests in the environments they work in. So, their producers use traditional skills and combine them with new innovative technologies to support and grow their businesses. By using skills such as hand weaving, hand knitting or hand embroidery they create employment in rural areas where work is often scarce.
when you shop, remember that, together with the product, you are also buying its story and set of values. Together we can turn fashion into a force for good.
Photos: Courtesy of brands; Cover Image: Neococo