Fashion is an integral part of everyone’s life. Be it what you choose to wear, style your hair, phrases you choose or even the type of food you eat. It is easy to spot fashion, as it is almost following the seasons -winter, spring, summer and fall. You cannot ignore when a new trend is happening, as you walk by shop windows and see the display changes.
However, fashion is faster than the season’s change! Typically the Fall/Winter Fashion Week is held in February, showcasing trends for the upcoming winter. While the Spring/Summer Fashion Week is held in September, displaying trends for the upcoming spring. So you are continually conditioned some way or other to change or update the way you look.
With Christmas around the corner, we see promotion after promotion in both online and retail shops with the season’s offerings. Consumer are spoil for choice and purchases often tends to be price-driven rather than quality.
Be wiser about where and what you shop.
Why is it important to be conscious about what you buy and wear? Here is a few reminders about the fast- fashion industry:
- The volume of water consumed by apparel production each year is currently the equivalent to 32 million Olympic swimming pools. Did you know that 780 mill. people worldwide do not have access to an improved water source?
- The wages of workers in a garment factories can be as low as US$ 3 a day.
- Clothes made from synthetic fiber such as polyester can take up 200 years to break down.
The list continues and you can read them on The Green Hub website.
Now that we know a few ugly truths, can we do something about it? Yes, we absolutely can! We can be mindful of what your next fashion purchase is.
We spoke to the owner of IMARIT- a mindful luxury knitwear based in Copenhagen, Ms. Mayra Navaratte. As an independent fashion brand owner focusing on social impact and sustainability, Mayra focuses on quality and opt for natural fiber in her knitwear lines. We talked freely on our ideas how we can do our part — no matter how small to preserve our planet and still keep our fashion-style.
We started talking about ethical consumption and responsible consumerism. Why is there over-consumption when it comes to fashion?
Mayra pointed one contributing factor from her observation:
We all want to fit-in and be socially accepted #fomo. To a certain degree, the rise of the use of social media have led to over-consumption. We want to be followed, as we associate with being socially accepted and sometimes its achieved through our “dress-of-the day” #dotd posts or similar.
“Pressure for social acceptance drives unnecessary consumption”, she added.
A fashion victim
According to Wikipedia, Oscar de la renta first coined the term fashion victim. It implies someone who are vulnerable to faddishness and materialism. And according to Versace, “When someone alters their look too much from season to season, they becomes a fashion victim”
Bold statement, but we have to agree. We all want the style and look, but not willing or able to pay for the price. So, we go to discount shops be it online or the high-street to buy the look. Most often these items are produced in the conditions that we listed earlier — through underpaid labor and made with non-biodegradable fiber such as nylon and polyester.
The sad thing about being a fashion victim, is that the look does not last long. If you conform to the pressure of social acceptance, they will be another look next season -and it turns into an unhealthy cycle. You are not making an investment at your style, but create unnecessary waste.
Think style. Not fashion fad.
We discussed at length about style and discussed some of the fashion icons.
Take Jackie Onassis or Diane Von Furstenberg. Mentioned these names, you can almost draw a picture of how they look! They had their own unique style — from the way they set their hair, the clothing they wear to the accessories they put on. They stay classy and became a fashion icon because of it. Style can become your own personal branding!
How can we be more responsible consumer this festive season and avoid unnecessary consumption?
When it comes to clothing, Mayra gave us a tip that is extremely easy to adopt.
Build a sustainable wardrobe with this few simple steps:
1.Create a new look with what you already have.
Think about the last time you went out shopping for a new item! You would have likely spent a couple of hours (or more) from finding a parking, trying out stuff, walk to another shop to compare, queuing to pay and only to stressed out when you ended up home without buying anything. If you spend the same hours sorting out your wardrobe and mix-matching your clothes — top with another bottom for example, you could have come up with an entirely new outfit and style!
Perhaps if you need an outfit for a night — ask your friend or family for a loan. There is no need for unnecessary shopping for something you’d wear a few hours.
2.Accessorize your outfit
Invest in belts, ear rings, jewelries etc. to brighten your outfit. But do look after eco-friendly jewelry and learn the right way to store them for longer-life.
3.Invest in quality
If you have to purchase something new, aim for something that will last. Bear in mind, there are a reasons why some item are cheap.
Read the labels, and avoid synthetic fabrics. Synthetic fabrics releases microplastic after washing and goes on to pollute the ocean. Go for natural fiber such as wool, cotton, linen etc. which last longer.
When shopping for animal fiber like Alpaca or Lamb Wool, don’t be afraid to ask where the material is source. Go for those brands that are transparent to where they source and share their animal welfare policy openly. Do your homework and read about pro and cons about use of animal fiber in apparels. If Dye is used, ensure its natural dye
3.Take better care of your clothes.
Avoid over-washing your clothes, air them out instead. Hand wash in cold water and hang flat.
Avoid dryer and ironing as it consume energy.
4.Donate what you can no longer wear and shop at second hand stores.
Most clothes can be recycled and why don’t make good use of them by donating it. Shop at vintage and most second hand shops have pre-loved items that you will complement your style.
5.Adopt the same ethics when you shop online
We all want free shipping and return. Most shops offer free shipping over a certain amount and longer return days. This makes a person shop more and since there is low-risk, most shoppers tend to return the item they purchase. We can help prevent waste caused by unnecessary handling of the returns such as re-trucking and re-packaging by being smarter about our purchases.
There are many ways to avoid fast-fashion fads and be sustainable.
“Fashion should be fun”, said Mayra, and we couldn’t agree more!
Signing off with a Happy Stress-Free Christmas to everyone!
About Imarit — Mindful Luxury. Imarit was born to create fashion that is both inspired and shaped consciously through the Danish design with the mission of empowering Andean craftsmanship.