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Why Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Matters

Fast fashion isnโ€™t free. Someone, somewhere, is paying.

It’s time to take the blindfold off, ladies!

Hello, My Beautiful Mamas!

I am thrilled to have you join us for this amazing passion project of mine; A complete guide to everything sustainable, ethical and fair trade fashion (and a bit of beauty too!). We will go over some key items like which brands are changing the World, how to build a capsule wardrobe, how to shop second hand like a pro, how to stop buying and start renting, how to throw fabulous clothes swapping parties, and so much more!

As many of you may know, I am a plant-based recipe creator and mother of two little boys who challenge me to do better every single day. I made a full switch to sustainable and ethical fashion/beauty about 8 months ago after seeing the Netflix documentary, True Cost. I felt like such a fool for being in the dark on all of the horrible truths about the fast fashion industry and I knew I had to make a change. Just like when I turned Vegan, the switch was overnight.

Flashback to when I shopped primarily at fast fashion shops to stay within budget. Crazy thing…all of the clothes that I purchased in that time frame are all destroyed beyond repair.ย 

Every time you spend money, youโ€™re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.

Do you know how powerful you are? Do you know how much power the money in your wallet holds? It can change the World.

As consumers, we hold the power but most of us throw that power away for a 5 dollar t-shirt (I’m not judging, I’ve been there too many times to count). We look at the price and think to ourselves,

“What a STEAL!”

This price tag celebration is exactly what the fast fashion industry wants from us; they want us to only look at the price and forget about the fibers, quality, lifetime, production, labor, environmental factors and more. They do not want us to find out that this price tag is not only bad for the World but bad for our wallets as well. They do not want us to know that by supporting them, we have ended up supporting everything we are against.

With every ad, influencer, sponsored post, and scroll, we have become absolutely addicted to fashion. Our once 2-4 season wardrobe has turned into 52 micro-seasons by the fast fashion industry; pushing out new “must have” trends every single day.

You may feel taken advantage of and a bit uncomfortable at this moment, but I have good news for you! I will walk you through how to get out of this chaotic mess, how to get organized, how to build your perfect quality/sustainable/ethical capsule wardrobe and how to never support the fast fashion industry ever again.

Sustainability?

Over-production and over-consumption are two of the keywords in fast fashion; consumers today are purchasing 60% more today than they did 15 years ago. You would think that we would have closets full of clothing at this point but sadly, our clothes last half as long.

I like to think of fast fashion as I like to think of fast food; it tastes so good inย the moment despite the lingering guilt and knowledge that it is “bad”. You know it’s unhealthy but there is this (possibly unspoken of) addiction to the salt/sugar/grease and ease at which it is given to you. You are pulled in by the dollar menu and the bombardment of ads at every turn. You are comforted by the mass of people who are also giving into the cheap price and instant gratification.ย 

If you look at the statistics, the fast fashion industry creates 60 million tonnes of clothing per year, and 30 million tonnes is thrown out before the year closes. The more clothing the ends up in the landfills, the higher the cost for the economy. It costs the UK nearly 82 million pounds a year just to deal with the hugh increase in fast fashion trash.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they donโ€™t have any.

It’s quite easy to jump the gun and blame the fashion industry for all of this mess, but the reality is, we are as much to blame as anyone. We have the POWER to stop this. We have absolute power over the fast fashion industry; they would be nothing without the consumers. It is imperative that we realize how much power we hold.

Pollution

The fast fashion industry is the World’s second largest polluter, after oil.

The fast fashion industry is not just taking over our landfills, it has major impacts on the World’s waste, toxic chemicals, water, and energy.

The real kick in the butt is that we, as consumers, have little to no education on how to properly dispose of these textiles when they are no longer wanted. Many simply toss out the ripped and stained items instead of properly recycling them to ensure the “rags” can turn into something new like paper, insulation or even carpeting.ย 

The Fibers

Man-made, synthetic fibers make up nearly 60% of our clothing today and this is contributing to the seemingly endless pollution to our water systems. These synthetic garments are shedding billions of plastic fibers via our washing machine.

As consumers, we can stop purchasing any clothing made from polyester, nylon, acrylic, and spandex and begin purchasing from fibers like cotton, linen, bamboo, hemp, and various other fibers.

What do you do with all the synthetic garments that you have now?? Not to fear loves, you can keep them! You just need to learn how to WASH them.

Why Ethical Fashion Matters

There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.

The Women

By subcontracting manufacturing overseas to the lowest bidder, fast fashion companies are able to pump out garments for cheaper than ever. Rather than having long-term relationships with the factories, companies are comfortable with abrupt break-ups โ€” so if they want something faster, the factories have to keep up or lose their jobs.

This insane pressure on these factories has led to a horrible chain reaction of human rights violations, safety violations, sexual assault, fires, building collapses and the death of over 1000 workers.

The Children

According to UNICEF, a staggering 170 million children work in the garment industry. Many of these child laborers work within the fashion supply chain, making the textiles and garments to satisfy the demand of consumers in Europe, the US, and beyond.

The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) revealed that recruiters in southern India convince parents in impoverished rural areas to send their daughters to spinning mills with promises of a well-paid job, comfortable accommodation, three nutritious meals a day and opportunities for training and schooling, as well as a lump sum payment at the end of three years. Their field research shows that โ€œin reality, they are working under appalling conditions that amount to modern day slavery and the worst forms of child laborโ€.

The Animals

Leather, Down, Wool, Silk, Fur, and Exotic Animal Skins; the fashion industry loves to kill for fashion.

The fur industry alone kills over 30 million animals per year; many of these beautiful creatures are skinned alive and left to die in the trash.

The leather industry is killing over 430 million animals per year; and NO, the leather industry is absolutely not a by-product of the meat industry. They are two totallyย different demons.

According to PETA, Animals on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages. Fur farmers use the cheapest and cruelest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gassing, and poisoning. More than half the fur in the U.S. comes from China, where millions of dogs and cats are bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and sometimes even skinned alive for their fur. Chinese fur is often deliberately mislabeled, so if you wear any fur, thereโ€™s no way of knowing whose skin youโ€™re in.

Our Journey Together

Feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of this information? It is a lot to cover!

Do not fear, Mamas. I will walk you through every step of your new fashion journey; from how to build a capsule wardrobe to how to stop buying and start renting. From how to choose the best vegan option to how to throw an amazing clothing swap party. From how to become a professional second-hand shopper to how to repair your clothes properly.

I am so excited you are here and I hope you are ready to change the World.

First Steps to Mindful Consumerism

  1. Buy from companies that are fair trade, sustainable, vegan and organic
  2. Purchase less often
  3. Purchase from high-quality fibers that will biodegrade
  4. Recycle your unwanted clothing
  5. Upcycle and turn your worn out pieces into something new
  6. Swap/rent clothes
  7. Buy second hand
  8. Repair instead of discard

Resources for your Journey

  • Sofia
    March 25, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    I really loved reading your article. Great! Sharing on y Facebook page. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Danielle
      March 30, 2019 at 6:53 am

      Thank you so much, love!

  • Cristina Petrin
    March 25, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    I would say a very interesting vision and a point of view that made me think!

  • Stacie
    March 25, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    I really adore this. It’s important to remember that those clothes we buy cheaply at so many stores may look nice, but the way they’re made isn’t. At. All.

    • Danielle
      March 30, 2019 at 6:54 am

      Yes, this is so important to understand! Thank you so much

  • wander women abroad
    March 25, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    It does matter and more people need to know why. Thanks for sharing this with us ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Danielle
      March 30, 2019 at 6:55 am

      Thank you for stopping by, love!

  • Rachel
    March 25, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    This is really important to be aware of. I was clueless until I walked through an exhibit at the Human Rights Museum and it really made me change the way I shopped.

    • Danielle
      March 30, 2019 at 6:55 am

      Oh, wow. I have to check that exhibit out! Thank you!

  • Heather
    March 26, 2019 at 1:41 am

    Now I definitely have to watch that documentary. Going to add it to my watch list now!

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:39 am

      I do hope you love it, it was so eye opening!

  • Beth Pierce
    March 26, 2019 at 1:49 am

    I never realized that when I donate clothes, that a lot of what I donate ends up in a landfill. I think twice when shopping these days.

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:39 am

      I think this was one of the most shocking revelations during my journey to sustainable and ethical fashion. All of those clothes that I happily dropped off to the donation box most likely ended up polluting a third world country….it’s insane!

  • Sara Welch
    March 26, 2019 at 1:51 am

    You’ve highlighted some very important information for our environment; I’ll have to share your blog!

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:40 am

      Thank you so much Sara!

  • Anna
    March 26, 2019 at 6:40 am

    We really must change the way we live and dress if we want to save the earth! thank you for sharing this!!

  • Sania Ahmed
    March 26, 2019 at 8:32 am

    I agree to repair instead of discard, there are a lot of DIYs which help us to repair and reuse the same stuff.

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:38 am

      Oh yes, totally! Mend before you end is so important, AND fun!

  • Pati Robins
    March 26, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    bravo ! this post hits the nail on the head – since watchinh uk documentary about fast fashion and its produced we are chosing more ethical clothing as well

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:38 am

      That is wonderful! Did you watch true cost? I really loved how they not only showed the pollution but the human suffering as well. I was in tears!

  • Natalie
    March 26, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Such an important post, I am definitely going to think about how ethical I shop. Well done on raising awareness.

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:37 am

      Thank you so much! That is all I can really ask for ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Angela Ricardo
    March 27, 2019 at 12:21 am

    You have really great point here. We all have the power to change something and help to save our planet even in our own little way.

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:37 am

      Yes, we absolutely do! It can be a little change or a big change; the important thing is to not wait for someone else to save the World.

  • Alexandra Cook
    March 27, 2019 at 8:54 am

    This is such a great point of view. Repairing is such a great way to help our planet. Love how people find different ways to raise awareness to save our earth.

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:36 am

      Yes, absolutely! Mend before you end is so important to lowering the stress and strain of all these companies trying to keep up with our demands. It’s not just their fault, the consumers are seriously demanding the moon and stars from companies around the world.

  • sincerelymissj
    March 27, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Great reminder that fast fashion has the potential to do some long term damage to our environment

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:35 am

      Oh yes it doesn’t only have the potential, it is the second largest polluter in the World! It has caused some serious damage to water quality in third world countries as well as the horrible conditions in which the women and children work. It must stop.

  • Elizabeth Weitz
    March 27, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Wow! This is such an inspiring post! Thank you for bringing it to my attention to be more thoughtful in what I purchase.

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:34 am

      You are so welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read!

  • Bella and Dawn at Dear Mummy Blog
    March 27, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    A clothes swapping party sounds like a great idea, we’ve just recently had a clear out and given clothes away to charity and have started to buy less.

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:34 am

      Oh yes, they are so much fun!! I will make a post on this soon!

  • Kristy Bullard
    March 28, 2019 at 1:41 am

    We don’t always realize that what we buy can really impact the world around us. This is such a great reminder to be more aware of what we purchase, even our clothing.

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:34 am

      Exactly, and you know what, it’s sad that we are not made more aware of this by the companies. I do hope that one day the companies we buy from absolutely MUST be transparent with us. We deserve to know exactly where our clothes come from and what they are made of.

  • Gladys Nava
    March 28, 2019 at 1:55 am

    Such an amazing article to read! I am really glad to know more about clothing and I am surely sharing this to others.

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:33 am

      Well, thank you love! Yes, it is so important to understand the impact that clothing has on this World. Who would have thought?

  • Jessica May
    March 28, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    I totally agree! So much more headway can be made in the fashion industry!

    • Danielle
      March 29, 2019 at 6:29 am

      Absolutely! I just found out that nearly all of the fashion design schools have a sustainability course that you can choose to major or minor in. That is huge! Consumers have been searching more and more for sustainable options and that is truly the first step in the revolution!

  • Becca Wilson
    March 31, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    This is such an important reminder that we should be aware of what goes into making products. We think about this with so many other things but not with fashion.

    • Danielle
      April 1, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Absolutely! I fell like we have all been blinded by the fashion industry for so long. It’s really sad.

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