Fashion, we need to talk about sustainability - and act on it.
The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry next to oil. Who would of thought it? It’s certainly not the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word Fashion, and yet, for all the beauty and glamour there is a lot more going on than most of us are aware of.
Since the rise of fast fashion the amount of clothing being churned out and made available has increased dramatically. Fast fashion can be defined as the speed at which trends are interpreted from the runway, manufactured, made available for the consumer and then end up in the bin.
This clothing is often made poorly from low grade fabrics, which means it’s lifespan is short. Ultimately this clothing is unsatisfying and loses its purpose quickly. These items go out of shape after a couple of washes, fall apart at the seams and loose their lustre and relevance because that’s what trend items do.
Fast fashion items are enticing because of their price. On the hangar, their appeal shimmers and entices us. Not only are they a modern design, they are affordable. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a great pair of pants, the consumer is lured and enticed by the price of a cheap interpretation of the original. On trend styles, colours and fabrics, a great deal no?
It all comes apart at the seams literally and figuratively once this clothing arrives home. When the appeal wears off and the garment starts to come apart, where does it end up? It finds itself in the bin or thoughtlessly dumped at a second hand store. This often happens in as short a time frame as it took to make the garment. Not months but weeks. The speed at which this clothing is discarded of is a huge problem as most of it is ending up in landfill. There is also not an end in sight with production only increasing and consumption right along with it.
The most unfortunate side of this lies in the mind set with which this clothing is bought, the mentality that cheap is best. The mentality that clothing is disposable and only needs to serve a particular purpose for a short time frame. It is the representation of a culture and needs to be addressed.
Inspiring change in a culture takes time. It takes education and also the offering of an alternative. Bringing this issue to light and encouraging a shift in awareness is part of my philosophy around fashion.
I believe we need to bring value back to the clothing we own. We need to understand that what we wear can be truly satisfying if we know what to choose and how to make it work in the long run. When we choose the right pieces, the benefits are many and we feel the effects immediately.
Beautifully made garments have the ability to enhance our confidence and make us feel like the best versions of ourselves. This only happens when they fit us like a glove. When they are created with consideration and have design integrity as their composition
As a personal fashion curator it is my intention to motivate a new approach to fashion. I want women to value each garment they own and see them as pieces of value. Rather than seeing clothes as just items that fulfil a purpose, I have a different view. I believe we can our develop and appreciate our closets as a beautiful collection. Just as an art curator choose pieces with a refined set of criteria, we can also choose each piece or garment with discernment.
Knowing how to choose and what to choose takes knowledge. It takes a certain eye to put a collection together and make it a work of art. I am here to say it can be done. Take the time to invest in your personal fashion collection and it will give you a great return for many years to come.
Lalita Lowe Personal Fashion Curator