Thursday, 22 April 2010

Earth Day Fashion

Happy Earth Day lovelies! For those of you who don't know, Earth Day is an American initiative to raise awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It's being celebrated by an estimated 1 billion people worldwide! It was founded in 1970 under the premise that "all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment." I think it's such a beautiful notion, and it got me thinking about sustainability and fashion.

The words sustainable and fashion haven’t always gone hand in hand. In fact, the fashion 
industry has come under fire for decades for it’s use of fur and exploiting both labour and raw materials such as cotton. Cotton has a huge carbon footprint for production and manufacture, organic cotton is obviously a much better option. But I don't think you need me to go on about how cruel fur farms are, and that we can't continue to use up Earth's resources at the rate we're currently consuming them. It's a bit of a no brainer, but unfortunately, these are still big issues today. Just two years ago, Primark was highlighted as one of the worst offenders on the high-street by using child labour to keep down their costs.





That’s not to say there hasn’t been progress, in fact nowadays it’s pretty easy to pick up both Fairtrade and Organic clothing on the high-street and there is plenty of faux fur around to make the real thing seem unnecessary. There are plenty of options: Emma Watson has designed a lovely range for People Tree, Stella McCartney has an organic range, Simple Shoes specialise in sustainable footwear, Monkeee Genes are proud to produce jeans ethically, ECO'Neill is an eco-friendly range from surf label O'Neill. But sometimes the experience of buying something, or having something which has a history and a story are much, much better than buying new...

Buying vintage and thrifting are so commonplace now, there are literally hundreds of vintage stores in London and thousands of sites and eBay items. While it's a great way to be sustainable as well as getting a unique item, the popularity of vintage has sent prices soaring so gorgeous 80s dresses aren't quite the bargain they used to be.

I'm a fairly moody shopper, sometimes I'm really up for diligently searching in hopes of finding a gem, other times I just want to find something online. I've gotten a couple of absolute gems from eBay, but it's so touch and go. I recently got a 70s leather lace up bustier and fur hat (am not going to touch on that can of worms..yet!) which I was very happy with but received other items which I've been really disappointed with. Most of the vintage clothing sites I know of - Nasty Gal, Urban Collection (closed now I think) - are US based. There are a couple of lovely UK sites, Rokit have a site but I prefer to go into a store and I also love Covert Candy





My eBay wins


Swishing parties are also a fun way to be sustainable. Instead of throwing away your unwanted clothes, you bring them along to a swishing party and swap with other people who have bought along things they don't want/need anymore. It's such a simple concept and not new by any means, but it's really growing in popularity. Swishing.org is a fabulous resource for a ton more information as well as upcoming swishing parties. 


Tampax swishing party I attended with KB


There are lots and lots of ways to become more 'green', start seeing it as a way of life rather than just a buzz word. Prove that fashion isn't just a superficial in this season and out the next industry. Are you concerned about being eco/green and sustainable fashion? Do you have any tips or favourite stores/websites? 
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