Did you hear about the Green Carpet Challenge BAFTA Night To Remember? An event dedicated to sustainable fashion, hosted by the amazing Livia Firth, during London Fashion Week. The hot topic is taking over mainstream fashion channels and social happenings. I wonder if any positive result will follow up from this as fast as fast fashion brands rip off next' season trends. No offense to the high street phenomenon, I love me some Zara too, occasionally! But, anyway, the main point is: thumbs up, let's all help sustainable fashion become a reality!
"Buy less and get more ‘fashion mileage’ out of each piece," said Livia Firth. I have definitely worn the funk out of these boots, shorts, and shirt in the photo above.
First, before my shorts became shorts, they wear skinny jeans. So I had basically decided that I don't like skinny jeans anymore, the color had faded and they looked unflattering worn out. Scissors, please! Why buy new shorts if you own something you can transform into shorts? Et voilà! Sustainable Fashion Factor - get creative with unwanted pieces.
The shirt is an oldie, but a classic. And, it's made of linen! However, just as I was feeling all superior in my oversized, white fiber champion, I stumble upon very interesting questions regarding the making of linen. It's important to separate linen from flax (raw material which linen is made of) to understand this. Flax as a plant, as a raw material, requires fewer resources. It requires less water, energy, chemical pesticides and fertilizers than, for example, a cotton plant.
But we are not wearing raw plants, now are we? We purchase clothing made of linen. Linen is made of flax. This means that flax must be turned into linen fiber. And here is where the difference is! Basically, one linen piece of fashion can be more or less harmful than another. Where is the flax grown? Normandy or Canada? Where does it go next to be turned into fiber? Once it's fiber, how far will it travel to be made into clothes?
When it comes to country of origin for any fiber, there are differences in production across countries that translate into a higher or lower footprint. This could include water availability, infrastructure, and management (for example, the degree to which agriculture is able to rely on rainfall versus irrigation), as well as the energy grid that is powering the country (for example, coal versus natural gas), which impacts the footprint in the fiber spinning phase. - ZADY
Linen is good, but, like everything else, not perfect. I believe it's important to not only know the ingredients of your clothes but to also challenge companies and brands to be transparent about the origin of those ingredients. A girl can wish, right?
Given all of this information I once more go back to the most basic principle of sustainable fashion: buy less, choose well! In the end, having purchased one organic cotton dress can be better for the environment than 20 linen ones, produced poorly, in bad conditions. It remains important to not only purchase sustainable fashion but to ALSO make smart decisions prior to shopping.