What is this word “Eco” that’s been seeping into the marketplace these days, and specifically in fashion?
The word “eco” is like a big umbrella pointing to many other well intended business ethics including:
- Ethically made, ethically sourced, etc
- Slowly made, locally made, etc
It is a word used that connects brands, customers and entrepreneurs alike that are in the market for changing the way we make and purchase goods for the better.
It is the “eco niches” belief that there is a way to do business that doesn’t include exploitation in every angle of supply and demand.
In FASHION that generally means a brand is sourcing fair or local labor and using organic, low impactful fabrics and even dyes.
Since Earth & Elle is featuring a beautiful line of skirts in collaboration with The Green Vanity, we wanted to break down some common FAQs and beliefs about interests within eco fashion. Here are the four main points I tend to discuss the most with those who are interested in the topic!
#1 We can prevent extra damage to the environment by making what we have last longer.
The first thing about owning a conscious wardrobe is free; and may even save you money on clothing you buy per month and electricity.
It might even sound a bit redundant; wash and wear with love and care.
A major factor of the fashion industries battle with pollution is in fact our own laundry. When we toss a load of everything into the wash on hot then throw it all in the dryer, it results in damaging micro fibers shedding into the environment and faster wear out time for our clothes; which equals faster transfer from closet to landfill.
A few tips to make your clothes last longer are:
- Use of mesh laundry bags (keeps zippers/hooks from causing holes to other clothes, pants from tangling up with other pants, keep socks together, etc)
- Wash in cold water
- Adjust the amount of water your machine uses per size of load
- Hang dry all light-weight fabrics
- Patch up stains and tiny holes with colorful threads
- Have clothing altered by a local tailor if your body changes
#2 But eco fashion is expensive!!
Eco fashion does cost more than your average big-box clothing store if that’s what you’re used to, because conscious clothing brands choose ethical manufacturing like 95% of the time. Fast fashion is so cheap because it takes advantage of factories over seas that will work at the lowest dollar since corporate competition for business is big; which causes sweatshop style working conditions. This is true to stores like Urban Planet, H&M, Joe Fresh, as well as big online retailers like Zara, Zulily and others that frequent Facebook ads. While I don’t forbid shopping at these places, it is important to be aware why the clothing costs what it does. Conscious clothing brands put much more thought into fit, design, fabric, wear-ability and overall quality. The pieces are designed to be of value to your life and to provide personal connection to the clothes. If you pay more for a better quality garment that elevates small brands and has a story, why would you throw it away?
#3 But I can’t find eco fashion at stores I shop at!!
Opt for something high quality that will last. If you can’t find that thing you’re looking for in eco/ethical form, you’ll surely find it at another place that praises quality, although I hope you’ll LOVE the new collection of skirts at the Green Vanity and the amazing organic options available (including Earth & Elle) at Georgie Girl!
Really though, having a conscious wardrobe doesn’t mean everything you own comes from a conscious brand. Before buying more pieces, find creative ways to style what you already have to keep it fresh. If you need a new addition to your wardrobe and can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in eco fashion form, opt for something high quality that will last.
#4 Style as a respective investment
You’re spending money on it and it’s your very first impression before speech. The clothes you own and wear on a daily basis are part of your persona, your expression and presentation to the world, so make them count in that such way. In treating fashion as an investment of personal impression, it may be more reasonable to make more conscious choices about owning and growing your wardrobe.
Whether you are purchasing an eco fashion piece or not; buy what you absolutely love and rock the sh** out of it until it dies.