If you are interested in discovering sustainable fashion solutions, you've gotta watch this talk: 3 creative ways to fix fashion's waste problem by Amit Kalra
I have a confession to make...
I love watching TED talks of all sorts. Whether it be social change, personal growth, the environment, sleep, and of course fashion, I'm all in!
Here is one of my favorites on addressing waste generated by the fashion industry...It's a really inspiring video so I hope you like it!
(You can also view this and other fashion related talks on TED.com)
Action is more that being woke
I have done my share of experimentation with regard to making fashion more circular and I agree with the Amit there are some easy steps that we can take to start changing things now. These steps go beyond the online and virtual world because if we think that thing are going to suddenly improve by liking posts related to sustainable fashion, that won't cut it. Activism is much more then being "woke."
Even Barack Obama was keeping it real at his Obama Foundation conference when he called out "woke" culture. He discussed that being "woke" is about more than just calling others out, talking, and sharing over the social media waves; its about action. For the fashion revolution that means making real changes in our consumption and the items we buy. So let me ask you, what actions are you taking? What changes will you commit to making?
For me, it's significantly reducing my consumption. On top of that, I want to commit to buying items that are made from natural or sustainable fibers such as organic cotton, wool, and Tencel. I am committed to checking the labels and buying from brands that align with my values. But mostly, I don't buy very often and try to get the most use out of the items i do have. One thing that I don't do enough of but really believe in is buying secondhand or pre-loved as it's now referred. It's a easy way to avoid some of the legwork of researching brands that have responsible practices and make use of clothing that is already in circulation.
Which brings me to this striking fact from the talk: The average life span of a garment is 3 years. Extending the life of a garment by 9 months reduces the waste and water impact by 20-30%. That is significant. So I hope we all think of this when we go through our closet in preparation for the upcoming season.
On the note of consumption
If you must buy, make sure you love it. The worst thing we can do is buy something for the sake of buying or because we were manipulated by a sale. If you will not get several years out of the item, then maybe you should reconsider that purchase. Interesting to think of buying new clothes as a four year commitment but it's about time we change our mindset.
Toxic dyes are polluting our environment
Dyeing our clothes puts harsh chemicals in the waterways. Brands are hiding their partnerships to avoid accountability. Producing on a mass scale is extremely damaging for our ecosystem and have especially harmful impact on the people, environment, and wildlife in the towns and villages which the manufacturers operate out of. Brands are putting profit over social well being. A big part of detoxing our closets is removing toxic chemicals from the dye process. We can do this by shifting toward natural dyes which have been used for what feels life forever. As Amit mentions, natural dye changes color over time which makes the clothing more personalized and unique. What's better thank clothes that evolving with us over our lives?
If you didn't check out the video yet, please do! It's a great TED Talk I found that discusses creative ways to fix fashion's waste problem, shocking facts and statistics, and realistic solutions that we can all start to implement today.
If you have any other ted talk recommendations, feel free to share!