Sustainable Fashion: is there really such a thing?
Like the scent from a cologne, the offensively malodorous desperation of never being enough needs to stop. Our future generations need some serious, radical influencers here pushing the sustainability agenda. Bewildered- yes. That is us the consumer. The thing here is, nobody is funding the true effects of fast fashion and wiring our brains on the devastating truths of the industry. All we see is pretty dresses in dreamy locations and we are taken away from reality. There will come a day in history, when the governments can no longer ignore environmental impacts. Looking into the crystal ball there’s no doubt in my mind we will be heavily taxed on anything that’s not sustainable. From fashion, packaging to food. For now, our world is driven by mercenary, cold, hard cash. Consequences briefly skimmed over by charity groups attempting to create awareness. Yes, we’re baffled perhaps, even a little shocked, in what seems like to-big-a-problem to tackle. So we turn a blind eye and convince ourselves it’s okay to treat ourselves. Sadly we are the generation of hunger marketing tactics some of us are aware yet our awareness out weighs any common sense we are absorbing, we are never enough.
There was a moment. Twenty years ago, Naomi Klein published No Logo and things started to get momentum. We started to look outside our bubble. That was when people stopped wearing Nike and Adidas. People started popping tags at thrift shops. Not to be hipsters, but out of rebellion against a market out of control. What happened? Sadly, 9/11 meant that we, in Western society stopped caring about workers in Mogadishu. Fast forward to the future and things have changed, sure. Social media has exploded. Most wouldn’t be caught dead in the same dress, more than twice on Instagram. This has ensured that some of the global problems continue and continue to exacerbate.
Always looking for the next bleak satisfaction, we are so much more powerful then we give yourselves due credit. After all, it is our hard-earned coin making these brands. Because of us, the only thing that is sustainable in fashion is their vast earnings. It’s time we stopped in our self obsessed worlds of entitlement and actually practised what we preach. Stop buying and supporting fast fashion. You know what would be as cool as Kate Moss and Erin Wasson? If that next big thing in fashion was repurposed fashion and instead of buying new collections, we started paying artisans and designers to repurpose and reinvent what the earth is already suffocating in, over dressed landfill. Dresses we can only be photographed once- maybe twice in.
Imagine if repurposing, repairing or recycling was the next iconic fashion movement. And our favourite brands were all on board. John Lennon so wise, you may say I’m a dreamer….
Sassy and fashion savvy, stand by me as we together are deep in the realms of being consumed by consumerism. Ready to accept it or still in denial, we are one huge part of the problem. I’m all for empowering women in small business. But does that empowerment support one and leave other less fortunate women surviving by a thread in absolute poverty?
We need to somehow get our heads out of the clouds of uneducated ignorance and denial and put our feet on the ground. The fashion industry has a lot to answer for. The consumer has become somewhat aware of the truths of the industry and here we are slowly begining to question our own purchases. But are some of our favourite brands using the sustainability stance as another marketing ploy? Falsely manipulating us? So we believe they are tackling the issues?
I’m not going to pretend like I’m some kind of sustainable fashion goddess or that I actually know much of anything. My passion lie in pretty dresses. I love textiles. I’m inspired by print and design and when I get dressed, my outfit portrays my mood. Sometimes my next blog post. I kid myself that it’s an art form of Self-expression.
I’m honestly aware that I’m a walking contradiction. Whilst I’m eating my weight in plants on a vegan diet. Talking about empowering women. I own more dresses then I could ever possibly wear enough to be calling myself a sustainable fashion queen. Sure I on-sell sometimes. But half the time I can’t because clothes just aren’t made to last anymore. They are made and intended for one season. Our lives are so busy and complex, most of us probably don’t have time to repair clothing or even know how to use a sewing machine.
Who really makes our clothes? As you swoon and swish around in that skirt with glee… stop in your tracks and think what life must be like; earning not even one dollar an hour. Do you still feel content? And how is this okay?
And then not far from the edge of despair, you can hear Mother Nature choking… what is that amazing piece actually made from? And at what impact on our choking Mother Nature?
Fast fashion. A term used to describe cheaply produced clothing that comes in and out as fast as it takes to walk down the catwalk. Then what? I’ve recently noticed a trend calling pieces of clothing that are from two years ago #vintage. Who are we kidding here? Are we actually believing that rubbish? Clothing that is 20 years old is vintage, not two years.
Should we not be encouraging slow fashion? Classic and timeless pieces that we wear and hand down. Fashion that pays the women and men who make our clothes a decent and liveable wage. Some of my favourite designers are dropping new pieces every two weeks. It’s like trying to keep up with Joneses. It’s a self-confessed addiction that we joke about within our circles. What ever happened to a Summer and Fall collection? When did we become so self-centred and manipulated that treating ourselves so often was okay?
The Rana Plaza factory on the outskirts of Bangladesh collapsed April 24th 2013. I was a besotted new mum, my firstborn a month-old in my arms as I watched on in horror. 1100 people, mostly young women: lives were taken as the building crumbled and a further more 2000 injured. I had never seen anything like it. It was the first time I had really stopped to think about where my clothes come from and who was sending a message to that this is actually okay. It should never have happened. It was one of my first awakenings that I really know nothing much about anything in this world. It was reported the workers in that factory were paid $68 a month at the time of the tragedy.
A very strong (and I hope guilty) reminder of the human cost of negligence in the clothes we wear. The clothes we take for granted. The clothes we replace with next weeks or month’s collection. We’ve developed an overwhelming sense of entitlement (unknowingly) and we are compromising basic human rights. We believe what we are fed. The human mind so easily manipulated. We make selfish choices, because we are more consumed by consumerism then empathy. A mentality of consistently searching for higher ground. Businesses pushing their hunger marketing tactics on us like never before and they are becoming more clever in their tactics. VIP programs with the driving force; become one of elite, the more you spend, the more chance you’ll have of us noticing you and the flying points we can use to visit those dreamy locations. Entitlement seems to live within all of us, and that fear of missing out is driving it.
I don’t have the answers, I don’t even know how to stop myself. Somewhat comparable to a long term herion addiction, with the rush of collections dropping we plan on nabbing our dream pieces in an euphoric state. Although we don’t need to deal with dealers if we don’t have the money. We have Afterpay; hire purchase for clothes. The anticipation of delivery and that packaging… wait a moment, I’m just taking another swing at an already choking Mother Nature. I’ve worn her once or prehaps she’s still hanging in the wardrobe. 160 herion hits later, waiting for that special occasion that I promised would come around. As I’m burdened with withdrawal symptoms looking for the next hit she’s with, you know her other friends all brand new- with tags.
So, for that next event… I dare you to wear the oldest dress hanging in your wardrobe. I dare you to rent a dress… I dare you to make a day of op shopping and not buying a damn thing new for 90 days. I dare you to repurpose something old.
And for the really brave and bold I dare you to jump over to @onegreendress and take on the challenge; one dress worn 30 times.
Join the revolution…
We want to see and read the stories behind your oldest outfits hanging in your wardrobe. Be as mad as The Hatter and bold as The Queen of Hearts recreate them, style them like you never have before… tag me on Instagram @tink.gypsy.queen and hashtag #thisoldthinggoodforthesoul to be featured in my stories and upcoming blog.
I promise I’m not the anti-Christ of fashion. I’ve just moved from unknowing victim, then to ironic hypocrite- now to another person trying to walk the talk. Just learning to be better version of myself. I’m not going to stop supporting my tribe of sisters in business but I am very concerned and conscious.
Love Tink xxx
The Mornington Peninsula was showing us winter was approaching, so here we are in some random suburban street in Mornington between errands. We liked the cactus.
Tink wears all originals from her own timeless collection: ‘Summer Nights soft Leopard Blazer’, by – Spell Designs circa 2013 • ‘Misfit mustard cords’, by – Sass Bide circa 2005 • ‘Ruffle blouse’, by – Sportsgirl circa 2001 • ‘Cuzza lace booties’, by – Nine West circa mid 2000’s
Iggy wears: • ‘Amber necklace’, by – Amber Secrets • ‘Charcoal Trackies’, by – Our Folk • ‘Vegan revolution’ tee, by – Rocco and Mia • ‘Chandler bunny’, by – Jelly Cats
Dante wears: ‘Cool to be kind’ tee, by – Nu Natives • ‘ribbed knitted khaki cardi’ , by – Rock your baby • ‘Stone Chinos’ by – Industrie Kids • ‘boots’ by – Dr Martens circa found in an op shop by my mum.