#SustainabilitySunday: What fashion choices can YOU make to have an impact?

As AFD, we strive to make a social and sustainable impact in the world. Especially in these times sustainability is an important topic, where everyone as an individual has to start thinking about their own impact. We’d like to introduce our new project #SustainabilitySunday! Every Sunday we are sharing facts and tips about sustainability on our Instagram page. To get more insight and knowledge about our topic of the week, we contacted Nathalie Klok, the founder of @LemonadeAmsterdam. She is aiming to inspire people to make more ethical and environmental friendly choices and to stop buying fast fashion. 

Her response was very helpful and we felt like we couldn‘t do it justice by just posting it on Instagram. So we decided to post it here, to hopefully inspire people and make them think about their own consumption behaviour.

This was the email we got:

 

 

Hi,

Thank you for reaching out to me. After reading your email, my first thought was: “why would you ask me to give tips/information about sustainability with regards to clothing/fashion?”. There are other experts in the Netherlands and institutes like ‘Fashion for Good’, who know SO much more then I do. My goal is to inspire people to make choices differently, but I do not see myself as a fashion/textile or environmental specialist 😉 As a creative social psychologist I merely try to help and do my part in the fashion revolution that is taking place. Be it more on an inspirational level!

As I strive to reach as many people as possible with what I feel is a very important message, I feel ‘obliged’ to reach out and write some tips for your platform/academy. I hope that it will contribute to the goal we are both trying to achieve!

 

At this moment the answer to ‘fast fashion’, can be divided into: sustainable fashion, ethical fashion and slow fashion. A lot of people use these terms as if they are interchangeable. But in reality, they give direction to three different ways we can stop or at least deal with fast fashion. 

 

Sustainable fashion is all about the environment e.g.:

– Reduce the use of pesticides in growing cotton/silk, 

– Reduce the amount of water (a lot of water is used during the production of fabrics),

– Change the production of (plastic) packaging.

 

Ethical fashion focuses on human rights e.g.:

– Focus on the well being of people who make our clothes but also the well being of people who grow the cotton (pesticides are bad for your health)

 

Slow fashion addresses the overall life cycle of clothing e.g.:

– Focus on timeless designs,

– Good quality of clothes/durable fabrics,

– Donate our clothes to e.g. thrift stores thrifting,

– Make sure our clothes last as long as possible. 

 

These three forms of fashion result in the following tips to become more sustainable when it comes to clothing:

1. Choose fair brands, which produce clothes that respect our the planet, people and animals. Think about organic fabrics & good working conditions*.   

2. Choose local brands who produce and sell in your own country. 

3. Buy smart: items that will last longer than one year, think about it… only buy what you will wear frequently, key items you can wear/combine with the rest of your wardrobe

4. Thrift: find some good thrift stores in your neighborhood and visit them once in a while. Why buy a new coat if you find a great one secondhand!

5. SWAP: more and more SWAP events take place. You bring in your preloved items and can look for preloved items from other ‘SWAPPERS’. But you can also do this with friends. 

6. Rent Fashion: fashion libraries where you can rent (most of the time) exclusive clothes are gaining popularity

7. Repair: become friends with your local clothing maker and repair your loved items

8. Care for your clothes like the good friends they are: wash cold & not too often

 

*When an item is made in Bangladesh, it doesn’t immediately mean the working conditions are bad (not every factory in Bangladesh has bad working conditions). If you want to know more about fair brands, check online: fairwear.org. The fabric of a piece of clothing is a good indicator of the sustainability of that item. When an item has a GOTS label, you can rely on it being ok! GOTS is: Global Organic Textile Standard. In general, synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon but also natural fabrics like wool and silk are not good for the environment. During the production process of these fabrics a lot chemicals, water and pesticides are used. 

kind regards, Nathalie Klok (founder LemonadeAmsterdam)

 

 

 

Now we want to hear from YOU! Let us know if you have any tips and tricks to become more sustainable in fashion! Find us at @AFDUtrecht on Instagram 🙂 

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