“The pressure to reduce costs and speed up production time means that environmental corners are cut in the name of profit. Fast Fashion’s negative impact includes the use of cheap, toxic textile dyes-- with the fashion industry the second largest polluter of clean water globally after agriculture.” -- bwss.org
The ‘Fast Fashion’ industry has loomed large for about three decades now, with the focus on mass-producing clothing with quick turnaround and at a smaller expense to the company and consumer. The problem with Fast Fashion is that it’s had a negative impact on the environment, on workers, and I would even say on the mentality of the general public. However, there are many companies showing up in this space with the desire to shift the fashion industry for the better-- to reduce waste, be gentler on our water systems, and to shift the mindset from instant gratification and quantity to conscious decisions based on quality.
Some of my favorite ethical and sustainable clothing companies include:
Threads for Thought
Mate the Label
Many eco-conscious clothing companies are priced higher and for good reason-- they’re sourcing higher quality materials that are made to last longer, they’re paying fair wages to the workers who actually make your clothing, they’re sourcing dyes and materials that are better for the environment, etc. Typically, their designs are meant to be more timeless, meaning you won’t want to trade in that dress for many seasons to come. You’re investing in a lot more than just a piece of clothing when you purchase from a more ethical and sustainable company.
Supporting small businesses who focus on sustainability is a great way to both support the slow fashion movement while also supporting a small, local business! Two of my favorite companies who embody this are Kenworthy, a small mother-daughter team located in MA and Lauren Morgan Co, a women-owned company located in MA-- both with incredible integrity and sourcing ethic.
VIA KENWORTHY DESIGN
Sometimes, the price is just over what you’re looking to spend, and that’s okay, too! You can still support sustainability in the fashion industry by purchasing second-hand clothing. There are many platforms and apps out there today that you can purchase high-end clothing second-hand. Mercari, PoshMark and ThredUp are three online websites/apps that specialize in this. And of course there are always your second-hand stores and vintage shops that are awesome to peruse!
VIA THE GOOD TRADE