I have to admit that throughout my professional and educational career, the word sustainable, fair trade, and ethical have been thrown around a lot. I have studied these terms, read the stories and know it is a pretty scary world out there when you see how cushy your life is compared to others. However, nothing has resonated with me more newly premiered documentary “True Cost” directed by Andrew Morgan. I attended the premiere and saw a Q&A panel moderated by Julie Gilhart that included, Director, Andrew Morgan, Designer, Eileen Fisher, Founder of People Tree, Safia Minney, and Director of NRDC’s health and environment program, Linda Greer. Talk about a power panel, am I right? Hearing these influential industry professionals speak from their hearts about “price” of fashion made me realize that I can make a difference.
The way I have learned what fashion is, is by growing up watching reality shows, interning in fashion closets and NYFW, shopping like a true addict, and reading magazines like it’s my job. However, have I ever truly thought about where my clothes come from? Beyond the textbook that is? Maybe a handful of times, but not extensively. I’m sure this is true for the majority of you as well. I am one that has experienced the “sexier” side of fashion. There is a whole other side, a dark and tragic side.
Fast-fashion consumers are oblivious to the inhumane and social injustices that happen just to bring them a $19 dress that they can throw away and then buy another the next day. This is not a cheap hobby. It may seem cheap monetarily, but there are costs that stem from these impulse buys: landfills that hold upwards of 10.5 million tons of trashed textiles, retardation caused from exposure harmful chemicals, inhumane working conditions, and the constant cycle of creating more for less. This side of fashion is far from sexy.
It is hard to point the finger solely at fast fashion, because they aren’t the only culprit. Luxury fashion lines need to take a stand and realize that everyone is going to need to make a change in how they are producing and consuming whether we like it or not. “Going Green” isn’t a trend, it’s a reality. We can’t count on a few to carry us all. The public needs to take notice of actions from fair trade, ethical, and sustainable stewards like Stella McCartney, Amour Vert, and Blake Lively.
I want to help create a movement among consumers by taking you through my transformation on how to become a more environmentally and socially aware of my purchasing habits. Moving forward, I strive to support brands who recognize the effects of their actions and burden an extra cost to create a more valuable greater good. This is going to be a journey for us all, whether it is now or in the coming years. I am looking to raise awareness, because we as consumers have the power to change the course of our world.
I am not going to sit on the sidelines and watch. I am looking to build a bridge to a better place, and that bridge is through Boundless.