As a young millennial, I'm hardly the voice of all that makes a carbon footprint tiny, I've grown up around the growing empire of Apple, oil spills, more natural disasters than can be counted on one hand and most importantly the huge demand for fast fashion.
For those who aren't aware of fast fashion climate impact, a quick stat: roughly, the climate impact of one cotton t-shirt is roughly equal to the carbon footprint of driving a car for 10 miles.
During my university lectures, commutes on the train and attempts at reading 'real' books (The hunger games trilogy is falling apart I've read it that much) my eyes have been opened to the long term and indirect impacts climate change is having on our planet.
An interesting article and topic of talk that continuous to pop up is the link between terrorism and climate change, Bernie Sanders has mentioned it, links to real situations have been made and Frankie Boyle mentions it in his article.
Daily news reports and research files prove that climate change is in fact real, it is happening and ten years from now, our planet could be totally different.
Without scaring you in to veganism, riding your bike 'til the frame snaps or giving up all of life's modern pleasures, here are some small steps regarding your fashion interests you can start making to help the earth, everything starts with little steps forward.
Ask yourself: Do I really need this? A want for a product, especially something like a t-shirt can very rarely develop in to a need, so no, you don't need that new t-shirt and frankly, the money would be better spent on pizza... make sure none of that goes to waste either.
Is this brand ethical? Yes, yes, Primark has paid its share of compensation to the Rana Plaza victims and their paper bags are recycled, but avoid fast fashion discount brands where ever you can, we all love a bargain but there is no doubt it costs the planet not so little by little. H&M has a conscious collection and Zara has an ethical line too, so before everyone starts freaking about the cost of being gentle to the planet, you can do it affordably, believe me.
Can I get the bus to the shopping centre? Yes, you can. Public transport is a small step to take in reducing your carbon footprint and it will save you money on the car park, better still, walk there if you can, then your big lunch won't feel so bad on your health goals. Hate busses? Car share, plan your trip in advance and take some friends with you.
Don't just pin the blame on clothing brands, beauty brands have bad practices too, look in to the way they do business while you watch vlogger reviews and before buying new products make sure you are getting your moneys worth, the packaging is deceiving.
Avoid throwing away clothes. Of course, when theres a rip right through the seam or it's been shrunk to fit barbie it can be best to throw it away, but try your best to recycle clothes, give them to your siblings, friends or even parents. In the winter especially, it would be a very good deed to bag your old things up and donate them to the homeless or to refugee organisations. If like me, you are a student try to sell on old clothes, just because it isn't your thing anymore, it might be someone else's. There is nothing wrong with second hand.
If your tights are always laddering easily or the same brand keeps letting you down with loose stitching, stop buying. Do not stay loyal to brands or products that keep letting you down on quality, even if they are convenient, in the process you are adding to landfill and buying in to the pro consumption, government ideas.
There is no rush!! Really, there isn't. Fashion is fast and trends change all the time but as cheesy as it is, style is eternal. To make outfits day after day from the same wardrobe makes you more creative than the next person who buys a new outfit every week. Personally, I've not bought an item of clothing for almost two months, which is an achievement how ever small, by having to work with my existing clothes and avoid just rotating outfits I have really enjoyed challenging myself to be more creative in my day to day choices.
Two new brands I have discovered this week that are both ethical and stylish are:
'We are an independent clothing brand based in the heart of Leeds supplying premium quality bamboo t shirts with our own exclusive prints. Ethically sourced, hand printed and purposefully designed we have put our passion into every detail and hope that you love our tees as much as we do. Inspired by art, music and underground culture we promote independent thinking and creativity in all forms.'
'Is An Ethical Fashion And Lifestyle Brand Dedicated To Empowering Women Through Design. Raven + Lily was created to alleviate poverty among women. Raven + Lily currently helps employ over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, education, and a real chance to to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Raven + Lily is committed to providing products that are made by hand, follow fair trade standards, and honor our eco-friendly commitment.'
There are good to the planet fashion stores out there, you just have to look for them.
'me on the outside: it’s just a movie