Why I'm Switching to Sustainable Style
Photography by: Lauren Hirsch
Location: West Oakland, Oakland, CA
This post is going to be a long one, so buckle up.
If you've followed me for a while now, then you probably know that I've been very vocal about issues and causes that I stand very firmly behind. I've never been afraid to speak out against racism, Tr*mp, bigotry, misogyny, etc. But, if there's one thing I stand behind, it's the fact that the planet is in serious trouble, and we need to do all that we can to save it. Many people tell me, "I don't know what to do", and I'm always shocked to hear this from people in the fashion industry. With fashion being the second biggest polluter on the planet, there is SO much we can do to help reduce our footprint, and rather, so much we should be doing. And it starts with becoming informed and eco-conscious consumers.
I've recently been cleaning out my closet, and have been trying to only fill it with pieces that are ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly (if possible), even if I have to save more and buy less. It's been a huge shift in my life- one that has completely changed the way I consume goods, and furthermore, how I look at the industry I love so much. I've grown up having an immense love for fashion, and while that hasn't change, the way I love it is starting to change.
I'm very lucky and privileged to have the following, the platform, that I do, and I never, ever want to waste it. However, with such serious issues going on in our world right now, and very few people drawing any sort of attention to it, I've began to feel like maybe I am wasting my platform. Our planet is dying, our people are in huge jeopardy, yet here I am sitting here talking about my cute new shoes. While there's nothing technically wrong with that, I've begun to become something I feared the most: just another passive style blogger.
It's so weird to me that style blogging is now such a saturated industry. When I first started following bloggers, there were maybe five of them out there, being innovative, original, and making a true difference. This was back before the industry was really capitalized- before affiliate sites like Shopstyle and Rewardstyle, before Liketoknow.it, blogger conferences, Girlbosses, etc. And while it's absolutely amazing that the industry has become capitalized and has expanded to include the voices of many, it has also added a sense of superficiality to the industry. It seems as if many bloggers just blog to make money, rather than to spread ideas and inspiration. A lot if them don't dig into things they believe in or support- it tends to just be outfit, outfit, outfit. Money, money, money.
Again, there's nothing technically wrong with this. It just isn't my jam.
Anyway, back on topic.
I've done a bit of soul-searching over the past few weeks, and have decided to turn my blog into a different direction. While I will (of course) still be focusing on style, I'm going to be focusing more on sustainable style. What does this mean for you as readers? Honestly, it means more authenticity, more focus on important issues, more cool fashion, and less BS. Sound good?
Now, I should mention that this won't all be 100% sustainable, as my wardrobe, right now, is not that. I still own plenty of fast fashion, and while I hope one day to replace it with higher quality, ethical items, as of right now, it's not something feasible. So you will still be seeing pieces from Forever 21 and Zara, or even some designer duds. But over time, I hope to start incorporating less and less of these items into posts, and more and more sustainable goods. But again, this is all a process, and is something that will happen over time.
But for now, I'm excited to share my first sustainable outfit with you all today, featuring one of my new go-to brands: Reformation, whose motto even states, "We Make Killer Clothes that Don't Kill the Environment". And, let me tell you, they totally live up to that statement. Not only are their clothes extremely cute (I could seriously dump all my savings on them), but on their site, they list the total amount of CO2 emissions, water, and waste saved during the production of each item, in comparison to the industry standard. No other clothing company (that I know of) does this, let alone, list dozens of resources regarding the detriments of fashion on the planet on their website, like they do. I highly recommend poking around their site if you want to learn more about why we should be shopping more sustainably. It taught me a lot, and really encouraged me to make this shift. Oh, and by the way, this is totally not sponsored. Seriously. I just freaking love Reformation.
If your budget is a little on the smaller side, Everlane is another new favorite of mine, and a great ethical and sustainable shop. I've been ordering from them a bunch, recently, and I couldn't be happier with everything I've tried. They have basic, high quality cotton pieces for under $30, and more luxury pieces for $50-$150. One of the awesome things about their site, too, is their "Name Your Price" section, where you can choose between three different prices for certain "sale" items. It's a great way for them to handle overproduction, as well as offer quality, eco-friendly clothing for an affordable price. Not every item is like this, but there are quite a few that are, which is really, really awesome.
Other ways I've been making a more eco-conscious change includes swapping real leather for vegan leather (ps, can you believe this gorgeous jacket is vegan?! I couldn't believe it when I first saw it!) and swapping wool and cashmere for synthetic fabrics. By reducing use of animal skins, it greatly reduces the carbon footprint on our planet, as well as the amount of water used per production.
Although my journey is just beginning, I'm really excited to be making this shift. It may take a while, but if i'm going to consider myself an environmental activist, it's about time I start living like one.
I hope you all enjoy this change as much as I do. Thank you all for your support on this amazing journey- I love you all more than words can say. xo.