How To Be A Part Of The Sustainable Fashion Conversation

by - August 02, 2019


To put it simply; the world is dying. This is something we’ve known about for a while. Except you probably thought that won’t happen until at least another five thousand years. That might be true but it will get a lot worse before then. If you look around, with climate change, running out of resources and even Brexit, the world is getting itself in a sticky situation. As much as the hot summers are nice, the cold winters aren’t and the dramatic weather is about to get a lot worse. 

Introducing the sustainability conversation. Whether it’s about plastics, fashion, beauty or waste, the conversation around sustainability is thriving and we’re taking action to reduce our pollution and impacts on the earth.

April marked 2019’s Fashion Revolution week. Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the industry (taken from Fashionrevolution.org). The week marked the 6th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh which killed 1,138 people and injured many more. They started the #whomademyclothes to demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. 

Fashion Revolution founder and creative director Orsola De Castro did a talk at my university in March. It was not only enlightening but sort of like a slap in the face. The ways in which we can help make a difference are so simple. So why aren’t we doing it already? It really is an every little help scenario, sort of like the butterfly effect.


Like me, we all need a reality check and for someone to say the things we already know. So here are some of the ways you can be a part of the sustainable fashion conversation:

Quality, get to know it. From what I’ve learnt, quality doesn’t have to be expensive. My Flatmate owns a Primark jumper from years ago and it’s still going strong. However, I think buying something a little more costly comes with a different mindset. When you buy something cheap, you see replaceable. But when you buy something a little more costly, you see durability. You paid more for something and so it won’t be treated carelessly. Being a student is slightly harder because our income is obviously limited. Therefore, a £50 white tee is clearly out of our budget. However, be smart about it. When you buy a garment, will it last endless wears and many washes? Or at least longer than a year? Two? Think quality. Quality means you won’t be in a rush to buy a replacement so quickly.

Need over want. Money in our pocket means we can buy whatever we want to. And that usually includes a quick order of cheap clothes from a fast-fashion online store. But clothes should be a desire and they should be treated as a love affair.  Every item you own should have a place and a reason to exist in your wardrobe. The top that’s been staring at you in the shop window for a while or the dress that makes you feel a million times more confident. So I challenge you, when you next go shopping, to ask yourself: “Do I need or want?” If it’s want, are you going to love it this time next week? next month? six months from now?

Mend your own clothes. I currently own three pairs of ripped jeans. On one pair, my knee has stretched the rip out so much that it looks like a giant hole in the wall. They were really cute as well and made my butt look good which can be quite hard in a mum/ boyfriend-style fit. So, I grabbed a needle, a piece of blue thread and started sewing. Clothes don’t need to be thrown away because they have a giant hole in it. Learn to mend your clothes and make the most out of them. You could even take the opportunity to add something new such as embroidery.

Swap, donate or buy second-hand. The number of people buying clothes second hand and going thrift shopping is growing. And there’s a reason. You’re helping the planet. If you haven’t tried it already, what are you waiting for? You can find some great steals there and quality brands being stocked. The great thing with charity shops is you’re also donating to a cause. Not only helping your pocket or the environment but someone else’s life too- Double whammy!

If that doesn’t sound as appealing, because not everybody wants to buy second-hand which is fine, look to buy from a sustainable designer or products made sustainably. Look beyond the clothes on the high street and look into smaller brands whose clothes are traceable and are made from sustainable materials. The ethical fashion industry is switching things up and they’re looking much more attractive than they did thirty years ago. Deakin & Blue produce amazing swimwear made from recycled fishnets. Tala workout gear is made from recycled clothes.



In summary, it’s about time we group together and start working on changing the culture. Our current culture is full of disposable elements. Our new culture needs to learn that things are here to stay and we need to learn to love our planet as much as we love the people closest to us.

The most important thing you can do is stay in the loop with the news. Be aware of the process the things in your house take to get from the earth to your possession. It’s not just about the earth but the people involved. Think of the conditions of those in the Rana Plaza factory collapse. Make a small change and pass it on.

There is nothing to lose from changing your mindset but the whole world to gain in return.


Love, Aoife xo


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