Terms like “sustainable”, “sustainability” or “ethical” have been flooding our newsfeed for the past years and even more. They have become a constant whenever we are talking about fashion. And for the time being, it stopped being a trend and is now more a duty that both brands and consumers need to take care of in order to guarantee a better system and a better planet.
The fashion industry made sustainability a strong conversation in 2013, when the collapse of the textile complex Rana Plaza Mall in Bangladesh killed more than 1100 workers that were there under poor conditions of location and sanitation, as well as unfair wages. Most of these companies that operate (yes, they still exist and there are many) in Asia and small countries work for brands whose products are insanely cheap when it reaches your hands. So the question everyone started asking was: is it really worth it? Is a life worth losing for making a $5 t-shirt?
After Rana Plaza, different movements and initiatives started to question brands about their practices and the processes that they follow to give their clients clothes, including fair wages to their workers and clean processes to the making of the pieces (reducing waste is included in this category). However, many people think that trying to reduce their fast fashion purchases is the only thing they can do to help, when the reality is very different. We can have a sustainable closet starting with what is already in it, and in a few steps we are going to show you how!
Me with my team in India working on a new collection
-Make a filter and clean. A closet cleaning is recommended at least once a year, and better now that a new season is starting. But what you might not know is that part of sustainable fashion (an important part, actually), aims to reduce the waste of clothes that are produced and discarded every year. During this cleaning, think about the items that you don’t really use, and donate them to local charities or trade them at the flea market. Try to be really honest with those pieces you haven’t worn in years and that you know you will never wear again, and give others the opportunity to wear them while, at the same time, contributing to less consumerism.
-A second chance for old friends. After you left your closet with only the pieces you are sure you are going to wear, try to rediscover those you even forgot you have. Next time you have an important occasion, search your own closet first instead of going to your favorite online shopping site. Every year, an outstanding amount of 150 billion pieces of clothing are produced, and a third of that amount will go to waste… in addition to all the clothes that we throw away after wearing them just a couple of times. Think about this number the next time you want a new top that is the same silhouette than the one you bought last week. Believe me… it works.
-Question your brands. We know you cannot live the rest of your life with the clothes that you already have and that, eventually, you will shop. But if you want to embrace sustainable fashion, changes need to be made. It is important that you make sure the brands you are buying from have fair processes to their workers and that they are committed to producing clothes with less waste. Ask them on social media, their contact forms or any way you feel like it. It is our duty as brands to make sure you are happy with our ethical processes and values. At Blue Boheme, we believe in the work of artisans and in the importance of working closely with them to ensure you get unique pieces that are made with love and responsibility. By being ethical and conscious, we are not only making sure that you will be wearing a piece that is truly outstanding, but also that we are contributing to a cleaner system that would help our planet to heal.