Welcome to Fashion Revolution 2021, a week where the global community comes together to create a better fashion industry for all. It’s a great time to have open discussions with your favourite brands, your friends and your family about what the true cost of fast fashion is.
With a growing shift towards conscious consumerism, our wardrobes are often one the largest ethical dilemmas to tackle. So if you’ve done some research and discovered some unsettling fast fashion truths about your previous purchases… What do you do? It’s not necessarily practical (or sustainable!) to throw it out and start again.
One of our dk active brand ambassadors, Gwen, had some great tips on how to approach this very dilemma. Read her words below.... And please leave us a comment with your thoughts and tips for improving your ethical wardrobe.
One thing that has come up increasingly for me in the past year is “what do I do with items from a brand that I no longer want to support?”.
It is hard to see brands that you once loved not stay accountable to their community. But do you keep the pieces? Get rid of them? Rip the tags out? If you wear it and someone asks who the piece is by do you tell them?
Part of sustainable and ethical fashion is keeping the pieces that you have for as long as possible or until the end of their life. So here are some options that I think can be considered if a brand no longer aligns with your values:
1. Taking the tags out and if someone asks, just saying you don’t know the brand.
2. Selling the piece to then buy pieces from brands that are actively supporting their community and living up to their accountability or donating the sales to a community group.
3. Keeping the piece intact, but if someone asks, explain that you bought it prior to any knowledge or realization of their harmful practices and explain what they did and why they are bad so that the person (hopefully) won’t support them either and provide better alternatives.
4. Donating the piece to charity.
5. If you’re really savvy, taking the piece apart to make something new! Tea towels, a new article of clothing, there are lots of ways to up-cycle clothing.
There’s no perfect answer or solution, but as consumers we need to keep holding brands accountable. Showing size, racial, and age diversity should not be an afterthought anymore and neither should offering more size inclusivity. When brands fail to step up after being asked over and over, it is clear that they no longer deserve our time or money.
Straight-sized people, keep asking when brands are going to offer plus sizes, especially 3X and beyond. White people, ask to see more racial diversity. Able-bodied people, ask to see bodies of all abilities. We all have a role to play in making fashion of all forms more inclusive and that means not taking excuses from brands anymore. PERIOD.