The word “sustainability” has been quiet fashionable for a couple of years, you know the kind of blurry term that people throw here and there to give to a product or to a business a “conscious” dimension (thinking about H&M for example). Even though there is no universal definition of what sustainability exactly mean, in my opinion it’s a way to live in the now without damaging the future from an environmental, social, and economical perspective (which we agree, are all strongly interconnected).
Using resources that cannot be replaced, agreeing to sell/use/wear products that were not produced in fair circumstances (working conditions, salaries etc.), or consuming always more fast fashion instead of recycling some perfectly fine pieces by buying second hand goods,just show how emotionally detached most of us (including me) became. And I believe that to make any change in that field, emotions are an important driver simply because sustainability asks for a lot of imagination and require an emotional engagement to work (how to leave our old ways behind and start to produce differently? Which resources can be replace and how? etc.).
I came across a very interesting article by Dr Joseph Zammit-Lucia in The Guardian (published in 2013) who was saying the following: “Artists, novelists, poets, musicians – they are all in the imagination business yet they are often absent from the business world.(…) Broadening recruitment processes to include people from the arts and the humanities, exposing business executives to artistic practices, creating emotional experiences that are powerful enough to move people to imagine new possibilities. These may be some of the components that we need to explore. The achievement of a truly sustainability lifestyle will not pop out of a spreadsheet. It will not be achieved through technological fixes, efficiency improvements or marginally reduced use of natural resources. It requires a reimagining of the way we live, produce and do business.” I thought that this could be one of the answer to the many challenges a sustainable world is rising.
On a more personal note, expecting my first baby this year made me rethink the way I consume and the way I buy. I’m not ready to completely give up on my little shopping sessions at Zara and & Other Stories , but I reduced drastically the amount of clothes I’m buying and learn how to enjoy what I have for longer. I regularly unclutter my dressing, I try to keep only what I need and like, and to embrace fully a less is more approach when it comes to me, my home, and my soon to be little family. I also noticed how much more satisfying it is for me to buy something that I know is clean and fairly produced. I try to buy as much as I can locally (including food), and directly to the designer if possible.
I know that a lot of you will bring the price “issue” on the table, which is fair, but at the end of the day if you count how much you spent in “cheap” clothes that you get from high street brands like Top Shop, New Look, Asos, etc that you will probably wear only for a couple of months (if even), you will see that investing in a piece that you really love, care for, and that will last is actually more affordable. Also second hand and clothes swapping are great sustainable options.We are exposed to advertising since we are born, even more now with all the “influencers” and Instagram blogger out there telling you what to buy all day long (don’t be fooled by their friendly approach, they are here for business purposes not to share their passion about fashion and lifestyle). Stop “envying” what other people have, think for yourself and what’s best for the world we are living in. Support local producers, farmers, designers, artists, but don’t feel guilty buying from big chains from time to time. It’s all about balance at the end of the day.
I’ve listed for you some places and websites I like to shop from (or need to try asap), some of them have lovely selections of local designers and artists, some have great clean/fair/eco-friendly brands, and some have cool second hands collections. Enjoy!
For your little ones I also recommend some e-shops below, all their brands are not sustainable, but a lot of them are fair, clean, local, or eco-friendly so it’s worthy to browse through their collections and make your own selection.
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Cover picture: The Basics-Store