So, I’ve never been one to spend much on fashion, even though I love it. I’ve always felt somewhat justified in my shopping forays because I get geeked with second-hand, vintage or consignment. I lull myself into thinking my choices are at least “recycled”. But jeans are a dilemma. I’m tall and thin and very picky about how jeans fit in relation to their cost, and I usually bypass second-hand altogether. I’m often willing to splurge on a good pair of NEW jeans, but I’ve never factored the waste and resource impact until recently. Luckily, some innovative designers will be experimenting with zero waste jean creation at Parsons School of Design.
In general, I haven’t yet been smitten by a designer or brand that operates with organic, low-waste materials and construction. It’s a little fashion adventure I’m planning to go on…where to find sexy, sweet, and sophisticates that fit my conscious? I don’t have a big fashion budget, so I’ll be seeking out samples and looking for stylists who can help me.
Consider joining the hunt for fair-trade and eco-friendly brands! While American Apparel reminded us that it’s possible to manufacture clothes made with fair labor practices, neither their ads nor their styles are very sophisticated. I hope my fellow fair-fashion hunters and I find some more notable clothes-makers to fill a full portfolio.
I use the term clothes-makers to move away from the idea of manufacturers. A big issue with waste and labor issues in fashion stems from (as in the food industry) problems of scale. Big corporations use factory-line production and standardization techniques that make it difficult for them to adopt low/no-waste techniques. Plus, you never know for sure what the labor conditions are. These facts give the fashion enthusiast all the more reason to shop with local designers, even going custom-made if you can.
Or just DIY it… We all really should know how to make our own clothes. Bartered lessons, anyone?
Or, the next time you visit a custom design shop, ask the designer if they’d be willing to try a zero-waste, preferably recycled material or organic product, and let you be the model. In addition to jump-starting market demand, it might give you both something fabulous to show off!