Can you be fashionable AND ecofriendly – is fast fashion misguided

It’s confusing, frustrating, tiresome and perplexing. Is it more eco friendly to be vegan, buy second-hand clothing only, have a maximum of 1 child and refill your jars of cleaning fluids at refill stations instead of buying new plastic bottles? It’s an obvious hell yeah………….isn’t it?

How did the late, great and magnificent Dame Vivienne Westwood reconcile selling her fashion line with her eco-credentials and environmental activism? We have read so many books that dissect this issue and believe that The Viv’s message was simple but the most far reaching and accurate solution that we can all adopt without massive impact on our lives.

BUY WELL : BUY LESS

Genius. Not many retailers adopt this as their slogan. The ethics of aesthetics don’t normally advocate buying less. As consumers we have never ever bought so much stuff that we absolutely don’t need. Does a shopping fueled high equate to a happy life? Do the hundreds of garments sitting in your wardrobe make you more stylish? If one t-shirt from Vivienne Westwood costs the same amount as 50 t-shirts from Boohoo – which is the smart buy? Should it follow that responsible fashion is only available to the rich?

Living minimally doesn’t have to mean looking like you have a perennial student’s budget even if you do only have a student’s bank balance. Stylists for the rich and famous get max points for shopping vintage so why don’t we all follow this trend? Similarly, fashion choices shouldn’t be embedded with guilt and no one should condone a Primark purchased parka or a Pretty Little Thing party dress. Ultimately it is for the retailers to be more responsible with their manufacturing and supply decisions and still to offer us affordable clothing solutions. Doughnut economics tell us that the planet’s resources are not limitless but that our business choices should factor in the most important stakeholder – the planet. More organisations are are taking a responsible approach to their strategic mandate and where it is affordable and justifiable we should favour these organisations over the ones who are less responsible.

Today, we celebrate the beginning of a New Year, mourn the loss of several legends this year and ask ourselves – Is this the year we resolve to consume responsibly………

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