Ultimately, I want to change the perception that being sustainable and ethical means that you can’t be fashionable. We need to create the notion that by doing good, you look good.
It’s down to us as consumers (and designers) to make sustainability fashionable. The high street is driven by the youth market with most stores and garments aimed at people between 16 and 25, so by endorsing sustainability through social media could we make it the next ‘trend’ that doesn’t end?
Instead of people being impressed by brands or a garments price tag, maybe they could be impressed by their find at the local charity shop or admired by their peers for supporting a local sustainable designer, or even respected in their group because they made/recycled a piece that is completely unique.
In general people don’t like change, especially if they do not understand the benefits of changing and the risks of staying the same. I have been lucky enough to have been lectured on the issue and have met some inspiring people who are driving the change.
The Love Your Clothes campaign was launched in 2014 and was set up to change the way people buy clothes, use them and then dispose of them. Their website if full of ideas and advice on everything from planning your wardrobe, to effective stain removal, and even what you can do with your old Christmas socks! The organisation works with big names in the fashion industry such as Next, Marks & Spencer, Oxfam and Ted baker to help them change the way their customers consume. I would recommend having a look through their website, even if you just want to get cleaning tips!
As a student, I understand that most sustainable clothing is expensive especially if its hand made in the UK and that it is convenient to go to your local Primark and buy a whole new wardrobe for £100 but if we all start to make slight changes then already that adds up to a big improvement.