I once read a blog that made my eyes roll back so far it gave me a headache. The theme of the blog was that there shouldn’t be more sustainable fashion labels starting and there was a dig at the irony of doing so. As you could imagine that close minded generalist approach didn’t go down to well with me.
Eco/sustainable fashion can be defined as the thoughtful creation of clothing and accessories where the product and the process doesn’t negatively impact the environment and it improves the lives of those in the creation process. So why would someone say this shouldn’t be happening?
The opinion that there are enough sustainable fashion labels so there shouldn’t be any more is extremely stupid in my mind. Here is why...
Sustainable fashion is more than creating stuff. It is changing the social fabric (pun intended) of our society and changing the conversation we have around fashion, the second biggest polluter in the world. It is growing the awareness of the poor conditions of most workers and the environmental impact of our choices.
Having more labels working towards this will decrease the demand of those who don’t give a crap and therefore they will close down, or change and keep up with the growing awareness. Either way the world gets better.
There was also an argument that marketing fashion of any kind, including sustainable fashion, drove up unnecessary consumption and therefore added to the strain on finite resources that go into making the textile and garment. While this is true in theory is it a valid reason to say new eco fashion labels shouldn’t begin?
Let’s think about this for a second. Clever marketing is the way to sell thoughtless mass produced fashion. It needs to be impressive enough where people don’t ask questions. The marketing of sustainable fashion needs to be louder than these companies. These companies are huge so how do we get around this? We don’t (for now). HOWEVER, it is the collective conversation that all these smaller fashion labels that is creating a loud voice. More labels need to start and pour their passion into making their voice as loud as possible so we can raise the level of awareness.
Sure there will be competition, the insecure ones might even try to talk s**t about you, bring you down, dilute your efforts (this happened to me recently by another designer) but what we do as eco fashion designers is bigger than that petty b.s. We are changing the world and that is more important than anything.
If your designs are unique and are providing options so people don’t fall back into the mass production trap then do it. Make it happen. Forget the tip toeing, forget the walking on egg shells. Stand up and stomp through. Make your presence felt, make your voice heard. Don’t shy away because of a few closed minded bloggers, stupid opinions or those who are swayed by their words. Make it beautiful, share the importance of it, highlight your “WHY” and get moving. The world needs you to shine.