People say a lot of things. They’re funny like that.
“Sustainable fashion is a trend.. it’s slowing down.”
If you’ve ever proposed a forward thinking idea or started anything on your own, you know that many people are quick to meet your vision with skepticism.
“Umm… I just don’t think that’s realistic. Don’t quit your day job man.“
The reason behind this skepticism is that change is hard. The only people who can accurately predict the future are the ones actively creating it.
And that is where YOU come in.
A DARK PAST
Here’s the math: that’s 16.7% of the population, and only 2% of them are living comfortably. At the same time, 40 million people are trapped in modern slavery worldwide, 25% of whom are children.
Sounds like issues that need to be addressed. Immediately.
Meanwhile, your go-to cotton shirt averaged 713 gallons of water to make, and who wants to bet it was the product of insecticides and surely not organic? According to EcoWatch, 25% of all the insecticides globally are used on cotton and only 1% of cotton is organic.
Here are the issues: lax government regulations, environmental abuse from fast fashion, and profit-driven brands. As Aldous Huxley stated, “ending is better than mending” and “the more stitches, the less riches.” Consume more. Abandon. Throw away. Don’t bother repairing or taking care of your current clothes. We saw how great that Brave New World turned out.
In the past, toxic media tied to for-profit companies assured us that it was all okay. With false and superficial ideals, greenwashing, or lies, some of us didn’t even question it. Perhaps we were innocently ignorant to it all.
We stumbled down a path of cheaper and lower quality clothes, and these toxic industries kept expanding as we fueled them by continuing to be idle against our true environmental values.
Then we reached it: 81 pounds of clothes per person per year, thrown away!
But things have started to become shockingly clear with new eco films, campaigns, and brands rising to the forefront, “beating on, boats against the current, ceaselessly into the…” (wait for it) FUTURE.
A BRIGHT FUTURE
Ok, enough of this pessimistic talk, let’s think future, and actively engaged, and change-making big. A sizable amount of people really have had enough.
According to the marketing research firm Nielson, 73% of millennials will pay more for clothes that are ethically and sustainably made.
The government has the power to create meaningful legislation to enforce more sustainable manufacturing and more ethical production, but let’s be honest, nobody is holding their breath.
Rather than wait for change, people like you and new ethical brands are leading the conscious consumer movement — a kind of ethical/sustainable invisible hand — until those up on their high horses catch up. This can happen soon enough if we keep supporting the brands we value — those who are truly doing good.
You are here because you want to support brands that pay living wages, have no slave labor or child labor in the supply chain, use more sustainable fabrics, utilize more sustainable manufacturing methods, and produce higher quality clothes made to last.
I’m happy to let you know that new brands are rising to the challenge, some still small and new, but nonetheless powerful and transparent. So let’s see if we can keep you in the loop and learning more about it.
Here are some things we’ve been up to lately:
HOW TO FIND BRANDS YOU CAN TRUST
Eco-Stylist researches and vets every brand we recommend to you utilizing Remake’s sustainable brand criteria. Remake, a nonprofit, takes a holistic and comprehensive framework from ethics to environment in order to properly evaluate brands.
THE FUTURE OF MENSWEAR
The future of menswear is all about timeless pieces that look great, are made by people who are paid fairly, and made to be responsible to the planet. Eco-Stylist presented a peak at that future with the Sustainable Menswear Lounge experience at the LA Fashion Festival.
Picture a curated selection of items from ethical and sustainable brands and free gin tastings by a LA local spirits company named AMASS. Here I, Garik, founder of Eco-Stylist, walked through the process of transitioning your mind and wallet towards a bright future for the better good. Sophisticated you being green and everything!
You’ll want to check out the full event:
HOW YOU ARE CHANGING THE PARADIGM
You have been voting with your wallet on clothing & everyday purchases, and the world has taken notice.
Searches for sustainable fashion doubled from 2019 to 2020. At the same time, over 1200 new businesses joined 1% for the Planet in 2019. If you don’t know, all members (us included) donate 1% of their revenue to environmental non-profits around the world.
B Corporations (purpose driven businesses) have also been growing exponentially, going from inception to 3500 businesses in about 15 years. In the UK B Corporations are growing 28 times faster than the national average.
All of this is just the beginning. When you shift your dollars to good brands, you’re investing in the kind of world you want to live in.
Now, more than ever, that’s the kind of change we need.
*Article updated 7/11/21
Garik Himebaugh is the founder of Eco-Stylist, the go-to source for ethical clothing. He’s also an international speaker on sustainable fashion and a sustainable personal stylist. Garik loves coffee, climbing, and clothes.