Did you know that most of your clothing is made from forms of plastic? Do any of the tags on your shirts read polyester, nylon or acrylic? Those are all different names for plastic woven into the things we wear. And did you know that when you wash them, microplastic particles get released into your machine, end up in the waterways that lead to the oceans, ending up in the fish we eat and the water people drink? Whew. Deep breath. That was intense. But it is the sad truth we face in the era of everything plastic and disposable.
I admit, I am a sustainability fangirl. I get excited over new things that are reusable, and creative ways to keep things out of landfills. Before that however, I was an ethical fashion snob. (Thankfully, I've since lost the snob portion of that phrase.) I made the switch to a more ethical wardrobe in 2017 after a huge weight loss and a big move. Everything had come together perfectly for me to sell my old, designer brand clothing, and reinvest in new items that were, not only better for the environment and myself, but for the people in the supply chain making them. At the core of ethical fashion is the humane, fair treatment of all people in the supply chain. The workers around the world who grow the cotton, weave the fabric, cut and sew the pieces, pack and ship the boxes...everyone, is paid a fair, living wage, free to come and go from their job responsibilities, treated with respect and dignity, and not overworked, forced into overtime. On top of that, many ethical fashion consumers consider the environmental impact of the fabric their clothing is made of. Is it organic cotton? Does is contain sustainably harvested bamboo? Did they use natural dyes on a closed-loop water system to prevent things ending up in the water ways? All of these things require time and research to ensure the clothing we wear does not come at the risk of the lives of other individuals, or our planet.
How can people make the switch to a more ethical wardrobe? Start small! I started by swapping out my basics, like tanks and tees; things that I wear a lot of. One of my favorite brands for years, has been Pact. In the time I've worn their basics, their collection has expanded from everyday basics to include dresses, pants, maternity wear, even bedding and bath, most recently! From here I expanded to more expensive items that I wear a lot, like denim and sweaters. I figure that if I invest in things that will get a lot of use, then I can have more fun shopping secondhand, finding creative pieces that I don't need to wear very often, like blazers and jackets, and save myself a fortune. I mix these ethically made items, with my secondhand items for a fun, unique wardrobe that speaks to who I am. All this while keeping plastics out of our water and once-loved clothing out of landfills.
You can find links to Pact and other brands we love in the About Us section of our website.