Over the last few days we've been talking about Fashion Revolution Week, and highlighting the importance of the #SlowFashion movement. The most important aspect of any form of radical change is action. What can you do to actively participate and effect real change in the fashion industry?
Hold Brands Accountable
Although the slow fashion movement is steadily gaining momentum, global fashion consumption continues to grow at an unsustainable rate and relies on the culture of fast fashion. There is an obvious lack of transparency in the fast fashion industry, and we are long overdue in holding major fashion brands accountable. Ask brands to publish clear information about how and where clothes and accessories are made, who made them, where the materials come from, and what the working conditions are.
The Fashion Revolution website has a thorough list of resources to help you get involved, including an email template for communicating with brands, creative digital assets to share on social, educational resources, and more.
The Capsule Wardrobe
One of the most effective ways to participate in the #FashionRevolution - and move away from fast fashion toward slow fashion - is to build a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe consists of a limited selection of pieces in your entire closet; there are varied opinions on exactly how many, but a popular consensus is that 33 is the magic number. I like to keep my closet at a maximum of around 20 pieces; as you make your way on this journey, you will find the number that works best for you.
The philosophy behind this idea is that less is more, and quality takes priority over quantity, as well as ethical production. Although buying ethically-made items means paying more, in time you'll find that slowly investing in higher quality, long-lasting pieces that make a positive impact on the makers, and leave a low carbon footprint, is much more rewarding in the long run. Here are some easy steps to get you started:
1. What's your magic number? Decide how many pieces you want in your capsule wardrobe.
2. Sort through your current wardrobe. A good way to approach this is to make three piles - one for the pieces you definitely want to get rid of, one for the "maybes," and one for the ones you absolutely love and wear often. Next, go through the "maybe" pile again, and ask yourself these questions: Do I wear this often? Do I LOVE everything about this? Is it functional AND beautiful? Or, as minimalist advocate Marie Kondo famously asks: Does this spark JOY?
3. Donate. After you've thoroughly minimized your current wardrobe, remember to donate your unwanted pile- there are tons of organizations in need of clothing. Dress for Success, for example, works to empower economically disadvantaged women by providing tools to set them up for success in the workplace.
4. Supplement. When you are ready to start adding new pieces to your freshly trimmed-down wardrobe, start by doing some research. Get in the habit of asking "who made my clothes?" and "how were my clothes produced?" Look for fair trade and eco certifications, and for clear information on brand websites, such as our brand transparency page. There are also plenty of online resources and marketplaces that have done the work for you by vetting brands that have verified ethical business practices. Here are some of our favorites:
Natural fibers - such as wool, cotton, hemp, flax linen, and silk - are renewable and carbon-neutral. The waste from natural fibers is mostly organic, and at the end of their long-lasting life cycles, they are biodegradable. By actively choosing natural fibers, you contribute to lessening the demand for synthetic ones.
Visit FashionRevolution.org for more information on ways to get involved. If you have any questions about MZ's business practices, visit our brand transparency page, check out how MZ items are made, get to know our team, or reach out to us anytime via social or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.