It feels like divine momentum that Earth Day and Fash Rev Day are only 24 hrs apart. A multitude of good can spring from even the most dire circumstances — so how can we best harness the energy of change?
By becoming it, Baby. As individuals, we can consciously decide what we allow into our space; we can vote with our $, supporting what we value & want to see flourish; we can stand up for the beauty of both our planet & our very own; we can take charge of what is being produced because we demand what we desire. Take today as the bouncing-off place into a brighter present, and ask #WhoMadeMyClothes?
The future of fashion is in our hands (and hearts, hopefully). It’s beautiful to witness the change in culture that’s being created by conscious companies and individuals alike. Looking for organic materials? There’s a filter for that. Want vegan couture? There’s a badge for that. Love made in the USA? It’s right here for you. Fair-trade? Sustainable? Recycled? Artisan-crafted? All at your finger tips thanks to prescient people who know that sustainability in its manifold expressions is the currency of the future.
On Earth Day, a panel of fashionable movers & shakers hosted by Amanda Cole discussed the state of the fashion industry. “Only in fashion is the idea that you get rid of it after three uses,” says David Dietz, founder of Modavanti. This wastefulness and disregard for oneself and the planet is at the core of the fashion catastrophe. “There are more slaves today than at any point in history,” states Ben Skinner of Tau Investment. “And guess what, we’re buying what they’re producing.” From the mud, beauty is emerging, though. What I had felt subconsciously for a while rang true when pronounced: New luxury is value-based. “Not everybody wants to be the next Valentino,” Sass Brown of EcoFashion Talk says. “There’s a shift in what people value in their lives.” And make no mistake, doing good and doing well can be a stylish pair.
Since we get dressed (most) every day, every fresh sunrise presents the opportunity to feel good and make a choice. Personally, I find it funny that while all of my food choices and beauty care are organic, green, and glorious, my wardrobe isn’t. There’s a lag in the fashion industry regarding sustainability, style, and availability. We’re getting there, for sure, but it’ll take more than my desire to see organic cotton tees become part of the permanent collections at global chains. If you demand quality, you’ll create a bigger market for quality products. And wouldn’t you treasure one well-made piece way more than three throw-away things? (Your closet will thank you too).
During the panel on Earth Day I got to meet Andrew Morgan, the immensely kind and smart director of The True Cost. His documentary, which debuts in NYC on 5/28 and will be available globally the next day, highlights the blinding contrast between the tricky triangle of the glamorous fashion set, the reality of the garment workers, and the fashion clients who (for the most part) really are consumers at this point. The movie’s not a downer trying to induce pity and guilt; rather, The True Cost intends to draw attention to the current practices of the fashion industry so that we as creators and clients can bring about positive change. Executive-produced by Livia Firth and spear-headed by Morgan, this clear-eyed documentary inspires us to take a closer look at what we wear. “Maybe the whole story line of clothing needs to be reinvented,” Morgan shares. “We have to take this story,” he continues, “and have to make it something that overwhelms the old story. A story so much more beautiful that it crushes the old story.” Find the movie trailer below.
What’s the true cost of the clothes produced thousands of miles away from us? What’s the true cost of skins we didn’t need to take, of crops that didn’t grow naturally, dyed with chemicals that poison our water, touched by hands whose lives are shadows of humanity? What’s the true cost of cheap, mass-market fashion? Also, what’s the true cost of designer fashion? The fact that it’s sold for a lot doesn’t mean it cost a lot to make.
The True Cost has the potential to lead us full circle to Earth Day, every day. And the fashion industry could actually become a guardian of the environment, if we as clients vote for change with our dollars. Go watch the movie and let yourself be moved. Sometimes, it’s easier to create change as part of a group than shift patterns in the nitty-gritty of our personal lives. But you know how it goes: once one thing changes, everything changes. From macro to micro; from micro to macro. You have so much more power than you sometimes think. Go change and be part of the change. It’s good for your health, too (and makes you look hot).
Ten years from now, we’ll look back at who we were and what we wore, and we’ll be glad we made the decision to call all of our power back to us. We can take pleasure in fashion and love the earth and all her beings at the same time because true style is priceless.
Find The True Cost here.