6 Reasons Why Sustainability is Cool, and Fast-Fashion is Fraught!
MCL Design has always held multiple facets of sustainability at its core, with its mission to preserve craftsmanship, create timeless wearable art, give back to the less fortunate, support the arts, and reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle wherever possible. However, in light of Associate Editor of Fashion at The Guardian, Jess Cartner-Morley’s poignant piece, ‘Fashion faces a stark choice: stop flogging cheap clothes or go out of style’, MCL Design has put together a list of the top six reasons why true sustainability in the fashion world is in and cheap fast, disposable fashion is on the out!
1. Fashion with a conscience is a simple way to contribute to the good in the world.
The fashion industry accounts for massive amounts of pollution into the environment annually. By choosing more sustainable brands with clear and conscious efforts to lower their impact on the environment, you have the power to force the necessary change in the fashion industry. In the spirit of the law of supply and demand, you can hold fashion brands accountable!
2. Sustainable fashion helps save money and the environment in the long term.
If we stop and think about it, running up credit card debt by constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve with cheap clothes you only wear once or twice before they are deemed ‘out’ is absurdly wasteful! Both in terms of money and impact on the environment! How many charity shops have you seen that are stacked to the rafters with clothes no one wants anymore, and no one will ever buy again? Even when you donate your cast-offs, as you try to declutter your life, it doesn’t make them magically disappear from the planet – they just pile up elsewhere! Just think how much less of a burden on your savings and on the planet it would be, if you bought just a few sustainable pieces that last, over cheap fads, which fade fast.
3. Climate change is real, and the responsibility is upon each of us, to help save the planet from further irreparable damage.
It’s impossible to ignore, each time we turn on the news or open social media, we bear witness to a constant deluge of new climate disasters, from fires and floods, tornadoes and tsunamis, to droughts, famine, species extinction, extremer heatwaves and rapidly melting polar icecaps. Of course, these reports are not new, but never less tragic and evidently happening at much more frequent intervals, all around the globe and affect everyone, regardless of status. Climate change is the great equalizer. The great news is that people, from all walks of life and all ages, are becoming more vocal, demanding more from their politicians and decision makers, and stepping up, to effect real change for a brighter future. Get on board, make actual change or get left behind is the message moving forward!
4. Timeless always triumphs over temporary fading trends!
How many items do you have in your wardrobe that have dated or aged far too quickly? And compare that to your favorite good quality items that you wear over and over and never tire of! Those perfect jeans that make your butt look amazing, the pants that go with everything, the bracelet you got for graduation, or your wedding ring that means so much… What they all usually have in common is superior quality for durability and an element of timelessness. Investing in quality items, which last, never goes out of fashion. Plus, you get to pass on quality, timeless items, such as jewelry, art and antiques, to your future generations, and extend a legacy of family heirlooms to cherish for the ages. Imagine how much more instagrammable it would be to post something that no one else has, rather than something everyone else is wearing?!
5. Traditional handcraftsmanship is inherently more environmentally friendly than mass-produced fast-fashion.
It is no secret that the fashion industry is a large-scale world polluter, with an enormous carbon footprint. Companies involved in sustaining cultural heritage and preserving ancient handcraft techniques for their production are, by their very nature, able to operate with a less burdensome impact on the environment and a more ethical treatment of their workers. Producing in smaller batches, working in smaller teams, occupying smaller spaces, without heavily polluting machinery, repurposing tools and production materials, all lead to less waste and less cannibalizing impact on the environment overall. Not to mention the human connection and knowing skilled hands have produced the item you now possess. Focusing on preserving craftsmanship and sustainability allows for more environmentally-conscious design. The unique identity of handmade pieces, with their bespoke attention to detail, are also another plus for fashion, to know that few, if any, other people at all have or will ever own an identical piece to yours.
6. Kind is always in fashion, cruel is most certainly not!
Choosing brands, which engage in transparent and socially sustainable business practices, ensures that what you wear hasn’t harmed anyone in its production. By opting for brands that conduct responsible and accountable sourcing of materials, ethical treatment of workers (in companies where the boss knows everyone’s name personally!) and fairtrade practices, means a kinder supply chain and fairer planet, creating social sustainability. Sleep well at night knowing that you hold the companies, who make your clothing, accessories and everything else you buy, accountable for their actions and for the treatment of their people. Your purchasing power matters, so be kind!