cottonandtravel

Marie Landais from Cotton & Travel shares her passion for handcraft !

“You can adopt a sustainable fashion style in so many different ways: sustainable materials, handcraft, thrift shops… You just need to choose your own way. No consumer, no brand is perfect. So, what is the most important criteria for you?

As for me, I have been travelling around the world since 1 year and whilst doing so, discovered a new passion: Handcraft. I think it is so beautiful to wear a cloth handmade with love by an artisan, and often they are women: to have the privilege to wear something unique and made with beautiful know-how, passed from generations to generations, from mother to daughter.  What’s more, to know that you are supporting these woman, her family, all a community and culture.
So, while visiting countries, I love to discover small organizations or brands empowering these women and protecting their culture. I did a 2 month volunteership in Guatemala for a weaving cooperative and it really changed my life and my way of consuming, as now I look first at who and how my clothes are made.  I am passionate by Ancient Civilizations and during this volunteership, I realized that behind each Guatemalan cloth and each pattern there is a powerful meaning dating back from centuries… from their Maya ancestors. How wonderful is that?! In our modern and fast consumerism world, for me, it is important to support this ancient art and to not forget our past and culture.”
Blog link and Instagram @cottonandtravel

Rosalinda Shelton from Sunshine and Rosies and her homemade washing liquid !

“Sustainable, eco friendly fashion also extends to the way you look after your clothes. Try and always use the cold setting on your washing machine, and dry them in the sun or shade. Your clothes don’t need to be washed in hot water and creating hot water uses a lot more resources. I understand it is not possible for some climates to dry clothes outside but if you have a sunny day, hang those clothes out for some fresh air! Not only will you save money on your electricity bill the earth with thank you for it. Also consider making your own washing liquid or powder. It is A LOT easier than you think and making your own washing detergent saves you money, and also saves putting plastic packaging into landfill from all those detergent bottles. A simple washing liquid recipe is:

Grate the 1/ 2 bar of soap with a cheese grater into a large container. Add a small amount of boiling water to dissolve the soap. Add the rest of the 2L of the water as cold water and 20 drops of your essential oil. Slowly stir to combine.How easy is that!? Before use, give it a swish just in case it has separated. If this recipe doesn’t work for you, try another. There are TONS online, even washing machine pods or powders if that is what you prefer.
Blog link and Instagram @sunshine_and_rosies
sunshine and rosies
thetravellerseries

Tiffany Teoh from The Traveller Series talks about plastic !

“I never realised plastic polymers were also in our clothes. I was kind of horrified to find out that plastic has once again found it’s way into another component of our day to day lives.
Did you know the most popular fabric in the fast fashion industry is polyester, and polyester is a kind of plastic. This means these clothes will not breakdown and decompose into the soil once you’re done with it.

On top of that it is also synthetically and chemically produced from petroleum, leading to an increase in pollution and decrease in our natural resoures. And to add salt to the wounds, plastic particles that get dettached from polyester clothing during the washing process, may end up in the waters that we drink and swim in, as well as in the fish that we then eat. So when shopping, take the time to look at the inner labels of your clothes. Polyester is not a breathable fabric and Opt for 100% cotton clothes. You’ll find cotton to feel more breathable and comfortable on your skin.”

Blog link and Instagram @thetravellerseries

Elizabeth Joy from Conscious Life & Style stops buying !

“The very first step I took when getting into ethical fashion was simply to STOP BUYING! After seeing the Rana Plaza Factory collapse in the news, when the inhumane treatment of fast fashion workers in third world countries was exposed, I could no longer feel right about buying fast fashion. At the time, I didn’t know about ethical fashion brands and didn’t think I could find anything cute secondhand (now I see how wrong I was about thrifting though!). So, in order to feel like my closet didn’t go against my conscience, I gave up shopping for a while. I think this is a great “first step” into ethical fashion because it forces you to think more about your clothing choices and simply slow down. By putting a pause on shopping for a while, we are allowing ourselves to think more about our purchases, instead of just buying something out of habit.

It gives you the necessary time to reflect on whether you truly love or need that piece, and if you can feel good about buying from that fashion brand. During my “shopping ban”, I gave myself time to research into ethical fashion brands and educate myself on eco-conscious fabrics and responsible production practices.
Not to mention, part of the fashion industry’s massive problem is that it simply produces WAY too much, so slowing down our purchases also helps reduce the environmental impact.”

Blog link and Instagram  @consciousstyle

consciousstyle
thefashionablethinker

Emma from The Fashionable Thinker, the DIY Queen !

Don’t be afraid to alter your clothes. I used to be so afraid of cutting up and sewing into clothes (even when they had holes and rips in them!) that I would keep them hanging in my closet for months and eventually give them away to charity. I’ve now learned that charities send massive amounts of clothes that are unsuitable for sale to foreign countries either for resale (in clothes bales) or to be put into land fill or destroyed. Clothes bales in some African countries have basically killed the local garment industry by removing jobs and traditional textile production. Shipping our old clothes for land fill in foreign countries is particularly bad as it ruins the local environment not to mention the huge impact transporting this waste has. By mending and restyling our clothes we cut down on waste and the need to buy new things all the time. It’s so important now more than ever to reuse as much of what we have for as long as possible.

Even just dying a garment a different colour is a huge step! I recently bought an old bridesmaid dress that I will be turning into a tulle skirt which has been all over the fashion week trends for the last year or so. If you don’t know where to start, there are hundreds (thousands!) of blogs about sewing and restyling old clothes. Not to mention YouTube – probably one of the most content rich platforms on the internet – where there are super basic to super advanced tutorials on just about anything. Get creative! You’ve really got nothing to lose. If it’s just going to go to waste anyway, why not?

Blog Link and Instagram

Rachel Fortune from Style The Sustainable asks herself “Will I wear this at least 30 times?”

“As a fashion and personal stylist I have had the pleasure of styling a diverse range of brands; whether these are designer, vintage or high street, fashion and style is about having fun and creating a look unique to you and your lifestyle.

I think the majority of us will have items in our wardrobes that haven’t been made in the most ethical or sustainable of ways but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear them; in fact wear them more!  I am a big believer in the 30 Wears Campaign, founded by Livia Firth, the founder and creative director of Eco Age, and, as some call her, ‘The Queen of Green’.  It’s a very simple philosophy to live by but extremely effective and easy to do:

Before buying an item, ask yourself  “Will I wear this at least 30 times?”  If yes, then buy away and enjoy, if no, then walk away and save your money for something that you are truly going to treasure over the years.”

Blog Link and Instagram @stylethesustainable

stylethesustainable
kasha.cabato

Kasha Cabato from Green with Style is knows how to be chic in secondhand ! 

“Buy secondhand whenever you can. Whenever I need to buy a new piece of clothing or accessory, I first consider buying it used. In my opinion, this is the most eco-friendly way to shop, as no additional energy or resources were needed to create the product because it already existed. According to the EPA, in the United States alone we throw away 11 million tons of discarded clothing per year. That is so not okay!

The fashion industry is relentless about portraying yesterday’s styles as today’s top trends, so almost any wardrobe addition can be found secondhand. I personally love scouring consignment stores and thrift shops for unique (and discounted) treasures. There are so many fashion brands located in Los Angeles, as well as the style-obsessed, that consignment stores are hubs for designer steals. Flea markets, like the Rose Bowl, are the place to find perfectly worn-in vintage denim and graphic tees. If you live in an area with a more limited secondhand selection, sites and apps like eBay and Poshmark have established convenient ways to buy and sell pre-loved clothing online.

Blog Link and Instagram @kasha.cabato

Molly Harris from MFARAI is aligned with her values !

“Know what your values are and where you draw your line. Part of knowing this is understanding the terminology used in conscious fashion. Ethical doesn’t always mean sustainable, and sustainable doesn’t always mean ethical. If you are passionate about supporting the rights garment workers as well as minimising your impact on the environment then you need to look for clothes that are both ethical and sustainable (even though these terms can sometimes overlap).
 Many online stores in particular will also offer items that are vegan, handcrafted, locally made, waste-free, organic, recycled, or simply transparent. So, you have to know exactly what you value in your clothes and where you are willing to draw your line. For me, when buying new clothes (which isn’t very often, as I see more value in wearing what I have first), I look for truly sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp, linen, and sometimes bamboo. After I know what the item is made of, I have to know who it is made by. My new clothes must also not only be transparent but ethically made too. I’ve found that if an item has these values then vegan accreditation, reduced waste, and features such as being locally made or recycled will usually be an added bonus.
Once I’ve discovered brands that align with my values, I note them down so I can return to them to shop, which makes finding ethical and sustainable brands just that much easier!
Blog Link and Instagram  @MFARAI
mfarai
conscious.tay

Taylor Wilson from Conscious Tay recycles her clothes

“Being responsible about the clothes we buy also extends to being responsible about what we do with the clothes we no longer want,” Loved Clothes Last, by Fashion Revolution.
Before donating your unwanted clothing to a charity shop, ask yourself: “If I saw this item while secondhand shopping, would I find it desirable? Would I give this to a friend or relative?” Clothing that has rips, stains that you were unable to remove, or worn out patches that prevented you from wearing will most likely not be acceptable for re-sale.
 
When charity shops receive these items, they are often sold to wholesale markets or sent to a textile recycler. However, with the amount of donations they receive daily, it could take a while for this process to happen, and sometimes clothing ends up being sent to a landfill or incinerator. Instead of giving extra work to donations staff, cut out the middle man by taking your clothing to your local textile recycling service. To get more use from these items in your home, consider cutting them into reusable cleaning cloths, using them for craft projects (learn how to turn an old tee shirt into a reusable shopping bag here!) or even bedding for pets.
Globally, the fashion industry creates 92 million tons of solid waste per year, which ends up in landfills and takes years to break down. Together we can reduce this number by shifting our mindsets and working towards a more circular economy. To learn more about the life of secondhand clothing, click here.”

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