This month we are featuring a fashion series focused on five fast fashion facts and five questions with a sustainable, slow fashion brand.
Why we should care about fast fashion and sustainable fashion
Merriam Webster defines fast fashion as: “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.”
In our consumer driven society, that doesn’t sound all bad since we love having things quickly and cheaply at our fingertips. But the impacts of fast fashion on people and the environment are huge. This month we will be sharing some facts about fast fashion to emphasize why we need to be paying attention to the industry.
We understand that sustainable fashion brands are not accessible to everyone, so please know there is no condemnation from us if you shop in fast fashion. We want to share information, highlight some of our favourite brands we love to follow, and provide alternatives with hopes to minimize the negative impacts of fast fashion.
Five Fashion Facts
So why should we be paying attention? Here are some facts you may not know.
- Synthetic fibers, which are used in 72% of our clothing, take up to 200 years to decompose.
- The fashion industry causes soil degradation, which is impacting our ecosystem. This causes threats to food production and desertification of areas of the world, such as Mongolia.
Facts 3, 4, & 5 as explained by @WornWonderful in her video below from Twitter.
- Environmental impacts
- The resource use
- The workers
Five Questions and Answers with a Sustainable Fashion Brand
We reached out to some of our favourite sustainable, slow fashion labels to find out more about what they do and why they do it. This sustainable fashion series is a passion project for us, motivated by our love of supporting small businesses, which means we were not compensated by these brands to feature them. We hope you love these brands as much as we do!
Introducing LEZÉ the Label
If you haven’t encountered LEZÉ the Label yet, do yourself a favour and check them out! I immediately loved their neutral colour palette, flattering shapes, and the idea of workwear being as comfortable as pajamas.
These pieces are clearly meant to be staples: they work well together and with other pieces you may have in your closet. This approach to wearing items of clothing many times and in many ways is the antithesis of fast fashion!
To top it all off the textiles that make up these pieces are made of various recycled materials such as coffee, fishing nets, and plastic bottles. Read on below to find out more about this inspiring brand!
Why did you choose to start a sustainable brand?
One of our core values is comfort — for women and the Earth. There are already so many resources out there, that we felt it was only right to use what we already have.
In what ways does your brand fall under the sustainable label?
We try our best to be sustainable through as many channels as possible. For fabrics, we opt for 99% natural or recycled components that are part of a circular economy. Our packaging consists of compostable cornstarch. We also work with factories with 80% of women in leadership who pay their sewers 15% higher than industry standard, with long-term job benefits and working in air conditioned conditions.
What are some obstacles you’ve faced in starting a sustainable brand?
Because our fabrics are custom milled, it takes twice as long as ordering a stock fabric. It has been a challenge to understand the nuances that come with manufacturing. Sometimes, we can get really caught up feeling like we’re behind. So now, we’ve scrapped seasonal releases and focus on pieces that are timeless throughout the year.
In what ways do you find customers receptive towards the idea of sustainable, slow fashion? In what ways do you find customers hesitant?
We feel that the way people are consuming is slowly changing towards making more intentional and thoughtful decisions with how they shop. With everything that has happened this year, it has helped us evaluate and prioritize what we’re investing in. In areas that we see hesitation are surrounding the price point — and we totally understand! In comparison, sustainable fashion is remarkably higher priced than fast fashion, and it will take some adjusting to.
What do you want people to know about sustainable fashion?
It means beyond just making sure the materials are sustainable, but the labour is just as important. This is reflected in our pricing — sewers’ compensation, the extra steps to ensure safe dye releases, and milling custom fabric made from recycled materials.