A Sustainable Fashion Revolution

Sustainable fashion is the newest trend and highly debated topic in the fashion industry today. Consumers and fashion conglomerates are revamping their business models to tackle their ecological footprint. This eco-friendly movement has denounced fast-fashion companies built on capitalistic systems, encouraging consumers to revamp their wardrobe per collection at a lower price. The idea of eco-fashion does not necessarily connote glamour and with every new collection, this consumerism driven industry pushes us to recreate our wardrobe every time the sun rises or a leaf falls to the ground. Sustainable fashion is the philosophy that is designed to implement a system to address our social responsibility as consumers of the fashion industry to establish a discourse to reduce the overall environmental impacts and embracing a class revolution through fashion.

The driving force of the fashion industry relies greatly on its consumers and the core of this industry is built around class. The reason why your Burberry coat is priced at $2,550 versus your H&M coat costing $99 is probably because of where your materials derive from such as the origin of your cotton fibres. Both coats serve their main purpose to clothe you against harsh winter winds but the price tag determines your culture, propriety, economic status and social power. Social stratification through fashion brandishes the elite with privileges and hegemony; those who own the means of production. This war on class maintenance has even pushed companies like Burberry to burn $37 million worth of products instead of having the less fortunate share the same lifestyle and contribute to fashion waste.

That being said, with the new generation emerging and bringing the plaid 90s mini skirt back, the fashion industry is revolutionizing itself through sustainable fashion which challenges those views. Although the framework of this system encourages production strategies which are more environmentally, socially and ethically conscious; consumers as ourselves can take a step forward to encourage eco-fashion in their own wardrobes.

As consumers, we have to be in touch with the brands that we consume, such as H&M, who introduced their conscious line to contribute to the eco-fashion hype. So where do we start as consumers?

1. Swap

  • The best sustainable fashion solution you can implement immediately is to revamp your closet! We all have that one sweatshirt we refuse to give up that’s been sitting at the back of the closet for 5 years now, well give those pieces a new life and save it from the landfill. You can also donate your unused clothing to a shelter or to a store which in return will give you a discount.

2. Second Hand

  • Vintage shops rule in Ottawa! Trust me, you can find classic Vuitton pieces in the heart of Centretown vintage shops. With that approach, since the pieces already exist, you are diminishing the impact of production.

3. Slow

  • This one’s is every fashionista nightmare which means, you’ll be an outfit repeater for a while. Slow fashion is other words means stick with what you own for a while. It’s great for the budget and the environment!

Another way Ottawa fashionistas can tackle sustainable fashion is to encourage local production. Byward Market, Hintonburg and Centretown Ottawa is flourishing when it comes to eco-friendly solutions. Support your local shops, and minimize your carbon footprint, this also helps to flourish the production traffic in your own city! Skip the mall, take a stroll around your city and build your conscious closet.