I looked into my closet at the rack of hanging clothes, the baskets of folded clothes, and the overstuffed dresser. I felt ashamed. Up until that day I prided myself for that wardrobe, bursting at the seams. I marveled at how cheap I had purchased much of it. I looked from the ill-fitting shirts that I found on the deeply discounted clearance racks, to the dresses that I rarely wore because they didn’t really suit my personal style. I looked at the pants that I didn’t even like, but only bought because the price was just too good to pass up. I was a fast fashion addict and did not even know it… at least not until that day.
That day was the day I watched The True Cost documentary on Netflix.
Knowing the fashion industry is a major contributor to pollution and environmental waste, I’ve begun to ask the question, what is our role as an apparel company when it comes to environmental stewardship? One thing we can do is help to minimize fashion waste. For our Fall | Winter Collection, we decided to source material from the surplus, or deadstock, markets. By “upcycling” these fabrics we are making use of textiles that have already been produced anyway and might otherwise go to waste.
“Purchasing is always a moral and not simply economic act.” We all want to make an impact for good with the purchases we make. At the same time, purchasing is also an economic act and most of us are on some form of a budget. How then do we reconcile the two? We’ve put together 8 steps for building an ethical and sustainable wardrobe on a budget.