More Sustainable Fashion Please

I’ve always been a fan of planet Earth. And vintage.

I try to be a conscious and responsible consumer. It’s not that hard, but it does take more effort. The idea to only use vintage and second hand textiles to create new things seemed like a natural progression for Vintage Theory, so from this point forward I will only carry sustainable fashion. Prior to having this revelation, I was torn: the more I learned about fashion, the more I understood it to be a resource-sucking and selfish industry. Take these facts, for example:

  • Fashion is the second most polluting industry, just after oil (learn more)
  • It can take 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture one T-shirt and a pair of jeans (read more)
  • Consider the pesticides used to grow cotton, the toxic dyes used on textiles, and the amount of waste discarded clothing creates

It seemed to me that “looking good” wouldn’t ever intersect with “doing good,” but I was wrong. The trick is to do your research and choose wisely! Sustainable fashion doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your favorite looks, either. Most of the garments and styles you find in big box stores are also carried by local artisans, makers and small shops. Support those people over the big boys. Mass produced is boring; plus, you’re be supporting your community when you buy from your neighbor.

Tip: Check for your favorite clothing items on Etsy, local farmers markets, flea markets, and local makers’ events, like FleaStyle.

We’re already using the sustainable fashion concept in other aspects of our lives. Here in Austin, for example, we make very distinct choices about where we eat. We’re foodies who seek out the best mom and pop eateries. You won’t catch an Austinite bragging about eating at a chain restaurant, like Chilli’s (no offense), so why are you still going to the Gap (again, no offense)?

With that said, sustainability is a lifestyle choice that can be made across a variety of industries and integrated into our daily lives. Recycle. Eat local. Buy vintage, handmade, secondhand, and local wares. You’re doing your community and the world a favor.