With all the information being churned out by the Internet in just a few seconds, all sorts of trends have come and gone in a very short space of time. Of course, fashion is one of the main promoters of this phenomenon. We've all fallen in love with one specific trend or item, so we wish it would be fashionable forever. But as soon as you manage to buy that piece you've dreamt of, a new trend appears, and you feel like you have to say goodbye to that dress, blouse, or jeans you just bought. That's how the fashion industry works nowadays: it produces bad quality clothing at affordable prices so customers can easily get the newest trends. Basically, we're wearing disposable clothes.
Social media has become the center of fashion. Social media outlets like Instagram or Facebook are the new window displays where we get inspiration from. We're inspired by actresses, models, and Internet celebrities whose outfits set new trends. This has been the case of Emma Watson, who has conquered everyone's hearts with her stylish and eco-friendly clothes. With fabrics made from recycled materials such as plastic, she's inspired many to follow her lead. Now, while it is true that wearing 100% sustainable clothing is possible, the main issue is that we don't really get to know if the clothes we're buying are really sustainable.
This happens mainly because there aren't set rules or regulations regarding ethical shopping in the fashion industry. Moreover, we cannot be completely sure if merchandising and marketing companies are being completely honest about the manufacturing process of their clothes.
So, as Timo Rissanen, Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons has stated, "not buying clothes is best for the environment. Buying second-hand is second best.” One of the best things we can do is reuse our old clothes instead of changing them every time a new trend appears. As Emma Watson stated during her press tour for Beauty and the Beast, “vintage clothing has a huge role to play in making fashion more sustainable and reducing a global footprint that includes the 132m metric tons of coal used yearly through the production of new fibers, dyeing and bleaching of garments and the 6-9 trillion liters of water used by the industry.” So to follow Watson’s fashion proposals, here are 5 ideas to use a single item and adapt it into different styles.
Classic Black Dress
This item has been a basic for decades. You can wear it with a pair of pumps and a purse for a subtle, classy look, with sneakers and a jacket for a casual one, or even with a sweater on top to transform it into a skirt.
Again, white shirts are a basic, versatile piece that can be adapted into endless looks. No matter the combination, shirts will always give you a tidy and sophisticated look, even if you just want a casual look.
Despite what many think about this particular cut, boyfriend jeans are very adaptable. The trick is to find one that fits you properly and know how to play with them. They're perfect for casual styles, but if you combine them with a pair of pumps and a suit jacket, they can look very classy and original.
Moto or Faux Leather Jacket
For decades, this type of jacket has been associated with rebelliousness. So, why not wearing them with formal dresses or skirts? The best thing we can do with fashion is to experiment.
No matter the color, these boots can be worn with everything. You won't need dozens of pairs to create amazing looks, just try wearing them with dresses, skirts, pants, or shorts, and you'll see how adaptable they are.
We live in a world where fashion has become a disposable element. We feel the urge to get the latest trend without noticing that, at the end of the day, fashion is cyclical. Just think about it: every season stores or designers look back to other generations to get inspiration. So, fashion from the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, or even from a couple of years ago come back into our wardrobes. Now, the problem is that in this race to get the latest trends, we forget that every regular piece of clothing has a huge impact on the planet.
Let’s analyze it a little bit. One single cotton t-shirt needs 200 gallons of water to be created; moreover, the process of turning natural cotton into fabric requires a ridiculous amount of insecticides (24% of the world’s insecticide usage), which, of course, end up polluting the oceans and the supply of potable water. So, instead of buying dozens of t-shirts with boring designs and cheap fabrics, why not take the best of one? In the US alone people throw away around 82 pounds of clothes, which make a total of 11 million tons of fabric waste. If we take into account that most of the clothes are made from plastic derivatives, these pieces will take up to 200 years to degrade. Throwing clothes away can be way more destructive than throwing bottles of water on the beach. So, innovate with what you have and think twice before you pick up that same ol' t shirt that is exactly the same to the one you're already wearing.
The best thing we can do is stop buying unnecessary clothes and start adapting our used ones into our everyday outfits.