Hello,

I wrote this for the Generator Magazine at Marist. Thought I would share it here as well.

Are most readers aware that the fashion industry is the third polluting industry in the world? Currently, the world is experiencing a cultural shift toward becoming more eco-friendly while looking for sustainable resources. The textile and fashion industries have a responsibility to be a part of this change and protect the environment. Serious environmental impacts result from the production of some fabrics, and it is vital for the textile industry to start making sustainable fibers that don’t harm the environment, while educating the retailers, the manufacturers and the consumers on why sustainable fashion is necessary.  

Environmentalism and the textile industry have a huge overlap, “as waste generation is a serious issue, particularly in the United States where, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average consumer generates 4.5 pounds of waste each day” (Paulins and Hillery 118). The making of clothing has never been a green process either. The production process, from fibre to cloth, has many steps that uses large amounts of fossil fuels, energy, water and toxic substances. And the bleaching, dyeing, and finishing of the fabrics use many harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment.

Sustainability needs to be implemented, not only in the minds of the designers and manufacturers, but in the consumers as well. That’s you, kid.

Although fast fashion is a “modern marvel” it has brought with it, a loss. A loss in authenticity, quality and desire, and left with only cheap, trend-happy styles. The mass production and high demand is what makes the clothing cheaper and of low quality.  People like Lee Councell in Overdressed The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, say that she will never pay over $45 for a blazer (Cline 11).  But why? Is it really better to have 20 blazers of cheap quality, that will tear and be thrown away, or should the consumer indulge in that $250 jacket that will last them five seasons and then some? Everyone has a different story. But then again, so do the clothes.

The main problem is that the actual problem does not come from any one product or process. The fashion industry has become a robust infrastructure; however, it needs to take responsibility for how it is affecting the environment in a negative way. In order to make any real change people need to be educated. There is a stereotype that people should not pay attention to the fashion industry, when really it should be something everyone cares about. “Our fashion choices do have social outcomes and meanings…” (Cline 8).  The initial change is personal, but it is also a public political issue. The fashion and textile industries must consider society, the environment and the economy in order to responsibly embrace a holistic approach to sustainability (Gwilt 22).

So what will the future of fashion look like? As technology and innovation continues to prevail, how can we be sure to instill sustainability in all of life’s practices? The answer depends on who is willing to make this inevitable and necessary refinery. Once upon a time, fashion was a way to tell a story, to show who one was. Now many people view it as something that is worthless and disposable, but it is time for a change.

Marist is taking part in that change! For those of you who don’t know, the fashion department here at Marist is undertaking the six items for six weeks Sustainability Challenge. What this means is, those who accept the challenge must choose six garments from their wardrobe and only wear those six pieces for six weeks! And if you love clothes and getting dressed everyday as much as I do, this is an extremely difficult task. But, Marist is doing it for a great reason, to raise awareness and money for Labour Behind the Label, which helps support better human rights and working conditions. We the consumers are responsible to promote a change in the fashion industry, so if you’re passionate about this cause, go online to donate now!

When Micaela Lily Albright, who calls herself “a passionate sustainable fashion advocate,” found out about the challenge, she said “there was no way I would feel right not participating, if I don’t do the challenge, who will?” Micaela is a senior Fashion Merchandising major with a minor in Business and a concentration in Business Administration. Born and raised in North Hartland, Vermont, she has always considered herself an “ethical consumer.” And now that she is only months away from graduating she told me that when it comes to a job, it is important that she works with a company whose values align with her own. I then asked her what the future of fashion will look like and she perceptively told me this: “incorporating sustainability into all aspects of fashion is the only way for the industry to survive. Just as we saw in the food movement and the higher availability of organic local foods, I believe we will see this trend in the fashion industry. Consumers have really come to care about health and what they put IN their bodies, the next step is caring about what they put ON their bodies. The skin is the largest organ in the body, why eat organic and not wear organic cotton?” And that is what it really comes down to, “to change the consumer mindset and the idea that we always need something new, when in fact we all often have excess.” Thank you Micaela, you are an inspiration to us all.

 

Works Cited

Cline, L. Elizabeth. Over-dressed The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. United States of

America: Portfolio/Penguin, 2013. Print.

Gwilt, Alison. A Practical Guide to Sustainable Fashion. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Pic,

  1. Print.

Hartmann, Jodi. Textiles Presentation. Marist College. Donnelly, Poughkeepsie, NY. September, 2015.

Hillery, L. Jule. Paulins Anne V. Ethics in the Fashion Industry. United States of America:

Fairchild Books, 2009. Print.

Thanks for reading xox

Ok so I am just gonna get straight to the gist of things and tell ya’ll right now that I completely failed the 6 piece for 6 weeks sustainability challenge. And you know what’s rich is that now Marist (where I attend college) is doing an official one! C’MON I DID IT FIRST GUYS. But they’re actually raising money and stuff and it’s really super great but I just couldn’t commit since I tried and failed four weeks prior.

Here’s the deal, I got through about three weeks and then I realized it was seriously unenjoyable. I thought it would be fun because it would FORCE me to accessorize, something I am trying to get better at, but in reality it just felt as though I was hindering my creativity. My favorite thing to do is get dressed! And it got boring real fast. Maybe I should have chosen more colorful pieces, the black n white thing was a proper disappointment. Also I think doing it during the winter made it more difficult because I was always cold and wanted to layer and add a lot to my outfit when I wasn’t supposed to. So I stopped. And I wore what I wanted, and the smile on my face when I got out of bed in the morning returned. And now here we are.

I was successful, however, in the fact that I did not go shopping!!!! And man is it hard ok it actually SUCKED. Since I never allowed myself to go in any actual stores for fear of caving, I found myself online shopping a lot and putting things on wish lists and shopping online is something I rarely do because it scares me. I am a touchy, feely sorta person, so those sensory details are really important to me when I am perusing. And I HATE when websites don’t have full descriptions on the clothes. I need to know what I am buying people. Also probably like everyone else, I am more likely to spend more money online. I almost just bought this stellar and I mean stellar Free People plaid long dress thing because it was on sale but it was still $100 and I honestly almost bought it and then I came to the realization that I don’t actually have $100. Joke’s on me.

Hope everyone’s February is going swell ! Much love xo.

 

Hey there, ya I know, it’s been awhile, but like with everything else I was self-sabotaging myself so that I couldn’t actually move forward in my life and do what’s really important aka blog. Thank you Leandra Medine for helping me come to that realization through your binge-listened Monocycle podcasts by yours truly. I encourage all ya’ll to listen to her, she’s hilarious and insightful.

Anyways, I guess I’m back and I’m here not to talk to you about fashion but sustainability. I know, what a big word for me right? Ok but real talk, I am undertaking a 6 pieces for 6 (4) weeks sustainability challenge. At least I think I am. 

Goals: Choose six pieces of clothing and only wear those six pieces for 6 (4) weeks. I may already self-sabotage myself and shorten this to a month. Yup. Either way I’m doing it for awhile. Now this does not include undergarments, jackets/sweaters, shoes, workout clothes, and any other little extra necessities that I deem necessary. I am also forbidding myself to shop during these blocked out weeks. Woah, am I seriously trying to kill myself? This challenge is also supposed to bring awareness to the true cost of fast fashion, everything is so cheap AND cheaply made so we end up buying too much of it and honestly how much do we actually wear? I think after this month of torture I will also realize that there’s a lot of pieces I don’t even like anymore and I will finally get rid of them.

But also think about all the time I am going to save. How much of our time is wasted getting dressed? Answer: A LOT. Literally the first few things I think when I wake up in the morning are A. Where’s my coffee? B. Why am I not Harry Styles? And C. What am I going to wear today? Now when I get to question C, I will only have so many options (6) to choose from and it will force me to accessorize and make each outfit different. Also it’s not about the clothes it’s about how YOU wear the clothes. Something my brother said to me, what a guy he is. Gedney, shoutout!! Love you, miss you. 

I expect this to be seriously hard, as my favorite thing to do is put outfits together but that’s the whole point of a challenge I suppose. And yeah people are gonna be like, “Ew, didn’t she wear that yesterday?” But I could really care less and also if we look at the greater picture, which is that the fast fashion world has really just become a corrupt business, all about making money, with no integrity for the actual clothing-making process, then really what I am doing is sorta like a fun protest. Cause I ain’t gonna buy your cheaply made *insert swear word.*

I’ll post the pieces I picked and the outfits I put together with said designated pieces throughout this month of hardship.

Lots of looooove. Be nice and stuff. Bye!

IMG_3003

Happy New Year! Hope everyone is well. To start 2016 off, I have accepted this 30 day minimalism challenge in order to declutter and slow down my life a bit. I am currently on day four, but I thought I would share regardless. I found this on Tumblr (obviously) and decided it was something I needed to do as I spend way too much time on my phone, computer, etc. and am in much need of a new routine. I hope this encourages you to do the same! It could be fun.

The first day was hard, but I successfully did not touch my phone or computer all day for anything social media. On the second day I attempted meditating and just sat by myself for awhile. And for decluttering my digital life, I deleted twitter and some other apps off my phone so as not to tempt me in wasting time. Today, I am complaint freeeeeee. Feels good.

Hope to do more blogging in the new year as well! Stay cool people.

 

Shirt: Polo Ralph Lauren Blazer: Express Shorts: Jantzen Socks: My Dad’s sock droor Boots: Doc Martens

Photographer: Fiona Dwyer-McNulty

I don’t have a pussy bow tie shirt and I made it by tying a black string under the collar of my shirt. I wear my docs with literally everything but if I had them, I would’ve worn this outfit with a pair of black or light brown oxford wing tips. Don’t worry, they are on my christmas list.

As you can see, I get a kick out of dressing somewhat masculinely. And I think you can still be feminine and dress in a suit and tie. Somedays I wake up and I want dresses and glitter, some days I want rock n roll with a jean or leather jacket and then some days I want preppy and funky. That is what I love about fashion, you don’t have to be just one thing, you can be a different version of yourself everyday. Just boldly be you.