How Traditionally Sustainable Fashion Rental Looks in the 21st Century

I’m first and foremost a champion of creating fashion shopping habits that support a more sustainable way of life, habits we can keep up without being too damaging to this planet we all love.Because of this, I’m always on the lookout for the best practices, ways to shop that can lower the impact of fast fashion in our lives. While that includes “newer” practices such as shopping for sustainable clothing, there’s also a lot to say about the revival of age-old practices like fashion rental. Fashion rental is hardly new, but it does get some flack pop culture-wise: there’s an old trope, particularly on American TV and film, of young kids renting out bright and inexpensive fashion pieces for big events like proms and weddings. It’s an old stereotype and one that hardly adjusts to reality, particularly with the huge current movement in this part of the industry. Nowadays, renting fashion can be a vehicle to try out different looks at fairly accessible prices, but also taking a step towards a more sustainable fashion industry. The range and style of pieces you can find is extremely wide, from vintage designer clothing to newer collections from exciting and conscious designers, all with varying price tags. 

Photographer: Jose Perez. Wearing Jason Wu, rented from Albright Fashion Library

We all know that fast fashion is problematic: discarded textiles contribute tons of waste every year, and the pervasive idea that clothes are a temporary commodity may be the birth of a chain of events that nearly always ends up in landfills. Every season, the arrival of new collections mean that the previous ones get left behind, immediately less perceived as being less desirable and, hence turning into waste. 

With an increasing number of people looking to live sustainably, clothes rental is steadily becoming a feasible option, particularly when dressing for one-off events. There’s a long tradition of purchasing clothing items for one big outing and then leaving them to gather dust at the back of the closet. We don’t want to be seen in the same special outfit more than once and find no use for it after taking it out for a spin. It’s the kind of scenario that makes fashion rental thrive.

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All You Need to Know About Ethical Denim

Photo by João Paulo de Souza Oliveira on Unsplash

We have always been told that the one must-have item for a woman is the perfect pair of jeans. The right jeans can make us feel confident and magical. The right jeans can be worn to work, to the park and to the club! The right jeans can weather years of wear and tear and still look good. However, finding this perfect pair isn’t an easy task. Not only do they need to be flattering to your shape, but the quality of the denim needs to be worth the investment, and most importantly, the denim needs to be ethical. Over the years, the reputation of denim has been dragged through the mud of ethical fashion. Traditional denim production has taken a massive toll on the environment and an even bigger toll on certain communities by using slave labour. Thankfully, more and more companies are coming up with ways to eliminate these unethical methods and to create a product which is good for the planet and which will make us feel good about wearing it. For the sake of a better future, here are some things you should know before making your next denim purchase.

What makes denim ethical?

Photo by Ben Berwers on Unsplash

Ethical denim is denim that is produced in an ethical and fair way in a manner that is also sustainable for the environment. This means that sweatshops and child labour are replaced by family businesses and factories with proper working conditions. It also means using new and innovative methods of reducing the amount of chemicals and water required to produce jeans. It takes too much water to make jeans (not to mention the amount it takes just to grow the cotton for the process). So if a denim company has found a way to lower the industry standard of water waste, for instance, they are on the right path towards ethical denim. Read more…

Eco-friendly and Ethical Substitutes for Leather

There is no denying that leather is a classic, durable material that has been used for centuries for the production of clothing, footwear and accessories. However, in the recent years, there has been a continuous debate in the fashion industry between the use of animal and synthetic vegan leather. While one could argue that the leather industry contributes to animal cruelty, deforestation, and a negative environmental impact, vegan alternatives, on the other hand, are usually derived from non-renewable petroleum-based substances that are toxic, non-biodegradable and detrimental to the environment. Although vegan leather seems more ethical, it is far from more sustainable. Thankfully, innovative companies have come up with several solutions to this ethical dilemma by introducing new kinds of leather-like materials that are just as hardy and attractive as leather, but don’t cost the planet in the process.

Pineapple leather

Photo by Mariana Vusiatytska on Unsplash

Arguably the most well-known and widely used leather substitute in the fashion industry, Piñatex is an innovative leather-like material made out of pineapple leaves. This plant-based leather was invented by Dr. Carmen Hijosa, who witnessed the enormous environmental impact of the leather industry firsthand, and started wondering if there is a way to create luxury materials without harming the planet, and thankfully, there was. Read more…

Ethical Reading List – Top 10 Books * Updated

Whether you’re a long time follower of sustainable fashion, new to the scene or just a little curious and want to educate yourself to become a more thoughtful consumer, here are 10 books to help you along the way…. Read more…

Eco and Ethical Baby Brands to be Aware Of

Photo by Brytny.com on Unsplash

It seems that our little ones are growing at the speed of light; one moment they’re toddlers and the next thing you know – it’s time for school. Due to this fact, it’s quite difficult to constantly buy replacements for the clothes they cannot fit in anymore. However, just as it’s the case with the fashion for adults, sustainability has also become very popular in the baby brands fashion world. Not only is this super important because of the materials that are used and the lack of harmful chemicals that can affect your baby’s skin, but it’s also an option that means providing only the top-quality for your children. Moreover, ethics are also a top priority. From making sure that workers have fair wages and safe working environment, to the ones who help out different charity organizations, it seems that many baby brands are making a difference. Now, what are the best eco and ethical baby brands that you need to be aware of?

Biodegradable wipes

Just like you’re taking care of the hygiene of your delicate newborn baby, you should be paying attention to the hygiene of our beautiful planet. And there is an option to do both of these tasks at the same time, as there are companies that produce biodegradable baby wipes, which is certainly an amazing option. The best on the market are the Mum & You biodegradable wipes – they are also hypoallergenic and safe for the environment. It will also help the sensitive and eczema-prone skin of your child as they are made using 100% naturally derived wipes. If you have the option of buying such wipes, why not? Buying a 12 pack will bring you 672 baby wipes, which is an amazing number. Read more…

How to Build An Ethical Capsule Wardrobe

Photo by Shalom Mwenesi on Unsplash

The issue of sustainability has been neglected for a very long time. Exploitation of workers, poor work conditions, minimum wage that doesn’t equal a real living wage are just some of the issues that are just now coming to the fore. Then we face such issues as chemicals that go into processing fabrics and the subsequent pollution and water waste – it takes around 700 gallons of water to produce a single T-shirt, not to mention the chemicals – non-organic cotton alone uses 22.5% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of all pesticides. Then we arrive to the lack of transparency by companies, as most of them don’t disclose where their fabrics come from, and some don’t even know where their garments are assembled.  Finally, there is the waste – did you know that an average person disposes of 81 pounds of clothing annually, and 73 percent of the world’s clothing ends up on landfills? We have many a fashion company to blame for the state of the fashion and our planet, but we also have to take a part of the responsibility. Yes, the garments we throw out usually end up where they do due to poor quality and lack of staying power. Hence, it’s our job to focus on quality, not quantity, shop responsibly so we throw away less and at least minimize our carbon footprint. Now, a capsule wardrobe comes with another set of perks – with a finite number of clothing items that mesh well together, you are able to create endless combinations that will make you look stunning every time. No more experimenting, no more wasting time on coming up with an outfit. There is nothing else left to do but take you on the ultimate guide towards building your own little pile of prized possessions that will stand the test of time, so let’s do this. Read more…

Samata featured in i-D film ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Sustainable Fashion’

With the fashion industry now being named one of the world’s leading polluters, It’s time to take action.

Five young creatives share tips and tricks on how you can enjoy fashion responsibly. Whether you’re buying, maintaining or disposing of clothes, there’s always a more sustainable answer.

Are you ready to make sustainable fashion choices in 2019?