My understanding of sustainability has evolved so much over time, but it started with product. This was reflected by the gowns I wore to the Oscars for our Red Carpet Green Dress campaign. Here are some of my best with a little note about their sustainability perspectives.
Rented head to toe (2019)
Reusing any piece of clothing is, broadly speaking, better than buying new as you’re helping reduce demand for manufacturing a new product. We are making too much stuff and its not being used for long enough.
Own design by Samata (2011) – Certified silk with recycled lining
Look inside your garments and pay attention to the material composition, if there are any certifications it indicates how the textile was processed (and/or the dyes). Many smaller brands can’t afford certifications, i.e, OneCert’s textile certification fees start at $1600 USD but seeing C2C, GOTS or Oeko-Tex is reassuring.
Both archival Vivienne Westwood pieces (2013 and 2015)
This is essentially like wearing a piece from an old collection versus pandering to the new and latest trends. Everyone and anyone can do that by not being a slave to ‘new new’.
Own designs by Samata (2016, 2017) – Certified silk with natural dye
Right now, according to the World Bank, 72 toxic chemicals in the water supply are from textile dyeing. Aside from their minimal impact on the environment, natural dyes are biodegradable, renewable, unique in colour and most often safe. Thought to help the dyes bind, chemicals can be used which can have impact too but on the whole it is believed natural dyes are cleaner solutions.
Artisan couture Laura Basci (2020)
Artisan hand crafted pieces cost more but bear in mind what you are paying for is the labour, the time, the inputs. Artisan is a broad term but in fashion it has specific meanings from homeworks to artists, commonly known as a skilled worker who makes functional or decorative items.
20-60 percent of workers within the fashion supply chain (300 million people) are sub-contractors, usually women, working in their homes, sewing soles on shoes, hand weaving, making buttonholes and beading embellishments.