‘Sustainable’ and ‘eco fashion’ have become buzz words over the last few years in fashion, but what does that mean? Does it mean that you have to get rid of anything made from fast fashion brands? Does it mean that you limit yourself to purchasing only sustainably-made apparel? And if a brand is eco-friendly, what does that mean in actuality? We are going to do a bit of a dive; touching on the basics of what sustainable fashion is.
1. Purchasing from sustainable brands
In 2020, 60% of fashion brands in North America and Europe discovered that ‘implementing sustainable measures’ was one of their top priorities (WWF). This definitely puts a smile on our faces here at Sea Seven to know that on a global scale, companies are taking a look at their own production, manufacturing and distribution to be more eco-friendly. We will do a deep dive into the different aspects of sustainability in the process of a fashion company in a later blog, but for now, here are two of my favorite sustainable brands and what they have done to actively be more sustainable.
- Tala Activewear
I am a sucker for activewear so when I found out that the Founder and CEO, Grace Beverly, raised $5.7M to show that people can have sustainably-made activewear that doesn’t let you down on performance, fit, quality or style, and without the shocking price tag, I was all for it. Tala believes that “it’s incredibly important for all of us to cut down on our consumption as a whole, but in a booming industry, there must be a better solution when people do choose to shop activewear.” Tala operates out of many countries in Europe and Asia; creating long-lasting activewear for people globally.
- Benoa Swim
When it comes to distribution, Benoa made some waves in the past few months. I remember towards the ending of middle school, Benoa Swim was THE local bikini brand that all the girls had. Today, each Benoa piece is packaged in a 100% biodegradable and compostable bag; which replaced the normal plastic packaging (yay for the little wins)! And for each order processed, they are packed in recycled paper mailers. Benoa continues to make efforts towards sustainability.
2. Wearing clothes you already own
When I tell you that I still have tees from when I was thirteen years old, I am not lying. As simple as it can be, wearing clothes you already own is something YOU actively do when it comes to sustainable fashion. It can be a challenge to mix up your wardrobe with the pieces you currently have, but think of it like a challenge. How many different outfits can you put together with one top?
Hey Siri, play Thrift Shop by Macklemore. Buying clothes in person is so different than buying clothes online… at least in my opinion. I used to love going to the mall on Saturday afternoons with my friends in high school. Spending all day there, probably buying nothing, and grabbing boba. Now, going thrift shopping gives me that same type of experience! You’ll never know what fun pieces you can come across; plus you're adding to the lifetime cycle of one piece of clothing! Small businesses like Sage Cycle attend local pop-ups where they curate pre-loved pieces that are meant to last. Attending these types of events can be fun with friends and family!
Now, my favorite place to get clothes is my mother’s closet. You can’t get clothes from there, unfortunately, but you do have people around you who most likely wear the same size clothes as you! Borrowing clothes is like thrifting + wearing clothes that *you* already own. You are extending the lifetime of the piece and you are given the opportunity to style it the way you want. Let us see how you and your friends or family style the same piece differently. Tag #seasevenborrow on Instagram or TikTok!
Out with the old, in with the new . . . well, almost. Upcycling is the creative process of transforming one item into either a new material or product that increases its artistic or environmental value. For all the creatives out there, I highly encourage you to see what you can do with upcycling. Here are two brands that I am in love with that truly embody what upcycling means to me in fashion.
All I say when I see the pieces that come from CYCtheshop is WOW. The items are made from upcycled waste fabrics with the long-term goal to create patterns using as much of the fabric’s complete shape as possible. From overcoats, pants, and their iconic petal shaped bucket hats. Each piece is unique and has a story behind it.
- DeWilde Collective
My obsession with patterned shorts are met with DeWilde Collective. All garments are handmade, crafted from vintage and thrifted aloha shirts. My dad has worked in the hotel industry for as long as I remember and his collective of aloha shirts are extensive. I love shopping for aloha shirts for my dad because the possibilities are endless! Now I can somewhat match with him as DeWilde purposefully uses materials that already exist to “bring new life to the beautiful fabrics of secondhand pieces that might otherwise end up discarded.”
Sustainable Fashion is truly finding what works best for you and your lifestyle while being conscious about what you are consuming as a buyer.