1-How did you come to be involved in sustainable fashion ?
I’ve always been “anti-waste” and have never bought fashion items that I’ve not subsequently worn over and over. Although I’ve always loved shopping, I’ve always purchased items that I love and that I know suit me well. I’m also not picky on where I buy from. My outfits are often made up of a mixture of expensive investment pieces, combined with pre-loved items that I’ve picked up from second hand stores. So in that sense I’ve always been sensible with my fashion habits however, it wasn’t until 2015 that I became more serious about ethical fashion. Although I would never have dreamed of wearing real fur, I did occasionally buy leather goods. After seeing different animal rights campaigns in the news, I began reading articles on how animal leather was really obtained and what I learned was horrific! I adore animals so buying from brands that caused suffering to animals was a firm no once I had learned what really went on. From here I started to research the manufacturing process behind many of the fashion items and cosmetics I used, which was really eye-opening. It’s very unfair how many companies dilute and twist the awful truth behind the items they sell. If brands are too ashamed to print the truth about where their items and the materials used come from, they shouldn’t sell them! Brands should be more transparent and shouldn’t sugarcoat the truth in order to retain customers. I decided there and then to become vegetarian, and to adopt a cruelty-free, sustainable lifestyle. So if I was looking for a new bag, I would make sure it was sustainable leather and the same goes for a pair of shoes too. Might as well do my bit for the environment while I’m at it.
In my professional life I work as a full-time fashion stylist and blogger, so of course I made the decision to encourage conscious fashion in my business too. There is a disclaimer on my blog to say that any picture, product or post featured before 2015 may not comply with my cruelty-free ethos, but that’s ok because I feel that it is important to show my audience that I am relatable and that anybody at any time can change their ethical status.
2-Have you seen a shift in consumer attitude towards sustainable fashion over the last few years ?
Definitely! At times it can feel like there is still such a long way to go with getting more people onboard and encouraging people to support conscious fashion but there have been so many improvements already. Consumers like to feel that they are doing something right when they shop – it’s like getting a little pat on the back whenever they buy from responsible brands. Even if somebody has never taken any interest in sustainable fashion before, consumers like to buy products with a trendy name attached. Seeing a term such as “organic cotton” or “vegan leather” and supporting brands that are new and unique with their attitudes towards fashion, makes people feel good about themselves. Instead of buying a white t-shirt, people like the idea of buying an organic white cotton t-shirt. Re-educating the public isn’t the uphill that many seem to think it is. With a friendly approach and helpful information, the average consumer is more than happy to listen and take action to become more eco-friendly.