My Sustainable Journey in January

This is a new thread which I hope will help me to become even more sustainable and hopefully inspire some of you to do changes with me. I started January fairly easily by calculating my carbon footprint.

My Sustainable Journey in January - byLiiL

Calculating My Carbon Footprint

My carbon footprint – 4.56 metric tons of CO2e. I did this calculation based on my habits in 2018. Although the numbers don’t actually make a lot of sense to me what does is a comparison; The average carbon footprint in the UK is 6.5 metric tons, so I know I am below that. I also know the world target it 2 metric tons which is way below of my usage. The number of flights I took in 2018 amounted to 1.41 metric tons, which is quite a lot, but I offset this by not having a car and using mainly public transport to get around. Also, I don’t fly quite so much every year, but living away from your family in a place from where it is hard to get to them by any other means than flying does make this number higher than it would otherwise.

Now that I know what my footprint is I can work on lowering it. The problem is that the majority of my footprint comes from gas and electricity in my household which amounts to 1.28 metric tons for just me and that I cannot change in a rental flat. Although I know that part of the energy I get is from wind power I don’t know how big amount it is and therefore it cannot be calculated into this. In the future when I move I hope to change this! What comes to shopping I don’t shop much, mostly just what I need, food and occasionally some extra items. However, I do know that I could live more eco-friendly.

What I did notice about this calculated it didn’t take into account your recycling and other waste habits, nor where or what type of produce you shopped for. It does suggest that to lower your carbon footprint you should not buy fruits and vegetables that are not in season, however, in the calculation, it doesn’t take this into account which could either lower or grow that CO2 emission.  It also doesn’t take into account packaging in any products, water usage nor whether you have pets in the house. All of these are minor things, but they do add up. Nevertheless, it provides with a suggested number of what your footprint is. If you want to calculate your carbon footprint you can try THIS calculator which is free to use!

My Sustainable Journey in January - byLiiL

Zero Waste Tries

I tried few zero waste products in January; bamboo toothbrush, zero waste deodorant and zero waste dry shampoo. The bamboo toothbrush was okay. I didn’t mind the bamboo handle, which I’ve heard complaints about. However, it doesn’t work as well as my electric toothbrush at keeping my teeth clean, and the bristles could be designed to get into every crevice. If the bristles could be designed better I think it would be a great alternative to regular plastic toothbrushed, but I hope the industry will start designing eco-friendly electric toothbrushes as they are superior to your own health! I quite liked my zero waste deodorant by Kutis, I didn’t feel any smell on the days when I used it, nor any sensitivity. But like with many natural deodorants I started feeling itchy after few days of use. Nevertheless, it is a great deodorant for not so sensitive armpits. The zero waste dry shampoo by Kitenest I love! It takes time to get used to using it, but it is awesome and you get a lot in this package!

My Sustainable Journey in January - byLiiL

 

In February I am planning to finally find myself some natural and zerowaste toothpaste. If you have any recommendations please let me know in the comment box below!

All pictures are from pexels, first and last by Min An.

My Sustainable Journey in January - byLiiL

What sustainable have you done in January?

With love,

Lii

 

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Advertisements

Sustainable Reading Nr. 5

Fashion

What Does A Sustainable Closet Look Like? – The World Threads Traveler introduces her walking wardrobe and what is her wardrobe made of, whilst reiterating how sustainable closet doesn’t need to be made 100% of ethically and sustainably made garments. Interesting read that will calm your anxiety over the fast fashion items that you bought when you didn’t know what you were doing.

Green Finance Boost For Myanmar Garment Sector – Myanmar garment factories are looking to cut their CO2 emissions!

PFCs Not Necessary In Outdoor Clothing, Claims Study – Non-fluorinated polymers work as well as fluorinated polymers to repel water.

UK Garment Factories Flouting Minimum Wage Laws – Finally the officials are looking into this and the factories are forced to pay back what the employees were meant to be paid originally! It is still a big problem, which needs to be addressed, but that is a start!

Levi’s To Pilot Blockchain Use In Supply Chain – I’ve heard good things about what Levi is trying to achieve in the fashion industry and am happy to continue hearing how they want to transform the whole industry to be better.

Sustainable Reading Nr. 5 - byLiiL

Plastic & Waste

Microplastics Ban Could Cause Beauty Sector Billions – Although microplastic beads are already restricted in the EU and especially in the UK some sort of microplastics still exist in the beauty, detergent and agricultural fertilisers and the industry is fighting back on their ban as there is no quick solution to replace this formula. Yes, it might cause the industry a lot of money, but it can cause the environment even more. And quite frankly I don’t want any kind of plastic in my beauty products, detergents or fertilisers!

Fashionista’s New Survey Suggests That Bullying Is Still Alive And Well In The Fashion Industry – It is an unfortunate truth that is probably live in many industries, however, the fashion industry is very clicky, a trend-driven place where everybody is trying to show what they are made of. The constant competition to get ahead and to get paid properly for your work doesn’t help the situation. I have experienced the clicky atmosphere, the senior staff that behaved like they were the royalty who you should not talk to and the employers who didn’t think you are worthy of being paid to. Unfortunately, in the fashion industry everybody knows somebody and complaining about this is difficult because you might not be employed again.

This New Recycling Facility Will Repurpose 90% Of Household Waste – In Australia, this recycling facility is attempting to recycle the neighbouring household’s waste. It is not the first of it’s kind. In northern European countries this is a fairly common practice that should be employed in other countries as well. The technology is there it is just missing the infrastructure to put in place everywhere else.

World’s First Plastic Free Flight Paving The Way For Green Aviation – Hurray! Although how has this been not a thing for ages I don’t know. I hope other companies are quick to follow suit!

Sustainable Reading Nr. 5 - byLiiL

Social

The Disturbing Racial Bias Of The Greatest Dancer  – It is interesting how by giving all the power to the public we can see how racially biased it is.

‘Breast Ironing’ Is Happening In The UK , Affecting Up To 1,000 Girls – The saddest thing about this is that the mothers feel like they need to protect their girls, or do they feel they want to control them in this way? Nevertheless, the health problems resulting from such behaviour is why this should be made illegal, but also it is something that should be talked more widely why it can be harmful to girls.

The UAE’s Gender Equality Awards Were Missing One Important Thing: Women – As ridiculous as it sounds the UAE had their awards for gender equality where all the recipients of initiating or encouraging gender equality were men. Nevertheless, of the country being on the forefront of gender equality in the Gulf State area, it seems as though they found a new award to award men of seemingly doing something. It is great that they are working on it, but it just shows they still have a long way to go!

The Ethical Issues With Amazon – A very comprehensive article by Francesca from Ethical Unicorn explaining the big problems with Amazon. We all knew there were problems, but this is quite unbelievable!

Sustainable Reading Nr. 5 - byLiiL

What interesting sustainability news have you read about recently?

With love,

Lii

My Sustainable 2018

In 2018 I dig more into a sustainable lifestyle and actually learned a lot, unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to write about it all. Nevertheless I did share several companies doing great things such as MAVOLU selling garments made out of new sustainable materials, Cred Jewellery that makes ethical and sustainable jewellery, The Green Eco Box which is a beautiful artisan subscription box supporting small companies and the environment, Grow From Nature which makes awesome accessories from Cork and White Spring that make bamboo straws. In addition, I shared my favourite 6 sustainable bag brands. I am so inspired by all of these companies which are doing amazing work!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Birthday and Greenshowroom - byLiiL

I wrote much less about sustainable fashion that I originally planned as many other topics, especially plastic pollution, got my interest. I did write that we should keep Fashion Revolution Going, not only during the day, the week or the month of the event, but always, and I wrote about what the fashion companies are hiding from us. I also loved learning about Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week!

After reading and hearing a lot of talk about recycling and how we shouldn’t rely on it I wrote my own comments on the topic of recycling, and later on how small changes might not save the planet but it is a start for many people to whom the whole movement might seem overwhelming. Finally, I shared my ethical tips when travelling to Chania, and then shared ethical advent calendar and Christmas gift tips, both of which can be used outside the season.

Interview With The Founder of MAVOLU - Material Revolution - byLiiL

I Also Shared Articles About Sustainability

5 Articles About – Is It Really Ethical?

Sustainable News of the Month – January 2018

6 Articles To Help You Be More Sustainable

Sustainable News of the Month – February 2018

Sustainable News of the Month – April 2018

Sustainable News of the Month – May 2018

Sustainable News of the Month – June 2018

Sustainable News of July 2018

Sustainable News of August 2018

Sustainable Reading No. 1

Sustainable News Nr. 2

Sustainable News Nr. 3

Bamboo Straw Review And A Discount Code - byLiiL

Now after writing this and searching for all the posts I wrote in 2018 it doesn’t seem like I did so little. I learned a lot and achieved a lot, but didn’t write as much as I had planned. Now there is the year 2019 in which I can strive to do better!

With love,

Lii

 

Sustainable News Nr.3

Climate Change

Global Warming of 1.5°C – The already famous report about the future of our planet in 12 years if nothing is changed at the moment.

UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That – And this article explains the report in a clearer language, albeit in a bit on the side of fright tactic, however, at this point that might be needed to put pressure on decision-makers to reinforce new laws to protect the environment and reverse climate change.

6 Selfish Reasons You Should Care About The Rainforest and 10 Easy Ways You Can Protect It – Holly writes very comprehensively about the issues we face from deforestation of the rainforest and provides very easy solutions that each of us can do.

Biodynamic Farming – What Is It? – Interesting different type of farming. Can it reverse the climate change or reduce our emissions?

Sustainable News Nr.3 - byLiiL

Europe’s Meat and Dairy Production Must Half By 2050, Expert Warns – Even if we won’t all become vegetarians or vegans we should be consuming meat and dairy at a more conscious level. Do we all really need meat at every meal?

Capitalism and Climate Change – Interesting read into the economics of the future with climate change and sustainability.

A New Frontier In Wind Energy On Native American Land, Cultivated By Six Sioux Tribes – Amazing to read about!

Bill Gates Backs Innovative New Carbon Fee In Washington – “Companies openly opposed to the bill include oil companies, such as BP, Chevron, Phillips, and Andeavor, have raised $22.45 million to challenge it”. It is quite clear who would benefit from this not going forward and it is appaling to see that they are the ones who can put a lot of money to it, money that they could spend on innovating themselves! I wish the bill will pass and many others appear around the US and the rest of the world, we need it!

Confused By Climate Change, Japan’s Famous Cherry Blossoms Bloom Six Months Early – climate change affects more than people and animals, nature as well!

Sustainable News Nr.3 - byLiiL

Social

The True Story Of Fatima Al-Fihri , the Founder of the Worlds First Known University – It is quite incredible to think that the first known university is founded by a woman and not in Europe as well. Women have always been able to do anything they wish!

The Female Price Of Male Pleasure – Great insight into why we shouldn’t always question why did the woman not get out of the uncomfortable situation.

India’s Unplanned Pregnancies Are Down Thanks To Better Health And Education: UN – An example of how caring for women and education can be good for climate change and the economy as well.

Sustainable News Nr.3 - byLiiL

Fashion

The Environment’s New Clothes: Biodegradable Textiles Grown From Live Organisms – This is not new, but I am happy to see this being talked more and more about, maybe someday in the future, it will become more mainstream?

Dirty Fashion – Reports discussing the toxicity of fibres in the fashion supply chain and what is being done about them.

Inside Italy’s Shadow Economy – The hidden labour that is hard to uncover and although this article only dives into the problem in Italy, this is the way many it happens in many other countries as well. It is how employees can go underpaid in the UK where a minimum wage has been set.

Study Calls For Microplastic Weighting In Fibre Scoring Tools – This definitely should be done and I am surprised it is already weighted.

Albini Group Collaborates With Oritane For 100% Traceable Cotton Production – And they collaborate with Kering group to show an example of how textile manufacturing can be traceable.

Sustainable News Nr.3 - byLiiL

Other

A Third Of EU Chemical Imports Break REACH Laws, Claims Study – Study conducted by German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment found that many companies fail to inform of risky chemicals found in the products Europeans consume. This again is one of the reasons we need to make sure companies are transparent and we should be able to know what our products contain always!

When It Comes To Smartphone Lifespan, Brand Name Matters More Than Hardware – A study found that Apple phones are more likely to be bought second hand than any other brands of phones. The thing they do not talk about in the article is the price of Apple phones, which is the reason why they are often bought second hand. Nevertheless, it brings up an interesting point of view in the sustainability of mobile phones.

 

With love,

Lii

Doing Small Changes Won’t Save The Planet – But It’s a Start

In the world of environmentalism and sustainability, I come across slightly contradictive articles all the time. Most of the articles, blog posts, podcasts etc. are about how we can make changes to be more sustainable, how little or big things we can do, some even guilting us into changing our behaviour. The slightly contradictive articles are a minority but they appear regularly and they question the little changes that we are making and criticise how those won’t save the Earth. I am sure you’ve all read those articles. One of the latest ones that I read was in the Guardian where Monbiot wrote that “We Won’t Save The Earth With a Better Kind Disposable Cup”. So who is right? Is it the articles who encourage people to consider the changes they are making or is it articles who question the better you are doing and rather pushes us to challenge the power or wants all of us to change how we live?

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start - byLiiL

In my opinion, both are correct. That is true if the only thing we are doing is changing to a better disposable cup, or just change worse material to a slightly better one it will not save the planet. However, not changing the bad materials at all is also not an option nor is stopping consumption altogether.

Changing the consumer behaviour doesn’t happen in an instant, it takes years if not decades and when the popular media continues to promote a certain lifestyle it gets more difficult to change that. Government legislations against harmful products to us and the environment would help, however, they do not move swiftly either and only seem to make legislations when there is a public outcry on a topic such as microplastics. However, the government seems to only put on a patch on the problem, rather than fix the underlying issue to quiet the population and to change this the population needs to be educated on the underlying issue. This all definitely needs to be done, but it sounds like a lot of work which will take a lot of time, doesn’t it?

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start

While we wait for it to happen if we do not make changes and innovate better materials we have not made the world any better, but have probably created a lot more waste. When I think about a disposable cup that is made out of plastic and ends up polluting our oceans I would much rather use a disposable cup that biodegrades, even if slowly, however as at the moment there are many innovations coming up to make our current system better and more environmentally friendly, we have the possibility to look into what would be the best option.

One great example of a better product is the Nespresso compatible coffee capsules by Percol. I’ve always felt any Nespresso machine represents the opposite of environmentalism because of the capsules it uses that are fairly wasteful, however, the Percol coffee capsules are compostable and the coffee is Soil Association organic. Also, although I think we should all carry a reusable cup with us, it is not always feasible and therefore The petition to change the disposable cups into better disposable cups is definitely worth signing for those moments that somebody just has to take the disposable cup, but I wish there was another petition to the government to set up waste systems to easier dispose of those biodegradable or compostable disposable cups and another that would start proper education systems to schools and to adults about the change that we need to make to save the Earth.

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start

Educating people rather than guilting them will help them make decisions on their own and will provide a more worthwhile movement with real change. Guilting people into changing their behaviour doesn’t help, and studies have shown that they can even harm the movement. Writing about consumers doing wrong when they want a better alternative only makes them confused if they are not already familiar with the topic and might make them give up on even trying to be more ethical or requesting change from brands or the government.

By doing small changes and noticing that it works can move people into making bigger changes and to changing attitudes. Let’s not scare them off that path and rather support them with the journey. Make the small changes, such as having a less bad material and promote education on environmental problems and challenging the power and the decision makers. That is how we are going to change the planet.

Doing Small Changes Won't Save The Planet - But It's a Start

What do you think about making small changes or challenging the power?

With love,

Lii

Sustainable News of August 2018

Climate Change

Earth At Risk Of Entering ‘Hot House’ State From Which There Is No Return, Scientists Warn – One of the possible futures for our planet if we are not rapidly doing something to prevent it.

Rising Heat Will Cost The Poorest Countries Billions Of Dollars A Year – Heath exhaustion doesn’t happen to only us living in Europe or the US where we are not used to such warm temperatures, it also happens to those who are used to them.

Hotter Climate Means Hungrier Insects Will Munch Millions More Tons Of Crops By 2050 – The one thing we didn’t even think about climate change.

Sustainable News of August 2018 - byLiiL

Social

New Passport Checks For Families Are Sexist, Backward Step – In a modern world where we think we are moving forward with feminist issues we stumble upon new ones when legislations fight other crimes.

Why The World Needs More Female Leaders In Health Care – Whilst they occupy the most roles in health care females only have a small portion of leadership roles.

Reversing Burundi’s Pregnant Schoolgirl Ban Is Not Enough, Activists Say – Although a great start as the girls will have greater potential to earn a better living for their families in the future, it is still not concentrating on sexual exploitation.

Diversity In Sustainability – Addie writes with great enthusiasm and good points why sustainability should matter to everybody, not only white women.

This 9-Year-Old South African Author Has a Message We All Need To Hear – It’s so inspiring to see young children to take such initiative and show their enthusiasm to learning and bettering themselves as well as others lives!

Fake Foods Are Threatening South Africa’s Most Vulnerable People – Yes you read it correctly, fake foods or counterfeit foods are allegedly being sold around South Africa to the poorest population with serious health implications.

How Bikes Helped Cut Malaria Deaths by 96% in This Zambia District – As simple a thing as bikes can help poor nations and communities to get access to health and other services.

Air Pollution Is Destroying Your Intelligence, Study Finds – So we should probably do something about it.

 

Plastic

Iceland Is The First UK Supermarket To Sell Plastic Free Chewing Gum – And by this, they do not mean the packaging but the actual gum that you chew. Who would’ve thought that it is even legal to have petroleum-based substances in our consumables? Now you definitely don’t want to swallow it.

Decomposing Plastic Revealed As Hidden Source Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions – It shouldn’t come as a surprise.

UK Plastic Pact Is Central To Forming A Circular Economy – In the mids of all the plastic fears this article tells about a pragmatic approach to tackle the plastic problem. Although, it discusses the circular approach it still doesn’t pinpoint how customers will be involved in it, or how they will make sure no toxic chemicals will be left in the recycled plastics.

This Is The Single Greatest Cause Of Ocean Trash – Lately, we have been hearing about cigarette buts and there is a reason behind it. Maybe it would be time to regulate this.

Sustainable News of August 2018 - byLiiL

Recycling

Down With Upcycling? – With so many companies using waste products to make new products are they just using new sources of materials or are they thinking of the whole lifecycle of the product until the end?

 

Food

EU Households Waste Over 17 Billion Kg Of Fresh Fruit And Vegetables a Year – That is an astounding number and we all should start checking whether we actually eat all of the fruit and veg in our households.

Glyphosate Found In Breakfast Cereal In the US – Also found in the UK (especially in bread) as farmers keep using the pesticide before harvest so it is more likely to stay in our food. Buy organic to keep away from the carcinogen and if you want to help affect change in this in the UK you can donate money to Soil Association.

 

Fashion

France Is About To Ban Stores From Throwing Away Unsold Clothing – The idea is that the stores could give the clothes to charities and although this would be a great idea, I don’t think the volume of clothing that would go to charities would do good for either of the industries, I can almost see history repeating what happened to fashion outlets. It is important to do something about the volume of clothing that is thrown away by retailers and brands, but I am not sure if gifting them to charities is the way to go forward.

Why This Factory Is Making Its Factory Wages Public – An excellent initiative that will hopefully be shared by many other brands and bring even more visibility to this problem. Although, I don’t think it should only be factory workers wages, everybody in the company and the supply chain to provide a proper comparison.

Everlane Is Launching ‘Clean Silk’ In a Move Toward Greater Sustainability – The company’s plans are great and I am impressed with how they are reducing harmful chemicals from the production, however, not sure why there was no talk about using peace silk, only organic, which would’ve made the silk even more sustainable.

Shoppers Are Buying Clothes Just For The Instagram Pic, And Then Returning Them – This article talks about a deep-rooted problem in the fashion industry to which Instagram, OOTD and a new outfit for each pic are a fuel. If clothes can be even more disposable than before how can we ever change the fashion industry?

Adidas Launches FW’18 Collection Made Of Recycled Polyester, Organic Cotton – It’s great to hear that the brand is making changes to their ranges, however, this range is designed by Stella McCartney, I would like to see them changing completely to more sustainable materials!

Stella McCartney Evasive On Unsold Stock Issue – For a company that supports sustainability I am surprised and saddened that it is not more transparent on their own supply chains.

Sustainable News of August 2018 - byLiiL

Ecosystems

Effects of Overfishing On Ocean Health – This describes very well the different problems overfishing has on marine life and it’s ecosystems.

Why Are Elephants Important To African Ecosystem – Although I’ve always thought they are important I never quite knew how important they are! Let’s save them all!

Climate Change’s Latest Casualty: Cute, Tiny Puffin – Unfortunately with the ocean animals are finding it harder to find their food and have to travel longer to get to their source of nutrition.

Scientists Just Discovered A Coral Reef Off The Coast of South Carolina – And it needs to be protected against oil and gas industry!

Top Performing Microbes Could Be Key To Sustainable Agriculture – Taking an example from nature at it’s best!

 

I think I might need to start doing these weekly as there are so many links to go through. What do you think weekly or monthly?

With love,

Lii

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us?

Whenever I find a new fashion brand or a shop I am always excited by the imagery and marketing message they are telling me. It is obvious the modern successful brands are good at providing a persuading brand image. They get me wanting a new piece of clothing or buy into their message and it is only after the sustainable fashion movement became a driving force that we’ve learned how the fashion industry works and what we are supposed to be looking for when choosing a new product or a brand to by into. But how available is the information to the general consumer? Not very, as many companies rather through around green buzzwords rather than back them up. In the last 5 days, I’ve stumbled upon 3 new brands which sounded interesting and I had to message all 3 of them questioning the information missing from their sites and confirm whether they are as sustainable as they claim to be.

It is difficult to know what happens behind closed doors and many companies like to hide things that we consumers wouldn’t like to see or we might stop buying from those brands.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

ANIMAL CRUELTY

The public outcry after we saw the tortured angora bunnies in a Chinese factory. Did those companies really not know what was happening to those animals, or were they hiding this from their consumers? Animal cruelty still happens throughout the fashion supply chains.

Leather is a very much unregulated trade, unlike fur, because the consumer presumption is that leather is always a by-product. It is often not so, especially if it’s something else than cow leather. Animals might’ve been kept in poor conditions. Fur on the other hand, due to consumer outcry, is strictly regulated even more so than wool industry. Wool, which is one of the greatest fibres can be cruel to animals. The animals can be kept poorly and shearing them is not always stress-free. In addition, some of the sheep have been bred to provide certain wool for the consumers use.

Look for brands that are selling cruelty-free products, who talk about how they treat their animals. The smaller the brand the better, as with big quantities they don’t have the time to take care of their animals.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

TOXIC CLOTHING

Do you know if your clothes are good for the environment or to you? There is a lot of information about how the production of clothes in many cases is dangerous to the labour and how the factories pollute the surrounding waters and the environment. Companies and factories have tried to keep this a secret, but the truth has come out. However, what is less talked about but as relevant is how the toxins might still be in the clothes we wear every day on our skin. You wouldn’t put toxic beauty products on your skin so how is clothing different? It is not.

When attending a talk in Berlin during a green fashion week about innovative textiles I heard a woman ask why aren’t we just coming up with a new textile which is originally good for us rather than incorporating good ingredients into textiles that are not so great?

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

I hadn’t before this thought about how toxic our clothes could be to us and it horrifies me know the way we think about fashion. I’ve come across many young women who want to find fashion that is brightly coloured, sequined, tight, different and CHEAP. Cheap clothing comes from Asian factories which do not have as stringent laws against chemicals as in Europe. The bright colours so sought for are the result of chemicals added to the die. And to transport these clothes without mould and wrinkles into our stores they are sprayed with chemicals. Manmade fibres are made with petrol based fibres that are full of chemicals and cotton is grown with pesticides. All these chemicals still exist in our clothes when we wear them and through friction and heat, they get absorbed by our skin.

We want these clothes and the companies hide these facts from us. In Europe, the law only requires companies to tell what fibres the clothes are made from, not what chemicals were used to make them. However, those chemicals can affect skin irritations, allergies and other more problematic health conditions. Some chemicals often found in our clothes: pesticides, insecticides, formaldehyde, flame retardants, other carcinogens and lead.

Read more about toxicity in clothes from Leotie Lovely, World Threads Traveler, Mochni and Eluxe. In fashion look for brands that produce clothing with toxic free dies and garments made closer to home require fewer chemicals to travel with.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

WASTE

It is widely known that the clothing we throw away becomes waste, but as recently reported to surprised and outraged consumers, companies burn the clothes they have produced too much off. It was Burberry that was under fire lately, but Burberry is only one of the many many big fashion corporations that do this. And it is not only clothes but fabrics and materials as well. When interning for a fashion company even I saw it and couldn’t fathom the waste of all the beautiful fabrics that many of us interns could’ve used on our Uni courses. And this is not talking about the waste that accumulated from designing (all the paper and energy), sampling (fabric cut offs, sample garments) and the production (fabric cut offs, thread etc.). And although that is the waste the company accumulated, you are paying for the waste. The garments are priced to cover for the waste materials as well.

Look for small brands that make fashion in small batches. This reduces the waste they create and supports their trade.

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

SALE IS ONLY AN ILLUSION

It should be a common knowledge by now that outlet’s do not really sell designer clothing, but rather poorer quality clothing that they can attach a designer label on. The fact that the design labels have agreed to this is astounding, as those clothes still represent the brand even with the poorer quality.

However, what is not as commonly known are the discounts in stores. They claim to be to sell off the rest of the stock before the next season’s clothing and where that might’ve been the original reason and still one of the reasons, the bigger reason is consumers want the discounted items and wait for it. When much of the stock is sold at the discounted price the original price is steeper so that the stockholders will still get their share from the sales.

Support small brands that might not do so many sales, but who also rarely overprice their products. The customer service you get from them is also priceless!

What Are Fashion Companies Hiding From Us? - byLiiL

CONTRADICTION TO MARKETING MESSAGE (OR GREENWASHING)

  • Using sustainability as a marketing tactic to sell products.
  • Companies providing a good message, but not doing the work behind the message.
  • Marketing a new innovation but not telling the whole truth.

Fashion companies are very skilled at branding and marketing an image that consumers want to see. That image sells, but only few will look behind the image to see whether the message is true to the core. Since sustainability and ethical fashion has become somewhat of a trend movement many companies have seen the potential to make money out of this by either selling a message that they are doing their bit for the fight (and really are not) or selling products with positive messages about saving the planet or feminism, with products that are more harmful for both. Beyonce’s Ivy Park line has been under scrutiny for promoting empowered women, but seemingly not empowering the women who made the clothes. SZA promotes sustainability and dumping plastic on clothes that are made by Champion, a company not so sustainable or one producing without plastic. Even though the proceeds go to fund the charities fighting for these problems the merchandise should not add to the problem. And then there are the feminist t-shirts that are made by women who are definitely not empowered.

Then there is the other side where small companies are trying to innovate something new and promote themselves tot he bigger audience with their innovation but leaving out information. I have been so excited to hear about fashion made out of waste products such as milk, apple waste, banana, lotus flower and seaweed. All renewable and sustainable options, however, not all are what they are marketing. Fabric made out of seaweed only actually has 4% of seaweed and the rest is cellulose, lyocell. However, at least Seacell does provide this information when looking for their specs, whereas other companies don’t. Bags cannot be made 100% out of apple waste, they need a binding agent, however, we do not read about that even though the company claims to be transparent.

Look for the information the companies tell you and question it. Ask them questions about their products and depending on their answers you can see how open they are about their products or whether they still want to hide something.

 

Ethical and Sustainable fashion is not all about making the world a better place. It is also about making better decisions for yourself and your health.

 

Unfortunately, companies are not happy to reveal information that is not entirely positive and often we might be sold something that isn’t entirely true. We can’t always blame the faces for what fashion industry is like, however, if we all question how the clothes are made, who made them and what chemicals were used to make them we might see change. Remember to share your findings with others, but to also be kind to those brands who are striving and working to be better. It is time for the fashion brands to stop hiding behind the closed doors!

Pictures by Godisable Jacob.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Let me know in the comment box below.

With love,

Lii