Sustainability and the idea of sustainable living have been around for many years now, but have only recently taken on a cool vibe. Why? I think it boils down to people finally cluing in to the fact that we are creating far too much “stuff”, that what we are making and wearing is actually making a difference in a very negative way on our planet, and to our personal health (think pollution, the water you drink, the very air you breathe!).
The curtain has been yanked back on the fashion industry among others, shining a glaring light on the fact that “the fashion & textiles industry is a major polluter of water at all stages of the value chain, from the agricultural runoff from cotton fields causing algal blooms that choke rivers, to the dying process releasing a cocktail of toxic chemicals and the washing of clothes releasing microplastics.”- Forbes (“The Hidden Cost of Clothing Is a Water Pollution Crisis”) September 2020.
When the truth was out and there was no more denying, the industry was forced to switch gears. The pressure has mounted for brands and companies to change their practices….fast. This is of course great news, with one small issue. It is an expensive endeavor!
How can brands, especially smaller or younger emerging brands make the switch? Also, there is another danger now. When brands or companies begin to implement sustainable practices, the “Sustainability Police” come after them many times, finding fault if the brand isn’t completely sustainable based on its claims. This is occurring because unfortunately, there have been those who have made claims about their sustainability practices that were untrue or exaggerated.
This is called “Greenwashing” which is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly. Because of these unethical companies’ false claims, now brands and businesses who are honestly trying to incorporate ethical sustainable methods into their business model are very nervous to talk about it, for fear their business will be ruined.
As part of our goals for 2021, The Style team has vowed to really “lean in” to sustainability. This doesn’t mean we are going to change every single thing we do. This does not mean that we will perfect. This doesn’t mean we will be successful every day! It does mean that we will try to incorporate new ways of doing things. It does mean that we will have conversations with those who are experts and can guide us on our path.
One of the easiest ways for us to do is to thoughtfully choose products and brands that are trying hard to lessen their negative impact. One example of this is Veronica Chou of Everybody Everyone. You may have heard us mentioning her before. We love the brand’s aesthetic and price point too! What she is doing with her brand seems remarkable to us! She is doing so many things well in fact, that there are too many to mention here! We highly encourage you to read about it here.
You can listen to our podcast interview with Veronica for even more insight into how she is working to change the fashion industry for the better. Here is the link to shop the site! REMEMBER to use the code THESTYLE15 at checkout for 15% off!
Another brand we admire for their sustainability efforts is One Ocean Beauty. Here is a link to our podcast episode with their founder. Everything from the beautiful packaging to their partnership with Oceana we applaud. The products speak for themselves, and turn the routine of taking care of your skin into a beautiful ritual of self care.
Last, we want to tell you about a new shoe brand designed by Marie Laffont. All her designs are handmade by craftsmen in Italy, and are made to last, which is one of the key tenants for sustainability in our opinion! Less is more, quality comes before quantity. The sole she designed is made with 80% recycled materials and the boxes the shoes come in are 100% recyclable and are made out of recycled paper! The shoes and boots are truly exquisite, made for style and comfortable at the same time. Learn more about Marie Laffont in our recent IGTV video.
We will keep you posted on our efforts moving towards better sustainability practices, and share any knowledge gained along the way. What are your goals for 2021? How are you planning to implement them? We can encourage each other, pick each other up as we take one step forward and two steps backward sometimes; the point is, we are trying to better ourselves and this beautiful world in which we live. Cheers to 2021, may it be a year of miracles!