Globalization has done some really amazing things for the fashion industry. Networking has never been easier thanks to social media and online portfolios. The fashion industry has a bad rap for promoting unhealthy behaviors within individuals, but I believe an equally important problem we have here is sustainability.
Sustainability is not a fashionable word. It does not look good on headers of editorials, and it does not sell runway designs. In this age where anyone with a smartphone and some free time can become a style blogger, what we wear is more exposed than ever. Which fashions are ethically made and receive the most exposure are not one in the same. Clothes that are brand-new and cheaply produced are circulated like wildfire through social media and handmade garments do not receive the same attention. With the exception of prestigious houses such as Valentino, Chanel, and new favorites such as Workhall and Molly Goddard, sustainable fashion is hard to find on Instagram.
The problem with this is that handmade designer fashions cost thousands of dollars. Not only can most celebrities not afford to be draped in Balmain or Zuhair Murad at event after event, but a regular person might not afford one piece of haute couture in their lifetime.
My solution to this is purchasing eco-friendly fashions and making as many of my clothes as I can. I often borrow or buy clothes from friends and second-hand stores, and if I must have a designer piece, I save up and buy it on discount. I mend my clothes when they get worn and I choose classic pieces to keep in my wardrobe for years on end.
I shot this set with Christine Main in the summer of 2016 wearing my eco-friendly wardrobe. I titled it “Sustain/able” as a nod to Roland Barthe’s structuralist literary analysis, and to the growing gap between the middle-class and the elite. Vegan fur and fair-trade classics are staples of my fall wardrobe. Making sustainability more than just an afterthought can go a long way if everyone does it!