This week, from the 20th to the 26th of April is Fashion Revolution week. In case you’re unfamiliar with what it is, it is a week of campaigns and action to demand transparency in the fashion industry and is spearheaded by the Fashion Revolution organisation. The week-long event coincides with Earth Day on the 22nd of April and also commemorates the victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy, when the garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh. Fashion Revolution is made up of all of us – designers, brands, retailers, business leaders, writers, marketers, manufacturers, workers, fashion lovers and fashion wearers – coming together and working together to end exploitation in the fashion industry and to make it sustainable.
In recent years, sustainability has become such a buzzword but what exactly does it mean? The fact is, sustainability is a broad umbrella terms that encompasses many different initiatives and commitments that companies and individuals can and should do in order to care for people and our planet. For brands, retailers and other companies, it can mean producing in limited quantities, manufacturing locally in order to minimize their carbon footprint, offsetting said carbon footprint, fair and equal pay (which should truly go without saying), working with artisans to preserve their unique cultural skills and supporting social and environmental causes, just to name a few. While there’s no such thing as a 100% sustainable brand, we understand how important it is for all companies to work towards improved sustainability.
As the organisation states, Fashion Revolution is everyone. That means that as fashion lovers and as individuals who all wear clothing, everyone has an important role to play. When it comes to the clothing one wears, like brands, individuals can also work towards creating a sustainable wardrobe. How? Everyone can start by asking Fashion Revolution’s simple question, “Who made my clothes?”
There are truly so many ways to start making one’s own closet sustainable. The first step is to wear and rewear what’s already in your closet. This also means that when you do purchase new clothing, it’s best to purchase items that fit you well, that you know will last for years to come and well beyond a single season. This consequently also means avoiding falling into the fast fashion trap of poor-quality clothing and accessories. They are not only made to almost be disposable but they also exploit garment workers. The truth is, fast fashion is cheap because garment workers are not paid fair wages. They are the ones that pay for the item’s low retail price. As our lives slow down with the current global situation, we must also look towards and support slow fashion.
Contrary to what many brands and even influencers will lead you to believe, it’s not all about keeping up with the newest and latest fashion trends. Fashion is a form of self-expression and as such, expressing one’s own style means mixing and matching clothing, whether older or newer pieces. It’s about creating and staying true to your own style aesthetic rather than blindly following trends. It’s also about wearing your values. This includes supporting slow fashion brands that operate ethically and manufacture sustainably.
As a slow fashion brand, Sumissura practices sustainability by creating made to measure pieces for you. As such, we avoid mass production, resource exploitation and the opportunity for clothing to go to waste and end up in landfills. We are committed to producing high quality clothing that is made especially for you, which you can wear now and for years to come. In addition to this, because your order is specifically for you and made to your preferences, there is only a small chance that you’ll end up returning the order if, for some reason, it doesn’t meet your satisfaction. Recent reports by some of the leading publications have stated that online clothing returns of mass retailers not only contribute to a larger carbon footprint but also easily end up directly in landfills even if the clothes and accessories have not been used at all. This is because the cost of putting returned items back in stock is greater than dumping them. Find out what Sumissura is doing and what our promise to you is here.
So, another way to make your wardrobe sustainable? Buy what you really love and what you know you’ll be able to use for a long time. Avoid the temptation of cheap clothing and impulse purchases by considering the cost of the item and the number of times you’ll be able to wear it. That is, in fact, the true cost of what you’re purchasing. Remember, quality is always better than quantity. Now more than ever, we know that as individuals, even our smallest actions matter. We all know that we have the power to make a positive difference, even when it comes to the clothing we choose to wear.