How Do You Reconcile Caring About Fashion and the Environment?

In a fantastic new existential heater of a piece for The Washington Post, American hero, Robin Givhan, wonders if it’s actually possible to reconcile loving Fashion and caring about the environment.

As she wrote, “in the world of everyday consumers, people are asking: Are there any clothes that are both guiltless and desirable? Is it possible to buy fashion that does not imperil the environment?” The short answer: yes, but no.

While there are significant measures being taken by some of the biggest names in the industry, like Kering and LVMH, Givhan notes that those are still the same forces whose “fundamental operating principle rests on planned obsolescence” and “a ceaseless cycle of replacement and replenishment.”

This is the industry that’s working “to convince consumers that life will be that much better with another pair of special-edition sneakers” but also the one that’s claiming to make “sustainability part of its business models.”

Compounding the issues is that “if the fashion industry paid factory workers for the true value of their labor and was as mindful of its environmental footprint as it should be… then several hundred dollars is precisely what a high-quality white shirt should cost.”

Given all that, she says the “simplest, best path to sustainability is not anti-fashion; it’s anti-gorging.” In other words, we can still enjoy cool shit, we just can’t buy all the cool shit — or, buy less buy better.

You can read more about it at The Washington Post.

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  • Katie

    Yeah, it’s tough. It’s like you have to think about it but not overthink it or it can drive you (me) a little bananas. The environment, workers, animals, and your own wallet…it’s a lot to consider so I guess we just do the best we can.

    • S.O. Crane

      Consider is the key word. Consider your purchase and it’s ripple effect. We tell children to do their best, this is an area where we should take our own advice.