As a little girl I have always loved clothing, essentially fashion in all forms shapes and sizes. I always dreamt of becoming a designer and today, while I am the proud owner of a boutique called Segura Emporium, I would never endorse “fast fashion.”
This might seem like some sort of oxymoron – how could I love fashion but not support fast fashion and what is the difference? Are clothes not just clothes? The answer is a hard and very loud ’NO’, clothes are not just clothes anymore and I’m about to air some dirty laundry!
Fast Fashion is a term used to describe the clothing industry business model of replicating recent catwalk trends and high-fashion designs, mass-producing them at low cost, and bringing them to retail stores quickly while demand is highest. There are loads of companies working on this model and it makes sense but there are a few things you need to know.
Fast Fashion = Pollution
The Fashion Industry is the world’s second largest source of pollution. Just think about it: pesticides, overuse of water, fossil fuels, exploitation of workers, waste, water pollution, climate change and microplastic pollution just to mention a few.
Sixty per cent of all clothing made is landfilled or incinerated in one year. In the USA, 10.5 million tons of clothing is sent to landfills every year. The world now consumes an estimated 80 billion pieces of new clothing per year.
Two per cent of garment workers earn a living wage, and 80% of garment workers are women. An estimated 170 million children are engaged in child labour, many working within the fashion supply chain
Just because they’re not close to you, it doesn’t mean that they may be abused and exploited so you can look good on Instagram. Workers are paying with their lives.Workers in sweatshops are overworked and underpaid, work in horrible conditions for basically nothing and it’s up to us to stop supporting these businesses.
Washing synthetic fabric sends millions of plastic particles into the rivers and oceans. It takes approximately 2720 liters of water to make a t-shirt. That’s how much water we normally drink over a three year period. The toxins used in dye are now spilling into the rivers and oceans, and in smaller villages this is affecting the health and livelihoods of people – people are dying.
Ethical + Aesthetics = Sustainable
How can I become sustainable?
1 – Do your research: stop supporting companies with unethical work practices and others guilty of fast fashion.
2 – Do you really need it? Or did Sally just look fabulous in it?
3 – Quality check! Will it last for a season or for years to come?
4 – Eco-friendly fabrics: choose organic, natural and biodegradable fabrics over toxic synthetic materials.
5 – Shop local: these items have a lower carbon footprint, workers are more likely to receive ethical wages and this strengthens the economy.
6 – Wash less: wash your clothes only when needed.
7 – Make it last: treat your items with love and care.
Through repairing, repurposing, or buying secondhand, you can extend the life of a piece of clothing by an extra 9 months, reducing that item’s carbon waste and water footprint by 20-30%.
At Segura Emporium, we choose to work with designers, both local and international, who work with sustainable fabrics, pay ethical wages at the very least, and are as passionate about clothing and style as we are.
Style is something beautiful and personal and, no matter what is or isn’t trending, your style is unique to you and therefore it should be honored. If you don’t know what your style is, or you know you’re guilty of having cupboards full of clothing but you only wear four or five items, contact me for a Style Script analysis.
Less truly is more, but it starts with you. An over-full cupboard doesn’t make for a stylish woman.
Namibian Thrift stores and initiatives
The Red Shelf (Windhoek and Swakopmund)
Moegvirmyklere.com (Facebook group)
Swakopmund Charity Shop
Re-love-it Clothing (Facebook group)
Mopane Apparel (Instagram)
Important people to follow on Socials
Remake Our World (Instagram)
Rogue Essentials (Instagram)