April 26, 2022 7 min read
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” - Robert Swan, Author
Earth Day on April 22nd, 2022 is already proving to be a historic occasion. The theme, “Invest in Our Planet” is a poignant and pressing cause that deserves our collective global attention. As the upcoming generation to our society, we live in an unprecedented moment in history. Our culture and our planet are held ransom by intense political conflict, a looming climate catastrophe, and a corporate world that hardly seems to care.
Now more than ever, we're being summoned by a clarion call to shift the tide; Undertake a monumental effort to embrace sustainability, social consciousness, and transparency in our life decisions.
In our modern culture of consumption, our wallet makes those decisions. It sets the stage for what future generations will inherit. At Secret Location, we strongly champion putting our footprint before fleeting fashions. But today, we’re also advocating for smart style choices that take into account total transparency, recyclability, and accountability.
How do you find your fashion sense in this ever-growing climate of change? We’ve compiled a list of tips to get you started.
In our use-and-throw culture, we desperately need to re-engineer the paradigm. At Secret Location, our mantra is, “Reduce, reuse, reinvent!” To curate a wardrobe that bodes well for your wallet and for the planet, think of versatile, multi-purpose pieces from sustainable brands.
For instance, a Beautiful Silk Scarf can transform your ensemble, goes with virtually any outfit, and most importantly can double up as a handbag, bracelet, necktie, gift wrap, and the likes!
You may have heard of Furoshiki; the traditional Japanese art of fabric wrapping that has a 1,200-year-old history. This originated during the Nara Period (710-784) and was used to wrap valuables foremperors and nobility. Lords would use silk cloths emblazoned with their family crests to identify their clothes in communal bathhouses. Hence the name, Furo which means “bath” and Shiki which means “to spread”.
Over time, this tradition took on new meaning to curb over-shopping and over-consumption. Because each piece can be folded and reused, Furoshiki was resurrected in our modern culture and gained widespread significance across the globe!
Today, the technique uses a beautifully printed cloth, much like a scarf, that is eco-friendly and can be used as wrapping material for any occasion - Birthdays, Easter baskets, and even as a hair tie or bracelet. When curating your styles, think of smart purchases just like this that can be reused and reinvented!
In the spirit of rejecting fleeting fashions, we want to draw your attention to quality fabrics that live a long life. To curate a green closet, not only do you want to shop for durable fabrics but also at brands that offer repair services to prolong the lifespan of your product.
The type of fabric you shop for is essential. For instance, organic cotton is cultivated so as not to require any chemicals or pesticides. It is also just as breathable and comfortable as its counterpart. Organic cotton is much more eco-friendly than regular cotton which is water-intensive, uses a lot of chemicals, and can have a dire impact on the planet. Similarly, organic linen is biodegradable and is soft, light, and strong to lend an effortless comfort to your style choices.
Bear in mind, you also want to look at the packaging of your products. After all, sustainability needs to exist at every stage of the sourcing and supply chain all the way through to delivery. Ask yourself some pertinent questions in this regard, “Is my item packed using recyclable materials?”, and “Does the brand support ethical supply chain practices?”
Sustainable packaging rejects single-use waste and drives the shift towards accountable and ethical waste management procedures.
In an era where we are challenged to be as unique as possible but also mindful of our impact on the planet, we have the creative power of choice!
Second-hand styles and thrifting are beloved among fashion-savvy shoppers - and rightly so. They allow us to rehome a once-loved piece of clothing that has lived a beautiful life and tells a unique story - much like our own. And more importantly, by choosing clothing already in circulation, we are lowering our environmental carbon footprint by hundreds of thousands of tonnes each year.
This requires a rebellion against throwaway culture and a reclamation of our values. As shoppers, we hold incredible power in the brand choices we make. Clothing hauls on social media for fast fashion go against the very grain of sustainability. These advocate for consuming more than we need. Which is why…
Circular styles are the need of the hour! And with so many stylish and timeless second-hand brands out there, we aren’t pressed for choice. Because yes, there is a way to reduce our footprints and stay true to our unique sense of style. And not only will you feel good about your purchase, but also the planet.
Gender-neutral messaging and eco-friendliness are mutually reinforcing goals. Unisex clothing is functional and minimalist, allowing you to wear it for a wide range of events and still look effortlessly stylish. And as a result, donating or sharing clothing is much easier since these are not confined by gender or category.
In fact, genderless capsule wardrobes are picking up steam in the fashion world for these very reasons. Plenty of amazing non-binary fashion brands are rising to meet this need.
A capsule wardrobe is a selection of minimalist interchangeable pieces that are the building blocks of your closet. So what kind of pieces should you keep in mind while designing a capsule wardrobe? Think of functional items like a stylish digital print t-shirt that can be easily layered with a reversible leather jacket or a pair of gorgeous tumble pants.
There are certain red flags to be aware of when shopping sustainably. Knowing these in advance will help you steer clear of them.
With the rising popularity of sustainable fashion, there have emerged several brands that put up the pretense of being sustainable but don’t actually follow through on that. This is referred to as greenwashing.
For instance, you may find a brand that claims to be eco-friendly but isn’t transparent with its supply chain practices. Or a brand that claims its products are made from recyclable materials but isn’t forthcoming with what those are.
At times, the company may deploy a percentage of eco-friendly products, while a majority of their collections still have a detrimental impact on the environment. It helps to keep an eye out for companies that overuse green imagery and logos - like trees, the earth, herbs, etc. - and neglect to provide verifiable information to legitimize those green claims.
Fleeting fashions and micro-trends lead to overconsumption. Overconsumption isheavily injurious to the planet. These are typically low-cost items with a very prompt turnaround. The latter pertains to when you notice a trendy item on the shelf shortly after seeing it in the media or on a celebrity.
These are typically made fromshoddy materials and last only for a few months. They are also backed by a heavy profit-centric motive. They use cheap toxic dyes, polyester which is derived from fossil fuels, conventional cotton, and the likes.
For more on this, please check out our post about Timeless Essentials & Fleeting Trends.
Impulse shopping is one of the biggest ills in sustainable fashion. It perpetuates throwaway culture, which as we already discussed, can lead to hundreds of thousands of tonnes infashion waste every single year. Before you purchase an item, ask yourself a few important questions:
Keep this checklist by your side every time you go shopping. You’ll end up with fewer mistakes in your closet and a much more authentic and unique style statement!
Oftentimes, in a bid to go sustainable, people overhaul their entire closets and vow to take on a purist approach - sustainable or not at all. This is counterproductive to the movement as it contributes to far more waste in the long run.
Even if you’ve shopped micro-trends prior to this, retain those pieces and get as much use as you possibly can from them. If you must dispose of these fleeting garments, consider a second-hand website before it goes in the trash.
While you don’t have to toss out any items that don’t match your current standards of sustainability, you can curate more mindful clothing collections moving forward to override those trendy and less durable pieces. As such, these can be eventually phased out to serve both your lifestyle and the planet.
Quality fabrics require quality care. As soon as you acquire a new piece of clothing, read the care instructions in detail and make sure you follow them to a tee.
As with most luxury items, having aprofessional repair the seams, fix holes, dry clean, replace missing buttons and embellishments, etc. is strongly recommended. This lends the garment a very long life and avoids it prematurely finding itself in a landfill.
To learn how to properly care for your clothing, take a look at our post on How to Breathe New Life Into Your Favourite Fashions. This could save you the heartache of parting with your favs before their time. It’s worth the read.
Each of us is a steward of sustainability in our own right. From the clothes we wear to the food we consume, every day and in every way, we make decisions that impact the environment. When it comes to the fashion industry in particular, unsustainable brands are second only to the oil industry when it comes to environmental pollution, with the latter being responsible for 20% of the world’s water pollution.
A few ways we can contribute to this growing movement are to shop sustainable brands, avoid impulse purchases and micro-trends, and use garments that are multi-purpose and versatile - everything from scarves to capsule pieces.
One of the most vital ways to curb our environmental footprint while still maintaining our unique sense of style is to consider second-hand shopping. This gives so many beautiful pieces the chance at a second life instead of prematurely going to a landfill.
Sustainable fashion brands are the need of the hour. These pursue mindful and ethical sourcing, supply chain, and packaging practices to put humanity and the planet at the forefront.
And with that, we wish you a sustainable (and stylish) fashion journey. Thanks so much for joining us today!