After celebrating Earth Day and looking forward to Mother’s Day, it is about time we discuss Mother Nature and how we can help her. Scrolling through social media, filled with past travels and one-wear #ootds, it seemed like the meaning of Earth Day was misinterpreted and lost. This is why we have to take actions in order to protect our Mother Nature from disastrous climate change and destruction. In this month's blog post, we will discuss how we can easily do it and what role companies like Lux Second Chance play in this.
We are not going to discuss how pollutant the fashion industry is, or the risks that overconsumption creates, the main focus here is what we can do in order to stop the catastrophic effects of climate change. In case you are sceptical that you and I can save the world, Christiana Figueras, the former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said “What makes you feel better quickly is actually to engage in a positive contribution so that you bust through this myth that individual actions don't count. And you begin to realize the world is only made out of individual actions. It does count. It does add up” .
We all love fashion, we all (at least most of us) enjoy dressing up in the morning. But it has to come to a point when it stops being mechanical and starts being conscious. Our every choice, every decision creates a footprint, and now we need to minimize our fashion footprint, because Mother Nature has had enough with her air being polluted from non-stop factories, rivers filled with toxic dyes, oceans filled with single-use plastic and microplastic from the polyester threads.
It is not that hard to start changing our consumption habits for such a good cause, without sacrificing the style! Dressing with intention and responsibility is much easier than it seems to be. According to Kelly Green in her article “Dressing ethically: Where to start”  You can follow a couple of simple resolutions:
- Buy for life
- Go Natural
- Check Labels
- Buy Pre-loved
The main message from these resolutions is the idea that the item has to last. The problem that fashion is facing today comes from the fact that in 2018, people (1 in 10 in U.K.) discard their clothing after getting it seen three times on social media . This should not be happening. Livia Firth, the founder of Eco Age, created an initiative #30Wears, claiming that an item should be worn at least 30 times, and beyond. When you are shopping, ask yourself — will I wear this item 30 times? If not — do you really even like it or you are just following your impulsive shopping habit? If you REALLY love an item, you will wear it and wear it, and you will enjoy it!
While it has been discussed that clothing should be made of natural and preferably not blended materials and fibres (100% cotton, 100% silk, 100% wool), because synthetic ones and blends are either not biodegradable or too hard to recycle. You again have the power to extend the life cycle of a garment - you can wear it as long as possible, mend it and fix it. Once you are tired of it and it is still wearable - you can donate it, swap it or resell it. What is old for you is new to somebody else!
Circular fashion system (as opposed to the current “linear system”) is the new way that is considered to be essential in order to avoid disastrous effects of climate change and exhaustion of Mother Earth’s resources. According to Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), the world’s leading forum on sustainable fashion, “a circular system restores and regenerates materials, in addition to providing opportunities to reduce environmental pressures and ease demand on natural resources while securing future supply and capturing the value of a product to the greatest extent possible” .
While consumers can do their part with daily choices and changing their habits, big companies are slowly getting on board with sustainable practices as well. At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017, Global Fashion Agenda called on fashion brands and retailers to sign a commitment to accelerate the transition to a circular fashion system. As of June 2018, 94 companies and corporations had signed the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment, representing 12.5% of the global fashion market . Resale is one of the four immediate action points that companies must commit to by 2020 in order to implement sustainability practices.
From a consumer’s standpoint, resale of pre-loved and vintage shopping is the path not only for unique fashion looks but a confident route for saving Mother Nature. It adds purpose for shoppers. In terms of the benefits of the pre-loved shopping, it is not only exclusive finds that nobody else has, but also is a way of extending a life cycle of the item simply by changing its owners. This practice keeps items away from the landfills, which contributes to less carbon and gas emissions from the rotting goods. It also does not require new production, which is a great way to reduce environmental footprint. According to GFA, extending the life cycle of a garment by just nine months through reselling reduces waste, water and carbon footprints by 20-30% each and cuts resource costs by 20% . Luxury fashion goods have an extremely long life. Just look at a vintage Hermes bag - even at 60 years old, it can look almost like new! As an added bonus —you as a consumer, save money! Everybody wins! Isn’t that terrific?
As a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic people are discussing the positive environmental effects of the lockdown — how the air is getting cleaner, the waters are getting clearer, mountains are becoming more visible, animals are appearing and filling up empty streets. Many ask - how can we keep it this way? - and it all requires our individual actions and our personal choices to be more responsible in the way we consume and use resources.
Here at Lux Second Chance we actually believe that we can save the world one handbag at a time.
We can make a difference, save Mother Nature and make our Mothers proud!