Conscious Fashion 101

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Eco Style Conscious Fashion
Listen to the first of the Green Divas Eco-Style segments—we talk about what ethical and conscious fashion is with green diva Bianca Alexander from Conscious Living TV. Read on for what she wrote about it…


 

The fashion industry is notorious for being one of the biggest polluters of the planet.

Its second only to oil in terms of its negative environmental impact.

According to Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign, at least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into clothes, many of which are toxic to the environment, local water and the workers who handle them to make our clothes. Given consumer demand for cheap, poorly made “fast fashion,” much of our clothing is produced in third world sweatshops by employees working in unsafe working conditions for less than a fair living wage.

As a conscious consumer, you can choose to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Here are three quick tips for conscious fashion:

Keep these in mind before making your next fashion purchase, where you can shop with your values without giving up style. (And keep going to find out how to take action for conscious fashion.)

1. When in doubt, choose organic.

There are several great eco-friendly textiles on the market, from tencel to cupro, sasawashi (seaweed) to organic cotton. Fancy textiles are cool, but in my book, there’s nothing sexier than a fresh cotton t-shirt.

Unfortunately, producing just one made from traditionally grown cotton takes a whopping one-third pound of toxic pesticides, harming the earth, our water, and our bodies when the cotton touches our skin. Organic cotton is not only softer, it’s produced without pesticides or GMOs, and can be found just about anywhere.

Shop: Fashion Revolution USA’s “Who Made Your Clothes?” tee by Under the Canopy x Michael Stars; proceeds support compensation to victims of Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza sweatshop factory collapse.

2. Reduce, reuse and recyle: rock vintage.

The average person has four times as many clothes in their wardrobes than they did in 1980, and gets rid of the same amount every year, keeping our landfills brimming with perfectly good clothing. Instead, you can reduce, reuse and recycle your clothes by rocking vintage apparel. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, it will also reduce your chance of being caught in the same outfit as your best friend! Retro fashion is all the rage these days, so it’s no wonder stars like Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry swear by vintage when it’s their turn to walk the red carpet.

Shop: Goodwill hunting: Drop off a bag filled with anything you haven’t worn in a year, then shop to your heart’s delight from their selection of gently used clothing, or host a clothing swap party with your closest fashionista friends.

3. Choose compassionate couture: go vegan!

Every stylist worth her salt knows accessories can make or break an outfit, but most shoes and bags on the market are made from animal skin. As a conscious consumer, it’s important to have compassion not just for the earth but for all living things, especially if there is a cruelty-free option. Luckily, there are lots of vegan accessories on the market that will still keep you looking put together, like non-toxic PVC and waxed-canvas “leather.” And if you simply can’t live without leather or fur, vintage versions are always a more conscious choice than spending cash on virgin skins.

Shop: Cri de Coeur vegan footwear gives Manolos a run for their money, along with Gunas luxury vegan handbags.

Green Divas Action for Conscious Fashion:

Sign the GreenPeace Detox Manifesto!


About the author / 

Green Diva Bianca

Bianca Alexander, Esq. is an Emmy award winning TV journalist and the host and creative director of Conscious Living TV, a multi-platform lifestyle series now in its 8th season she created with her husband Michael. An avid yogi and eco-fashionista, Bianca has covered and presented on the ethical fashion movement around the world, and recently served as the U.S. Director of Communications for Fashion Revolution, a global campaign bringing transparency and justice to garment workers and the fashion supply chain worldwide. As a sustainable fashion show producer and eco-stylist for the past six years, Bianca has curated for numerous fashion publications and works closely with ethical designers around the world to inspire mainstream consumers to shop fashionably with conscience. Bianca is currently in pre-production on Threads, an international eco-fashion series for cable TV across Europe. Connect with her @ConsciousTV on twitter or at @Conscious Living TV on facebook.

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