The importance of supporting sustainable, ethical fashion has never been more imperative than it is now. The future of our planet and our species depends on it. I may sound dramatic, but let me give you some context.
I’m currently midway through and online course called Fashion and Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World. It’s free – check it out even, if you only have a passing interest in the issues of sustainability, you won’t regret it. So far, for me it has been eye-opening, frightening, inspiring and motivating all at once.
But there’s no message clearer than the importance for us all, as consumers, to make conscious choices about what and how we consume in all areas of our lives. It’s how we are going to force the change that we desperately need.
I am diligent about looking at food packaging for ingredients, origin and nutritional value, and even the packaging itself when doing my groceries. And on top of that whether it fits into my family budget. All these factors dictate whether I buy that item for my family. I continually question how much of an impact will me buying an item have on my world and that around me? So it’s not only the monetary cost that concerns me. Fashion should be no different, for all of us.
A dress should be worth much more than $25 to us. Consider the journey of that dress. The farmers of the raw material, the weavers of the fibre, the dyeing of the fabric, the designer of the dress, the people involved in its assembly, the transport to get from where it was created to where you see it. I think we’d all agree, all that costs way more than $25, and even more so in terms of the cost of the planet’s resources.
A startling fact I recently learnt is that it takes 2,700 liters of water to make just one t-shirt. That is enough for one person to drink for 900 days. It’s a heartbreaking reality when 11 percent of the world’s population lives with water stress, and often it’s in these regions that our fashion is created. And even more shocking, is that it takes 20,000 litres to create one pair of jeans.
I’m not suggesting we should stop buying cotton T-shirts or jeans, fashion to humans is as essential as food and water. I only suggest that we all start putting more thought into what we buy, where it came from, what it’s made of and how much we really need. Kalai’s shop stocks only ethically and sustainably made products created by hand. Consume consciously. The survival of our planet depends upon it.