Sustainable Fashion

By Mary Sheehan Warren

As a nation, we in the U.S. generate an average of 25 billion pounds of textile waste a year. This comes down to almost 82 pounds for each of us per year. Then, there are the other less obvious consequences of our fast fashion consumption: Water pollution, carbon emissions, and so many of the terrible labor abuses which are the result of the pressure we place on producers to keep costs low.

While it’s easy to blame the manufacturers, retailers, and marketers for our current situation, we as consumers actually have the power to make real change. “The solution can be very simple,” insists Livia Firth, eco-fashion activist (and yes, wife of Colin). “Become an active citizen through your wardrobe.”

How?

Practice these three simple habits:

1. Buy second hand clothing. At Charity’s and Phil’s you can get key pieces for less money than you spend on a fancy cup of coffee. And, if you are a serious fashionista, indulge your fancies at Charity’s First Picks for long-lasting and on-trend pieces. You will have rescued textiles from the landfill and look fabulous because of it!

2. Donate the clothing you don’t use. Bring your shoes, bags, jewelry, and clothes to our donation bin at our Savage Mill location. You can even bring that wedding gown you’ve stowed in the back of your closet. (It’s just sitting there doing no one any good!)

3. Tell others about our mission at SIS so that they may also donate clothing both for our six studios and for our second-hand shops which fund our mission. In this way, you help others to keep fashion out of landfills, AND you help men and women get a new start in life.

Sustainable consumption is core to the mission of Success In Style. Let’s work together to slow down fast fashion.

Mary Sheehan Warren is the Board Chair of Success in Style and Marketing Lecturer at the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America. She is the author of The Thoughtful Girls Guide to Fashion, Communication, and Friendship.

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