What You Haven’t Been Asking About Your Clothes

Fashion Revolution is a movement formed by a group of individuals that come from diverse backgrounds, such as retail, academia, and fashion design. Its mission is to construct a fashion industry that “values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure.”

We snagged a copy of Issue #002 of their Fanzine: Loved Clothes Last, and we absolutely love it!

Here are some of our highlights: 

The first question the issue addresses is “Why Waste?” The issue includes some pertinent questions about why our habits with our clothing have become more wasteful. Fashion Revolution advises readers to look back to a time when we took care of our clothes, kept them around for longer, and just moved at a generally slower pace.

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An interesting article by Jake Hall, highlights how the low cost of fashion is one aspect that allows us to justify how we waste our clothing. What if we had to pay a higher price for our clothing? Would we discard expensive clothing as easily when the fabric tore? The likely answer is that we would probably find a way to repair it, if its initial cost was more expensive. While finding ways to reuse textile waste is a prominent mindset in other countries, our Western mindset is a stubborn one that is always looking for new and trendy. This mentality could be the result of a “ready-made garment industry” model that has become the most profitable in the industry.

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So, instead of throwing out our clothing should we just donate it? Some advocates do tell us to donate our unwanted clothing, but the more wholesome answer is to investigate the company that will receive the clothing and their policies on distributing the garments. For example, in her contribution, Alden Wicker highlights that many organizations end up recycling very few of the garments they receive. The unwanted clothing that they cannot pass on to others may just end up in the landfill after all.

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Most interestingly, one of our favourite quotes from the Fanzine is “Waste is a design flaw.” We have been using tools like Tag Walk to create Moodboards filled with only the most fabulous designs from the runways. In addition to looking for our favourite colours, we inspect the patterns, fabrics, and unique details with a critical eye. We rarely ask how waste was minimized in the production of that garment. If we really cared to ask about what creative design steps were taken to minimize waste, reuse textile “scraps”, and ensure that textiles were biodegradable, some of our favourite brands may no longer interest us.

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While companies like Reformation may be one of the few that currently disclose an equation that calculates the amount of water, carbon dioxide, and waste that is saved in the production of their garments, we argue that this should be an industry standard. This would only add to the brilliance of fashion design if our favourite types of garments could be replicated in a way that reduced the industry’s harmful impact on humans and the environment.

We challenge you to not only stay tuned on our end for more news about the most innovative, sustainable fashion brands, but to ask more questions about how fashion companies deal with waste and produce their clothing. We promise you that it will change the way you think about the clothes you wear!

Information and Images gathered from: Fashion Revolution;  FANZINE #002: LOVED CLOTHES LAST (purchased).



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