What do you think when you think about the word “fashion”? I’m sure you think about historic fashion houses and style icons and glossy magazines. And yes, that is today’s understanding of fashion. But the word fashion actually comes from the latin “facere” which means “to make, to fashion”. Fashion and style have long been associated with beauty, elegance, culture, social movements and empowering those who wear the garments. But there is another side of fashion, that we don’t see as a consumer, and that is the actual fashioning part. Get it? The fashioning part of fashion? We tried something there...
Anyway, going back to the subject at hand, clothes and accessories are fun and beautiful and a great way to express ourselves. But at what cost?
Is something really beautiful if it harms the environment? Is something really fun if the person who made it is not paid living wages? These are hard questions to ask ourselves but important, because they send us in the quest for answers. And they change the way we see the world around us. Soon, we come to realise not everything beautiful is made conscientiously or qualitatively but rather quantitatively. Meaning, a lot of the stuff we buy is not made with quality in mind, but rather with quantity, regardless of how it’s made.
This part is not something that us, as costumers, can have control over. The manufacturing part of the garments are known only by the brands. Yet we are the ones who pay the price: the price of the garments, and the price of the toll those garments take on the environment. Fashion can sustain communities and people, but it can also harm them.
This is the part where we come in, as consumers, and have the ability to “vote with our wallet” as they say. We can vote for brands that offer sustainable options, we can vote for brands that stand for the environment. We can vote for brands that try to do better. But even before we do that, we can start by taking a look in our own closets, and starting from there.
We don’t need more, we need better! Remember how our mothers and grandmothers had less clothes than us, but their clothes last until today? And they still managed to look elegant and put together on every occasion? Their clothes were well made and they took care of them. They knew which one is for which occasion, they knew what suited them and they knew well made things are hard to find.
Take a look at your closet and ask yourself this: would you want to see it filled with items you will probably never wear again and don’t even want to look at? Or would you prefer to have a more organised, less crowded closet, that only stores items that you love and are super excited to wear?
This is where the fashion revolution starts. With ourselves, and with our closets. We can make fashion more sustainable from within our closets, all the way out in the world.
Below we gathered some tips and tricks to re-organise our closet and re-think our shopping habits.
1. Wear what you have
It is the easier, cheapest, and most sustainable thing to do. Wear whatever you have as much as possible, and avoiding buying something new unless it adds value to your life (and hopefully to the life of the people who made it).
2. Wash your clothes less and try to drying them naturally
A garment’s environmental impact is bigger after purchase, due to how many times we wash items and on which setting. Lower temperatures (15 or 30 degrees Celsius) are better than higher ones.
3. Don’t throw, donate
Try donating your clothes and items you no longer desire to a charity, or try recycling them. Textiles and clothes are almost always reusable or recyclable.
4. Ask questions
Ask the brands that you buy from about the origins of the fabrics and the manufacturing. The more you know, the more educated your decision will be. And also, it makes you appreciate what you are wearing that much more! Here you can find The Nudist Swimwear's mission page, where you can read about us and our manufacturing, and our fabrics page. Please message us if you have any questions!
5. Buy for the future you
Don’t buy anything on impulse. Think this when buying a new item: “Will me in 3 years still like this?”. Invest in good quality pieces, made from long lasting fabrics, that you can wear and enjoy time and time again. The more you make memories together, the more you will love them!
6. Quality over quantity
No, you don’t need a new dress for every time you go out, or for every new event. You need a few beautiful pieces that compliment your style and you are all set! Wearing items only once is something that has been brought about and perpetuated by actors, pop stars and generally public figures. But you need to remember most of the time they do not own those clothes, they are being paid to wear them and they have to give them back. Also, think about it like this: now that you will buy less, you can buy a bit more expensive. One good coat from a responsible brand is worth way more that any number of cheap jackets.
7. Shop from sustainable companies
There are companies that started their journey with sustainability in mind. Like The Nudist Swimwear. We refuse to compromise our world, our costumers’ satisfaction, and we never have. Even though we are not perfect, we are constantly learning, improving and growing. In that process, we are grateful for your input and always happy to receive messages from you. Tell us what you like about us, what we can do better, and where we can learn from.
8. Accept that you may not be perfect
And that’s ok. Enjoy the process of shopping more mindfully, of loving your garments more, of learning and bettering yourself. No one does sustainability perfectly, but we should all give it a try!
Keep reading the Nudist diaries for more conversations about fashion and sustainability and let us know how you do sustainable fashion!
Photo by Alireza Attari