sustainable fashion resolutions

Making Sustainability Trendy in 2018

The new year came and went without the ceremony of writing my resolutions as I have done since forever. Usually claiming to read 2 books a month (I wish!), get back to 4 yoga classes a day (with what time?) and something more esoteric like letting go and trusting the universe (no way of gauging this one, so let’s say I crush it every year), my new year resolutions matter to me. You wouldn’t know by the snarky side comments, but the ritual of a fresh start, writing annual goals, whether I commit to said resolutions or not, and ushering in new beginnings is an energy I look forward to; that, and the hourly meals my mom brings to the table to be enjoyed at our own hungover pace and will.

This year however, I was not at home home, I was off on my honeymoon, celebrating my new marriage, turning thirty and galavanting Spain pretending I didn’t just turn thirty and putting off any type of life-reflection, self-improvement list-making for another time. Well that other time is now. I’m home from a glorious honeymoon, where I had lots of time to think and talk and read (heyyy – already cruising toward book number two this month!). And in this luxurious space of less responsibility and mas tapas, I began to think about what 2018 would look like for me. And here is what I landed on.

Stop wasting money on crap you don’t need and instead use your dollar as a woman, as a major player in this economic, political and environmental landscape to do some good. Like really do some good, don’t just talk about it, but be about it…even when it is uncomfortable, uncouth and uncool. Not that holding myself more accountable is uncool, nor is the inspiration behind it, but instead reminding myself that I have the power to define what is cool and not cool. 

Here are truths behind what I know to be cool:

Being kind to everyone, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender identification, profession or prestige. Recognizing that being joyful is a choice, and there is reason for gratitude in every situation. Optimism. Vulnerability. Feminism, not because it is trending, which is a conversation for another time, but because knowing that women are inherently powerful and deserve to be treated as powerful beings with the same vigor, valor and respect as men, is the ultimate sign of coolness. Wearing the same thing a few times in a row. Recycling. Honoring thy mother, both natural and familial, and bowing to the life they both birth.

In deep respect to women and Madame Mother Earth herself, I thought I had mostly decided on a resolution, but then I left for three weeks. And as experiencing distant cultures will often inspire, I was able to look around, open my eyes, see the world through a different, less veiled lens and re-discover what my soul already knew — that we are all the same. We have the common thread of humanity and a shared home that unites us all. Metaphorically NOT speaking, it is with inspiration of real threads that my 2018 resolutions are dangling. I discovered a depth and new excitement around making resolutions for the greater good.

The fashion world is dirty and plays a very serious role in environmental pollution. In fact, next to big oil, it is the dirtiest industry. The largest culprit being fast fashion. Yes, the convenient and alarmingly affordable Forever 21 and ZARAs of the world keep you looking cute every month with their speedy inventory turn over and finger-on-the-pulse options, but they are destroying the planet and injuring its inhabitants. Though I haven’t shopped in those places in years due to my own moral standards and personal education from my time working at prAna, an active lifestyle brand known as a leader in sustainable fashion in north country San Diego, I know there is more I can do and breaking the Target habit needs to happen for all of us (me and my bank account).

Plus, environmental issues are women’s issues. Women are more gravely and greatly affected by climate change. The UN Women Watch explains:

Women form a disproportionately large share of the poor in countries all over the world. Women in rural areas in developing countries are highly dependent on local natural resources for their livelihood, because of their responsibility to secure water, food and energy for cooking and heating. The effects of climate change, including drought, uncertain rainfall and deforestation, make it harder to secure these resources. By comparison with men in poor countries, women face historical disadvantages, which include limited access to decision-making and economic assets that compound the challenges of climate change. (Women, Gender, Equality and Climate Change)

Supporting women, protecting our shared planet and using the voting power of my dollar, that’s the motivation behind my new year resolution: to being a more conscious and female-supportive consumer and supporting with more commitment sustainable fashion. Therefore, I will only buy something, including clothes and housewares, if:

  • It is designed by a woman, or purchased from a woman-owned shop
  • It has a sustainability story (ie: production, Fair Trade, material, packaging, local)
  • It is second-hand

Want to join me? You should – I would love to share my resolution with anyone who wants it. I will be writing about it here, and featuring some of my favorite female-owned sustainable fashion brands, like Salud Shoppe, Mate The Label, Novella Royale and Brother Vellies, or my new favorite I found while in Spain, Intropia.

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