I have noticed an uptick in bloggers being more environmentally and socially conscious and thank goodness for that. Lindsey Kyle of Cozy Stylist is one of these bloggers and after I read her take on sustainably shopping for spring, she and I discussed our responsibility as bloggers, thrift shopping, and sartorial sustainability documentaries.
Lu – Is there a particular moment or event that brought your attention to sustainability?
Lindsey – I went to school for fashion and I learned a lot about the process of making clothing and what it takes to produce them. From the manmade fibers to chemical treatments to the underpaid labors who are sewing the garments together. It was very eye opening to see how bad everything is.
Lu – Interesting! I feel ignorant to admit that I never considered that the ethical ramifications of the industry would be addressed in an educational curriculum. Can you share the school / program that you are studying?
Lindsey – I went to West Virginia University and have my Bachelors degree in Fashion Merchandising. I am currently in graduate school at WVU to earn my Master’s in marketing.
Lu – Sometimes I experience internal struggle between encouraging my audience to live a more sustainable life and on the other hand promoting clothing, albeit those that will stand the test of time. Do you ever experience similar sentiment?
Lindsey – Ugh this is something that I struggle so much with! There is a constant battle to buy new clothing to promote on my blog and social media, but I know how bad my shopping habits are. I really haven’t found a way to balance the two yet but I just try to promote more organic clothing in my posts so that people see that I do still support sustainable fashion.
Lu – I spoke with Carla Arvie of I Got It for Chic earlier this year and she inspired me to take a secondary market approach to satiating any shopping needs. Lately I have been indulging in shopping secondhand, specifically vintage Lilly Pulitzer via eBay. Just keeping clothing out of landfills.
Lindsey – I love going to thrift stores and consignment shops to search for new clothing. I have one that I regularly sell my clothing to every other month.
Lu – The clothing industry is the second largest contributor to pollution, next to oil and gas. Have you watched any sustainability in the clothing industry documentaries that have resonated with you lately?
Lindsey – I watched a Netflix documentary called The True Cost that went in depth about horrible working conditions for factor workers, and how we are spoiling waterways with deadly chemicals. It made me want to research sustainable brands that practice eco-friendly production processes. I am more aware of the clothes that I buy now too, I won’t buy something if it was produced in Bangledesh and I always research a brand online before purchasing something. I want to know what that brand and company are doing to be friendly to our planet and their workers.
Lu – The 2013 Bangladesh factory collapse was devastating. It is physically difficult to look at photos of the aftermath. Along with not purchasing anything from Bangladesh, I also look at tags for the fabric content. Unfortunately, as someone has to shop online for tall length sizes, the provenance of items is not disclosed in the descriptions.
Lindsey – It is very difficult to look for clothing brands that tell us everything about the piece of clothing that we’re buying. That’s why I try to stick to brands that are very open about their production processes. I actually just published a blog post too about how to shop spring fashion with sustainable brands.
Lu – Lately H&M has been running commercial spots for their sustainable line. An H&M sustainable line seems like an oxymoron. Even if there are not environmental implications, I sincerely doubt that there are not social implications. What are your thoughts about the line?
Lindsey – H&M is one of the worst offenders for fast fashion. There have been news stories about how their workers are begging for help in little notes that are left in the pockets of clothing. I don’t know how true those stories are but they are believable. They product their clothing at such a fast rate that they don’t care about the working conditions of their workers or the quality of their clothing.
Lu – I recently read about a human bone found in the Primark socks at the beginning of the year or back in 2016, a rat sewn into the Zara dress.