Within the first few months of 2019, I found blogger Brittany at A Little Britt of Fun. Lindsay of A Cozy Stylist tweeted about one of Brittany’s blog posts about living more sustainable, more specifically about 2019: The Year of Less. I immediately devoured the blog post and followed Brittany across social media. We discussed our responsibility as bloggers and what steps we can take to make a difference.
L – Is there a particular moment or event that brought your attention to sustainability?
J – Not really. I have sort of been on a mindfulness journey and found my way to sustainable clothing and ethical fashion. I simply got tired of purchasing things that were made to fall apart and made to make me more of a consumer. Things like Forever 21, H&M, etc… where they are mass producing cheap clothing that is killing the environment but also where they aren’t treating their employees ethically. I think the older I’ve gotten the more I’ve stepped out of my bubble so I started to wonder about the clothing in my life and things I was supporting with my money and started doing research. I wouldn’t say it was one big thing that brought me here but a series of little things over time.
L – I enjoyed reading your posts Every Damn Thing I’ve Found Helpful for Giving Up Fast Fashion as well as 2019: The Year of Less. I tried to abide by the latter myself; I just spent money on clothing for the first time in 2019. Fortunately, it was via the secondary market, five vintage Lilly Pulitzer dresses and four months into the new year. How have you been doing with your Year of Less?
J – So I liked The Year of Less because you can create parameters. I gave myself the goal of not buying any clothing or household decor, etc… unless it fit into a specific category. As of this month I’ve purchased three dresses, two bikini tops, one shirt, and one pair of shorts. This has replaced clothing that no longer fits me and that I got rid of, which was one of the parameters I gave myself for purchasing. This is a huge change for me as I made an effort to shop small and to shop for sustainable clothing. I bought the rest from H&M’s Sustainable Collection. It’s also huge for me because I am a person who shops when I am feeling down or when I have a trip planned or when it’s a new season and I’ve drastically changed my mindset around that. I also am currently wearing clothing that is falling off of me and I refuse to replace it. It’s made me much more mindful of what I buy and why I buy. I realize we are only in quarter two of the year but my hope is to stay this strong throughout the rest of the year.
L – I too shop when I am down. Or maybe even sometimes bored. Real talk: I have reservations about H&M’s Conscious Collection from the social perspective. Is there supply chain transparency for this line?
J – H&M’s Conscious Collection is one of those things where a person has to decide what is good enough for them and how they want to move forward. For me, the sustainable collection specifically is incredibly transparent with how clothing is made and sourced. They state that it is ethically made and uses ethical products that are grown in environmentally sustainable ways. H&M as a whole is one of the largest producers of waste when it comes to clothing. As a whole the company is making an effort to try and move towards better production overall but they very much need to improve drastically as a brand. That said, they have an actual plan in place for how they want to move forward as a brand and they clearly state the conscious collection is organic, sustainable, ethically made and sourced clothing. They’ve also received an A rating (according to Good on You) in their supply chain and transparency. For ME that works. They are very clear with how their Conscious Collection is made and sourced and they are actively working to change as a brand overall. I know a lot of people would not support this collection because the larger brand is H&M but I think that is just a personal choice. It’s how I feel about veganism. I drastically cut back on meat in my diet and a lot of people will say that’s not doing enough but in reality going meat free for one day drastically improves the environment.
L – I have considered the impact made by going meatless one day a week, but taking that metaphor to H&M is something I had not thought about before. Thank you for sharing that perspective. Just think about if everyone – or even if only bloggers – made one little change for the better? One less item from a fast fashion brand or giving up shopping for one week or one month, we could change the world.
J – Yep! I wish that more fashion and beauty bloggers and influencers were doing what they could to share options and brands that are ethical. I don’t fault anyone for making money and for having success but we have become overrun with consumerism and the way some of these fashion brands, even luxury ones, are creating waste in the space or the way they are treating employees is so unfortunate. I don’t impose my point of view on other people but I do wish more people with an audience used their voice to highlight other options.
L – Sometimes I feel an internal struggle between encouraging my audience to live a more sustainable life and writing about clothing, albeit those that fall into the classic / traditional style. Do you ever feel similar?
J – So I am VERY vocal about A LOT of things. LOL. So I don’t often struggle with encouraging folks to make a change. That said, I often frame things by telling people to give themselves and each other grace. I think the biggest issue people have is they go out and say YOU HAVE TO BE VEGAN OR YOU’RE KILLING THE ENVIRONMENT or YOU HAVE TO BUY ECO FRIENDLY CLOTHING OR YOU ARE RUINING LIVES and it’s not that simple. There are things that go into all of these lifestyle changes and I try to push that when I share my opinions. I typically tell people to TRY and start somewhere small. I think anyone can make a small change and typically that will turn into a bigger/more permanent change. However, I definitely feel called to share information and encourage growth and change in people. I have a platform and I refuse to let it sit there and not use it for some good.
L – That goes back to what you were saying about the small changes and I think that is a great place for anyone to start. About getting further inspired, have you watched any sustainability in the clothing industry documentaries that have resonated with you?
J – I actually haven’t. So if you have any please give me some suggestions! I got most of my material from Google searches and finding some sustainable brands and blogs on Instagram.
L – The documentaries Slowing Down Fast Fashion and The True Cost are eye opening. What sustainable blogs can you recommend?
J – I shared a lot of brands and lists and resources in my post in relation to this but these are my go to sources for blogs / Instagram / websites that have endless information. If I had to tell you to pick a few I’d say Good On You and Eco Warrior Princess are the best.