IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION ELITIST?
For years now, we've known we can turn to fast fashion brands to rescue us at the time of a 'new outfit' crisis because let's be honest; it doesn't take a lot of effort to buy a cute dress for $30 and forget about it after one wear. Now that the times are changing, and society at large is looking to take better care of mother Earth, sustainable fashion brands have emerged attempting to address many of the concerns. However, the price difference doesn't seem to go unnoticed.
Fast fashion revolutionized the industry by offering us the latest trends followed by luxury brands at a lot more accessible price; this leads to the discussion of whether fast fashion is democratic and not all evil. If we look back at how the fashion industry started, only select and few could afford to be a part of this world, and fast fashion opened it up to the masses. With fast fashion, however, a significant portion of the essence and craftsmanship of fashion was lost. When we see luxury fashion, we see a story behind a brand, finely crafted clothing, impeccable stitching, artistry methods, and so on. Sustainable fashion brands are going back to these principles that offer us premium quality materials, craftsmanship and care for design, and genuine consideration for people and our environment. As we see it, sustainable fashion upholds the spirit of fashion at a much more sensible price tag than luxury fashion, so quite the opposite of elitism. Additionally, movement and the brands involved are searching for democracy from a more all-encompassing point of view by looking at all stakeholders affected, including workers and communities at large as well as mother nature.
This being said, price is something that cannot be ignored. The reality is that no matter how much more affordable sustainable fashion is in comparison to luxury fashion, there are still some of us who can't afford to buy clothes from these brands period. In that case, let us look at some of the best options available to us if we want to do our bit to save the environment while staying on top of our fashion game. Bloomberg has announced a 'rented dress' as the future of Fashion. Many people have adopted the idea of going by one look at a time, which led to a rapid increase in clothing rentals. We also want to indulge you in exploring increasingly popular options such as thrift shopping and clothes swapping. A pair of jeans that otherwise would be sitting on a landfill increasing the already gigantic waste pile has now found a second life in your closet.
Always feel good for taking that one decision, which has brought a positive change.
While sustainable fashion makes its way into larger audiences with improved technology and increasing economies of scale, our goal is to ensure you are aware of what you are buying that bears the worth of your money. With this in mind, alternatives like clothing rentals and second-hand clothing are not always available to all and have other limitations. In the meantime, we can't be so quick to vilify fast fashion with the benefits it has brought to society through its role in the democratization of fashion.
By: Ekam Rai