This is a very common question, especially when it comes to fashion. Sustainability is certainly more than a little issue or a trend that comes and goes. Even though we have become more aware of it, there are a lot of questions and misconceptions around it. Can high fashion designers’ handbags be sustainable? How do we understand the complex relationship between what we wear, the companies which make products, environmental and social issues? We are here to find the answer. This article also talks about different approaches to sustainability and eco-friendly but still fashionable lifestyles.
What does sustainable fashion mean?
Even though sustainability is talked a lot in the fashion industry, there is no one straightforward definition that is used by everyone. Let’s call it a human and environment-friendly movement, which in the fashion industry means taking into consideration every step of the product production: the way it is manufactured, marketed and used. In practice, this implies continuous work to improve all stages of the product’s life cycle, from design, raw material production, manufacturing, transport, storage, marketing and final sale, to use, reuse, repair, remake and recycling of the product and its components”, wrote Anna Brismar.
According to Brundtland Report, “Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It means that sustainability is also a way of thinking about the future. Our future, the future of our children and their children. Do you care?
Ways of how can bags be sustainable
When we think of sustainable fashion, we quickly realise that there are many approaches to it. Some people see the fabrics, which are used to make a product like bag, as the most important part. Others emphasize the benefits of vintage/secondhand purchases, as well as swapping or renting. Many of us think of others and advocate fair trade. And here comes a new and very important term – what does fair trade mean? The sustainable problem isn’t just about the environment but about human lives. Bosses make money, but what about those who make the goods? Fair trade is a trade between companies and manufacturers. It means that people who make the good are fairly paid, work in safe conditions and are well treated in general.
The Luxe Designers bags – fair trade made in Italy
At Luxe Designers, we care a lot about the people who make our bags, the working conditions and think that everyone should be treated fairly with no exception.
As you can see in the graph, there is a lot to think about and certainly, each stage is crucial, but even if you focus on at least one or two you make a difference.
It is time for change
“We really don’t have long now, to change things. But I honestly believe it’s doable – I couldn’t do what I do if I didn’t believe that”, said Stella McCartney, British sustainable fashion designer, in the interview with Jess Cartner-Morley for The Guardian. We think that brands are responsible for providing products that are created through sustainable and ethical manufacturing practices. However, we have the purchasing power to buy from brands that made clear commitments to sustainable production that put people and the environment first.
I would like to point one more thing: using plastic bags every day is one thing but what we have in our closets is another. We follow all these „eco influencers” on social media, we share their terrifying posts, but it doesn’t make any difference. In this case ‘sharing is NOT caring’. What do you think will change? We have the purchasing power and we make the decision. Do you want to keep buying the fast fashion products that after a very short period of time will end up in the bin, then straight to the landfill and pollute our environment or do you want to invest in something that was made with care of other people, something that will last longer? I know that trends are constantly changing and so that you may don’t like the idea of having the same bag with you for a couple of years, but this is why you should be swapping it with your friends and even people you don’t know. I am telling you, it is so much fun! Well, fun and eco.
If you think that sustainable fashion is boring, you are completely wrong.
Go, try yourself and make a difference.
Shop ethically at LuxeDesigners.com
Written by: Amelia Krzapa • Editor-in-chief • AIM Magazine