Sustainability is the next big fashion fad you need

Alexia Dolamakian

If you are any bit concerned with where your cotton is grown, or #whomadeyourclothes, you may already be familiar with the idea of sustainability. You may even be a tree-hugger who shuns people for using an excessive amount of napkins when cleaning up a spill, or refuses to do work on paper when there is an online alternative.

Perhaps you are not this person, and you are scared to continue reading. Do continue reading, this is not a hippie-dippie guilt trip to become vegan and recycle all of your clothes only to start a new life in the woods.

The concept of only taking what you absolutely need from the Earth has been left in the dust. This could be due to the fact that marketing and advertising have developed into  conniving- though affective- influences aimed at consumers and their human need for comfort.

The average self wants comfort: cheap, quick, convenient. Que fast fashion. Of course the farmer in India lives to grow cotton with killer pesticides and the designer just has to use engineered unnatural textiles. How else would you be able to walk right into your favorite store and pick-up those $20 high-rise jean culottes, or the next graphic tee to be worn once or not all?

You do not even have to pay the poisoned man who picked the cotton, or the tired, frail woman who assembled the garment. It is really so simple and efficient.

What does all this “comfort” mean, for real though? And why does it ironically leave a sad pit in the heart? The truth is, comfort is good and naturally sought out; the consumption habits you have developed…not so much.

The world of fashion, designers and resources provided all can be combined ethically to provide you with the same amount of contentment, if not more.

In fact, many lines at this year’s NYFW were created with the intention of making innovative and genuine pieces by thoughtfully sourcing materials and not harming the environment.

Unfortunately, the average consumer does not look to the runway to decide their next purchase. That leaves a majority of the population blindly following trends and purchasing what is put in their face by advertising and marketing.

You can still wake up from this controlling and sleep-consuming state. Though the options are scarce when it comes to the conscious clothing retailers in America, it does not mean that convenient purchases die with eco fashion.

There are tons of online retailers that support the sustainable, socially conscious movement–just do your research. Europe is already in the swing of the ethical and mad cool designs–and this extends into much more than just their clothing. It is a lifestyle unacquainted with most of America.

Wholefoods even sells organic cotton, fair trade apparel. It is important that cotton be organic to reduce the impact of chemicals on the earth and on farmers. Do not forget that your precious skin, which is the largest organ of your body, faces the consequences of those harmful chemicals too.

Aside from the fast fashion vs. slow fashion revolution, your best option is to just reduce consumption. Make smarter choices and choose sparingly. If you do not need it and can muster up the willpower to deny worldly attraction, by all, means walk away from the deceiving comfort of your next purchase.

If you truly would adore and appreciate the item, get it and wear it until the clock strikes twelve, then take it to your nearest clothing and textile recycling drop-off.

The self must seek truth in order to find comfort. Once you understand the truth that one can be happy without excess consumption, you will find comfort.