Sustainable Fashion: Why it’s Better to be Imperfect

If we could all be perfectly environmentally conscious in all our choices then that would be incredible, but this night was all about celebrating the small things we can individually do that lead to a much wider change and impact.

As Anne-Marie Bonneau put it: “we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.

Whether you apply that idea to fashion, plant based eating or zero waste, it’s still a great idea to stand by. Every positive action we take has a positive reaction – and that’s much better than waiting until we’re perfect to make a change.

Sustainable Fashion event

On Thursday 19th September, I headed out to my first Warrior Women event in Cardiff.

Focusing on sustainable fashion, the night featured talks from Claire Richards of Delicious Monster Tea, Claire Rees of Upstyle Club, and Sarah Valentine and Julia Harris from The Sustainable Studio.

It was a great evening spent in a room packed full of passionate, creative and interesting women. We drank delicious spritz from Sincerely Sabella, snacked on cakes from Jessica Emma Cakes (I went for the vegan lemon cake!) and learned lots about sustainable fashion from the role of businesses through to our own responsibilities.

I thought I’d share some of the key notes I took away from each of the talks that night and the excellent Q&A session at the end (in which I also won a beautiful Lauren Catris silk scarf!).

What can we do?

  • As small businesses start to become more transparent in their processes and change towards more sustainable methods, we need to make sure that we’re demanding the same from large corporations too.
  • We can help other people to think about sustainability and make positive changes by being a touch point for them. No matter how small the change is, the more we talk about it and make these changes seen, we can help to positively impact someone else’s choices.
  • Start taking a mindful approach to fashion. You can do this by: taking time to think about your items, creating a ‘now’ rail of items you want to focus on wearing, getting creative with what you already own and planning ahead for outfits you need in the future (for events such as weddings). By not leaving it to the last moment or rushing to plan outfits, you can reduce your need for fast fashion.
  • Set yourself a challenge to cut back on fast fashion. You could try and only shop in vintage and charity shops, try and buy an outfit for an upcoming event from only second hand sources, try to style unloved items in your wardrobe for a week, or even cut back to just one fast fashion item a month.
  • Remember that following your core values and morals can be less convenient, but it’s more important to who you are and who you want to be.
  • Taking back control of how, when and where you shop in a society that wants you to buy new and buy now can feel like a very powerful act and choice.
  • Rethink and repurpose what you already have! Get inspiration from the high street and see if there’s a way you can recreate that look with items you already have – or perhaps you can reuse materials to create new patterns or sew new elements into your own clothing.
  • Take small steps to encourage friends and family to ditch fast fashion and make environmentally friendly changes but showing them the positives of second hand/vintage/sustainable shopping. You could take them thrifting, share skills you have to rework their old clothes or buy them a second hand birthday or Xmas gift. Show them how great it can be!

Hopefully some of these tips and ideas have inspired you as much as they inspired me at the event – and let me know if you have any more ideas or thoughts to add to the sustainable fashion conversation!

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