From going gently, declaring your commitment to changing the fashion industry, to plastic free swaps you may not have thought about, this months wrap-up has you covered!
The sense of renewed focus, and energy, that usually comes with the start of a new year, came a little later this time round, kicking in for February. I think this is partly owing to being treated to some beautiful, sunny, almost spring like weather here in Munich. It's amazing what a difference a bit of sunshine can make!
So, with this new found motivation, I have completed my first attempt at a monthly (replacing my previous weekly) wrap-up. Hopefully you will enjoy, and find useful, what I have to share.
A wrap-up of this month
New on the blog this month
Fibre focus: Recycled Polyester takes a high level look at some of the fibres pros and cons.
Go(ing) Gently with Bonnie Wright
This month I came across another amazing side, or should I say sides, to Bonny Wright - author, Greenpeace ambassador, climate activist, educator, the list goes on.
Her platform, Go Gently, was inspired by her debut book of the same name, Go Gently: Actionable Steps to Nurture Yourself and the Planet, which is set to come out April 19th, 2022 (cannot wait). Her focus is on the much needed call to action (go), but the soft, loving and understanding way in which we can go about it (gently).
Her delightful YouTube videos, informative blogs, and newsletters, offer some great tips on how we can make manageable, positive changes within our daily lives.
Be sure to check it out!
Have you heard of "Fashion Declares!”?
Fashion Declares is a new grassroots movement, launched by REAL Sustainability, which is working to address the role of the fashion industry in the climate, ecological and social emergency.
As most of us know, the fashion industry is a big contributor to many of the current crises. But the industry also has the ability to enact positive change. Fashion Declares is therefore calling individuals to come together, and sign up to the goals of the five commitments of the Fashion Declares movement. These five commitments include:
Speaking out for urgent action
Decarbonisation, restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity
Social justice and the just transition
Radical transparency and corporate governance
The regenerative fashion model
If you are interested in voicing your concern, why not join the movement and sign the open letter too?
FashMash Pioneers: Revolutionising fashion with Orsola De Castro
Earlier in the month, I joined a webinar interview between Rosanna Falconer, co founder of Fash Mash, and none other than Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution, author of 'Loved Clothes Last' (a must read), and pioneer when it comes to sustainable fashion.
The discussion covered everything from the future of fashion, questioning whether 2022 will be the year of radical change, what is needed at a brand and individual level to enact change within the industry, to a discussion about her book.
If you are interested, you can watch the discussion, 'FashMash Pioneers: Revolutionising fashion with Orsola De Castro', on YouTube.
Ultra fast fashion
I am a huge fan of Clare Press, and regular listener of her podcast Wardrobe Crisis. Episode 153, Hauls! Algorithms! Crazy Cheap! What Does Shein's Ultra Fast Model Mean for Sustainability?, was a real eye opener.
In this riveting episode Clare is in discussion with American journalists Meaghan Tobin and Louise Matsakis, talking all things fast fashion, with a focus on Shein (pronounced She-in) - the biggest player of them all. The episode introduces the concept of ultra fast fashion, and the interesting (but scary) role of TikTok, and Instagram.
The original article (linked below) discussed in the episode is a must read also.
How Shein beat Amazon at its own game — and reinvented fast fashion, from Rest of the World, details the six month long investigation into the world of Shein. The article covers everything from the brands patchy, vague, incomplete history, it's involvement in a number of controversies (stealing of designs, offensive culturally and historically products, not to mention labour (social) and environmental issues), to its Amazon-like business model.
5 plastic free swaps you may not have thought about
I have been on a journey to reducing my plastic waste for some time now. However, one product I never really thought of as a contributor was my phone case. That was until recently, when my husband accidentally dropped my phone from quite a height. While my phone was thankfully fine, my cover was a little beat up.
Now I couldn't find any reliable sources that provided statistics on just what the impact of waste from mobile phone cases is. However, it's not hard to imagine. You only have to consider how many people own mobile phones across the globe, and how quickly we update them. Furthermore, sadly most recycling programs aren't able to accept old cases for recycling due to the plastic and rubber used (among other things).
So this lead me to Pela, a certified B corp, proud member of 1% for the planet, and climate neutral certified brand who offer phone cases made from plants that are certified compostable, meaning that they will break down, with no harmful traces, in just months. It was also nice to find out that they donate to organisations that work towards cleaning our oceans, and fighting climate change.
Now, if you are after some other easy, but maybe not so common plastic free switches and investments, here are some of my tried and tested recommendations (click on the images below).
What I was reading in February
Degrowth: The future that fashion has been looking for?, from Vogue Business, is an interesting look into the concept of degrowth and it's potential to spark innovation.
The Myth of Sustainable Fashion, from Harvard Business Review, looks into some of the reasons why sustainable fashion, may not actually be sustainable. The article takes a high level look at everything from the industry's complex supply chains, lack of transparency, the industry's focus on growth, to the efficacy of resale and rental business models. The article concludes with some interesting ideas on what can be done, including the ongoing debate on whether we should be steering away from the word sustainability altogether.
Brands are moving from fast to ‘forever fashion’ – but are new clothes ever sustainable?, from The Guardian, describes how forever wardrobes have always actually been there, the idea was just bumped to the side by the emergence of fast fashion. So will longevity and timeless designs really be the trend of this spring?
I staged a protest against the Pretty Little Thing fashion show. This is why, from The Independent, revisits the protest staged by Venetia La Manna (@venetialamanna) and @OhSoEthical outside the PrettyLittleThing runway show. The article describes why they are demanding fair living wages for garment workers, and a drastic reduction in output. My favourite quote;
"So please, go ahead and hold your catwalk shows. We’ll be there with our placards shining a light on your glossy empire of waste." - Venetia La Manna
Coming up in March
Thinking about Spring cleaning your wardrobe?
Tips on spotting greenwashing
Merchant and Mills Florence dress pattern review
Please get in touch or leave me a comment, I would love to know about your February. Also, let me know what have you been reading, watching, and listening to.
Thanks for reading, and see you in March!
‘Fashion + Psychology’ is a personal blog. Any views or opinions contained on this site are my own. I am not affiliated with any brands, products, or organisations mentioned, and do not receive any sponsorship, payment, or other compensation for any of the content on this site.